Your Tomb // Craft Spells

When we called Justin Vallesteros of Craft Spells, he was getting ready to go on a date. Taking a brief moment to soak up the simple things in life, he explained, “I’m in California visiting my parents, and tonight I’m going to San Francisco on a date.” With a bit of nervous laughter Vallesteros admitted, “I haven’t done the date thing in a while because we have been all over the place. Hopefully I don’t make a fool of myself!”

Craft Spells is a project that began in Vallesteros’ bedroom. “I recorded alone, mostly in the winter of 2009. I put up two demos on MySpace, which Captured Tracks [his record label] found, and they eventually signed me. I worked on an entire record with them, and I knew that once I released an LP I would have to go on tour and support it. I was living in California then, and I made the big move to Seattle because I had some good friends over there.”

Originally from Stockton, California, Vallesteros’ relationship with his hometown is one of love and hate – to say the least.  “Stockton is one of the most miserable cities in America; not that many people get out of here,” Vallesteros says dismally. “There are some bands that have come out of here though,” he says, as if defending his hometown from his previous statement, “like Pavement and Chris Isaak. I really wanted to make a name for myself, and just drop everything and put it all out there. So I just left and went to Seattle.”

The move was clearly a smart one. Since then, Craft Spells has become a signed and touring full band. “Everything has happened so fast,” says Vallesteros. “We have kind of just been thrown into this.” Although Vallesteros has been writing songs as Craft Spells since 2009, they have only been a live band for around 5 months. “It’s been crazy since then. Playing with The Drums was monumental. Playing and touring with Beach Fossils, also with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. It’s a different world, one I thought I’d never be a part of. It’s all these bands that I really enjoyed listening to in my room at my parents’ house, and now I’m meeting them and playing with them.”

Moving on to talk about the music, Vallesteros gave us some of the backstory on the song “Your Tomb.” “The song is mostly about my problem for always being attracted to sassy women, you know like jerks,” jokes Vallesteros. “I don’t know why, it’s kind of like a game for them.” However, when all is said and done, here he is, on a Saturday night, on his way to take his chances on someone new.

Craft Spells are about to embark on their first European tour and Vallesteros tells us to watch out for a new EP out on Captured Tracks around February!
Annick Mayer