Casey are back with a new album, full of heart-on-sleeve lyricism and mammoth tunes. “It sounds like what we’ve always done, just on a much bigger scale,” Tom Weaver says from a coffee shop in Cardiff.
Hi Tom! How are you guys at the mo? Everything good in camp Casey?
We’re all great! All working hard towards bits and pieces for the album, excited for people to hear it.
What have you all been up to since the release of your debut?
We’ve got to play a bunch of cool shows and make new friends which is always nice. We played the biggest show we’d ever played with Impericon Festival Leipzig. We got nominated for an award at the first Heavy Music Awards which still kinda baffles us, to be honest. Liam [Torrance, guitar] has a kid! I always forget that because I guess we don’t consider it a “band” event, but it definitely changed our dynamic slightly. Oh, and I got hospitalised for a few weeks at the start of 2017 which sucked, but it also contributed to the writing of the record, so I suppose there was a silver lining there.
Has writing and recording the follow-up been intense?
Not at all really. The only way it differed from the debut was that we did it in a much shorter space of time, and we were a little more segregated when writing the initial structures for the songs, but they all ended up being changed and developed collaboratively in the studio anyway.
And even despite the shorter writing period, the recording process was actually way, way easier than the debut. Our producer Brad was the easiest person in the world to work with, kept us all completely focused without stressing anyone out. He’s the most interesting guy we’ve ever met, and we’d often spend huge chunks of time just talking to him about his experiences and people he’d met, but even with that included, nothing on the record felt rushed.
It sounds like the album tackles some really personal topics?
I’ve always been of the belief that if I’m not intimately invested in the music I create, then it has no purpose to me. And with writing the debut, I decided that if I’m going to be honest in my art, then I should be as honest as I can be, and not hold anything back. The biggest challenge for me was learning to dilute my experiences just enough so that they become accessible from a third person perspective, but remain individual to me.
Does it feel exposing to perform songs like this in front of people?
A lot of the therapeutic elements of songwriting for me are taken up with the writing and recording process; because by the time we have a finished product, and it’s ready to perform live, I’ve already recited and listened to the lyrics a million times. So when it comes time to performing them, I’m already comfortable with the content, and it doesn’t feel like a vulnerability. I suppose in a sense it becomes rehearsed, but we always endeavour to ensure there’s an element of authenticity in our performances.
Do you find fans confide their troubles in you as a result of your openness?
Absolutely, I’ve had a lot of very honest discussions with fans about their own experiences, and the ways that they’ve used those experiences to interpret our music. I’ve never written with another person’s interpretations in mind, so to have a third person perspective on my own experiences is interesting and insightful.
We actually used that as part of the development of our music video for ‘Fade’. We requested that fans anonymously submit one thing they disliked about themselves to an online mailbox, and then wrote out all of the submissions onto a backdrop for the video. The aim was to evidence the idea that no set of circumstances are entirely individual, and that a person will always have someone with whom they can relate.
Do you think the album will differ from what people expect?
I would say there’s a portion of our demographic that might not be completely comfortable with some of the material, but personally, I don’t feel that there’s anything on there that would have been misplaced on the previous record. It just sounds like what we’ve always done, just on a much bigger scale.
Tell us about your favourite track on the album.
‘The Funeral’ is definitely my favourite track on the album; it was the one I struggled with the most lyrically, and was the very last song that I ended up writing. It’s the first song we’ve done (as a full song) that’s not in a 4/4 time signature, and I just couldn’t get my head around a vocal pattern that felt fitting on there.
It ended up clicking the day before we started vocal tracking, and I wrote the whole thing in about 20 minutes. I tend to find my favourite songs are always the ones that develop very rapidly.
Are there any other bands who you think do a particularly good job of writing about life’s difficulties?
There are loads! I’d say my favourites of them at the minute are Sorority Noise. ‘You’re Not As _ As You Think’ was such a triumphantly heart-breaking body of work. I think that’s a great example of how I’d like to think I portray myself as a musician; because although I can’t personally relate to all the sentiments expressed on their record, it’s so unbelievably intimate and honest that it opens itself up to the empathy of the listener.
Are you playing many festivals this year?
We’ve got a few bits and pieces lined up, our main ambition for the year lies in the fall to be honest, but at the moment we just have a lot in the pipeline.
Taken from the April issue of Upset – order a copy or subscribe below. Casey’s album ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is out now.