Interview || The one with Tom Weaver from Casey

If you're involved with melodic modern hardcore, you have probably heard of Casey. Hailing from South Wales, the band is quickly making a name for themselves in Europe and yours truly had the chance to catch them play recently, so I can vouch that they deserve your full attention. Later that day, I sat down with vocalist Tom Weaver and his lovely accent and some horrible music on the background and had him undergo our weird questionnaire. His knack for storytelling only made it more interesting. 

U: Your debut album, “Love Is Not Enough” was released almost a year ago and it's been very well received so far. Back when you were recording it, did you expect it to do that well?
Tom Weaver: We weren't very concerned how it was received, to be honest. When we were making it, it was more about doing it for ourselves, we were trying to keep a very personal process. Toby was the one that recorded it for us and it was more about making something that we were very proud of rather than making something that other people would enjoy. Actually we are thrilled it has been so well-received but it wasn't the aim of making the album as such.

U: You are a relatively new band and your popularity is rising very fast. For you, what is it that makes Casey stand out in such an oversaturated scene?
T.W.: That's not for me to say, I guess. Again, we've never been a band as focused on other people's perception of us. We write music in the practice room, it stands for improvisation and just being around each other than trying to write in a more “sterile” environment. We don't do any sort of bedroom writing or writing on a computer. With our aesthetic or the way that we present ourselves, we always try to do our research in advance and kinda pick at the creative people that we enjoy the work of rather than finding any old person who will do promo photos or artwork for cheap. We've always tried to push it a little bit with interesting people so I suppose that would contribute towards it. It's never been a case where we needed to win over this demographic or to make our way into that scene, it's a case where we've done it for ourselves and fortunately, other people have caught in on it.

U: What is passion for you? How would you define it?
T.W.: I suppose passion comes from honesty. For me particularly, I was in bands since I was 12 years old. For the first 7-8 years, I was writing very vapid music, it didn't have any sort of depth into it. Especially in the first band I was in, lyrically, it would be what you would compare to how a lot of people would stereotype modern pop-punk. It didn't hold any integral meaning to me, it was writing for the sake of writing. Between the ages of 18 to 22 I went through a lot of shit. During that time I was a guitarist for a band rather than a singer and it got to a point where I found out I had a lot of pent up feelings that couldn't really be expressed via an instrument, I needed a more direct voice for it, which is why I went back to songwriting in terms of lyrics. It's an honest expression of the things I have experienced and felt.

U: Nice! The serious questions are over. If you could cast each member of the band as a super hero, who would each member be?
T.W.: Oh God! (laughs) I don’t really know… Everyone of us is super lazy; that’s not really a thing to say. I haven’t really thought about it I guess. I think the easiest way to pass someone as a super hero would be if they had a single stand-out quality, and then directly try to think that and then amplify it. With Casey is a thing where everybody does a bit of everything so, I suppose, we’d all be the same kind of super hero. But that’s really boring.

U: OK, let me rephrase. Who in Casey would look best in spandex?
T.W.: Oh me, for sure! (laughs) No doubt about it, me!

U: What superpower does your music have? [Tom just stares at me, thinking about his answer] Oh come on, that’s an easy one!
T.W.: Is it?? It’s the kind of question that I had never thought about… I would say connection; that’s the one thing we’ve experienced a lot with Casey. We formed a lot of intimate connections with people who otherwise we’d never have any contact with… See? It’s not as easy as you think!

U: Well, you know your band way better that I do. Collectively, you produce something, so you can translate that into a superpower. Anyway. What’s an album you can listen to without skipping a single song?
T.W.: There are lots. The album that we’re named after, Rise Of Science - “Casey”, Lydia – “Illuminate”, Pianos Become The Teeth – “The Lack Long After”…

U: If you woke up one day in the opposite gender’s body, what would be your first reaction?
T.W.: It wouldn’t really be a shock, I’m wearing girls’ clothes anyway. I’d have to shave, try to even it out a little bit. After that, I’d just chill, I guess. I’m quite a nonchalant person, to be honest (laughs).

U: Do you think that, if you had grown up in a different environment, you’d have turned out the same?
T.W.: I grew up in a very, very small village and we were pretty detached from city life. It would take me an hour to get to the nearest city by public transport and the nearest major city would take longer than that. I didn’t have broadband internet until 2010 so I grew up in a really isolated area. It was the kind of place where one highschool would serve 7-8 different villages. It was very much a school of niche groups –that’s how I met Liam, the people from my first band, a lot of people who are now my closest friends… Until then, I had no interest in alternative music at all, it was only because I didn’t fit in any other groups that I found an alternative group that I could fit in. And the first alternative album that I listened to was The Used, the self-titled album. At first I didn’t get into that but then another friend showed me Funeral For A Friend – “Casually Dressed…” –and that was the first alternative show that I went to. That’s how I fell in love with it and then went back to The Used album, understood it better and then went more into those kind of bands. Because I grew up with a diverse taste in music -my dad listens to a lot of Bruce Springsteen, ZZ Top, Frank Zappa, and my mom likes Bryan Adams [ed –parenting done right], outside of alternative music, I was still exposed to a wide spectrum of genres and bands. It was just the case that, when I went to highschool, alternative music was introduced in that mix and it was never really eclipsed it or took over it. It added more into the spectrum –because I still love pop music, and I love hip hop, rap and RnB and other genres. I’m not so big on old school metal but old school rock is still pretty much appreciated and enjoyed. The environment I grew up in, I am very much a product of it.

U: Fuck, marry, kill in the band.
T.W.: I’d probably marry Liam, he’s the most sensible and I’ve known him the longest. He has the most adult job out of all of us, a stable income, I think he’d make a great husband. I consider myself the wife, I like to cook and I’m very homely. So I’d marry Liam; Max has the most Instagram followers so I’d fuck him because it would be the biggest scandal and I’d kill Toby because he’s the laziest and he sleeps all the time. You gotta pull your weight so he’s dead. He’s gone.

And that’s how you break up a band. Just kidding. Tom Weaver is one of the chillest and down-to-earth people I've talked to and it was a pleasure having him.

Full photoset from Impericon festival Leipzig, courtesy of Dearohwell Photography, can be found here.
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