The Filthy Casuals play an amalgam of styles rooted in rock and blues that display elements of funk, alternative, jazz, and grunge. This young outfit is a product of its building blocks and with many of the quintet's members stinting in local hip-hop groups, there's also an airy digital-ness to their compositions.
Is it new music like they claim? You be the judge. One thing is certain, this young band is different. Where others could get too far gone into jam territory, specially with backgrounds like theirs, the Filthy Casuals keep it copacetic and concentrate on delivering tracks that play up to their individual strengths.
We had a chance to catch up with the band following the release of its single "My Dreams Never Change" and ahead of next week's drop, "Mexico," to discuss their beginnings, youthful bravado and where they plan on taking the band next.
How did the Filthy Casuals come to be? What bands were you guys in before?
Clarence: We were formed by me and Andres Escobar with intentions of jamming in our friend's warehouse and not much more. A few months later, Andrew Burt discovered that the jamming was happening and asked if he could come by and play the piano. After the first time that the three of us jammed together, we knew we had something.
Sometime later, and after a few bassists, Jonathan Jure was added to the lineup and a few months after that, Charlie Reyes officially joined as the lead guitarist. I used to play the bass for LMJ (a local hip-hop/violin act), Charlie and Andrew are both currently part of Berretta Grove (a local hip-hop act). Jonathan was the bass player for Soulmatix and M.O.E.
There's a diverse musical background influencing you guys as a unit, who brings what to the table, and how does the writing process work out?
Andres brings the smooth and simple beats with the perfect accents and fills and keeps us all on time. Andrew brings the audible chocolate, with a combination of pianos organs and synths. Charlie brings the electrifying thrills and blues licks of his beautiful American Fender. I bring the thought provoking lyrics and Morrison soul with the vocals. Jon brings in the groove and funkiness of his eclectic bass style.
All of the above make the songwriting laid back and relaxed. Any of us will bring a composition, a progression, a lick or even just a chord, and the rest comes together on its own through jamming.
You do make the pretty ballsy claim that you're bringing a "new sound" to the table, how do you justify the claim and what fills you guys with such confidence?
Music is a very broad topic, with countless genres and numerous subdivisions within it. The foundation of what we play can be described as a mix of blues/rock with funk and alternative elements, jazz and even grunge in the spectrum.
These ingredients are thrown together into a melting pot and mesh in a smooth, indiscriminate way. We let the music take form and breathe. Sounds and concepts as new as yesterday and as old as Beethoven can make an entrance and exit freely without restriction. One word that resonates from people that listen to our music is "unique." It is reassuring because this is something that we realize every time we get together. In this sense, it is a new sound.
Music evolves in a similar way to life on Earth. Through each stage of evolution good characteristics are passed on while bad ones are left behind in an attempt to improve the species as a whole. We feel that some of the good characteristics of music that came long before us have been lost in the music today. Inversely, we also see many intriguing qualities in modern songs. In a way, we are a fusion of these two worlds, and like an explorer arriving on undiscovered shores, we are bold enough to adventure into the unknown.
This single, "My Dreams Never Change," is a good indication of what should follow. What can you tell us about the track?
The song is very dreamy and is what some would describe as the Casuals' "poppiest tune." "Dreams" is a journey through the peaks and valleys that we experience every night while we are sleeping. The song gives the listener a feeling reminiscent of floating underwater in an unknown but beautiful place.
What are the plans to follow it up with? An EP, a full length?
Our current state as a band can be easily described as "uncharted waters." We are on a journey that can take us anywhere. And the journey is what we're in it for, as the great Lao Tzu once said: "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving."
We are in the studio recording our EP, it will be five songs and will feature "Dreams" as a bonus track. We will be releasing one more single from this EP ("Mexico") next week on December 3. The official release date of the EP is January 30.
What are the band's immediate goals and where can we catch you next?
Our immediate goals, aside from releasing the EP, are to do as many shows as possible in an effort to save money to sponsor our Summer '15 tour. We will begin booking the tour early next year and will be releasing more details in February.
Our next show is a two night satellite Art Basel Event hosted by Miami Unestablished located in a retired airplane hangar in downtown Miami. We will also be playing alongside many friends at the Lil' Elf Festival hosted by iHateRadio, a 3-day camping festival in Lakeland.
The Filthy Casuals presented by Miami Unestablished, 6 p.m., December 5 and 6, at 7210 NW 35 Ave., Miami. Visit thefilthycasualsmiami.com.
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