Interview: Slomo Casino
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I’m (Jonny) from a family of classical musicians. So I’ve kind of always been surrounded by it and never really thought about doing much else BUT I can probably imagine having ended up as a chimney sweep or something. (jack) Conversely, I did not come from a musical background and first got into playing music after picking up “guitar hero 3.” I developed a knack for playing the electric drum kit and soon took up lessons at school. If I wasn’t making music I'd probably have a much healthier bank account.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We both like cooking, Jack, in particular, is a quality cook, and just in general, spending time doing things that aren’t music-related are often when some of the best ideas seem to appear. It can be easy to kill creativity by trying to hard with what you’re trying to write, so sometimes letting the unconscious mind do it’s thing leads to the best ideas.
How long has your band been around?
So although the band is brand new we’ve been writing together for about a year now, having been good friends for a very long time with a history of touring in various other bands. It started with us sending drunken voice memos to each other during lockdown that gradually evolved into something we felt was special and really connected with - and here we are with our debut release coming on 17th September 2021!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Although we are a Manchester band and Jonny grew up here In Stockport, we met and cut our cloth as musicians in Liverpool, while studying music at Paul McCartney’s LIPA. The scene at the time was amazing with loads of great emerging artists that developed, influenced and pushed each other together to get better. It also broadened our exposure to different styles with fellow musicians from different backgrounds and from all over the world working together to make music.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
So the name was coined with when we were on a trip sailing down a canal on a narrowboat at 4mph in thunder, lightning, and torrential rain. We couldn’t get out of the boat, so instead moored up and turned the inside of the boat into a dodgy mini-casino to pass the time. We somehow got through it, the boat stayed afloat and it produced the name ‘Slomo Casino’ so was all worth it in the end! So the name to us is a constant reminder of that trip..
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
(Jonny) A highlight for me in the past was definitely supporting The Libertines at Alexandra Palace which was an insane and totally overwhelming experience. One of the worst shows I think was probably on a bandstand outside Brighton and hove Albians football stadium, where we set up in a rainstorm with gale-force winds, and as soon as we’d walked off do grab a drink a huge PA speaker blew over and crushed the other guitarists equipment (thankfully he wasn’t underneath it).. and unsurprisingly, no-one stuck around for the hour-long set in stormageddon.
Tell me about your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
(Jonny) I’ve been really lucky to play at some awesome venues in the past like Brixton Academy and Manchester academy, but I’ve always wanted to play at the Manchester Apollo as I used to spend a lot of time there as a kid. So it would be the ultimate nostalgia trip!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Assuming we include dead people in this fantasy, let's go with Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Bowie. Although we would have to put up with being bottled off.. Still worth it.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Firstly there are no shortcuts, and you need to be dedicated to your instrument so don’t cheat yourself!! And also, don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s easy for artists to lose the identity of who they really are when they try to hard, and I think that letting your personality actually come through in what you do really counts.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Trust your gut instinct, throw yourself into the deep end, allow yourself to make mistakes, be true to who you are & take the red pill.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Our song balloon, which is the ballad & last track on our debut EP is a really simple and honest song that has always resonated for some reason, even before we had finalized the lyrics. There’s something melancholic and bittersweet to the song, and it’s all about wanting to move on to a new adventure, without knowing where it is you want to go. And a hopeful outlook on seeing where that might take you.
Which songs are your favourite to play and which get requested the most?
So far as the project is still so new with the debut release coming out in September, we’ve just played a selection of intimate shows and from those, the response from our song ‘Marshmallow’ has been incredible. It’s also a lot of fun to play!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I think it is literally such a wide band of things that inspire us to write. From good times to bad times to Japanese anime and good food.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
For us, the feel-good factor is important. But regardless of the lyrical message in any particular song as we like to cover a variety of stuff, we pride ourselves on catchy melodies with a soulful twist.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We’re pretty good actually in comparison with a lot of projects we’ve been involved in over the years. And when something comes up it’s usually over something really small and annoying. However, best solution is usually to break some bread over a glass of wine and any problems tend to sort themselves out soon enough.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
After our first EP ‘Marshmallow comes out (The first single drops 17/09/21)! We’re back in the studio finishing off some covers of some of our favorite songs, and who knows - maybe a cheeky little Christmas number! The plan for 2k22 is to get back on the road and onto the next EP getting ready for our first album!