Reading Festival 2013: Casablanca chat to The Upcoming
We caught up with Casablanca to discuss cover songs, being tweeted by Harry Styles and pilfering Bloc Party’s booze…
You guys are playing Reading today and Leeds tomorrow. Are you going to have a chance to enjoy the festival? Any acts you’re looking forward to?
Callum Akass: Absolutely. At first I didn’t think it would be a positive thing that the days doubled up, but it does mean I can see Eminem today and Alt J tomorrow.
Jacob Wheldon: It just so happens that loads of our friends are playing today. It’s really nice to all be here together – there’s loads of us around.
Talking of line-ups, there’s quite a blend of rock and dance this year. Are you excited about playing to what might be quite a mixed crowd?
Tom Herzberg: Yeah, hopefully we’ll rise to the challenge – we’ve got quite a few dancy songs ourselves so hopefully that’ll appeal to people, and then we have a few more rocky ones so hopefully we can use that to our advantage.
You recently got a shout out from Harry Styles. Do you think Twitter is a useful tool for reaching out to new fans?
JW: It’s one thing to get a tweet to draw attention to something, but we’ve got to try to get people to actually engage. Twitter and Facebook is all so fast that although you’re interacting, you aren’t necessarily engaging . It’s not as simple as one tweet from One Direction sorting your whole career out!
Do you approach playing a festival any differently to one of your own gigs?
TH: We usually play to smaller crowds, so playing a bigger crowd will be the main difference.
CA: There’s a little bit of self-promotion that goes on…
JW: Yeah, you’ve got an audience of thousands of people and you have the opportunity to draw in a new crowd and hopefully entertain them. For instance, we’ve been working on a cover that hopefully will get people engaged. You can do things to make your set a little more memorable. Live festivals are all about moments for me. I saw Springsteen at Hard Rock Calling a couple of years ago and when Paul McCartney came out that was a moment to talk about. Also there are so many other musicians around you, it’s a vibe you don’t get anywhere else.
You’ve rubbed shoulders with a plethora of indie royalty. What’s the best advice you’re received from them?
CA: Kele once told us not to nick his beers!
JW: Although we were 13 at the time, so that’s probably good advice to any 13-year-old! We did go through a phase when we were about 17 when we took ourselves quite seriously, and I think the best advice we’ve had is a reminder from everyone to have a good time – because otherwise, what’s the point?
CA: You don’t usually associate taking yourself too seriously with something you do when you’re younger but that is probably true.
TH: It probably helps that we’re only 19 and already have old man mentalities!
Is there an album in the pipeline? What can we expect?
JW: We’re working towards a record. It’s so hard to draw the line and say “That’s our best piece of work”. You should always feel creative and that you can better what you did last.
CA: Our manager put it quite nicely when he told us “You can’t have an ugly baby”. You always love each track as soon as you do it, so you need to give it a few weeks and come back to it.
It seems any upbeat band who play their own instruments today are labelled as “indie”. Is that a genre you’re happy to considered to be a part of?
CA: Genres today are so debatable
TH: With the term “indie”, it’s not always clear whether it refers to the sound of the music, or how it’s made.
JW: There’s a lot of social politics behind it.
We’ll let you get on with the music. Casablanca, thank you very much.
Casablanca are playing on the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading Festival at 7.15pm on 24th August. For further information and future events visit Casablanca’s website here.
For further information about Reading Festival visit here.
Watch the video for We Could Forever here: