Now, we’re back and swinging with the interviews! Recently I’ve been branching out to accommodate the different genres to satisfy everyone’s needs for the hardcore and post-hardcore fix they truly want! I headed up to Newcastle Jumpin’ Jacks to have a chat with their vocalist, Tom Weaver about the new record, touring and haircuts! Believe me, it’s one of my favourites!
Jack: Hey Tom, nice spiffy haircut you got there.
Tom: I do yeah, a nice buzzcut.
Jack: It does work for you though.
Tom: I used to super long hair down to my chest.
Jack: I can’t imagine you having that.
Tom: It was a few years ago and then I shaved my head for charity and been saying I’ll grow it out but I just got sick of it. I was planning to shave it again but perhaps not in these circumstances.
Jack: The most I can go down to is probably my eyebrows but after that, I’m thinking, nope, it’s out of control. I need a haircut.
Tom: Mine goes to a really weird length. It gets wide rather than long and then the weight of it pushes it down again but I go through a really weird mum haircut phase where it just goes down to my nose.
Jack: But it could be worse.
Jack: And you guys have had a pretty hectic few months. The new record dropped, Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, Maida Vale, an EU tour and now you’re a few dates into the UK run of shows. It seems like you’ve hardly had time to stand still, let alone breathe.
Tom: Well, the album cycles gone down to a much better start than the last one because we recorded our debut record October and November in 2015 and then it didn’t come out until September in the next year so we were sat on it for ages and we couldn’t release anything, we were sitting around, couldn’t talk about it and then it eventually came out whereas, with this one, we recorded it in October, announced it in December and then it came out in March. We were touring at the time it was announced, then we had Christmas and then January, February we were working on content and had the Maida Vale session as well then when the record came out we had two weeks and we started touring so it’s gotten off to a much more exciting start and everything feels like its happening a lot quicker, there’s no waiting around.
Jack: So does that make you feel a lot more winded on this album cycle?
Tom: No, not really. I suppose this is how we expect to do it ourselves, especially since it was our decision to go in and do the record out of our own initiative rather than it was our label saying you should be writing a new record. It was just a case that we were doing Reading and Leeds festival last year and we knew we had the September and October off before The Amity Affliction tour and the Kerrang tour so we said why don’t we write a new record and record it? And that’s what we ended up deciding to do before the summer and we made sure we had a studio and producer booked and we did bits and pieces over that summer period but nothing too intensive and then when Reading and Leeds were out of the way, we wanted to make sure it was done out of the public eye so we posted on all our social media accounts saying we were off on a break for the next two months just because Liam had recently had a kid so we used that as an excuse on there so we said he’s going to spend time with his kid, we’ve all got personal lives to attend to and take a few weeks out so we’re ready for the Kerrang tour. But what we really did was go away, write the record and record it so we could announce it as soon as possible so we could keep it as secret as possible. So it went all about according to plan as much as we could’ve planned it.
Jack: Was there anyone in particular on social media bans?
Tom: I mean the studio we recorded the record was in the middle of nowhere so there was no service. They did have wi-fi and stuff but when we went in we even said to our producer, look don’t post anything, no social media, no Snapchat, nothing. Like I said with the previous record there was nine months with it being recorded and being released so to say to them you’ve got to keep quiet about it for nine months is a bit more difficult but we recorded it at the start of October and it was being announced in eight weeks time, you can keep quiet for that amount of time. And we were really happy with it, there were one or two little bits that got onto Instagram that wasn’t recording related but hinted at the fact that we were all together somewhere.
Jack: Was there anything said for that?
Tom: No, not really, we all had dinner together so we all sat around a table together but I think someone posted something one day and a lot of people were questioning it and we were just saying, just having dinner, we were round at one of the lads parents houses so we managed to just play it off.
Jack: Nothing suspicious here
Tom: It wasn’t as if we were pictured with all our instruments and in the middle of a session or anything. Two weeks before the record dropped, we had a lot of content for us saying here’s what you can post. Post it at this time, leave it for a week, next Saturday you post this at this time then a week later the first track comes out. It’s not a long time to wait and not too demanding, they were all fantastic.
Jack: As well, the records really atmospheric which is something you don’t get a lot with the genre these days.
Tom: It wasn’t really a conscious process in going into the record. We never said we were going to write five post hardcore songs and five hardcore songs, the difference between this and the last record was that essentially the process was reversed in a sense in that with the previous record everything was written and recorded as a collective and then when it came to the recording, because we all couldn’t be there at the same time, it was all finished off very individually so when Liam was recording his guitar parts it was just Liam and Toby and then when I was in it was just me and Toby. The core of it was Casey but it then became a little individual whereas with the new record, because Liam had a kid and the rest of us all working, we didn’t have the time to sit down and write it as a group so it was written more individually or in smaller groups and then we spent the whole time in the studio together and then it was finished as a collective and merged together while we were there. The instrumental side of it is something we’ve always done live, we’ve always written impromptu instrumental interludes between songs to go live. Toby and James are great musicians so if we know what key we’re in or what key we’re going into, they’re quite happy to improvise on stage with the atmospheric stuff and that was one of the things we’d like to carry across from the record. It would be nice if there were bridges connecting pieces of the music to give ourselves a little bit of a breather and give it a bit of character atmosphere and then carry the record through so it becomes a record instead of an album because an album is just a collection of music by the same artist whereas a record is a cohesive body of work that’s designed to be listened to as a single piece.
