Rob Cantrell's new album “Keep On the Grass” is now available. Here's a sample track: “Grapefruit” (MP3).
I love watching Rob do his hip-hop hippie thing onstage. I like how he punches certain phrases. And the subjects he talks about: weed, shrooms, the Beatles vs. the Stones, etc. How he can crush at both an urban show at a big club and also at a back of a bar alt room with a bunch of hipsters. How he'll just wander aloud onstage and stumble into epiphanies. He's one of those guys you can see do sets over and over and still not get tired of.
I asked Rob to answer a couple of questions about the record and how it came to be:
What was the most surprising thing about the whole process of recording/releasing the album?
The most surprising thing about recording an album is how much work there is. In the beginning I though you could knock it out one, two, three, press record BAM-Album. NOPE. First you have to find a good sounding room, clear it with the club owners, find a smart tech guy to mic it right, then there is editing, mastering, artwork, distribution, and spreading the word. A label and management can help with getting these things done, but at the end of the day it is your name on the ALBUM and you are going to have to deal with the feedback. My advice is to get your hands dirty in every detail of the process.
What's your favorite bit on the record? Why? How did you write it?
Stand Up Bits- There are two true stories that I really enjoy listening to. One story (The Bike Story-track 9) is a detailed story about wrecking an old school banana seat chopper bicycle when I was 7 and how it almost cut my dick off. It was one of those traumatic things that only close family knew about and laughed at, at the time it was hardcore brutal, but kids always fuck themselves up, some cousin gets a compound fracture jumping out a tree house with a cape, another puts a nail gun in his hip playing 'Outlaw of Josey Wails'. At first people would freak out, slowly I got better and better telling it. It is not the type of bit that will get you laid after the show, -doesn't matter because I am Married N Shit (track 20/music), but it does connect with people a little deeper than just a straight up joke. That is why I enjoy telling stories now and then.
The other is a story (track 15-The Tombs) about getting arrested in New York in the LES for smoking a joint with a professional violinist outside the Parkside Lounge. I spent a weekend in 'The Tombs', they would pick a night to bring people in for weed and scare them by putting them in the TOMBS. The bit most always kills because it is interesting and absurd. I enjoy it because I get to sing a Pink Floyd song in it.
I love comedy, music and weed. This is what KEEP ON THE GRASS is all about.
I've heard you talking about how other comics have a "herd mentality." What do you mean by that? Why do you think that's bad?
To keep it simple, go right when everybody is going left, break away from the pack and get fucking noticed. That how I see it. This type of thinking can lead to horrible bike accidents and getting arrested, but then again, you will have 20 minutes of original material for your new CD.
There will be an album release party for Rob's new record in Brooklyn on Sept. 4th, 8 PM at Coco66 at 66 Greenpoint Ave.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob Cantrell on his new album “Keep On the Grass”
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Great post! Glad to hear Rob's insight. Why are we referring to the disc as a record? That makes me want to listen to it on the porch with a glass of Country Time lemonade.
Also, does Rob have any advice on an album name for comics who do not smoke weed? I am told, "Beware of (Narcotics) Dog" is too wordy.
Love the interview too! I saw this guy at a rough Soundfix night and he destroyed
Rob Cantrell? More like Rob CAN TELL. A joke. You know what I'm saying here.
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