Thanks to Stefanie, Andrew, and Francis of Caustic Casanova, for hanging out with us in the studio this week!
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FROM THIS SHOW
- Benedict Cumberbatch, by Nardo Lilly (Folk, Singer-Songwriter)
- Lord Pinto, by Caustic Casanova (Hard Rock, Psychedelic Metal)
- Carrying Curses, by Spirit Plots (Rock, Garage)
- Flying, by Nah (Indie, Psychedelic Rock)
- Sometimes Dogs Perceive Other Dogs Differently When They're Wearing Hats, by ShowPony (Indie, Instrumental)
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Vice Years - There’s a Better Word For This (Single)
Soldiers of Suburbia - Where Do We Go (Single)
The Duskwhales - Never You Mind (Single - Dec 2017)
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THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE
Check the calendar, linked below, for the full list!
Jan 12 Fri
Free Lobster Buffet @ Villain & Saint in Bethesda, MD
The Woodshedders @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown
Jan 13 Sat
Elana Los Fulanos & Run Come See @ Pearl Street Warehouse at The Wharf by SW Waterfront
19th St Band @ Hill Country in Chinatown/Archives
Jan 14 Sun
Black Alley @ The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD
Rare Essence @ The Howard Theatre by Shaw
Jan 16 Tues
Annie Stokes @ Gypsy Sally’s in Georgetown
Jan 18 Thurs
Cassie Urbany @ Jammin Java in Vienna, VA
Would you support us? We'd love to grow and do more! We're giving away shirts, access to our private facebook group, and more! We also intend to set aside 10% to contribute directly in the DC Local Music Scene through charities, sponsorships, events, etc. We want to continue to pay it forward!
HUGE shoutout to our current Patrons!
--Daniel Warren Hill
VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT
Caustic Casanova's Bio:
Caustic Casanova is a loud, heavy rock band from Washington, DC that has learned the power of constant motion. Since 2013 they’ve practiced and toured tirelessly, showcasing their brands of “absurdly muscled uber-psyche” (Indy Week Raleigh) and “beautiful aural assault” (KnowYourScene) all across North America while releasing new music regularly, with no intention of slowing down.
After forming as teenagers at the College of William and Mary in 2005 and recording several albums and EPs there and in DC, CausticCasanova found itself at a critical juncture in 2012 following the departure of the band’s original guitarist. The rhythm section of drummer/vocalist Stefanie Zaenker and bassist/vocalist Francis Beringer wanted to play even heavier, more experimental music in the vein of Rush and the Melvins, and wanted to tour relentlessly, but weren’t sure if they could find a guitar player who would match their ambition. After a few sets as a bass/drum duo, rounds of guitar player auditions finally yielded the missing element to the new CausticCasanova, longtime fan, friend and all-around six string wizard Andrew Yonki.
In Andrew’s four years with the band, the rejuvenated Caustic Casanova has played hundreds of shows, doing all their own booking in DC and throughout North America, with plans for more touring throughout the world. Even a life-threatening wrist and back injury to drummer Stefanie Zaenker barely curtailed the band’s forward momentum. The CC was back rehearsing less than three months after her second round of surgeries, recorded a 7" (Pantheon: Vol 1) and a full-length (Breaks), and was back on another full US tour within the year.
Since opening for sludge rock titans Kylesa in 2014 and signing to their eclectic label Retro Futurist, Caustic Casanova's relentlessly intense live show has earned plenty of notoriety, and their 2015 LP Breaks has garnered much praise for its uniquely diverse take on heavy.
Caustic Casanova is released their second 7 inch, Pantheon: Vol 2, on September 8th. It features original song “Lord Pinto” and a theremin/guitar/noise freakout cover of the Melvins’ classic “Cow." Catch them on tour in 2018!
