Interview || The One with Jesse Cash from Erra

Credit: Aaron Marsh


Erra have released what I believe is the album of the year. Yes, I know it's too soon and I'm too biased. Regardless, their new, self-titled album came in March and for this episode of "The One With...", I was able to have a lovely chat with the very talkative guitarist Jesse Cash.

U: You guys have just released your new, self-titled album. First of all, congratulations, I think it’s one of the best releases of 2021. How’s the reception been so far?

Jesse Cash: Thanks so much for the compliments. Happy to hear that is one of your favourite album of the year! About your question the reaction of media and fans is simply fantastic, we received a tons of message from fans with an incredible dose of love for us. It’s fantastic because without the opportunity to have them in front of us during a show it’s difficult to have a clear opinion about their reaction!

U:  Fans have already concluded that “Erra” is more integral and a definitive step forward for the band. For you, what is the differentiation point between this album and your previous work, and how did it reflect on the writing and recording process? What was the biggest challenge that you faced?

J.C.: The album feeling like a blend of two eras within the band; the "Impulse"/"Augment" era and the "Drift"/"Neon" era. That balance is part of what made it feel like an appropriate choice to self-title the record. It feels like a fresh moment in our discography, while also feeling like it belongs with the records we’ve done in the past. ERRA’s previous work, I was curious to see where it would go from there future records down the road. 

Given Jesse’s tastes and other work, this really makes sense for him and honestly for this band. It’s also focused us to broaden our talents and also work harder to better ourselves and our creativity. It is NOT always easy, and it’s not always successful, but even the efforts will return you with something. I think this record is a step into that sound. 

U: What was the reason behind self-titling the album and why did you choose this specific point of your career to do it?

J.C.: We really love the new record, and self-titling it is an affirmation of that love. This one felt like a fresh chapter for our band, so we kind of overhauled everything, self-titled and simplified our visuals to just further elevate the music as the top priority.

U: The lyrical themes of the album are particularly obscure, with dreams being a recurring element. Despite that, I sense that towards the end of the tracklisting there’s some slight glimmer of hope, like transitioning from darkness towards light. Given the weird times we live in, was it hard to keep a balance and not let the darkness overpower your songwriting?

J.C.: Mmm, yeah, I agree with your point of view. I think a lot of people do associate us with sometimes having brainy lyrics, almost to a fault at times. After our first two records, all of the lyrics on those records were by our original vocalist. Once JT came into the band, I personally wanted to simplify things and make things a bit more accessible just because, even for me, some people call it dictionary-core or whatever. [Laughs.] I think if you look at the lyrics compared to the last two records, it is way more accessible. We wanted to keep moving in that pattern. This record did harken back to the lyrical style of those first-year records. There are weightier subjects, but the difference between them is that it didn’t really feel forced for me this time around like it would have been if I was writing for the last two records. I think I just suggested a lot of good information [and] read a lot of good books that inspired me, and that just translated into the quality of the lyrics I write. Lyrically and thematically, I do feel like this record is more of a challenge. 

At times, lyrically, maybe it isn’t going to be for everyone that just wants a straightforward message. But at the same time, I do think those three or four messages bleed through within the complexity because I think that’s an important principle for me as well. I have a tendency to overanalyze and make situations too intricate when really I just need to get out of my own way and stop thinking so hard and let things be simple, so you can feel that bleeding through.

U: You released the album while the world is at a critical point. How important was it for you to provide people with art to relate to and to ease what they may be going through?

J.C.: I think it’s important for me as human and artist and for our fans to have something of new in terms of music and lyric concept. I’m constantly working to have a sort of step ahead in my life and ERRA are the most important part of this process for sure.

U: In the recent years, we’ve seen a lot of bands openly talk about mental struggles in their lyrics and in “Erra” you deal with inner turmoil. How important is it for you to help further establish this dialogue?

J.C.: Good question, but at the same it’s difficult to have a clear answer. Spread the voice about a particular theme is important, but you know, today you can find a tons of bands with lyrics focused on a particular problem or point of view about life. As musician I think it’s complicated find good words to describe a moment, the only thing to do is to be honest and totally connected with the words available inside your song.

U: If Erra were members of the Spice Girls, what would be your Spice Names? 

J.C.: Mmm… I think my name Cash J. could be great!

U: Your house is on fire and you only have time to grab 3 items before you flee. Pets and family are safe. What do you take?

J.C.: Mmm guitar, Playstation and phone!

U: Thank you for your time! Do you have any final words?

J.C.: Thank you guys for your continued support. I hope you love our new record, and I can’t wait to play it for you as soon we possibly can.


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