Casablanca

by
Casablanca
Pearshaped Exeter’s Joe Alexander got the chance to interview the lead singer of Casablanca, Jacob Wheldon. These guys have previously supported the likes of Bloc Party, and have links to Bombay Bicycle Club, so we’re pretty excited to chat with them (especially as they’re pretty awesome themselves).

Can you describe what style of music you are and your influences?
We’re a classic indie band with 4 members that has been brought up listening to the likes of The Strokes and The Killers.

You used to be known as Lo Fi Culture Scene and had five members when you were younger. What were the reasons behind the changes to the band?
We had a lot of success when we were younger, but were told to take a couple years off whilst at school focusing on songwriting. Our former bassist told us he wanted to go to university, which we accepted, and we came to an amicable understanding. The name change was a way of pulling us in a new direction.

You’ve supported bands like Bloc Party in the past. How important was that in influencing your decision to become musicians?
Supporting bands like Bloc Party was huge, especially at the time for us because it gave us a taste of what it was like to be in a successful band. Once you experience that, it inspires you to improve and become as good as you can possibly be. However we’re very grounded, and try not to let things like that affect us too much.

Your drummer, Tom, has family links within Bombay Bicycle Club – have they been supportive and given advice to you?
Bombay Bicycle Club have been great in terms of letting us come on tour with them when we were younger, and using their second hand gear. On the other hand, they are not the sorts of guys to give out advice because I get the feeling they are still trying to find their own way. They’re extremely grounded even with the success they have achieved. Jack Steadman (lead singer) is very creative when it comes to making music, and I feel this is reflected in how Bombay Bicycle Club have produced 3 completely different sounding albums.

You’ve recently released a new video for your track, We Could Forever, and are set to release it as a single. Is this the kind of sound you will be striving towards in the future?
It is hard to say because at the moment my greatest struggle is trying to find a sound that people can identify us with. Currently I’m finding that all the songs I’m writing sound a little different, but We Could Forever is written by me as all the other songs will be too. We’ve been experimenting with different producers to try and find a sound we like.

How great an experience was it playing at this years Reading and Leeds festivals?
It was a lot of fun, and on the day a lot of our friends in bands were playing too so there was a real community vibe around the place. It was exciting in the build-up because people were talking about us before we had even played. We played on the BBC Introducing stage, which is a real advantage to bands like us who might not have the same sort of funds as the more established bands out there.

Finally, if you could skip forward a year what would you have liked Casablanca to achieved?
It’s very hard to say. Clearly if I can sort out my most pressing struggle in finding a consistent sound that would be great. I think the most iconic bands out there have a distinctive sound that people can identify them with.