“CC...presented a noticeably eccentric set of what could be described as organized chaos, showcased undeniably great musicianship and ripped the stage to shreds.” - Metal Assault (Los Angeles)
“This trio has long been a favorite of mine as they’ve graced many stages in the DC area for several years with their creative, twisted psychedelic metal.” - DC Rock Live
“I have seen a lot of bands over the years, and I am sure that Caustic Casanova is one of the loudest I have ever witnessed.” - NewsWhistle (Minneapolis)
“For me, the thing that sets CC apart from a lot of heavy rock and metal bands is that their songs are so various — they manage to surprise with different rhythms and textures, avoiding one continuous dark, thrummy sound that blurs from one song to another.Their delivery is pretty flawless — you hear the craft and care that have gone into the songs, which also feature some thoughtful, literate vocals.” - Louisville.com
Brian: On DC Music Rocks, we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists and incredible people behind the DC region's local music scene. Caustic Casanova is a loud, heavy rock band from Washington DC. They formed as teenagers at the College of William and Mary in 2005 and recorded several albums and EPs there and in DC. Since 2013 they've practiced and toured tirelessly, showcasing their talents all across North America while releasing new music regularly, just like the one you just heard. There's no intentions of slowing down either. They've played hundreds of shows and they're doing all their own booking in DC and throughout North America with plans for more touring throughout the world. They released their latest EP, That One, on September 8th, is the exact date.
I first came across these guys when I was introduced to their music. Somebody said, "Oh, you should check out Caustic Casanova." It was like, "Oh my God, they're so powerful. I love this band." Now I've gotten to play them on the show before and now I actually get to have you guys here, so this is a treat, thanks for being here guys.
Stefanie: Thank you so much.
Brian: Now first and foremost, talk about the name. Where does the name Caustic Casanova come from?
Francis: The name, it just comes from me liking alliteration and wanting to just have ... We wanted to call the band The Casanovas. The real story is we wanted to call the band The Casanovas and there was already some band from Australia or something called that. Then I just looked up another word in the dictionary, Caustic Casanova. It sounds really good. I've had a lot of different stories about it but it just sounds cool. I really like it. I think it stands up to this day. A lot of people regret their band names. I think it's cool. We always get questions about it.
Stefanie: Many mispronunciations also.
Brian: Oh, I can only imagine. Somebody's trying to introduce you guys and then-
Andrew: Misprints as well. We once received a payment in an envelope addressed to "Caustic Casablanca."
Stefanie: We've also gotten Acoustic Casanova, which is pretty far from the truth.
Brian: I was going to say, there is nothing acoustic about you guys.
Andrew: The fact that I used acoustic guitar on one song on an album is still, I cannot fathom it. Cannot believe I let that happen.
Stefanie: It'll be really cool though.
Francis: It sounds great.
Brian: Which song is that, now that you're talking about it?
Andrew: It's yet to be released.
Brian: Upcoming. All right.
Brian: You know, speaking of that. You talked about these new releases and stuff. Where do they go if they want to follow you guys to find out when that stuff comes out? Where do they go?
Francis: Facebook.com/CausticCasanova, CausticCasanova.com.
Andrew: @CausticCasanova on Twitter.
Francis: And CausticCasanova on Instagram.
Brian: There it is.
Francis: We update all of those pretty regularly and ... yeah.
Brian: What is it that makes you guys special or different, in your opinion.
Stefanie: I think the style of music that we play is what comes to mind because it's not really categorizable. I don't know. We get everything from heavy metal B-52s to the Breeders to, "You guys sound like Caius." People are always getting different inspirations from our ... from seeing us live or just listening to a recording. That is definitely one thing that makes us unique musically.
Andrew: We all listen to a lot of different styles and our individual tastes inform a lot how we approach our individual instruments, but I think what really makes us special is that we have a really bizarre and weird sense of humor. We take our music really seriously, but as far as ourselves and our personalities, we don't take it too seriously at all. We like to have pun-offs in the van to see who can make Stefanie groan the loudest with the puns.
Stefanie: That makes it sound like I'm not involved in these pun-offs. I very much am.
Andrew: That's because you have the worst.
Brian: Oh my God, I can only imagine what road trips with you guys are like. That must be amazing.
Andrew: I've also come up with nicknames for all of us using the Caustic Casanova template. Thank you Stefanie.
