Public eye: Miguel Castro, 36
New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.
Tue Jun 5 2012
Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein
Broadway between Berry St and Wythe Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Where are you from? I’m visiting from Argentina. My brother lives here. He makes vegan cheese.
An oxymoron, by some estimations. [Laughs] Yeah. It’s called Dr. Cow.
Is your brother Dr. Cow himself? Yes, and his wife.
Dr. and Mrs. Cow. Yes, and now there’s a little cow, who is called Swy Swy.
“Swy swy”? It’s a little bird from Peru.
Two cows and a little bird. A perfect symbiosis. [Laughs]
It must be rough being vegan in Argentina. It is uncommon—there is a lot of meat and pizza there. I’m not 100 percent vegan, but I eat a lot of raw foods and no meat.
So why don’t you follow Dr. Cow to New York? Well, because I’m always stuck in Buenos Aires with my band.
What’s your band? Bueno, I used to have a band called Victoria Mil. We were kind of famous.
I didn’t know I was dealing with a rock star here. No, no, not so much. But we disbanded and I’m on a new project called Un.
You strike me as a bass player. Oh? No, I’m a singer.
Yet you seem so laid-back. I enjoy being part of the group. I am not the kind of guy that wants all the attention.
Then what’s the point of being a rock star? Well, our music has a lot of other things inside it. It’s a kind of postpsychedelia, no? We just went to record in a really nice place in Uruguay called La Tahona. It’s a post-high-tech-hippie community.
Hm. It’s a really crazy place. Back when the earth was all one piece of land…
Pangaea? Yeah. When it got separated, the same kinds of rocks are in this place as in Africa. They’re really old, and you feel it. We had acid drops…
And that’s reflected in your music. Yes. One of the biggest publishing companies went and recorded everything we were doing there. We recorded in this ancient octagonal adobe made with all ancestral techniques. It sounded really amazing.
You sure it wasn’t just the acid? No, it wasn’t just the acid. Really, it wasn’t.
More from Miguel
“The album is going to be called Las Cuerdas de Mi Sombrero—‘The strings of my hat.’ ”