Checking in with Brian Caputo


 What are you currently working on?

I’m doing a lot of collaborations with a number of different artists. I just got done doing a two-week tour with this singer-songwriter in DC named Justin Jones. We did a little tour down to Austin, Texas, and played the South By Southwest Festival down there, which was my first time playing that. I’ve also been collaborating with Ned Oldham, who plays in Old Calf.

Brian Caputo is a ubiquitous presence in Charlottesville music. The drummer has worked with acts that range from John D’Earth to Sons of Bill, and was recently spotted drumming with Old Calf.

What were you doing when we called?

I was actually about to drive out to my music studio in Ivy. 

Tell us about your day job.

I’m a full-time musician, but every day is different. Some days I teach lessons. Some days, like when I’m on the road, I could be doing a load-in earlier in the day, doing a sound check and performing at night. I could be in my studio practicing people’s materials, working on my own stuff, or looking for work and making contacts.

Locally, who would you like to collaborate with?

What comes to my mind right away is Jim Waive. He’s a fabulous singer and songwriter, somebody I’d really love to get together with and play whatever. Also, I actually just got done doing a studio session with this guy Wes Swing. His music is something that I’ve worked on recently, and although we’ve never played live together, I would love to work with him more in the future.

What music are you listening to lately?

I tend to listen and try to allow myself not to focus on one genre specifically. Recently I’ve been getting into M. Ward and Jose Gonzalez, the Kings of Convenience, and a lot of jazz artists. Also, I’ve been listening to a lot of ambient and electronic music in the past five years, and I’d really like to delve into it more in terms of working in that genre. I love Boards of Canada, Broken Social Scene has a few of those elements, Air, Aphex Twin, stuff like that. I do a bit of that style with this group Space Cadet 7. It’s all improvisation, we get together and do these grooves. Playing with a DJ has inspired me to work more within that style.

What is your first artistic memory from childhood?

When I just started playing drums in 5th or 6th grade, I saw my brother play trumpet with his jazz band in high school, and I actually saw the drummer play for the first time. He did this drum solo where he played all over the kit, and then he left the drums and he played all over the stage. Seeing that really opened up my creative channels, and gave me the goal of being there and doing that same thing by the time I was in high school.

If you’re cooking for yourself, what do you make?

Italian pasta.

What would you do if you knew that you couldn’t fail?

I think I would create world peace. No more wars, and I’d just set it to suit everybody’s needs so that we could all just relax.

What is your favorite building?

I like a few buildings. I love the Washington Monument, maybe because I grew up in the Northern Virginia area. I love the simplicity of its look, how there’s nothing around it, just a monolith-like structure in the middle of an open space. Also, I love the structure of the Guggenheim Museum.

What’s your favorite board game?

I like Monopoly and Balderdash.

Favorite artist outside your medium?

I’ve got to go to David Lynch. I relate more to his work than to anyone else’s.