UC Berkeley student Anthony Ferraro, better known as Astronauts, Etc. has been having a bit of a breakthrough year. After making some waves with his track “Mystery Colors“, Ferraro has recently released his much-anticipated debut EP Supermelodic Pulp which is available here. Pairing his warm falsetto with highly impressive production, Ferraro has created a dream pop gem.
So tell us a bit about yourself and how Astronauts, Etc. came to be.
I’m a music student at the University of California, Berkeley. Astronauts, etc. was born when I decided I needed a name for the music I was making. A friend of mine came over to my apartment one evening and convinced me to email my tracks to some blogs, and here we are.
I had read that you grew up as a classical trained pianist. What inspired you to move in the direction of the sound and feel you have created with this project?
I’ve had arthritis since I was a kid. It ended up being too much for classical piano, so I dropped out of school and bought some music equipment to see what other kinds of music I could make. It’s difficult to say why I ended up in electronic pop territory, but I’m enjoying it. I’d never given serious thought to creating original music while I was a classical student. I’m grateful for the opportunity.
What were some musical and creative influences that inspired you growing up?
I still feel like I’m catching up as far as influences go. Growing up, I didn’t really listen to anything that I’d consider at all relevant to what I’m making now.
Can you explain the meaning behind the title of your new EP “Supermelodic Pulp”?
I get this question a lot. I think it’s pretty self-defining — the songs on the album are all immediately accessible and built around shamelessly melodic hooks. It just seemed like the best way to describe the music.
This album has a very intimate feel to it. What were some of the driving forces behind the tracks?
I wrote the songs in the period following my withdrawal from school and retreat back to my parents’ house. I spent some time there just working and thinking. I guess isolation and uncertainty were the main things that drove me to try writing music.
Could you describe a bit of your creative process when writing your songs and recording?
I think my creative process is getting more refined. I was all over the place on this EP. I’d never intended for these five songs to go together under the same moniker, let alone on the same release. I really feel like I was just getting my feet wet with SP, and I’m looking forward to being able to use the skills I feel I’ve gleaned from the process of making this record.
Lastly, with all of the attention you have been receiving lately, what are some upcoming projects and what do you hope the future has in store for you?
Astronauts has definitely gotten a lot more attention than I’d expected. I’ve just started working on the next record, though at this point it’s hard to tell exactly what direction it will take. I plan to continue recording and to play some local shows soon. I’m not putting my mind too far in the future, though the past month has been exciting. More than anything, I’d just like to mature as an artist.