It’s that time again, when are man on the ground Desh Kapur Editor/Photographer All Music Magazine UK/Europe spotlights a bands or artists he thinks are going to have a big 2021 ; bands and artists we think you should check out to stay ahead of the curve
So here are CASINO ROCKETS. With an impulsive, psychedelic and mesmerising approach to rhythm, and a force that drives through the heart of theIR songs. Hailing from Halifax, the band operate within a world of alt / math / post-rock utilising intricate guitar patterns and wall-of-sound synths to create animated rock with a discerning edge.
Recently All music Magazine UK/Europe had the great pleasure of reviewing their debut album REALITY DISTORTION FIELD
Casino Rockets debut album was released on May 21st 2021. Buy Here. The album is produced by Steve Whitfield (The Cure, The Mission, Jane Weaver) and mastered by Dez Ford (Scenius, The Fossil Collective, Klammer)
For Fans of Doves, Spoon and Coldplay (Early Years)
So we decided it was time to have a little chat with DAN to see where they came from and what they have been up to and what their plans for the future are.
What is the story behind your name?
We’d been talking about the Cassini rocket that flew to Saturn in 2017, and I think it ended up getting autocorrected in a text message to Casino Rockets. We’d been agonising over a name for a while at that point. Coming up with a decent band name is almost impossible. When there’s four of you, trying to find something you all love is hopeless! The trouble is that names usually only sound plausible after they’ve actually become a name – imagine suggesting the names Arctic Monkeys or The Beatles to your band … you’d just get shot down! Casino Rockets just felt right, which is the best you can expect, I think.
What first got you into music? Or who inspired you to make music?
When I was on a family holiday in Spain, about seven years old, my Mum gave me and my sister some pesetas to get a cassette from these rotating display stands outside the little shop that sold the English papers. I got a bootleg Eric Clapton album purely because he looked like my beardy Dad on the cover. It had Ramblin On My Mind on it, off E.C. Was Here, which is just a perfect piece of music. Even as a little kid I felt fully moved by it. That got me really interested in the guitar music my folks would play like Dire Straits, Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Stones. But it was the Clapton connection that inspired me to pick up the bass in my teens … I think it was a compilation called The Cream of Clapton that I got, and it had Crossroads by Cream on it. Jack Bruce’s playing was a massive eye opener, but it was the interplay between the guitar, bass and drums that blew me away, and was the thing I wanted to try to replicate.
How did you all meet?
We go back a long way! Chris and I went to infant school together; Rick and I were at junior school together; then Rick and I worked in Tiv’s parent’s pub when we were teenagers. Rick and Chris were in a band when they were eighteen, called 50p A Pint, a name intended to attract punters into the pubs they played in. Genius, eh?
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
We tend to lean towards quite melancholic yet upbeat stuff. There’s usually a nice guitar pattern in there somewhere, an interesting drum beat, and Tiv’s signature synth sound. We try and make our music as inventive as we can – when we’re writing the ideas that always stick are the ones that make us say “Ooh, that’s interesting!”. We just don’t get very excited about standard structures or patterns.
What is your creative process like?
Usually Rick will post a really stand-out idea he’s come up with on the band’s WhatsApp group, or Tiv will dig out an old loop from his bottomless archive of uncompleted dance tracks, and we’ll just start jamming to it in the rehearsal room. Eventually something sticks and then we start to think about where it might go to next. It’s really satisfying when the initial idea gets abandoned in favour of something else that has emerged out of this process … sometimes it feels like the song writes itself, and the ideas come to you like memories. It’s like immaculate conception. And you know a song can’t be too bad when it’s got a will of its own.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
I’m really into Working Men’s Club at the minute. They’re from Calderdale, like us, so we’re really proud of what they’ve achieved with their album. I love the moody guitar/electro fusion vibe. It’s very different from our stuff, but it feels like we do share something with them … like a spirit animal or something. It would be an honour to warm the crowd up for them.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Just thank you, really. We get messages and kind words from people who like what we’re doing, and it’s such a special, surreal thing. It’s amazing when someone you’ve never met takes the time to listen, and when they feel strongly enough about it to reach out and tell us. It just kind of validates the whole thing.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I can retract my right testicle. I have to really tense, and it raises up by a couple of centimetres. Obviously completely useless, and not even a trick I’m willing to do at parties.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
I wake up most mornings with a different tune in my head, like my dreams have a soundtrack. It’s usually something really random too, that I might not have heard for ages. I don’t remember what I was dreaming last night, but this morning I woke up singing Please Mr Postman.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Well, sadly, music isn’t my career right now, I’ve got a day job. We started taking this band stuff seriously at a relatively advanced age – we’re not footloose and fancy-free anymore and we’ve all got families and mortgages. Casino Rockets doesn’t yet quite cover all our bills! This did mean we were in a position to fund this album ourselves, without any compromise or outside pressure. It would be amazing to make music full time, though, and I really hope the opportunity comes along.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
As Casino Rockets we’ve done a couple of shows in Manchester, and a few around and about West Yorkshire. The Lantern in Halifax is a brilliant venue, amazing sound, big enough to be awesome and small enough to be intimate. The beer is excellent and they really look after you. I believe it reopens soon after a long closure due to COVID, which is great news. It’s been a really tough time for music venues, and they all need our support at the moment. We’re doing an alfresco show at The Grayston Unity in Halifax on Saturday 17 July, which will be our first one in over a year, so we’re really looking forward to it!
What is your favourite song to perform?
I love playing Kachumba, because it just builds and builds, and I get to do a lot of knob twiddling! People Like You is another favourite of mine. I only come in with the bass on the choruses, so there’s loads of impact which is bags of fun … and it’s more of a melody line than a bassline which keeps it interesting for me.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
People who create more than just music … artists rather than just musicians. People like David Byrne, David Bowie, Bjork, Kate Bush, Prince. People whose work is undoubtedly original, but it also has narrative and visual elements, and they create a persona around it. Fully immersive stuff. I also bow down to unbelievable bass players like Victor Wooten and Thundercat.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I got into a fight when I was a teenager. I’d not been in a fight before and was surprised to find I was winning, but it turned out that the other guy wasn’t fighting back because he knew we were right outside a police station. I didn’t realise this so I got locked up for a couple of hours. My Mum came to pick me up in the middle of the night, and when they gave me back my belongings on the way out she clocked my cigs. That’s when I was in real trouble!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t make the same mistake twice, try to make new, bigger and better mistakes. I used to be really precious about any music I made, to the point that I wouldn’t finish a song or let anybody hear any of it. I think I expected my first efforts would all get to number 1. But you don’t get good at something without being crap at it first! Also, songwriting can just be about experimenting and exploring ideas, and in those cases bad songs can be as useful as good ones.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully the Reality Distortion Field album opens some doors for us. We really want to write some more songs, though, being in a band is primarily a creative outlet for us. The first album took us four years to finish, so perhaps an EP next!
REALITY DISTORTION FIELD track listing:
· PEOPLE LIKE YOU
· ONLY LIGHT CAN SAVE YOU
· SIMPATICO THIEVES
· THE MAKER
· BLACK & RED
· DRIVE ME TO THE DUSK
· FEEL ME NOW
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My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.