Sun Araw

The universe of LA resident Cameron Stallones is a weird but wonderful one. The astral feedbacker and free-floater of Sun Araw, who recently got back from a musical trip to Jamaica, has a pretty wild outlook on life. We spoke to him about putting your pants on, enlightenment and licking the monolith.

I read Sun Araw means ‘Sacred Rest’. How do you find rest being as busy as you are?

I’m not sure that I do, but it’s definitely something I aspire to. We have a lot of levels we operate on, so there’s something about not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing, you know? There are parts of yourself that need to be walled off from other parts of yourself. You gotta be undercover a little bit.

And can you also relax on a couch while being undercover?

I’m having a hard time at that. I’m a real active person. There’s a big part of me that wants to lie on the couch and listen to beautiful sounds, but halfway through I’m back up and trying to do something. I just want to put my pants on and let that be the last decision I make during the day. I’m not trying to move, I’m trying to be moved.

Dalí had this working method where he tried to get into a state between wakefulness and sleep by falling asleep on a chair while holding a spoon. The moment the spoon fell to the ground he’d wake from the sound and have the images he dreamt of right there in his mind. How do you allow yourself to be flooded by ideas and bask in the glow, so to speak? What moves you?
It’s funny, I used to have this job at a film archive where we had a nap room. I spent a lot of time in that weird space. I didn’t have a spoon, I’d just put a pillow over my head. I wasn’t trying to wake up for anything. I was happy though. About a method: I don’t have one. I just start jamming. It tends to be a bad idea to have too many ideas beforehand.

You want it to be in the moment?
Yeah, I’m a completely present man. I’m without any thought of what I want it to sound like, without any attempt to direct it. Obviously I have those thoughts and feelings, but they’re coming out in a more direct way. They don’t need to pass through the brain-pan first, they can come out through the fingers.

So the gifts are in the present, not in the past or future?
Definitely, dude!

But what about the future?
The point is to not even try to know and also to realise that you already know. It’s just about remembering that you know.

What are you gonna do next?
I have no idea. I love that. I’m happiest when I’m not in control. I think too much to be in control. Putting my pants on is the last decision I make. I’m wearing blue shorts, by the way.

You’ve recently recorded with the Jamaican band The Congos. I can imagine life there is pretty different than the one we’re familiar with. What lesson did you take with you from working with Rasta monks?

Everything was a lesson. The way people think and act is different. Their relationship with the Earth is different. You’re out of your water completely and are bound to do their thing. But I got it the second I got off the plane. I was like: ‘Take my thing away from me, man! Zip the garbage bag and throw it away, please!’ It makes you step outside of the boxes that you’re familiar with. It was truly wild.

Did you find some sort of enlightenment?
Of course… not! It’s a process, a ladder. I think maybe I got like the tip of my fingers on the bottom rung. That’s the beginning of wisdom, you know, knowing you’re not getting it at all.
What if after this you were confronted with a strange floating monolith, what would you do?
I would probably look at it, touch it, I’d even rub up against it. Then I would lick it.

What would it taste like?
It would taste bitter, cause things taste bitter when we haven’t formed an opinion on them yet. In our minds it will taste great, because that’s just a decision. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like you have one, but deep down you do.

Sun Araw plays on June 27 at WORM in Rotterdam. The show is free for Subbacultcha! members.