Interview: Haunted Houses (Ryan Lopilato)

This April 2010 interview is reposted from Biomusicosophy I.

Ryan Lopilato, the sound-agent behind Haunted Houses, and I had a brief email conversation this week. His 2010 release, The Invisible War Of The Mind, lodged itself in my soul instantly, like the truth or a bullet. This tape is sold out, but can be downloaded here. Thanks to Ryan for letting us catch a glimpse at his world. He’ll be performing May 21 at a currently unknown West Philadelphia location, so keep your ears open for that and more tapes that will likely disappear quickly.

Me: What’s the most recent album you acquired and why is it so great?

RL: i haven’t actually bought a record in a long time, probably the last record i bought was lucky dragons- rara speaks, really just an over all spiritually positive album.

Me: When did you start making music?

RL: I started writing my own songs summer 2007

Me: Do you record under any names other than Haunted Houses or make music with any other projects?

RL: I’ve recently been recording more mellow stuff under black canyons and i’ve been playing drums with my friend kevin and other friends in australopithecus

Me: What instruments and recording equipment are featured on The Invisible War Of The Mind?

RL: ok, let me walk around my room and get everything into account- all the songs are one mic recordings, with either acoustic or electric guitar out of various amps, with my vocals running out of amps as well, oh and keyboard, mostly this yamaha portasound I stole from a friend of mine. but back to the recording process, most of the songs on ‘Invisible war of the mind’ were written as I was recording..

Me: Is there some central theme or mood that you think is captured on the album? If we think of the album as a world of its own, what sort of world is it?

RL: well i’ve been really depressed.. but I didn’t try to capture it, I would say it’s a world of despair but underneath the surface is something untouched and beautiful and I have a shovel

Me: Were there any particular artists, albums, sounds, books, films, thinkers, paintings, experiences, or anything else that highly influenced the sounds you created on the album?

RL: lots of writings by various authors and thinkers mostly out of The Book of Lies “the disinformation guide to magick and the occult”

lots of high grade marijuana, experiences that had happened to me of course, and i had been spending a lot of time in the woods while recording so I guess the Ramapo valley.

Me: Who is the artist responsible for the album art and how do you think it relates to the corresponding sounds?

RL: I made the album art, I drew the illustration and took the pictures behind it, I feel that it just fits the whole vibe, I feel that my art and music sort of blend together, probably because they are straight from my sub conscious.

Me: Is there any reason why you choose to release the bulk of your music as cassettes rather than any other form?

RL: all my CD’s are scratched.. ha, but in honesty the only people who have offered to put stuff out for me have been releasing tapes, no complaints, tapes are nice.

Me: Has Haunted Houses ever performed live? If not, do you plan to in the future?

RL: Yeah, I’ve played a hand full of shows in NY and NJ, with a band and by myself, I am playing a few shows in the future in NJ and Philly

Me: What’s next for Haunted Houses?

RL: More releases and hopefully a short tour this summer.

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