Rico Caruso was one half of holdonlove. For as long as I’ve known him, music has been integral to his identity. In the sixth grade, Rico became so infatuated with caucasian rap dynamo Marshall “Eminem” Mathers that he insisted his classmates refer to him as “Marshall.” Years later, in response to having his heart ripped out and deliberately vivisected right before his rheumy eyes, Rico founded holdonlove. (Important Aside: To the best of my knowledge, the most potent strain of male existential desolation arises from being dumped by Felicia DeGennaro. Yay for Felicia.) Like its musical corollaries, Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and Beck’s Sea Change, the work of holdonlove strove to lyricize a silencing grief, to corral boundless dejection between the scant moments that separate intro and outro. holdonlove accomplished this and more. Having conquered the human condition, Rico has refocused his creative energies on electronic music, and while he may never recapture the emotionality and timelessness of holdonlove, what he has given us says more than any lyric can say, affects more than any chord can affect, hits harder than any memory that hits you like a car crash where you die every time.
Interview Series Day 18: Rico Caruso
CP: Where and when were you born and where do you currently reside?
RC: I was born June 10th 1987 in New York, New York. I currently live in Toms River New Jersey.
CP: What is your first memory?
RC: My 4th birthday. I remember asking what it means to now be four.
CP: What is your animus or power animal?
CP: What is the worst advice you ever received?
RC: Listen to Wavves.
Note: You’re never going to stop king of the beach.
CP: What was the last song you listened to and how did it affect you emotionally?
RC: Daphnis et Chloe. It made me happy.
The Sentence Completion Portion of the Interview
CP: My name is Rico Caruso, whilst playing the closing set at The Warped Tour, Satan rises out of the pubescent mosh pit and demands that I play him the greatest song ever written, or else he will claim every soul on the planet and condemn everyone to an eternity of tortuous anal sex. I immediately begin to play ___________.
RC: The Jaws theme.
Note: Just like that, we’re all getting BFed by demon spawn until forever.
CP: My name is Rico Caruso, and my greatest competitive triumph was ______.
RC: Stealing your answering machine. I will never do anything greater.
CP: My name is Rico Caruso, in my previous life I was _______.
RC: [Nicola] Tesla.
CP: My name is Rico Caruso and I just won a billion Canadian dollars I’m totally going to ______.
RC: I would first convert it to the $1,016,888.14 USD then I would buy the Ritacco Center and name it the Carmen Center. And the rest of the money would be used to buy you and George XBOX Kinects.
CP: My name is Rico Caruso, and if I could be a manny for one celebrity couple, that couple would be ______.
RC: Chris McGowan and Zoey Deschanel.
The Basically Personal Questions Portion of the Interview
CP: What three military weapons best describe you?
RC: CIA psychic, Cheney, X-Wing.
CP: Do you believe in God? Why not?
Note: Whether Kesha validates Rico’s belief in God or eradicates it is uncertain, though, taking Rico’s musical tastes into account, my intuition suggests the former.
Secondary Note: Upon further review, this was in actuality Rico’s response to question 13: What musician do you hate the most? But I couldn’t deny the theological discourse that Kesha demands.
RC(for real): It is possible, but unlikely.
Note: Never thought about it that way.
CP: What is your anti-dream job?
RC: Working at an arcade.
Note: Fascinatingly, my anti-dream job is being a Toms River New Jersey-based musician/vocalist/producer.
CP: What aspect of the LOST universe do you most envy and why?
RC: Duh. That Kate could kill people and get away with it.
Note: This has never happened in the real life universe.
CP: You have been elected The President of the United States in a landslide win over Emanuela in the 2016 election. What policies would you enact? Which would you discontinue?
RC: First, I would make an income tax receipt necessary, so people would shut up about the government stealing their money (I think the facts speak for themselves)… Then I would end the atrocities of women’s suffrage world wide. lolz [sic]
Note: I don’t understand so much of what is happening.
CP: What James Bond villan do you most identify with and why?
CP: If given the option, would you trade lives with someone else? If so, who?
RC: Yes. I would trade lives with Boston Blake.
Note: I believe this is one of the auxiliary characters in The Departed?
CP: Three dinner guests, living or dead, who would they be?
RC: Carmen Petaccio, Carmen Petaccio, Carmen Petaccio.
CP: Redo one moment in your life?
RC: No. They are all perfect.
Note: Why do I doubt this?
The Word Association Portion of the Interview
RC: Kyle Kraig!
RC: Annunciate while you…
The Favorite Anythings Portion of the Interview
CP: What is your favorite sports-related memory?
RC: Boone hitting that home run in the playoffs against Boston.
CP: What is your favorite lyric of all time?
RC: It’s early morning/ No one is awake/ Im back at my cliff/ still throwing things off/ I listen to the sounds the make/ on their way down/ I follow with my eyes ’til they crash/ Imagine what my body would sound like/ slamming against those rocks.
CP: What is your favorite album of all time?
RC: I don’t have one… Right now,Tim Hecker-Rave Death, 1972. Last year Beach House- Teen Dream. Never Fucking Shitty Vampire Weekend or Wavves. Sorry.
CP: What’s your favorite awful type of music excluding techno and power pop folk?
RC: That band you did in high school. Favs [sic]!
Rico’s Question for Carmen’s End of the Month Self-Interview
Q18: At some point in the near future all women become inexplicably sterile. You are the last surviving woman on earth with viable ovaries. All men have moved to Chris McGowan’s Lunar colony (He and Sam Rockwell invented technologies to create synthetic Gravity). The only two suitors left on earth are George and Kyle. Which man saves humanity?