Just a couple weeks ago we piled in the car and made our way down to Tucson, Arizona for the 8th Annual Gem & Jam Festival. Over the course of the weekend we were lucky enough to sit down with Random Rab for a brief chat and a little brain picking. A few of us over here at The Dankles have been long time fans of the work of Rab so we couldn’t pass up the opportunity! If any of you happen to be making your way down to Costa Rica next week for this years Envision Festival keep an eye out for Rab’s two cents he slides in there amongst all the other good news.


The Dankles: It’s great to bump into you down here in Tucson, have been spending the whole weekend with us or did you just get into town today?
Random Rab:
No I’ve been on a little tour; I just played Santa Cruz, L.A., then San Diego, and came here. So I just got here tonight, and I was late. On top of being late there was the hour time change so that only added to things!

TD: Would you say these past show have still been an extension of the tour for your latest album ‘Release’?
RR: Yeah, sort of, I did the tour for ‘Release’ in October but I’ve just continued playing show. I’m actually headed up to Squaw after this to play with Jurassic 5 at an outdoor venue over President’s weekend.


TD: As many readers may already know you will be joining us very soon down in the rainforests of Costa Rica for Envision, this isn’t your first journey down there correct?
RR: No, I have played every one actually!

TD: Any pointers for any first timers making the trip down there?
RR: Be prepared to chill, and stay out of water in the jungle because there’s snakes and crocodiles. The first Envision my friend was jogging with her dog it, got eaten by a crocodile.

TD: When it comes to the unique setting of Envision what can festival goers expect when they get down there?
RR: From what I understand the new location they have settled in this year is on the beach, last year it was in the jungle.

TD: Amongst having the opportunity to play at Envision you have also had many other opportunities to from quite special locations, which of those stands out most to you?
RR: Playing at the Pyramids of giza was probably the most exotic place I have ever played. I can’t think of anything more exotic than that. To be looking at the great pyramid while playing a set was pretty surreal.

TD: To our understanding that set was cut a little short would you mind filling us in a little bit on why that went down?
RR: Well there were a couple things, the night before we were up in the King’s Chamber on the 21st and recorded an ohm with around 30 of us. Then I played that sample in the beginning of my set and the Egyptian police weren’t too happy with that, it broke a lot of their social norms. It pretty much wasn’t cool to invoke any sort of spirituality because it’s kind of looked at as a black magic. They have a very conservative society. In addition to that we were also there during a very pivotal point in time, but overall we had a great experience. The Egyptian people were wonderful for us.


TD: Recently you have really heavily been implicating a live band presence into your sets, is that something you are going to keep rolling with or will you start to save it for more special occasions?
Well I like to take every show as it’s own thing special thing, I don’t want to have just one thing that I do. Whether I’m playing with Cedar or not im definitely incorporating a lot of live instruments. The tour I just did I was playing solo but I had a bunch of intstruments with me because im getting a little bored of just sitting up there with a laptop.

TD: The last time we were able to catch you before out at Gem  & Jam was down in Denver at Cervantes when things were cut short by a fire alarm, can we look to see you back around anytime this spring?
Hm, well I will be around but I can’t quite say when. It was almost kind of inevitable that show would get shut down as things started to get crowded, the energy just got to be intense. The best thing about that though was that after that, Jamie Janover, ReSunator, and a few other folks just had the most epic feestyle jam with Cervantes all to ourselves after they cleared everyone out. We worked out all or our aggression on stage and it was actually one of the best jams I ever had because we had the whole place to ourselves! It was fun.

TD: Aside from touring can we expect some new material coming down the pipes as well? Maybe some more material from your other alias Mour?
RR: Yeah more on the Mour front will definitely be happening, I just released a new Moor EP a few weeks ago. When it comes to Random Rab I’m constently at it, I’ll be putting another album out this year at some point.


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About Amelia Waters