Astronauts, etc’s Anthony Ferraro knew he wanted to be a concert pianist. He grew up in a home dedicated to classical music, devoting his free time to the Yamaha grand piano in his living room. He was accepted at Baylor University’s piano program when the arthritis that had plagued his knees during childhood returned in his hands. While the pain he experienced would mark the end of a career in music (particularly in piano) for most, Ferraro simply rerouted his path. He dropped his studies and returned home, but later used a loan from his father to buy keyboards, a guitar and some basic recording equipment.
Curious about the opportunities pop music could offer him, the long-time classical pianist began to carve a future in making music from the comforts of his bedroom recording studio under the Astronauts, etc. moniker.
Ferraro enrolled in the music department at UC Berkeley. Shortly after the release of his 2012 breakout album, Supermelodic Pulp, Ferraro made a friend out of Chaz Bundick of Toro Y Moi, who he recognized from an interview. The two creatively-compatible artists formed a friendship over the subsequent year, and Bundick offered Ferraro a spot in his touring band as his graduation date approached.
As time consuming as tours can be, Ferraro put his solo project on hold while playing the keys for Toro Y Moi. Bundick’s encouragement significantly influenced Ferraro’s choice to continue with Astronauts, etc, and the release of his sophomore album, Sadie, is both a nod of respect for the skills his classical background have afforded him and a push away from the 15+ years of focused training.
His most recent release, 2015’s Mind Out Wandering is a mix of 70’s tones and echoes of indie rock guitar, showcasing the solidification of his live band and creative exploration with tape recordings on analog technology. Many note that the album’s lightly funky rhythms are reminiscent of the sound for which Toro Y Moi is known.
Fans can look forward to the debut of a brand new Astronauts, etc. musical composition, commissioned by Stern Grove Festival's Local Artist Commission Series titled "Interplay: In Concert with Nature".