Cassels recently released their debut album (read our review here) via BSM and are continuing to win fans wherever they play. We asked Jim Beck from the band to tell us about five songs that have influenced both his life and Cassels’ sound and five songs by bands that he is digging right now.
TOP 5 INFLUENCES
Track: ‘Year 3,000’
I formed my first band in primary school. I’m gonna say in Year 4 or 5. It was me singing and three other kids playing acoustic guitar. We played Busted covers, and we called ourselves The Busted Juniors (following in the footsteps of S Club Juniors). We played our only show in school assembly and did a cover of ‘Year 3,000’. Only one of the kids in the band could actually play the song on guitar, the others had only just started learning, so he taught them all one chord each which they just strummed repeatedly all the way through. I blushed when I sang the “triple-breasted women” line. Listening back now, this band sound sooo goddamn tame, but to a 7/8–year-old it was edgy as fuck.
Artist: The Who
Track: ‘My Generation’
This is the band I can remember our dad playing the most growing up. The first instrument I learnt was bass, probably because I thought John Entwhistle’s solo in this song was the coolest thing ever. I still think a lot of Loz’s drumming style can be attributed to Keith Moon, too. This song still sounds fucking wicked, but it’s so depressing them watching them sing “I hope I die before I get old” now that the remaining members are in their 60s.
Artist: The Smiths
Track: ‘Still Ill’
It took me a while to ‘get’ the Smiths, but when I did it was a revelation. Up until that point I’d thought that a certain amount of crotch-thrusting machismo was required to play music with guitars, so seeing a band who didn’t fit those stereotypes and played music which was intelligent and intricate had a big effect on a sensitive young lad like myself.
Artist: Graham Coxon
Track: ‘Standing On My Own Again’
Similar to The Smiths, I can remember being attracted to Graham Coxon because he looks nothing like a rock star. The first time I heard/saw him was on one of those shite Sunday morning T4 music programmes. It was this song, which is a banger, and seeing a gangly awkward dude in big glasses playing punky music had obvious appeal to me. I’ve never been a huge fan of Blur but I was a bit obsessed with Graham’s solo stuff growing up. He jumps around loads of different styles and genres across his albums so he also inadvertently introduced me to a lot of new music too.
Artist: Johnny Foreigner
Track: ‘Hennings Favourite’
I still absolutely love JoFo. They’re one of the few bands we’ve played with who I’ve been genuinely star-struck by. Alexei Berrow’s guitar playing in particular has always blown my mind, and is probably where my penchant for hammer-ons/pull-offs and tapping comes from.
TOP 5 BANDS I’M DIGGING RIGHT NOW
I’d been aware of Pile for a while so decided to give their new album a listen when it came out this year. It took me a while to get into – I’d definitely describe it as a slow burner – but now it’s easily one of my favourites of the year. I then started re-listening to their back catalogue and haven’t really listened to much else over the past few months. I also recently saw them live for the first time and they blew my tiny mind.
Artist: Vincent Vocoder Voice
Track: ‘Drown Gently My Daughters’
Me and Loz have been waiting SO LONG for the new VVV album to come out. Al (aka Vincent) recorded our first EP and drove us on our first tour. He had the record demoed back then so it’s been a long time in the making. We’re both huge fans of his first record, and the new one is just as brilliant. It also comes with a book which I’d definitely recommend picking up.
Track: ‘Call it Sane’
We’re both really into Faraquet at the moment. Loz loves ‘The View from This Tower’ but I prefer the anthology of stuff they released before that. So unique and interesting, and the musicianship is incredible. Guitar playing in particular.
Artist: Richard Dawson
The album this song is taken from is a concept record about a town in the North of England in the middle ages. It shouldn’t work, but it totally does. It sounds like weird messed up minstrel music – random bits of electronics pop up here and there while he shouts about ogres and prostitutes while playing the lute. It also manages to somehow be weirdly catchy in places.
Artist: Single Mothers
Track: ‘People Are Pets’
We’re both huge fans of Single Mothers so when we were told they’d picked us as tour support we were over the flippin’ moon. The new record is fucking wicked. Tour starts in a couple of weeks (buy tickets here) – very much looking forward to it.
‘Epithet‘ is out now.