I still remember Casey Shea fondly as the crazy frontman of The Undisputed Heavyweights, one of the great live bands that I associate with nights in NYC at the Rockwood, back in the day. But he's done a few solo releases too, and just delivered his third album, a more rocking effort than I've heard from him before. Indie Sounds caught up for the scoop ...
Indie Sounds: So you recently released a new album - In Your Head. Tell us about making it?
Casey Shea: We went into the studio with Mr. Chris Cubeta at Galuminum Foil as I was finishing up the Love Is Here To Stay album around the Summer of 2010. From a live standpoint, things were headed in a rockier direction than my previous work, and I had a group of songs that I thought could work well together.
The good thing is that since I had just finished up my last album, I could take my time a bit. After pretty much finishing all the recording, we let it sit and came back to it after a few months to tweak things a bit. By then, there were some new songs that we wanted to throw into the mix (one written by sir Matthew Francis Basile) and we did those completely live at Metrosonic with Steve Wall. Dan Romer mixed it all.
There are a bunch of musicians on it, but the core group was Gilber Gilmore on guitar, Matt Basile on bass, Nicholas Webber on keys, Sarab Singh/Josh Dion/Aaron Steele on drums. I'm really happy with the album as a whole, and I have these guys to thank for it. The feedback so far has been great, and hopefully it will continue to find new ears.
Download In Your Head @ iTunes.
IS: This is your third album right? How does it compare to earlier releases?
Casey: Yes, this is the famous third album. After my freshman slump, and the subsequent sophomore disaster, I've somehow found a reason to continue recording music.
I think as far as comparing the releases, all of them are really different and show the process and growth of my musical endeavors over the years. If you were to chart it all out, it would look something like this:
Take the Bite = sonically terrible + man + guitar + bedroom.
Love Is Here To Stay = sonically acceptable + man + bedroom + garageband + friends' studios + lots of other musician friends + no release deadline or strategy.
In Your Head = sonically cohesive + band + studio + awesome.
IS: So how about a little history lesson on Casey Shea - your life and music?
Casey: I met the devil at the crossroads and turned down the deal. That pretty much explains why you'll be able to find me at Rockwood Music Hall for the rest of eternity. It could be worse.
IS: Back to the album, any songs you want to highlight and explain how they came to be?
Casey: A lot of the songs have really interesting stories about how they came to be. If I had to pick one song to write about, it would be the last song that was written that made the album, In Your Head. I wrote it at a time when my wife was going through a hard time, and there was nothing I could really do about it. I just sort of watched her go through it all, and I guess this was my way of trying to reach her. It's a a simple song, but there's a lot of meaning lying in there.
IS: So it's another release for you on Family Records. How is it working with an indie label?
Casey: Ever had the experience of unlimited resources and funding? Neither have I. HA! But in all honesty, having a team help with some of the more business stuff is great, and having a bit of funding behind the project is obviously really nice. Most importantly, they let me do what I want to do creatively. It's a nice relationship.
IS: And what is your - and the label's - plan to make it to platinum sales?
Casey: Touring and videos are definitely coming. Hopefully, they will both lead to more sales, streams, illegal downloads, legal downloads, YouTube listens, etc. I don't care how people get it or hear it as long as people get it and hear it. If they like it, they'll hopefully come to a show when I come to their town, and I can make this into a proper career.
IS: What's next for you and your music?
Casey: We're in the midst of doing some live recording at the Rockwood. There's a plan for the release, but I'm not at liberty to discuss what that will be at the moment. There will be some more studio releases coming this year too. Don't be surprised if the mustache makes a comeback. I'm going country. Yes really.