Carpazine: Dar Stellabotta: Builder and player of cigar box guitars, is it true that you have a class B driver's license?
Dar Stellabotta: Yes, it is true! I worked for water and sewer for the Calvert County government and I drove a sludge truck. A wastewater plant will take the wastewater and compress it, neutralize it with chlorine mineral, compress it, and make a sludge. And that's like all organic waste. So instead of putting that out back in nature, they compress it and it looks like brownies. It goes into the truck, and then you take that truck and drive it down to the landfill.
Carpazine: Sounds like a journey, your journey began as a DC skate punk with blue dreads?
Dar Stellabotta: They were blue and green dreads! It was shaved underneath with a cheetah print! This side was blue and this side was green, back then I really connected with the crust punks.
Carpazine: I hear more punk in your cigar box music rather than the typical blues riffs.
Dar Stellabotta: My punk rock is my roots. I love punk rock, it makes me happy and upbeat.
I feel like blues. It's very generic nowadays, like anyone can learn how to play the blues. If I was just covering blues songs, making generic blues songs, and stuff like that. I probably wouldn’t be as well liked as I am if I played blues. What I play now, it's different, my lyrics fit better with this style of music.
And there's only so much you can do with blues music. I mean, you can do A LOT but it all basically boils down to the basic progression.
Carpazine: They both have their own attitude or energy to it.
Dar Stellabotta: I definitely throw in blues riffs. Like, especially with the slide. It's mixed, but it's definitely more of the punk power cords.
Carpazine: Do you have a favorite guitar build or an effect that you use?
Dar Stellabotta: I used to use the Dirty Rat pedal that my friend, Pete Sacchetti, introduced me to it. He passed away, but I always used the Dirty Rat. But right now, I'm just using a Dark Terror. Five watt tube head made by Orange with an 8-inch speaker.
I'm changing from the big speakers down to the smaller speakers because when it comes to cigar box guitar stuff… yeah, I don't want to carry all these speakers with me. Honestly, you know, because it's me, I do everything. Driving and carrying all of the equipment… editing the videos.
So I just broke it down and I like the way that the distortion from the Micro Dark Terror. So I'm gonna go with that. This year.
Carpazine: Are you in any, are you in any other bands?
Dar Stellabotta: Yes, I am in Fuzz Voyage. A stoner doom metal band from DC at the moment.
It's a band that I started with my friend Nolan, but then Nolan moved away. And then it was dead for a little bit, but then I hooked back up with my friend Ben who's a drummer. So he plays drums and introduced me to Jeremy. So now we have me, Ben and Jeremy in Fuzz Voyage.
Carpazine: Where can people follow you?
Carpazine: Anything else to share?
Dar Stellabotta: I'm playing at the New Orleans Cigar Box Guitar festival in January 2024!
I am Unearthed, 2022, charcoal, pastel, spray paint, 30 x 24 inches
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Carpazine Art Magazine Issue Number 39 Featuring Lana Gentry! More: Jeffrey Wengrofsky, Abdul Vas, Danny Licul, Akira Usagi, Ductape "Echo Drama", Fear at Brooklyn Monarch, Interview with Dar Stellabota, Perfect 10 at The Long Island Museum , 14th Annual Figurative Art Exhibition at Lore Degensten Gallery, and more!