Guy Capecelatro III

Artist Info
Guy's a longtime staple of the Portsmouth, NH indie music community. Definitely one of the most prolific artists of the area, he offers a six-song EP for the Secret Stereo.

INTERVIEW

The III in your name is so mysterious, awesome and regal. What can you tell me about Guy Capecelatros I and II?

Well, the name means King of Thieves in Italian. My grandfather traveled here by boat when he was a kid and worked in the newspaper business. My dad was a marine and later a salesman. My parents had me when they were real young and it was a crazy, tumultuous time. They split and when my mom couldn't handle things, I was around six, she sent me back for a vacation with my dad which lasted until I graduated high school. I can't even imagine being 25 and having this kid show up in your life you thought was gone and having to figure out how to be a parent. I am ever grateful.

You are simultaneously a generous team player amongst the New England music scene of collaborative friends and one of its most prolific songwriters. Do these roles inform each other? And, honestly, how do you even logistically write so many songs? Tales of your output are legendary.
I feel amazingly grateful to be a part of such a talented and generous musical community. Currently I'm playing with four bands as well as occasionally playing out my own stuff. The process of writing is so intriguing and exhilarating to me so it's fun to get something of an insider's view to how others do it. Each certainly informs the other. I also feel lucky to be able to write. I've always written, filled notebooks and cassette tapes and scraps of paper. The trick is to try and find some order amidst the chaos.
Your lyrics seem to focus on the lives of others. Are these purely fictional tales? And, if so, are your short stories embedded with personal subtext? Or do these characters simply exist as Carver-esque, slice-of-live narratives?
Being a landscaper allows for so much space in my brain. I'm able to really live with characters as I push around dirt and stone out in the world. Most of my stuff tends to be fictional though it's certainly all a part of my own experience as well. I strive never to condescend to any character and make them true as possible. Hopefully I occasionally achieve that thing where you can see yourself in this other person.
Live--whether solo or backing others--you will often play many different instruments. Is there one you feel most comfortable with or inspired by? Do you typically write on guitar? What's the most non-traditional way you've ever come up with a song idea or melody?
There's not much about performing that makes me feel comfortable. I can find ways to contribute to a song on a lot of different instruments, although I can't play many very well at all. Guitar is the thing I learned on so usually that's where a song starts for me although many start as melodies and then I have to figure out some chording to realize the song. I've written to the sound of bells in the distance or the percussion of a turn signal or just background chatter. Being open to the possibility of a song allows for lots of non-traditional methods.
Where is your favorite place to play, locally? With so many potentially different atmospheres--bars, houses, clubs, book stores--is there one you necessarily prefer? And do your sets take on different personalities in varied settings?
The Red Door in Portsmouth is currently my favorite venue. It feels like home. Cresta makes me these amazing non-liquor drinks and the couches are comfy. It is delightful to have a place where people will take the time to really listen to what you have to say. I'm not really a singer or musician in a way that's very entertaining so if you don't get to hear the stories there's not much for a listener. The River Run bookstore is another great place to play. Last summer we did a few shows with friends at our house which was also amazing. It's fun to be outside the traditional bar setting.
What non-musical activities get you excited to express yourself either through recording or in concert? I know you're a fan of two Ultimates: Frisbee and Fighting. Do sports pump you up in a similar way that music does, or is it an entirely different outlet?
I grew up racing motorcycles, skiing and wrestling among other sports. Now I play Ultimate Frisbee and poker. Competition fulfills something entirely different than music does. Music, for me, is much more about sharing and expressing. I think my lack of real desire for success, musically, has enabled me to continue to really enjoy writing and playing music. If my expectations has been higher I may have fallen victim to that inevitable disappointment which many friends have sadly experienced. Hopefully I'll always putter about.
Final question: What would you most like to accomplish in 2008, artistically or otherwise?
Quite a while back one of my published stories was made into a little movie, a wild and surreal process. It was also quite frustrating. I've been thinking of trying to do a little movie. Just something simple and dialoguey with friends. I love movies and I'd really like to write for something more visual. Plus I'll probably record a few more albums.
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