I sat down with Rob, Lou and Jake from Manchester-based band, Cassia, ahead of their sold-out show in Glasgow on Thursday 25th October.
To start, I wanted to ask about your origins. So, how did you meet and how did you start the band?
Lou: Well me and Rob were at school together and then, kind of, just wanted to do music. Rob was doing some solo stuff, and then we wanted to start a band, which we did, and in which I played bass and he played guitar and sang, and I also played the kick drum.
Rob: Yeah that was amazing.
Lou: So we did one gig like that and then we realised that that just wasn’t going to work.
Jake: It was like Royal Blood mixed with Mumford and Sons.
Lou: We were just playing really bad covers. We knew Jake was a drummer but we thought he was kind of too pro for us, so we asked him if he knew of any drummers and, er, he kind of took offense to that.
Jake: I was very upset.
Lou: And then he said “yeah I’ll do it” and that’s kind of how it started.
And you just knew Jake from around?
Rob: [Jake] always just used to see me in Weatherspoons, I used to be dead drunk all the time.
Jake: He was this guy in like velvet shirts and leather jackets and he used to come over to my table.
Rob: Yeah I was that guy unfortunately, through my teens.
Jake: Me and Lou actually bonded on twitter. We must have met, I think, at a house party before that and I think I or [Lou] put a tweet up about Caustic Love, the Paulo Nutini album and I was like, my man.
If you guys hadn’t met and pursued music, what would you be doing?
Lou: That is such a hard question.
Jake: I’d probably be doing something I enjoy less. I was trying to do session drumming back before, but it wasn’t really fun. So maybe [I’d be] still doing that, [it] depends on how well it went.
Lou: It’s been very natural. It’s just kind of fallen into place. I don’t think we ever expected to be touring the UK and gigging like that. It’s crazy.
Rob: I don’t think either of us ever expected to be able to tour Europe with a band. That was never in my head at the start. It was just to play a couple gigs and have a laugh.
Our radio station is based in Edinburgh and we have loads of Scottish listeners. I saw last night you were in Aberdeen, how was that?
Rob: Really good. Amazing! It was actually insane. We didn’t really initially expect very much from it because, obviously we’d never been there. And we were sort of wandering around the town before, walked back and there was just this massive queue and I was like, what’s going on? It was just really good, really good vibes in the room. It was very hot, probably the hottest gig we’ve ever played! I got off stage and I was just dripping like I’d just had a bath or something.
And did you get a chance to look round the city?
Lou: Well we had a chance to drive round it, and it’s all very bleak as Jake described it.
Rob: It reminded me of Edinburgh in some ways.
Lou: Yeah we learnt a lot, learnt all about the oil. I had no clue about that.
Jake: How did you hear about that?
Lou: Er, I spoke to numerous people about it. It’s very important apparently.
[The band laugh]
As you are from Manchester, how do you think growing up there has influenced your sound?
Lou: It’s always on the radio. You can’t get away from it. And it is a very unique sound and it kind of just naturally influences you when you’re writing, I guess. But I think we kind of consciously made the decision to try and steer clear of [that sound].
Rob: I think as we’ve gone forward though, like actually nowadays, it sort of changes doesn’t it.
Lou: Yeah we’ve got stone roses influences.
Rob: The Smiths.
Lou: We always listen to [them] because they’re so hooky and chorus-y. That’s what you want in your songs, you want people to sing along and they’re just incredible at that. So I guess you listen to quite a lot of it for that kind of thing.
What are your plans for the future? Is there an album coming?
Rob: Something big. We’ve been working pretty hard on something for quite a while. We might drop it soon.
Finally, who are you all listening to at the moment? Do you have any recommendations for our listeners?
Jake: In the van, Anderson Paak is played almost all the time. I’d never really hear him before but he’s sick. Our sound guy just plays him pretty much all the time, and before we go on as well.
Rob: I like Club Kuru, I think [they’re] amazing.
Lou: Tom Misch
Rob: Yeah he’s really cool. We like all chilled out kind of stuff.
Jake: I’m pretty much all African stuff at the minute. I’ve got hundreds of playlists of deep African drums.
Cassia have just finished their headline ‘Loosen up’ European tour. They played their final show in their hometown, Manchester, on the 3rd of November.