As Youth of Today began to wind down, Cappo found himself drawn to Krishna Consciousness, due in large part to his study of religions that embraced his vegetarian and straight edge ideals. He became a devotee and an outspoken proponent of the ideologies laid out in the Bhagavad Gita. Cappo resolved to start a band that would fulfill his spiritual needs and provide a mouthpiece for his newfound devotion. This band became known as Shelter. Cappo again found himself starting a record label to release bands with a Krishna-conscious message, the still operating Equal Vision Records.
Photo by David "Igby" Sattanni
"Perfection Of Desire" line-up:
Ray Cappo - vocals
Todd - guitar i
Tom - guitar ii
Dave - bass
Bill - percussion
"Quest For Certainty" line-up (tracks 1-5):
Ray Cappo - vocals
Vic Dicara - guitar
Chris Interrante - bass
Eric Dailey - drums
"Quest For Certainty" line-up (tracks 6 and 7):
Ray Cappo - vocals
Porcell - guitar
Graham Land - guitar
Yashomatinandana - bass
Sam - drums
Interviews and Reviews
Q: So tell me about the farm you live at now.
RAY: It's called Gita-nagari "the city of the Bhagavad-Gita." We're working towards self sufficiency and natural organic farming and milking as well as cow protection and becoming closer to God. It's located in Port Royal, PA.
Q: Do you still do music or is that forbidden?
RAY: I'm always writing music, lyrics and poetry and I think I'm getting a lot fresher ideas. Krsna is all encompassing, so it's not necessarily far off. Like the lyrics on the Shelter record people can easily relate to, but at the same time I feel by expressing these feelings... Everything material is coming from Krsna so to just burn my guitar would be false renunciation, but to use it in His service... Than that would be perfection. You can't falsely renounce your bodily talents or qualities... Krsna was speaking to Arjuna, who was a prince... He didn't tell Arjuna to move to the Himalayas and become a monk.
Q: Somebody told me devotees are violent.
RAY: Prabhupada (the spiritual master who brought the teachings to the west) wanted to train us to be brahmanas. Qualities of brahmanas are non-violence, austerity, self-control, well versed in scripture, renounced, etc. We are definitely not violent, or if somebody you heard that was a devotee and was acting in a violent way they were probably acting on their own accord. We all have free will and in every religious practice you have the sincere and the insincere.
Q: So ultimately you'd say religion is one... or shooting for the same goal?
RAY: How I understand it is Krsna or God appears throughout the world or empowers persons throughout the world (Mohammed, Jesus, Sankaracharya, Lord Buddha, etc.) to uplift society. I know in BG Krsna even states, "Where ever and when ever there is a decline in religious practice and predominant rise in irreligion, at that time I descend Myself." So ultimately the Vedas aren't saying our path is right and your path is wrong. The Vedas alone put forth many paths. But we've got to make sure that the path we're following is bonafide and our spiritual master or teacher or priest or whatever is also bonafide. What I like about Krsna Consciousness is it's been passed down through the ages from spiritual master to disciple from the time of Lord Krsna Himself. You can actually trace this back historically. Also, the spiritual master isn't allowed to add or concoct his own philosophy, but rather serve as a transparent medium. So in this way scriptures like the Gita can be realized and understood when practicing properly under the order of a bonafide spiritual master. So again spiritually we are all the same... part and parcel of God or an eternal servant of God... This is our real position although we may have many bodily designations like Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Punk, Lawyer etc. Krsna says these area all simply bodily designations. So the teachings in the BG are transcending these "names" or religious sects and giving us a process to scientifically understand our real position.
Q: So Krsna is the "Shelter"?
RAY: Ultimately, but not everybody thinks so. People take shelter in so many temporary things like family, girlfriend, boyfriend... or some escape route like intoxication or political philosophy or even religion. They take shelter even in their own fallible intelligence and mind. And these people claim to be "real brave" and not some "blind fanatic." So we're all taking Shelter, but where will this shelter get us... more entangled or free?