We caught up with Rob from Cassia following the release of their new single ‘Weekender’ to have a chat and see what makes them tick
Tell us a bit about Cassia?
We’re a three piece trop rock band from Macclesfield! Started properly around two years ago in Wetherspoons, we were all smashed so the old memory’s a bit hazy but I do remember asking Leff if he knew anyone who was alright at drumming. Me (Rob – guitar) and Lou (bass) were already doing stuff together and I think one of our mates ended up telling us he played drums or something.
After that we were gigging as much as we could locally, then Y Not Festival came up. I think we applied online and someone pulled out so we only found out a week before it. That was insane. It all kind of started moving from there really!
What do you guys do when you are not making music?
Different for all of us really, Lou’s always playing football, me and Leff run a studio. Do fancy a bit of tennis actually, when the weathers good. We all like watching other bands and musicians and stuff so we do that quite a bit. Love watching TV shows on Netflix. Always got a couple of those on the go.
What inspired you to make music?
Just enjoyed doing it really. I started at school writing and producing all kinds of stuff and it just went from there. Something I’ve always loved doing.
How did you decide what style/ genre of music you wanted to do?
I got interested in Afro/Caribbean music probably when I was around 18, after I bought an old West African cd down in Cornwall. As soon as I got back to home I just began to break down the guitar licks, shoving riffs into tunes I was writing at the time trying to make it all work. It changed the music I was making so dramatically; everything became really upbeat and feel good.
Could you briefly describe your music-making process?
So at the minute, it usually happens one of two ways. Either we’ll just
start messing around when we’re supposed to be rehearsing for something and a decent riff or beat or something will happen and we’ll build a song around that. Or I’ll write lyrics or a melody on my own with a riff I’ve got and then bring it to the guys and we’ll put it together there.
You have interesting infectious melodies did these melodies just come naturally or did they take time to craft and piece together?
It does take ages to get something that sounds happy/feel good without being annoying or cheesy, we’ve thought about it a lot. As you do it more and more, you do tend to naturally come up with things quicker but it still takes a fair amount of time!
There is a tropical element to your guitar and rhythms where did this influence come from and what sparked your interest in these sounds?
So yeah I just accidentally started listen to loads of old Afro Caribbean stuff and starting to play it. It began to influence all the music I was writing and it just went from there. Then Leff joined and I remember there was a time he had to play for some blues guy who wanted him to play the djembe and a kick drum and in practicing that he ended up coming up with all these cool afro rhythms and that.
The harmonies in your tracks are pretty sweet and tight was it difficult to achieve tones and vocal pitches that matched and blended perfectly?
Ah cheers mate. Well naturally for some reason our voices have always sounded pretty cool together, which was lucky. Having said that though, none of us were singers to begin with so we’ve all had to learn how to sing and that’s been an interesting and mildly painful experience at times. Leff has had to learn to do all this crazy African shit and sing at the same time which was funny to watch.
Any plans for an album?
Nothing on the immediate horizon but the word has started popping up a lot more frequently recently so we’ll see! I know we all can’t wait to make an album and have it out there. That will be mint!
What can fans expect from one of your live shows?
Loads of energy, a big beach party is what we want. We love it when everyone has a mint time and a good dance and all that.
So far which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
It changes quite often which is good because in our minds that means that we’re buzzing off all our songs and not just one or two. So hopefully everyone else will. At the minute ‘100 times over’ is going down really well, ‘Moana’ as well, the ones that people know are always going to be the maddest live so that’s another reason we want to get as much music out there!
Any plans to come to Ireland in the future?
Yeah there is actually, I don’t know if there is a set in stone date just
yet but we’re definitely coming over pretty soon. Next couple of months kind of thing!
What advice do you have for people who want to form their own band?
Go for it! Grab a couple of mates, have an awesome time. Spend your time writing great music. Get tight and good at what you do, but mainly enjoy it. If you’re lucky like we’re starting to get, you get to see loads of really sick places and play awesome gigs and meet mint people. Its ridiculously good really. I’m always just sat there like this is insane.
Whats next for Cassia?
Got loads of shows coming up all over the UK as well some in Europe later in the year I think. We might even be going further than that too but not sure! Releasing as much music as we can! Think a couple of festivals too this year which is always well fun. Just keeping on making it better and bigger.
Stream ‘Weekender’ below