Ya Herd? #1: Castlebeat

For our first Q&A on The Herd, I e-mailed with Josh Hwang, the guy behind Castlebeat, Jaded Juice Riders, and DIY label Spirit Goth Records.


So what are you working on right now?

Currently I’m working on my second album, I have about 2 1/2 album’s worth of music I’m sitting on right now. Just need to do final touches and rerecord some parts. Going to be releasing a lot more music once I get settled in Brooklyn. I’m also in the process of getting vinyl pressed for my debut castlebeat album. And releasing a Jaded Juice Riders album my brother and I made over the last few months.

You mentioned you’re in the process of moving to Brooklyn — what prompted the move and what are you most looking forward to?

Yeah my gf and I just moved a couple days ago and I unfortunately forgot my guitar at home.. I realized I didn’t have my guitar at LAX airport – real bummer. I think we just wanted a change in scenery and to move out of our parents’ house.

What’s it like to run your own indie label?

It’s pretty laid back, I don’t really do that much tbh. My gf usually handles the social media and I just try to find new artists and stuff. It’s a fun hobby and I’m not really looking to scale it up or anything like that at the moment.

How do you usually describe your music to people?

Just pop music. If I want to be more specific I’d say lofi/dreampop/postpunk, but I think my music is basically pop with a melancholic/slacker vibe.

What’s the best show you went to lately?

Last week I went to see Puzzle at the Observatory in Orange County before moving to NY. That was one of my fav venues as a kid for garage rock. I got to meet the guy from Tijuana Panthers who opened up for Puzzle which was kinda awesome. Puzzle killed it and there was a fist fight in the crowd.

Where you do discover new music these days?

I don’t really look for new music like I used to in high school. But I usually use SoundCloud, bandcamp, YouTube, and recommendations from friends.

Name an old album that you often find yourself coming back to.

One of my favorite albums of all time is ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ by Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd. It was my gateway to garage rock/psychedelic music as a kid. I’m also always listening to Elliott Smith’s self-titled album.

What are 3 tracks you’re really into at the moment?

‘Dice’ by Puzzle

‘House Arrest’ by Ariel Pink

‘Losing You’ by Solange

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