words + photos by Joe Cortez
Hailing from New York by way of Texas, Taraka and Nimai Larson are Prince Rama, a wholly unique, psych dance duo created from the now age. I caught up with the Larsons and guitarist Ryan Sciaino for a portrait shoot and conducted an email interview with Taraka prior to their date at The Wayfarer in Costa Mesa on March 26. For more on Prince Rama be sure to visit princerama.com and follow @PrinceRama2012 on Twitter.
The new album, "Xtreme Now," is just out and comes after a nearly four year gap since your previous long player "Top Ten Hits of the End of the World." Can you fill us in a bit as to what’s happened in the time between releases?
Wow four years huh? Wow time flies.
I guess we've just been in a time capsule. Been working on a lot of art stuff-- had a solo show at Cult Gallery in San Francisco and a couple museum group shows at the Whitney, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and Crystal Bridges. It's been nice taking some time off touring and working on the more visual and conceptual aspects of our practice. Really fuels the sonic fire. We also lived on this black metal utopian commune for awhile off the coast of Estonia that really inspired us to write Xtreme Now. Oh yea and countless weeks of shutting myself up in my room binge-drinking Monster Energy and obsessively watching extreme sports videos on mute trying to write this album. That's taken up most of those four years.
How do you think your sound has grown or changed since “Top Ten Hits…?"
It's gotten a lot dumber and more immediate. We've basically devolved into total millenianderthals since then. Me need Dance. Me need Fun. If Top Ten Hits was the score for the end of the world, Xtreme Now is like the post-apocalyptic post-radiation zombie rave on the other side of heaven's gate.
Something I’ve always wondered about siblings in the same band: at any stage in the process of making music, have you ever found yourselves on completely different wavelengths taste wise or are you pretty much on the same page for the most part?
Oh yea-- about 98% of the time actually. But we love each other for our differences and always end up coming to some sort of understanding at the end of the day. Keeps it exciting. If we agreed on everything Prince Rama would be wet-mop-boring.
Taraka, I gave your Now Age manifesto a read. Do you think the ideas you expressed at the time of writing still inform Prince Rama’s aesthetic? In particular, the notion that there are no idols really jumped out at me. Does that mean then that there’s a conscious rejection of any overt influences on your music and visuals?
We reject any and all idols except Fred Durst.
So what’s on the horizon for Prince Rama? Anything future projects you can share with us?
What future? It's all happening NOW.