Jack: And does that carry on into the live dates as well?
Tom: Yeah, the way we discussed the set and the way we construct everything, we think about the flow of the show and how we like things to be carried through is a natural halfway point and the way we do it isn’t we play all the bangers at the start and then finish off with three slow songs, that’s one thing we wanted to avoid with the records as well in terms of tempo vs the melody. We didn’t want to go into the record and there’s like five bangers and then it tails off into this atmospheric thing for the rest of it because people are just going to turn it off halfway through where everything just blends into one and everything just becomes indistinguishable from one another, it’s something you always try to avoid.
Jack: When you’re always on the road you’re always eating out, where’s the best tour grub.
Tom: I’ll be honest, in the UK, we’ve pretty much planned what we’ll be eating every night and that’s how we think and that’s the beauty of it because we’ve been turing for three years now and going back to a lot of places we’ve been before. Everywhere on this tour, we think about it, what we’re going to do so in Newcastle we just went to St Sushi, which is by the O2, in London we all split up and went to Camden, I had sush again in Camden, in Leeds we went to My Tai, which is next door to the Key Club, tomorrow’s Plymouth so we’re going to have Fish and Chips and then we’ve got Manchester so I think some of us are going to go to the Northern Quarter, there’s a pretty cool place there called Pen and Pencil and there’s a really good coffee shop there called Ezra and Gil and then we’ve got Birmingham so we’re going to go to Not Dogs, a veggie and vegan restaurant. In fact, me and Alec, our tour manager we were on the Chon tour and we went there as well and everyone loved it. It’s a cool spot for bands. And in Nottingham on the last day, I think there’s a Wagamama next to the venue. We do eat a lot of Asian food. I would say, we tend to go for things that are a little more exotic mainly because in Europe we do get catering instead of sourcing our own food because a lot of the times it’s either pizza and pasta.
Jack: What would be on that Pizza?
Tom: I’m not a fan really, but most of the time bcause we do have a few vegans, veggies and a few meat eaters so we’ll have a vegan pizza of sorts so it’ll be the bread, sauce and some veggies, for the Veggie Pizza they just give us a margarita or a Veggie Supreme and the meat eaters pizza it’s normally a pepperoni. But if I had the choice between pizza or pasta, I’d go with pasta everytime.
Jack: I’m sort of in the middle, sometimes when I’ve had a bad pasta I just go off it completely.
Tom: With pasta, generally it’ll be a bolognaise but it’s genrally not difficult but would be to mess up but we get fed really well.
Jack: And do you have any out of studio hobbies?
Tom: I play a lot of video games. Ven when we were in the studio, there was an Xbox 360 there and I completed Half-Life two and because for the first nine days, I didn’t do much apart from hang around so I just played that all the time. There was also a pool table as well so I dotted around that. I cook a lot as well, so there’s more of that.
Tom: Is it more of that Asian food?
Tom: No, I generally make a lot of pasta and they’re more simple. I occasionally make Asian food but it needs to be seasoned a lot more and you have to be a lot more conscious of what you’re putting into it. It’s way more about balance than anything, it’s difficult to go wrong with it.
When you were younger, what was the first band you got to see live?
Tom: Liam and I, actually went to our first, well it wasn’t the first band I’d ever seen, I call this guy my uncle, he’s not my real uncle but he’s some relation to me though but he’s the drummer for the Manic Street Preachers so a lot of them, Stereophonics and Super Furry Animals, I went to a lot as a kid and the first I chose to go to was actually Stereophics but the first alternative I went to was with Liam and it was Funeral For a Friend, The Blackout and I’m not sure what capacity that was maybe around 200 in a town local to us, 10-15 mins from where we grew up, not in a city or anything, but that was the first alternative concert I ever went to and it was odd, a lot of bands we’ve played with or I’ve seen live later on I’ve watched in intimate venues, perfect example would be The Amity Affliction. I saw them and they opened for a Scottish band called Flood of Red in an eighty cap room in Newport in South Wales and it was £3 to get in and that was great. I think that will have been around eight or so years ago. It’s weird coming back to it and supporting them in 15,000 capacity rooms, it was a weird one.
And what’s next for the band in 2018?
We’re touring outside of Europe for the first time ever, that gets announced in a few weeks and then we have another huge EU tour at the end of the year which will be really exciting , it’ll be the first time we get to tour on a bus and we might be touring much further afield around September but we’re just waiting to hear back on that. Other than that, more content, music videos and bits and pieces over the summer.
Casey’s new record, ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is available to buy and stream now.
You can view their video for ‘Fluorescents’, below.
Casey are currently touring the UK in support of their new record. The last dates of the tour are
17th – Manchester Satan’s Hollow
18th – Birmingham Asylum2
19th – Nottingham Rock City Basement