Arts Desk

Casper Bangs Moves On, Becomes Latristic

Casper Bangs photo by Adam Kissick (via Rob Pierangeli)

The budding love, painful breakup, and misty-eyed regrets of indie rocker Rob Pierangeli, formerly known as Casper Bangs, are well-documented on the Internet.

In 2009, Pierangeli was in love—dangerously in love, like Beyonce. He named his band after his then-girlfriend, whose last name is Bangs. Then he wrote some songs about her—giving one of them her name ("Kathryn")— and put her face on his EP cover and the promo material. It was intense.

Then they split—quite publicly, thanks to Pierangeli. Google "Casper Bangs" name and you'll find an assortment of quotes like this one: "I can't shake these memories off. I used to be light. Now, I'm heavy rocks...I don't think I'll ever love again."

And this one: "I thought it would be cool to take the last name of my love as a stage name. Then we split and I realized I was an idiot."

Now, the artist formerly known as Casper Bangs is on the mend. He's got a new band name—Latristic— and a new album, The Greyest Shade, in the works. But he needs a little help to pull it off.

"Latristic is a word I made up a while back," Pierangeli says over e-mail. "It's a combination of the words 'electronic' and 'acoustic,' since those are the mediums I work in." It's a frankly forgettable name, but some may remember it regardless—the Maryland native released the album Intro- under that name about a decade ago with friend Steve Cooper. "People seemed to like that old record OK I guess," he says. "But really it just sounds like Radiohead if they weren't as good."

Latristic 2.0's debut won't sound like that. His forthcoming album The Greyest Shade is "darker, hypnotic, and more rhythmic driven," he says. A track from the album is available on his website, and it's meatier than the Casper Bangs we came to know—like sweet-voiced Joe Pernice fronting Swervedriver. "I feel like I'm finally finding my voice as a writer/producer, and hopefully, people will hear this next record and feel the same way."

That is, if he doesn't go broke making the record. Pierangeli, who tends bar at Marvin, recently sent out a mass email asking for donations to fund the album's release. An $8 donation via Kickstarter gets you a free download of The Greyest Shade. $20-59 gets you the album plus his 4-song EP, Two-Minute Pop, and unreleased B-sides. Donate $60 or more, and you get access to Pierangeli's listening party at the Gibson—where he'll whip up a few cocktails and serve hors d'oeuvres—and a live show afterward. But the best reward of all? Helping the dude get over his past.

"I'm definitely moving forward creatively and emotionally," he says. "The name change was inevitable from the beginning in retrospect, but for some reason I felt like I had to let it play out before making a change. It's too bad, because I like the name in of itself, but hated what it had become to symbolize."

And once we get used to Googling "Latristic" instead of "Casper Bangs," the rest of us may forget the symbolism, too.

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