Brian: Oh, this is so good. I love it. What is it now that ... Talk about the DC region connection now. You've always been DC. We said William and Mary's where you got together and then you've been based in DC ever since?
Stefanie: Francis and I are two of the original members of the band. We formed at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Then I was two years younger than him so we took a few years off. Fran is from the area originally, I moved here in 2008 and Andrew moved here in 2004, because he went to American. Since then we've all kind of been in the area.
Brian: How did you guys get together?
Francis: The original guitar player and Stefanie and I, I lived in the same hall as the original guitar player in college when I was 17. Then we found Stefanie through an exciting new thing called Facebook, which was very, we just searched for drumming.
Stefanie: It was the first year that it was around, actually. 2004.
Brian: That's right, 2004.
Francis: We found someone through just searching "drumming" and four people came up and we talked to them and she came in and we were so desperate for just anyone that she played a beat for just half a second, we said, "Okay, that's good."
Brian: Then you found out how absolutely incredible she is.
Brian: It was like your best decision.
Stefanie: I don't know if I'd say that then. That was a long time ago.
Brian: But you've come a long way. If you watch videos of these guys, Stefanie puts it down for sure. All these guys put it down, let's be real, but ... wow. Love it.
Francis: We formed ... I just want to make sure that Andrew gets ...
Brian: Oh yeah, talk about Andrew. That's right.
Francis: We sort of disbanded in 2012 for a little bit, mostly because we wanted on tour a lot and it just wasn't possible with the situation we were in in 2012. Our guitar player left the band and then we decided we were going to continue, but only if we could get someone who was really, really, really good. We tried out a lot of people and it just turned out that our really good friend, who had mostly played in punk bands that we knew, had a lot more to offer as far as space rock and all sorts of things. We ended up asking him and it's been a joy ever since. Take it away, Andrew.
Brian: Andrew, I love that, man.
Andrew: In case you couldn't figure it out, I was the really good friend that they were talking about.
Brian: I started to wonder for a second, but then I realized, no there can't be another plot twist here. That must be you he's talking about.
Andrew: They were hoping to get their really good friend in the band but they wound up with me instead. This is what it's like, this is what it's like in the van.
Brian: I'm getting more ... I was going to say. I'm imaging what it's like in the van. This is so good.
Stefanie: But it's also a lot smellier.
Francis: I knew she wouldn't be able to hold back from getting that in.
Brian: Oh, [crosstalk 00:07:32]. We don't have to ... We don't have to go down that road.
Stefanie: We don't have to go there.
Francis: Don't go blue. This is a family show.
Brian: Well, hold on.
Francis: Keep it clean.
Brian: On that then, we'll talk about you guys outside of the music then. On the personal side, hobbies, or what do you do in your free time. Talk about that. Each of you.
Stefanie: Well, I really like to spend time outside. Francis always makes fun of me because I use, "I was an outside kid," as an excuse for why I don't know a lot ...
Francis: Know what the Cloud is.
Stefanie: ... of popular culture or that I didn't really understand what the Cloud was, yes I'll say it. A couple years ago I was like, "What is it? Is it a physical cloud?" Anyway, I won't go there. I really like cycling, I like running, I like staying active, basically doing anything outside. I like trying new food, new beer. I really like sour beer and I like attending shows. Those are some of my favorite things to do.
Brian: Nice. Francis, what about you, man?
Francis: I like to do all of those things. The amount of time that the three of us spend together is pretty ridiculous since it seems like we do everything together both in and out of the band. We all pretty much do a lot of the same things. We all love food. That's part of what we love about touring is finding new restaurants and new beers and new cocktails and different things in different cities.
I personally, just the only thing that Stef didn't mention, I love reading books. I tried to read 40 books last year.
Brian: How'd you do?
Francis: I failed, but ...
Brian: How many did you do?
Francis: Fewer than 30. A real 700 page doorstop about North Korea really hung me up. That was the one that killed me. More light reading for 2018.
Brian: A doorstop about North Korea. God, that's such a current event thing too, I love it. Andrew, what about you, man?
