Brisbane band, Little Casino, is set to break through with the imminent release of their second EP. The band took time out from rehearsal to reveal everything from their favourite Brisbane venue to play, to their habit of writing songs in the toilet.
It's no secret that, economically and culturally, Brisbane is on the rise. And with a rapidly developing cultural landscape invariably comes a thriving music scene. One only has to look at bands like DZ Deathrays, Last Dinosaurs and Ball Park Music to see some Brissie kids achieving success on a national and international level.
Now another Brisbane band, Little Casino
, is on the cusp of that success and looks set to break through with the upcoming release of their second EP. Since forming only 18 months ago, four of the five tracks they've released have been played on both the digital and national formats of Triple J, Triple M, Radar and Melbourne’s Fox FM.
Such strong broadcast support is rare for a young indie pop band, and suggests that the institutions have their fingers on their pulse, waiting and willing them to deliver the goods so they can provide that all-important national endorsement.
The band kindly took time out from a rehearsal session to sit down with me for a relaxed and often hilarious chat.
You guys all grew up in Brisbane; how do you think that influences your music?
Ben: I don't know about the rest of the band, but for me I'm really influenced by Brisbane because I appreciate how many good artists there are, and there's a lot of good bands coming out of Brisbane. Although I couldn't tell you how that specifically influences the way I write tunes.
Who are your major musical influences now?
Sam: Aqua (laughs).
Dan: Yeah I don't know if any one band comes though as a group. We all sort of bring bits and pieces from a bit of everything.
Sam: What about Songs, they’re an Australian band we all love. They're a Sydney band. They're probably my favourite band ever.
Dan: Can't Google them though. (laughs)
Kelly: You can't even find them on iTunes!
Dan: If you're gonna say a local band that we all like, Royal Blood are fuckin' awesome. They are insane. It's a duo from the Gold Coast. Swanny, their drummer, has become a legend amongst the band. He took great pleasure in pounding the fuck out of the Stonefield drum kit when we supported them in Melbourne.
Do you guys have much of a pre-show ritual?
Kelly: The ritual's usually trying to find everyone! (laughs)
Sam: Yeah, the sound guy usually comes up and says it's time to go on and xxxx??
What's your favourite Brisbane venue to play?
Dan: Yeah, The Zoo's a ripper when there's people there. The last time we played there it sold out because an engagement party was held there. After we finished playing, I'm taking my cymbals off and they all start coming on stage. The lights were behind them so they looked like zombies or something. And one person was like "can she just jump behind your drum kit?" And I was just like “yeah alright” and they start taking photos (laughs).
Ben: Yeah, all the engagement photos were like band shots (laughs)!
Why do you think the 90s music revival is becoming popular at the moment?
Dom: I don't think it ever went away.
Kelly: I think it's because it's almost 20 years have passed now, and a lot of bands are going for that heavier sound.
Dan: We're probably looking back with rose-tinted glasses, but they all wrote songs and albums then, whereas people mainly focus on writing singles now. They were probably a bit closer to how people were meant to write pop music and closer to how people were meant to write an album of songs to be played together, than into the 2000s were it was all bastardised.
Sam: The 90s was also before music became so temporary. At the moment, all you can hope for is a hit single for a couple of days before something new comes up online. Songs were on the radio for more than a week before they disappeared.
Dan: Well now everything's really fickle, so maybe people have a better attachment to 90s music.
What about the creative process? Do you have a certain way you start to write a song, or does it differ every time?
Sam: We send each other phone messages of songs a lot. I've got thousands of little recordings on my phone.
Kelly: Yeah, Sam will be walking around singing all the parts "da da da da der da der shihh shihh."
Ben: I have to do it in the toilets at work 'cause I look like a dick if I do it in the office.
How's the new EP coming along?
Dan: The plan is to record potentially with Matt Redlich in October another four or five songs, but working with him isn't set in stone yet. We're lucky enough to have a bit of a team behind us for this release which will be a first for us. Then we'll probably do an East Coast tour at least through October-November.
After the interview the band let me sit in on them rehearsing a few new tracks and what I can tell you is they're widening their horizons to immensely enjoyable results. Look out for Little Casino to burst into your listening habits near the end of the year!