50 Shades of Capital Grey

Filip Mandaric says the one-time BBC standout band is now a solo effort

Filip Mandaric's on the phone from Westwood, near his second home, which is more or less in the shadow of the UCLA campus. He released the new and self-titled http://www.capitalgrey.com/">Capital Grey EP digitally on Tuesday via the usual distribution channels including iTunes and Amazon, but admits that this time around, the music was more or less a solo effort.

"I can't change the name, but there's been a partnership change."

Co-founder Danny Chau needed time off, apparently. "It sounds like a cliché, but he wanted to do some soul-searching," says Mandaric. Chau is staying with family in Utah at present and has put music on hold temporarily.

"He has a lot of great songs that I wish he'd record," he says, "because I want to her them."

But Mandaric fancies the change may be a permanent one. "This is what Capital Grey is likely gonna sound like from now on."

Even though the composer/producer/singer/multi-instrumentalist lives and works in Los Angeles during the week these days, he says he still comes back down to San Diego to record. In fact, Mandaric says he makes the road trip south almost every weekend. "My parent's house is a peaceful little getaway." He describes a Valley Center-ish location, somewhat north of San Marcos and Escondido.

"There's actually deer here sometimes."

Started up in 2011, Capital Grey looked about to get large last May when a BBC Radio Kent DJ named Sean Rowley played their song “Tattoo on Her Shoulder” on his All Back to Mine program. He told his listeners that “Capital Grey are a sort of Magical Mystery Tour era sort of Beatles-sounding, Syd Barrett Pink Floyd...they’ve got it going on in a psychedelic pop sort of way, and they do it rather well.”

Mandaric says not to be surprised if he releases even more solo EPs in the near future. "I write songs constantly. By the end of a month, I have five to 10 new songs. I have this huge back load of unrecorded songs which I go through and pick out what I like."

But Cap Grey fans expecting a brick-and-mortar CD release party, or even a string of tour dates are in for a disappointment: "I find release parties kind of pretentious." Mandaric thinks at this point that he'd simply rather spend his time recording.

"That's the ultimate tour," he says, "preading your music through the Internet."

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