I caught up with Singer / Songwriter Mina Caputo at Milkboy in Philadelphia PA Saturday August 10th. Opening for Laura Jane Grace lead singer of the band Against Me! . As always Mina put on a stellar performance winning over the hearts of people who my never have gotten the chance to her music.
As I said, I did get a chance to chat with her before the doors opened check out the chat below.
Dante: Let’s talk about your “indiegogo” campaign. Why did you choose indiegogo over Kickstarter? And how is it going so far?
Mina Caputo: The cool thing about “indiegogo” appose to “Kickstarter” is if you do not reach your goal they allow you to keep the money so you can do what you need to do and all of my funders will still get their incentives. I think the percentage is a little higher with “indiegogo” but I think it’s worth it because I don’t want this to be all for nothing. I want to release quality eccentric packages for die hards that like to collect stuff. When I walk into a record shop and I see a collectors edition of David Bowie anything I swipe it off the shelf. I am an old romantic when it comes to the record business. I love real packaging. I love to hold things in my hands. I love to read real books. I’ll never read a book on my phone. I’m old school that way. I still collect vinyl, but I still buy CD’s of my favorite artist. That’s why I wanted to do this. I do not have a label behind me and times are very different. I can’t afford to order a 1000 copies if only 200 people want it.
Dante: Your new album “As Much Truth As One Can Bear”. What makes this album different from your previous releases?
Mina Caputo: As an artist and as a human being I think I’m growing so my art is deeply affected. I think it’s more vibrant and more explosive spiritually and psychologically. It’s romantic rock n roll. There are a lot of risks in the song writing. I think I am a happier person now, more than I ever was so it definitely has an effect on my music. I don’t know. I am the last person to talk about my work or to judge my work I would rather hear what you think or what someone else thinks about.
Dante: You released a video for your new song “Identity” it’s has received mixed reviews depending on how people feel about you and your transition. It seems there are some people out there that can’t get past the “River Runs Red” album and there are people that love the song and video and are truly touched by it emotionally.
Mina Caputo: My brain and my soul have always been feminine. I think that’s what separated “Life Of Agony” from the millions of other bands out there that had all the masculinity and all the growlers. The reason why L.O.A. worked so well was because there was such a paradox with me being the sacred feminine but not being open about it. And there were the boys that were very testosterone driven. But I love men, I love women, I love transsexuals, I love transgender people and I love beautiful souls. I don’t discriminate, I do not put people under a umbrella. I don’t put people in a box. If I think some one is beautiful and they have a beautiful soul it does not matter if they are White, Black, Hispanic, Chinese, male, female or transgender, like me. I am a very open book. I don’t have rules in my life. I don’t have any particular taste either. I want honest people in my life. It really comes down to how developed is your soul. I was always like that but I never was open about it because I was afraid, just like most people out there. They are afraid to be open or say how they really feel. I am not afraid anymore. I’m tired of being afraid and I am tired of living for other people. I am tried of pretending to be this guy and playing this role that was not intended for my soul. I am really happy with my life and how it’s developing. I am like a butterfly and I am beginning to open up my wings.
Dante: I have always wondered if there was a meaning behind all the butterflies on your arm. Now I know.
Mina Caputo: It means change, it means evolution, it means transition. It represents how fragile and how delicate life is. Some people forget that. And I am trying not to forget my life.
Dante: You are an inspiration to so many people. From “Life Of Agony” to your solo albums and coming out as transgender. Laura Jane Grace has even said you are an inspiration. How does that make you feel?
Mina Caputo: It makes me want to cry. I get emotional about it because sometimes I don’t realize it and the reminder is really special. I am happy that I can really help so many people, and that’s why I am on this planet and I am happy that words and music are the medium. And I don’t care if people get past “River Runs Red” or not. That’s their problem. I don’t give a shit. That shit happen in 1992 get past it already. No matter what L.O.A. did after “River Runs Red” people hated us anyway. Some people love “Ugly” and some like the other albums but people get possessive. Just imagine how I felt. All I was, was Keith the singer for L.O.A. It’s like you don’t even know me to have the audacity to try to own me. I am tried of people trying to own me. That’s why I left the band in ‘96. The labels, management, the fucking merch companies, this person, that person, we were fucking slaves to everyone. I was like fuck everyone because my happiness was not genuine. I didn’t care about the money or the fame. I didn’t care about selling out clubs or arenas or any of that bull shit. I had a very Jim Morrison kind of view. All for one and one for all, it’s all about the music and transcending via music and sharing that experience with people. I am fucking punk rock I really don’t give a shit about anything or what people say. My soul has been through so much, I really don’t care about what some loser says about my video on Youtube. I make my art for me and I make my music for me because I have to. I don’t have a choice any more. I never did really. This is what I do. And I am really happy doing it. And I feel even happier now because I feel free. I get to wear what I want, I get to be who I want, I get to change, I get to grow and I get to say fuck you. Yes it’s hard and the struggle is very difficult but it’s a lot easier during these times. I look in the mirror and I say “girl keep being strong, keep being you, keep writing beautiful songs and keep touching people’s lives“. That’s what it’s all about. If death came to me tonight and said “let’s go” I would say “I did amazing things in this world, let’s fucking go” and I would be ready for the transition. But I feel like there are a lot of things left to do in this life and so far I think I have achieved a lot of goodness, and I am spreading a lot of courage and hope.
FOR MORE INFO CHECK OUT
Web site: http://www.minacaputo.com/
Mina Caputo’s indiegogo campaign
Mina Caputo’s new video for the song “Identity”