Andrew: Well, I mentioned earlier, I live in Frederick so my girlfriend and I, we spend a lot of time just wandering around downtown Frederick. We like to try the restaurants there and a lot of really good breweries up there that we like to sample and some really good hiking. We love cooking and I love to see what fun stuff I can do with my cast iron pan. There's some deliciousness.
Brian: You mentioned breweries, just out of curiosity, is there one that comes to mind as like the latest one you tried recently that was, "Oh God, that was such a good brewery?" You like that one?
Andrew: My favorite brewery up in Frederick is Attaboy. It started out as just a brewery where you could do growler fills on the weekends and now they're starting to distribute on draft lines in Frederick. It's still a really small operation and they make really, really delicious beers. The brewery space is super nice. It's a great way to spend an afternoon, get something from the food truck and play giant Jenga.
Brian: Nice. That's cool. All right now, back to you guys as a band, one of the things I'm curious about, because you've been at this for lot of years, what's the biggest success moment that comes to mind for you guys so far?
Stefanie: I guess that means there have been none. Just kidding.
Brian: There's so many.
Stefanie: I think ... I'll keep it short but I'll speak for all three of us when I say, getting signed to Retro Futurist Records, the label that Kylesa, the psychedelic metal band owns was a highlight. We played with them once in 2012 or something like that.
Stefanie: They really liked us and they asked, "Do you guys have anyone to release your upcoming record?" We didn't and then we kind of just kept talking with them and that's how we got signed to the label and that's the first label that we had ever been on. Yeah, I think all three of us were pretty floored by that.
Francis: That was going to be my choice, to get to open for one of your heroes and then for them, based on a 25 minute performance, to come up to you and say, "We'd love to release your record and to be associated with you," and how great we were. That's something I'll never forget for the rest of my life. That was pretty awesome.
Brian: That's amazing. One more, now this one's for each of you. One of my favorite questions to ask is, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? Andrew, start with you, man.
Andrew: Well my one piece of advice would be, if you want to play music just get whatever instrument it is that you want to learn how to play and start making noise with it. Don't wait for somebody to teach you what you're doing, just start making noise and when something you do sounds good to you, do it again and keep building off of that. Don't wait for anyone.
Brian: That's awesome. I like that one. What about you, Francis?
Francis: This is something that I would say is advice maybe for younger musicians or people in the area, this is just basically aimed at musicians, but one is you do not ... It is absolutely wrong that you need to have a local following to tour. If you want to tour and you think your band is good, you should just start doing it right way, as soon as possible. A lot of the success that happened to our band would never have happened if we had abided by the very wrong rule that you need to have built up a local following before you tour. We built up a local following by touring, by impressing people that we had been on tour, that wanted to see us when we came back here.
Francis: Secondly is that when you are trying to become a musician, you're trying to write, you're trying to get really good, listening to as much music as humanly possible is just as important as playing and different kinds of things and getting exposed to stuff outside your comfort zone is what will make you good, as much as practicing.
Brian: I love it and you get a pass, because I asked for one piece of advice and that was two.
Brian: I love how, you're such an overachiever, I love it, man. Francis is good. Stefanie, talk to us, what do you got?
Stefanie: If you're a band that's preparing to go into the studio, I would say practice ... you know, for the first time or the second time, if you haven't done this before, practice your songs to a metronome during your practice, if there are parts that you can do that to. We didn't do that the first few times that we went into the studio and now we're in the habit of doing that and it just makes things so much easier for us and for the engineer, for the producer, both parties are just way happier. It creates a better product, it's more fun and, yeah. Definitely, it might be hard at first, but you'll get used to it and it definitely helps a lot in the studio.
Brian: Practice with a metronome. I love it guys. One more time, if they want to follow you guys and find out more about what's happening with Caustic Casanova, where do they go?
Andrew: Facebook.com/CausticCasanova, @CausticCasanova on Twitter, CausticCasanova on Instagram, CausticCasanova.com, oh and by the way, no spaces in between Caustic and Casanova on Instagram.