Vanguard-Online wondered what drove the furious guitar and drum harangues of Cassels. Fortunately, Jim Beck, lyricist for the duo was able to answer our questions.
Hi, how are you today?
Not bad ta. Bit tired. Probs about a 6/10.
What gets you wound up? And what do you do about it?
People mainly. I just moan and grumble. Sometimes I turn the grumbling into songs. So basically I don’t really do anything.
What makes you happy?
The usual stuff: hanging out with interesting people, occasionally getting inebriated, spending time with my well nice girlfriend, writing and playing music.
If you could pick just one part of a band’s work, what would it be?
Probably rehearsing actually. A lot of the time can be the most dull part but if we haven’t rehearsed for a while I really enjoy bashing out our songs in a sweaty room with some tinnies for a few hours without the pressure of having to play in front of people. In particular learning/rehearsing new songs is great – hearing something played back to you which has essentially only been in your head up until that point is immensely satisfying.
Can you tell me about your writing process? Words seem important to you.
A little while back I separated the process of writing words from the process of writing music. Now I tend to do a lot more writing (though a lot of it is absolute shit) and when I come up with some music I’m happy with I flick back through my notebooks until I find something good. Then I like to let the words dictate the structure of the song as opposed to the other way around – it makes them more interesting. Writing the words in isolation also gives me the freedom to be a bit more free flowing instead of being hemmed in by strict rhyming meters.
What’s your favourite venue?
The Dome in Tufnell Park. Never played there, hopefully we’ll get the chance one day.
How come you have stayed as a duo? Ever been tempted to expand?
When we originally started playing together we had more people in the band. I think it got up to 5 at one point, but this was just when we were back at home practicing in our bedroom so no one ever heard it (thank God). I guess eventually people’s mums got bored of ferrying them around to practice so we ended up playing as a two piece. Since we’ve started ‘properly’ playing under the name Cassels we’ve never discussed bringing anyone else in, mainly because it works fine just the two of us. Bringing another person in would just make everything 1/3 more complicated.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known two years ago?
It’s fine if people you don’t like don’t like you.
What’s your favourite band?
At the moment it’s Pile.
Marquee Moon, Television.
Vincent Vocoder Voice, Self-titled.
What do you want everyone to know about Cassels?
We’ve just released an album and are on tour supporting Single Mothers in November.
It’s an excellent album, too. Check out our review here: