Q&A: Ryan Haft and Capsule Kick Off Tour Tonight at the Cave

Capsule is an important part of a fairly forward, vibrant hardcore community in Miami that emerged during the early parts of the last decade and that doesn't always get its due in a scene dominated by dance and Latin music. The quartet's loaded sound is a sort of ordered chaos on its latest, No

Ghost, where hook-laden songwriting keeps the dizzying arrangements

and aggressive vocals from becoming too self-indulgent. Here, Capsule manages to be

complex and technical without being boring, a happy departure from many of their posthardcore peers.

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sent over a few questions via email to guitarist Ryan Haft, who graciously

answered them in detail before the band's rehearsal Wednesday. 

New Times: As one of the Capsule members to join later, how much

musical input do you personally have on the songwriting process?

Haft: I joined the band pretty much as the Blue record


being finished, so I was kind of just hanging around the studio when

Eric [bass, vocals] and Colin [guitar, vocals] were working on it. Those

dudes basically built that thing from the ground up, just the two of them

writing and playing all the parts. For the new material, I would bring my own

ideas to the table pretty much in the same manner Eric and Colin were used to: writing material before I jumped in. 



of times, Eric will show up with a full song idea ready to go, and we

would work

it out from there and see how far we can take it. Same would go for

Colin and I, as we would pretty much bring in song ideas that were

mostly composed and develop them as much as possible in our rehearsal


On our new record, it is a big mix of songs we each came up

with. So I definitely have had my input in the same respect as the OG


Can you talk about some of the inspirations for the new


The new record has a fairly wide range of ideas and

inspirations for the content. Lyrically,

songs ranged from subjects of parenting and family to some bizarre encounters

at Steve's Pizza in North Miami. Musically, we were definitely inspired to try

to write a record that pushed our boundaries and at the same time didn't really

sound like all the stuff we had already done, to move in a progressively

logical direction. We are all musicians

to the core before vocalists, so we definitely thrive on experimenting with song

structures and wild riffs and creative ways to get around song structures and

play with timings without losing a groove. Each of us definitely would get on

different musical tips for different compositions from things we

were listening to and vibing on. But we all would have the same goal in sight

for what the record should sound like. We definitely pull a lot of inspiration from music that sounds nothing like us, as I'm sure most serious songwriters do.

How did Rorschach Records get involved?

Once we were about 85 percent done with the record, we began

shopping it around to different labels we had been in contact with. We had spoken

to lots of people and were given tons of runarounds. No one

would really get on board with us, so we honestly were going to release the record

ourselves and see how well that would work. We had always worked with Robotic Empire, which was also based out of Richmond,

Virginia, on our previous releases, and we were friendly with Curtis Grimstead of Rorschach. So we ended up

just getting in touch with him to see if he was interested in the album, and

he was totally stoked. So far, it's been great, and we're glad to be working

with Curtis. 

No Ghost demonstrates your continued evolution

from a DIY or even heavier feel in your early days to a more technical,

cerebral sound now. What accounts for this evolution?

Basically highlighting what I mentioned before is that we

all wanted to write a new record that didn't sound like the previous releases

we had done. We spent a good deal of time between Blue and No Ghost just

writing and demoing songs over and over and experimenting with different possibilities

for the outcome of certain tracks. I think the time spent doing so allowed us

to really tap into a more mature musical ideal that perhaps wasn't the

case when we were younger. A lot more thought of writing songs sensibly and not

trying to cram too many ideas into one piece definitely lends itself to the

sound of the new record as whole. We

still try to stick to our guns but musically be smart with our choices, which

may take away from the DIY sound, if you will. We are all very much into a wide variety of

musical styles and genres as well, so tapping into some of those inspirations

brought more direction to the table when fleshing out ideas for these songs.

Like you said, you guys took your time on this album. Did you write it,

then let it evolve on tour, and then rewrite it? What was the process?

For this record, we did have a lot of time to write the

songs. Eric was spending a good deal of time touring with Kylesa through the Static Tensions cycle, and Colin and I were living together in North

Miami over the time this record was written and

recorded. Colin and I were constantly demoing songs as we would come up with

them, and Eric was doing the same when he was in town and playing with


We basically recorded this whole

record two times before we went into the Dungeon [Recording Studio where Ryan works] to lay it down for real. We

were able to do some tours and play a few of the songs live to get a better

feel for the material, but basically it was us working in my home studio over

several months just playing through the songs and demoing our ideas on the

spot. We had the luxury to record this

record in a home studio for the most part as well, so we were very laid-back

when it came to tracking out the entire record. We didn't have a clock ticking

on us or anything, so it kind of took longer than it should have, but we were

comfortable through the whole process, which led to us being able to put the

material down and let it sink in before we would commit to one thing.

Definitely was a very fun record to make.

Is the second song "Small Caps" an homage to hip-hop artist MF Doom?

It isn't at all. In actuality, the first working title for

the track coincidentally was "All Caps," which is a Doom track. We learned we

were beaten to the punch; hence "Small Caps."

"Small Caps" sounds like it could be a companion piece to

Torche. In fact, a lot of the album feels that way. As a fellow Miami

band and having Jon Nunez coproduce the album, is it inevitable that Torche rubs off

on you?

We have all been friends and played in bands together for

years, so to some degree, we vibe on each others' styles, definitely. I

feel maybe the comparison stems from the

fact that we tried to write some songs in a more contemporary manner and

took a

new, more melodic, approach to the vocals on this record. But in all

honesty, the

entire record was written, produced, and recorded from start to finish

by myself, Eric, and Colin, on our own. Jonathan was part of the

recording process on the first day, when we were getting drum sounds,

and the very last day, months and months

later, when Jon and I did a brutal 17-hour mix session at the Dungeon to


this thing ready for mastering.

Capsule kicks off a tour in

Wynwood tonight at Beezlebub's Cave, located at 164

NW 20th St., Miami.

Beings and Shroud Eater will open. Show starts at 8

p.m., and admission is $3.

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