Casey Shea

16 Oct

“When I go over best, it’s when I have the audience laughing as much as listening.

It takes a lot to get noticed in the world of music. Sometimes it takes talent (which is crazy considering talent should be the most important thing) and sometimes it just takes luck (ie. most of the artists you hear on the radio these days). In Casey Shea’s case, he’s got the charisma, the drive, and most of all the talent. His fans describe his music as the love child of Ryan Adams and John Lennon. His most recent release, Love Is Here To Stay, has received rave reviews from many and his live show keeps fans wanting more. I recently interviewed Casey and learned more about him and his determination to turn heads everywhere he goes.

Q. How different does it feel to be a solo artist now after being the front-man of a handful of bands in the past?

A. Being a part of a band is incredibly hard. It’s sort of like being married….but to 3 or 4 people. Keeping everyone happy and on the same page is very difficult if you have a really strong vision of what you want. I always had the dream of being in a true band sort of thing, but in the end, maybe I’m just a bit too much of a control freak.  Ha! Being a solo artist comes with a lot of freedom, but the bad thing is all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. Keeping everything updated is a full time job in itself, not to mention booking shows, tours, writing songs, recording, etc etc etc. The list goes on and on, but like I said, it’s a bit more freeing mentally and I think I live a happier life as a solo artist.

Q. You can definitely hear the influence of music greats from the past in your songs. Was this intentional in your songwriting/recording?

A. In a way, I guess so. I’m a huge fan of classic rock in general, and that’s the sort of music I want to make. I’ve listened to it my whole life, so when I sit down to write, what comes out is some sort of mix of all the things I’ve ever listened to. I also generally go through phases of listening to particular artists, and somewhere during such a phase, I’ll usually have the desire to write a sort of (fill in random artist name) song. Sometimes it’s a bit too close, sometimes it ends up sounding like something completely different, and sometimes it’s a nice mix. As for recording, I think it just also goes back to the classic rock thing. I generally try to use timeless sounds and keep it as authentic sounding as possible. What I think of as a timeless sound is based on what I feel has stood the test of time. Real instruments and real amps etc…just like the music greats from the past.

Q. A lot of your reviews compare you to John Lennon. How does it feel to be compared to a man who is so widely recognized as a music legend?

A. Well it’s better than being compared to The Backstreet Boys or someone else I hate. HA! But seriously, he and the rest of the Beatles are obviously a huge influence. I’ve spent a lot of time studying what they did and how they did it, cause they were the best. They set the standard. So, it’s very humbling, cause I listen to just about every song they’ve ever written and I feel like a complete failure from a songwriting standpoint. My goal is to write the best songs possible. Comparisons are inevitable, but if there’s someone to be compared to, he’s a pretty good one. I take it as a big compliment.

Q. You’ve spent quite a bit of your music career touring. Do you find the songwriting process to be easier when you’re out on the road or when you’re in the comfort of your own home?

A. Definitely easier when I’m in the comfort of my own home. When you’re on the road and at the level I’m at, you spend so much time in a car driving yourself from city to city and then you set up, play, break down, go to a hotel room and do it all again the next day, there’s just no energy left for trying to write. You just want to rest as much as possible. Maybe if I’m ever lucky enough to travel on a big tour bus, I’ll have a different answer for you!

Q. Back in April you were included on a benefit album for relief efforts for Japan. How did you choose which song you were going to put on that album?

A. I chose “Love Is Here To Stay” for that benefit, because it just seemed like the right song. I mean overall, what that song is about (to me) is about something completely unrelated, but it does have a hopefulness and overall positive message which was fitting.

Q. You have both a written blog and a video blog. How did the idea for the video blog come about?

A. I started making little ridiculous videos back around 2006 or so. At the time I think I was working on my first solo album which was just a bunch of home recordings. Myspace was taking off, so for the first time, you could really connect with people around the city/country/world just by posting things on a free site that everyone seemed to be spending a lot of time on. Since there was not a real professional sound going on, I figured I needed to be more three dimensional if I was going to be of any interest to anyone out there. I was making fun and quirky music, and the hope was that my personality could help turn people onto the music or make casual fans more interested.

Q. Your biography says “think Bill Murray meets John Lennon.” How did this description/combination of people come up to describe you?

A. Good question. I’m not actually sure who said that, but it was said, and I think it’s a good description cause at the very least it makes you think. I guess it probably came from the fact that I don’t take myself too seriously. I’ll do a really serious song one second and make jokes during the next. When I go over best, it’s when I have the audience laughing as much as listening.

Q. There are a few mentions on the internet of you being an alumni of Florida State University. Did you study music while in college?

A. No, but it was there that I first started playing in bands regularly. I started off as a singer and harmonica player, then as I got more into writing, I started getting more into playing guitar.

Q. It seems like you’ve played in all kinds of venues. Do you find that you prefer larger crowds, or smaller, more intimate crowds?

A. I like both for different reasons. As an artist I want to reach the biggest audience possible, and it’s a real rush when you’re playing on a big stage to a big crowd. So, it’s a bit more adrenaline filled and exciting, but the smaller shows are often more fun, cause you can interact and connect with the crowd in a way that is impossible in larger venues.

Q. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which would it be and why?

A. Ha….can I say none? Usually the last thing I want to hear is one of my songs….sounds torturous. If I had to choose one, I’d probably say The River Still. It’s calming.

Here is his video, Elephants. If you questioned just how great his music is, this will be your answer.


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