We got a chance to talk to Raul Valerio, the genius behind Laptop Funeral. Check out their music here:
So first question, where did you get the name “Laptop Funeral”?
When I started making music, I used it as a form of self therapy – something to help with my depression and anxiety, something to make me feel worth something. When I first started making music, my OCD would kick in and I felt like everything needed to be perfect. I would put so much time into my music that it would effect my school work. My mom would get angry at me for dedicating so much time to my music and not focusing on my school work. One day, while I was working on a song that in my head I thought was like, the “perfect song” I was looking for, my mom walked in and started yelling at me about my grades and wasting my time making music. The argument eventually escalated to the point where my dumb young self threw my laptop against a wall, therefore losing everything I made. From then on out, I started making music under Laptop Funeral as a way to remember that song and to make every song from there on out make up for that.
A lot of your music feels really DIY/lo-fi. Where do you usually record it?
I almost always record my music while sitting on my bed. I try to make all my music come out as natural and comfortable as I can.
You just recently released “Pretty Punk.” (Amazing by the way, I love it). Tell me about writing/releasing that.
I’m glad you liked it! This album is basically the story of like, the process of what my last relationship was like. You follow me through the good times, the break up, getting better, moving on, and self reflection so I can be ready for what’s next. It’s a very personal album to me really.
What genre do you feel like your music embodies? And how?
I don’t even know, I just try to barf all my feelings into a song and whatever comes out comes out.
A lot of your songs are really vulnerable and personal. Walk me through the process of songwriting for you.
I treat my music as kind of like a diary of sorts, it’s my way to express my feelings. Most of the lyrics I come up with on the spot – I try to make sure it comes as unfiltered and as personal as I can. Thinking about it now I guess my music is an audio interpretation of my subconscious, if that makes any sense.
Who are some artists that influence you or inspire your work?
Christian Novelli and Michael Berland from Fox Academy for sure are my biggest influence. I’ve been listening to their stuff forever; they’re the people who introduced me to the whole bedroom pop/lo-fi thing. Parachutes and Olli both have a toooon of influence on me too, they’re style is so unique it pushes me to work so hard on my music.
If you could choose any musician to collaborate with, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to work with Christian, everything they touch is just pure gold.
Did you have a favorite album of 2016? Anything good in 2017 so far? What are you listening to these days?
Oh man, sooo much good music came out in 2016! But if I have to chose a few, Katie Dey’s Flood Network, Soft Fangs’ The Light, Kevin Abstract’s American Boyfriend and Ghost Orchard’s albums were all super influential to me that year. This year, I’m listening to so so much more music, but what I’ve been listening to a lot lately is the new Fog Lake record, the Mathew Lee Corthan record, and the No Vacation record.
Check out Laptop Funeral’s new album, Pretty Punk, below:
(Interview by Shanna Williams, Digital Media Director)