Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Interview with Sasquatch!

So I recently had the privilege to sit down to a really fun interview with Keith Gibbs and Jason Casanova from the almighty Sasquatch. In the interview we talk about the tour, their music, lives, and the future of the band. Suffice to say, if you like good rock and roll, Sasquatch will certainly be up your alley!

If you haven't checked them out yet, be sure to find the band on Facebook:

How has the tour been going so far?
Keith (K): It's been going great except for a few hiccups along the road, of my own doing. Just general mischief. I don't think we should probably discuss, since it's probably band for the promoters to hear us talking about it. Let's just say me and the drummer pulled a couple rockstar things along the way, in the tradition of bands like The Who and things like that. Hotel rooms and that kind of stuff.

Does that reflect your desire to go back to the older stuff?
K: No, it was complete annihilation of alcohol. That's not my personality. I don't destroy things for the hell of it, we were just fucking wasted. We showed up at our hotel room at 5 AM and couldn't find the room. Wound up in a room we weren't supposed to be in, so that kind of thing. Just harmless mischief.

Jason (J): I'm the tour manager, so that's why I'm kind of skewed about the whole thing because I've got to deal with it. But the crowds have been great!

K: Good turn outs in places we didn't expect.

J: Even tonight there's a hundred presales and the club is full.

K: It's been a great tour man!

J: The Desertfest was obviously the highlight just because we never played in front of 1200 people like that before. We're used to playing small rooms with maybe 100 people. Like in Texas, our biggest crowd is 150 people, that was our biggest crowd.

K: They were all singing along which was crazy, it was like "Wow, they all know the lyrics!" It was just nuts! That was awesome.

J: We were completely jetlagged and I can't say I remember the details but it was just fantastic.

K: I'm surprised we did so well because we had been up for days and didn't know what we were doing. Somehow it magically worked which was great. They were going nuts for us!

Your last album came out in September, how do you feel about it now a few months on?
K: I love that record, it's my favorite record we've ever done. We finally did the record that I've always wanted to write and I'm sure Jason will say the same thing. This is Jason's second record too so he feels a lot more a part of the band which he should. We just wrote a record that sounds like what we're trying to do now. It's cool because its new but doesn't change too much. It's evolved. We're going to stay heavy, but me and Jason love songs. We're going to write songs even though the genre doesn't revolve around songs much. So we just try to heavy it up and just write melodies.

So does that mean you have stuff written for the next record?
K: Oh yeah, we have some really good stuff recorded that's fucking awesome. The first two things we wrote we were like "That's fucking bitching man!" I'm excited about what it's going to turn into. I think we have room for at least two more really good albums. There's plenty of room for riffs. We're just trying to keep writing good songs. We want to write records, we don't want to just have a couple of tunes, we want to have a good record to give to the people. We want to give you 9-10 songs that you're going to want to listen too.

Do you think that separates you from other bands?
K: I just know that we are very concerned with writing songs, actual songs, instead of just droning on. It's fine and all but I couldn't do that live. I like the energy of having songs.

J: On the flip side we're note super proggy, we don't do anything too fancy. It's very AC/DC and basic.

I feel like kind of this stoner rock scene is really exploding right now, do you ever get people criticizing you for trying to ride that wave?
K: I don't really consider us a stoner rock band. I think we're just a stoner rock band. We're much more rock and roll, constant high energy. We're not really as retro. I don't really hear retro. We don't dress the part. We want to stick to our roots but we don't have big giant beards or anything. There's an image that goes along with this genre, and we don't care about that.

J: We look like factory workers. (Laughter)

You're all from different cities, yet you met up in LA, do you this combination of having different cultural roots impacts the band?
J: I know a lot of my playing comes from a lot of the midwestern bands that I saw when I was in cool because I went to college south of Chicago. Seeing lots of bands back in the early 90s when there was all those city scenes. That's when the whole Seattle thing happened too. There were a lot of smaller bands who I drew influence from and who I drew influence from. I would say the same thing for Rick whose a straight up rock drummer.

K: I'm with him, we like touch and go stuff like Jesus Lizard. I'm all over the place, I like really old stuff, I like a lot of 70s bands, that's pretty much all I listen too, Traffic and Blind Faith. Soundgarden of course. I don't listen to any newer bands, not for any reason, I'm just stuck in my little rotation. Me and Jason are very similar in our influences, we like 80s thrash metal like Sepultura and Testament, whereas Rick our drummer hates it. I'm a huge Slayer fan, Rick, not so much.

Having that diversity sets you apart from a lot of other bands like you.
K: I just don't listen to doom ever. It's not that I don't like it, I need something more to pick me up. But I like bands like Sleep and Electric Wizard who we are sort of friends with. I've hung out with them a few times. This is like 2003, the last time I hung out with them.

Finish this sentence for me, "I've never told this story before and probably shouldn't but.."
K: Oh boy (Laughter) I don't know if I can do that! I might get myself in serious trouble. There's so many things (Laughter) Mostly has to do with some sort of girl situation, girl things have happened, even on this tour. I banged a girl in the lobby of a hostile three nights ago while the cleaning lady was walking by. I am just going for it, stuff like that happens. I had sex on the hood of a car with a girl. There was somebody sleeping in her room, so we just went out, jumped on the top part of a car, wound up in a park somewhere. I got more, but I can't think of them right now. Mostly sex (Laughter)

J: I was in bed, I was sleeping. I had a nice glass of warm milk. I'm married.

What do you love so much about music?
K: I just love playing live with my friends. As you'll see tonight, we just love playing live. There's nothing like playing live when you're having a great time. Like last night we were just playing off each other and having fun. It's a high you can't achieve off a drug. I wish there was a way to bottle it so I didn't have to drugs because it would be great. That's the best feeling, a couple of beers and just rocking.

J: It's kind of like golf, there's still lots of foul balls and we don't have a good show every night, but there's those shows that you have and you get that high and it's like you want to keep it going forever. Dealing with all the bullshit like the logistics of the tour and all that crap sucks and being like "I should be at home in bed" then we have a great night and it makes it all worth it.

Any last words of wisdom?
K: Stick to your guns and don't let anybody fucking change your mind. If you want to do it don't ever give up. Just when you think it's over it's just beginning. I was ready to leave it, say I'm going to be Dad, get married and grow old and fat, and I'm so glad I didn't because I'm so much better at this than anything I ever do in my life. You can't give up no matter what is stacked against you.

J: I would say, when you're on the road you always learn that you don't know shit. Especially when you're first starting out always look up to the bigger band and how they do things, take advice from them. I learned so much from certain guys on the road about how to handle the business side of things that I had no idea how to deal with before. Any touring band  that wants to make big needs to know the business side. Watch your peers and how they handle things. Be humble, respect everybody and respect the crew, the sound people and all of them.

K: There's always a band better than you, always a musician better than you, you are never the greatest, and if you think you are you are headed in the wrong direction. Especially respect the crew, guys like our driver, he doesn't have to as much as he does, and we love him. So we treat him well and he's a part of the family.

J: You make relationships, and any person you interact with may be a huge promoter in 5-10 years. Always be respectful of people.

K: And talk to the fans too, don't fucking hide. People just want to meet you and they're thrilled. They take pictures and it's like, I'm amazed you want me to sign something! Its great to see they care that much! I love to see people enjoying it, that makes it worthwhile, because there was a time when nobody was enjoying it. To have the turnaround we have had has been great.

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