Christian Filardo: Avant-Garde "Has to Have Some Sense of Humor"
Christian Filardo is a local fixture in some ways. The 21-year-old is known as a noise musician, currently under the moniker Baseball Cap, and as an intermedia artist. He also is the founder of Holy Page Records, a record label that mostly releases cassettes of any music he finds interesting, ranging from indie pop to harsh noise to black metal. More recently, he's gained recognition as a curator of a DIY museum housed in two sheds in his backyard. In his not-so-distant past, he was known for his experimentations with "Dunkwave."
I say that he's only a local fixture in some ways because he'll be leaving Phoenix this summer to pursue new opportunities in Baltimore. I talked with him recently about his current projects, his past works, and the future.
You've transitioned in your solo noise efforts from being Good Amount to "Christian Filardo" to Baseball Cap. Is there a difference? Where is the line drawn between them?
I'd say Good Amount was pretty exploratory, soundwise. It was anywhere from hard-synth to black metal to ambient to experimental electronic looping. It was basically anything. And then "Christian Filardo" was more weirdo guitar stuff, and Baseball Cap is only pedals. Its all pedals and wire contact and that's it. It's stripped down to only one thing at this point. Pushing one thing to the extreme. For me, it's the first New Surrealist project that I've been doing, which is based on the New Surrealism manifesto I wrote.
Can you explain New Surrealism?
New Surrealism basically says that everything that happens in the present was created in the subconscious of someone in the future. It goes the same for the past. Everything that happens in the past, you currently dream in the present. Our dreams right now are creating the things we read about in textbooks.
You could say it's like an excuse to basically do and say whatever you want and have it be an excuse because someone else in the future thought of it and you're just a result of that. Like, what you do has no consequence, because you can take authorship or you can reject it based on this theory.
And you choose to take authorship?
I choose to just totally mess it all up. Like, it's basically pretend profound. It's like really wordy and really heady, but, ultimately, it's not anything. It's just extreme headiness to the point where it's not heady anymore. It's just goofy. Just try to think of the guy the dadaists and surrealists would hate, and that's what I'm trying to make. That guy. Like, the enemy of those guys. But he doesn't dislike them; he's just, like, annoying to them. He's a pest.
Maybe you've done this with other projects, but I've noticed recently with Baseball Cap's Facebook feed there is a lot of tongue-in-cheek satire of art and commercialism and the information age in general. How do you think that fits in with your aims for Baseball Cap as well as New Surrealism?
It's a major part. Pop culture is definitely major, in the sense that I think the idea of an experimental, avant-garde noise project being commercialized to the point of no return, like, "Give me a pizza sponsorship" or "Give me my own shoe" is funny. I started hearing of, like, bands getting their own sneakers and shit like that. Vans does something like that. A couple of bands have their own sneakers.
That should be a part of every weirdo movement. Every weirdo movement needs major sponsorship and has to be funny. Like, I feel if you are an extreme artist in any way, you have to have some sense of humor.
After the jump: "It would be really funny to be sponsored by a band-aid company."