Interview with Carbon Mirage


By Rick Perez

CARBON MIRAGE A band for dreamers, Brooklyn based trio Carbon Mirage gives us the soundtrack to our most vivid and mysterious components of our imagination. In their latest EP, Cloud Hatch, members Carey Clayton (vocals, guitar), James Quinlan (vocals, bass), and Rick Petraglia (vocals, drums) created a mosaic of rock and psychedelic jazz that lead us from the urban streets of New York City to the far and distant galaxies of our minds.

Check out BoC’s interview with Carbon Mirage, where we talked about their collaboration with the Bryce Dance Company, favorite karaoke songs, and their latest EP, Cloud Hatch.



Who is Carbon Mirage and what is your music all about?

If carbon mirage were a drink, it would be a double tequila, splash of Serge and lime. Shaken, and stirred

What is each member’s go ­to karaoke song?

Carey: Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith

James: Song 2, Blur

Ricky: The night they drove old Dixie down, or Hello by Adele

You have just released the EP, ​Cloud Hatch. ​How is this different from your first EP, ​The Peak? ​Where are you taking us?

Firstly, the peak is different because that was mostly instrumental, with only one song having vocals. Cloud hatch is a big departure for us because there are vocals on every track. We’re trying to find a balance between intricate instrumental compositions and traditional rock songwriting. The peak has more of a jam groove side while cloud hatch is more punk drone influenced, more reckless.


Other than music, what are a few inspirations for the songs on ​Cloud Hatch?

Mist, murkiness, opaque. Different fields of vision, multiple layers besides what the immediate conscious recognizes. In some of our compositions, the 3 instruments are in different time signatures, yet they coexist in one world. Specifically, Castle grayskull is an ode to excelsior, the villain in the TV show HeMan.

Which song do you like to perform the most?

Ricky: Tangiers, a song we haven’t released yet but we’ve played a lot live, mainly because it allows for sections to be improvised.

Carey: Either second winter or snake charmer for me. Second Winter is a fun journey to go on, Snake Charmer is a chance to stretch out and make cool sounds in the beginning.

James: Pacific, being that it was the first song to debut vocals for us. Being an open chant type chorus, it’s great to see audience members respond to it.

Dream country you guys would want to tour in?

Germany, crazy music scene and appreciation for music. Birth country of Can, Kraftwerk, Krautrock, huge electronic scene. Berlin is on the map these days for creative scenes globally. Either that or Turkey, it’s a great cross section of culture. Istanbul would love our sound.


Carbon Mirage collaborating on a project with the Bryce Dance Company. Can you tell us a little about that?

Our good friend heather Bryce runs the Bryce Dance Company and reached out to us to write music for a piece she’s developing. The piece discusses alienation and disconnection. In a world that touts widespread instant connection, this piece explores what it means to be alone. It has been a long time aspiration to work with another artistic medium. It’s been great to surround ourselves with other artists and tell a story together. Improvising with dancers exercises a completely different aspect of our musicality, as our cues are visual rather than auditory. It has pushed us to play and write music in a different way.

If Carbon Mirage had the opportunity to write a score for a film, which director would you most like to work with and why?

Kubrick. His movies can be super eerie and intellectual, or just a great thrilling watch. It would pair really well.

What is the best advice you have ever gotten?

Ricky: Don’t take a back seat to anybody.

James: Don’t try to make masterpieces.

Carey: It’s the persistent people that are successful.

Do you have any advice to offer future up and coming bands?

It’s a special relationship, almost a marriage. You’ve got to put in work to keep it together.

Author: blackonthecanvas

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