Casey

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CASEY

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Without knowing anything of Casey, it’s easy to discern that their music carries some heavy subject matter. In a ravaging debut release, Casey’s album Love Is Not Enough sings of love lost and won; parents grappling with a child’s mental health; the inability to repay a debt of gratitude after a prevented suicide attempt – all are topics weighing heavily on the heart of singer, Tom Weaver, who experienced a significant decline in his mental health in years passed. He was once bent and broken – the band’s name should be a giveaway as to the cause of this sorry tale.

Nevertheless, the Welsh hardcore outfit took the effects of those experiences to produce an amalgamation of seamless flow and intricate passage, with real lyrics that all stem from personal passion. “I’ve said previously that all these are truly from my love of the stage but this is all based on the last ten years or so,” says Weaver.

Casey is not shy or dishonest about their struggles or feelings, and that’s evident in their music. Even on their social media, they take a stance of brutal truth with their past and their present, a forthrightness that many bands would not likely adopt. “It’s a weird one because I’ve never really written music for other people, which sounds a bit narcissistic I suppose,” says Weaver, “but I know there are musicians who say, ‘I’m going to write a song about this topic because I know it’s going to help this group of people feel this way’, but I’ve never been like that.

“At the same time, I know a lot of people who will say ‘music is my therapy’, but not to discredit any of them, because I’m sure in their own ways they mean what they’re saying, but for me, I went through the mental health system, I tried the psychiatrists and the medications and other bits and pieces, and it didn’t end up working out for me and I was very fortunate in finding a positive outlet in music.”

Weaver’s message of openness continues: “It took me a very long time to be honest with myself about a lot of things that were going on in life and to become comfortable living and talking about them, and now I’m at the point where I feel it helps to remove any stigma around it. If I can be completely open and honest myself, then other people may feel more comfortable speaking about themselves.”

He’s not alone by any measure and certainly doesn’t want to let other people think they’re alienated by their own mental health or society’s stigma around the matter. It’s a great mantra that Casey has taken, one that’s seen Love Is Not Enough explode with success. But with such a strong first release, one must think about the possibility of any sort of regression in Weaver toward the negative aspects of his mental health, should the band gain further prominence and their music become more successful. Under such pressure, will the music still be enough? You can hear the smile in Weaver’s voice as he says, “I like that you think we’re going to get more and more famous.

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“A lot of the content on the album is sort of shots of time from the last decade – that feeling that I remember and have worked through – but there are other new thoughts, like when I say to myself, ‘I’ve had a bad show tonight’ – doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve had a bad show, it’s just for me, I got to a point where I felt things more intimately than some other nights. Some nights are a good performance and some are fresh in my head, a cerebral experience.”

“Thus far, it hasn’t been an issue for me,” he says. With touring and the release of more music will come inspiration for new material, so Weaver will undoubtedly have more to draw from in future. “Moving forward, I’m not going to concentrate so much on the relationship-y side of things, I’m going to explore other avenues.”

For now, the debut album holds many opposing, though interesting, concepts. “Happy”’ is one such song, a soundtrack to an often misinterpreted emotion. “We were conscious when we were writing the album of how it would flow and what was being said and how it sounded – that song was one we wanted to be quite melancholy but at the same time, still have its place on the record.

“”Haze” is one of the more powerful songs on the album for me but “Happy”, we had to be in the right mindset and work out how to transition from that.”

In forming this band, Weaver created his own therapy to overcome personal issues. With bursts of distortion and the aggression of hardcore, Weaver can now sing these songs knowing his unbridled passion has become a solution to life’s painful scenarios. But one does wonder what that means for the direction of Casey as of now – what does Weaver want to come of it all? “I suppose hoping for direction is sort of at odds with how Casey operates,” he says. “We’ve come as far as we have by allowing the band to develop organically, and not intentionally steering it down any particular path. I hope that we’re able to continue growing in that way. That we’re able to carry on expressing ourselves without the looming threat of pigeon-holing or cliché.

“As for what I want to come of it all, I’m not really sure. I don’t really have any personal goals, but I’d like the name to live on in a positive light beyond the end of the band.”

 

 

Written by Anna Rose

 

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