Castle Pines is a four piece Alternative Rock Outfit from Corona, CA. Dutifully dedicated and charismatic members include Leandro Barrientos (vocalist) and Ricky Garvey (lead guitarist), Sterling Fairfield (percussionist) and Jesse Briseno (bassist).
The band released their official music video on youtube for their self-titled single "Castle Pines" and we received the correct form of nostalgia from the visuals to the augmented, emotional vocals. The entire video is in Black and White. It shows the everyday living in a more melancholic but homesick fashion. The melody is subtle and subdued throughout the entire song with light guitar strings. The band possesses a characteristic of humbleness, they’re grateful for the love and support they’ve received from the online community, their fans, and their family, eagerly excited to premier their latest work. In an industry exploited for commerciality and financial gain by juggernaut corporatism, a little garage band, from the suburbs of California, protesting the status quo and proclaiming the importance of art and music, loyalty, persistence and honesty is a fresh and needed voice in the stifling noise of the modern market.
Check out the video here and get to know Castle Pines in our exclusive interview below!
Hi Castle Pines! Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Our go-to description is “Blue Collar kids that fell through the cracks of Suburban America”. We write music that resonates with us, drawn from our inspirations, but we make our message very clear, this life is unfair and hell sometimes and music is one of the only things that gets us by. I wish we had a cool gimmick or schtick like “We are Castle Pines, a peaceful foraging tribe of nomadic sound herders from the future that have come to the present to communicate with the inhabitants of modern digital media as a forewarning of the upcoming 100 years of silence.” But we are a group of 4 friends from Corona, CA, pushing mid-30’s, writing music that we resonate with from bands that are hardly listened to. We are an indie-rock band by the Spotify, iTunes algorithm categorization but we really have covered a lot of ground sonically by trying to make all of our songs somewhat unique either in timbre, melody, style, mood and colorization. We are 10 year veterans of the indie scene, and indie as in independent, not the indie channel on streaming sites, that wasn’t called indie when we were growing up…Well it didn't exist back then. We write music becuase it is therapeutic and cathartic for us, and in return we get to share some experiences of that with our listeners and fans, the human experience is similar and alike for everyone that has lived or will live. So we are a 4 piece rock band that screams and talks about all kinds of stuff and sounds like a bunch of different genres.
Can you tell us a bit about your careers in the music industry?
We have had the opportunity to learn and grow over 10 years. We have been blessed with a dedicated following and learning opportunities to examine every nook and cranny of this changing industry from sound engineering, mixing, marketing, social networking, songwriting, iambic pentameter, mathematics, time signatures, its all fair game in this industry. We have learned a couple hard lessons so we follow some basic guidelines: Stick to your gut, your guns and your friends. This business is an advantage industry, meaning people or groups will take advantage of you, be nice to you, act like they are your friend just so they can get something out of you in return. Thick skin is definitely developed here, and your circle of friends becomes smaller. I guess we learned from our more naive years and have become happy with what we have accomplished and who we are as individuals, art and creation should make you grow, even if it is hard as hell. A recommendation to fellow creators and musicians is “get used to the word No and shrug shit off”. It will get to you of you let it, and we have been told “No” or been denied or not been part of the cool band scene so many times we said “F*** it” and did our own thing anyway. Stay humble and just work hard, the industry is so saturated with noise its hard to find your listeners and audience, just worry about making art that you are proud of.
How did you form Castle Pines?
Well we have been at this “music thing” for almost a decade. It was sheer boredom and lack of stuff to do in suburban Corona. We grew up near one of the best all ages venue in the world, the now defunct “Showcase Theater”, literally everyone went through there- System of a Down, AFI, Between the Buried and Me- so we had a lot of different musical ideas exposed to us at a young age. Our main inspiration was each other, we were all close friends and living in a town like so many other soul draining places in America, the disillusionment of getting out of high school and facing the harsh realities of the world. I faced a lot of tribulations and court cases, homelessness, addiction and all that fun stuff, it all kind of culminated me using music as the only outlet for me. Sterling Fairfield, our drummer was working at a gas station, and I ran into him after years of no contact. We had been close in high school, he was in a death metal-hardcore band with my brother Nick. We caught up and out of a fluke meeting we started writing in his room. And well we named the band Castle Pines after the street we lived on in Corona, where we learned to play guitar and made memories, and where my parents eventually lost their home. This whole band was kind of like therapy and telling a small microcosm story of what happened in 2008 with the recession, the loss of the idea of home and post 9-11 youth facing a changing world. It sounds bleak, but really it is a story of facing and conquering adversity with your friends.
Do you guys get compared to other similar bands or do you see yourself in your own lane?
We have been compared to a poppier Modest Mouse, Diet Pixies and even Kings of Leon. These are great comparisons and I gladly accept them. What’s your artist interpretation of your single “Castle Pines?” A woeful and morose dirge-like musical ostinato that builds to a hazy fog of warmth and fond memories, Castle Pinesis a sleepy opus from indie band Castle Pines. Based off the real street where the band began and took its name in Corona, CA, Castle Pines takes cues from Americana and folk traditions to paint a lavishly painful picture of American youth facing the immediacy of tragedy and heartache. Referencing events like 9-11, the death of siblings, a mothers depression, poverty and existential dread, the lyrics use concrete examples and vague simile to draw a shaky yet accurate portrait of coming of age in the turbulence of modern America. Bleak context is cathartically turned into melancholic acceptance as the narrative accepts the past cannot be changed and the future must be confronted through vindication from personal adversity. Castle Pines is a tribute, an ode to a time long past. The band, throughout a decade of struggle, uses its titular song to convey their story with the powers of reflection and melancholy.
Press Note from Band:
“We have been performing some version of this song live since we started back in 2009. It has taken similar iterations but has always held this hazy recollection of the street ‘Castle Pines’ and all the things that went down. Our drummer Sterling was homeless for period of time, and I lived on and off the street, out of my car for a 2 year period as well. The idea of home for both of us was shattered, and the name of the band and having a safe place like our house on Castle Pines was therapy. I had a couple legal issues happening during this period, I was drugged and woke up in a jail cell, and through that I had developed an unhealthy drinking habit to cope, and really the only constructive thing I had was music and this core group of people. Castle Pines is the capstone of our story as a band, and it is’ both a sad chronicle of suffering and a bright start to better times ahead.”
Did you face any challenges in the creation process of “Castle Pines"? How did you overcome them?
The Summer of 2017, as the band was doing preliminary recordings, our drummer Sterling Fairfield was rushed to an emergency operation due to complications of Crohn’s Disease. An ailment that Sterling dealt with his entire time gigging, recording and playing with Castle Pines, he nearly died on several occasions and had his entire lower intestine removed. This left us in an unsure place for the recording of their album. Sterling, being the diehard loyalist to the band and message, struggled through weeks of recording in my cottage in Southern California, stitches fresh from an incision down his chest, and he performed beautifully for the album. An album, with all odds against it, was recorded through perseverance through adversity, dedication and in no small part to the accommodating and kind efforts of Matthew Faulkner of Beta Waves Records who moved his entire studio to a cottage near the home of Sterling, in case he suffered another medical emergency. Sterling did a little interview about what it was like here: https://cpporvida.com/new-blog/crohnsdisease We almost never made this thing, and it took a lot to get it done. Took a lot out of us, literally and figuratively. It’s a love letter to our town and the music that made us.
What’s next for Castle Pines in 2019?
“Por Vida” is the last studio album we recorded, and with the release of this single it will have been released in its entirety. Because of health issues and “life” circumstances we are on an indefinite hiatus. That does not mean we may not come out of the woodworks and do a little West Coast America Tour if the demand is there. But we are definitely taking a break from live performances for now. We are active on social media and publishing, and we will be helping our roster of artists get their stuff out on our publishing label CP Por Vida Music Publishing. Jesse and Ricky, our bassist and lead guitarist, have a side project called Big Slur, and our publishing company just put out their first single. They are super rad, emo-raw punk in the grain of Glassjaw, Thursday and Japandroids. Castle Pines might hit the studio again in the next couple years, for now we are resting and writing.
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