Following the release of their Powerlines EP, bassist and singer Lou Cotterill sat down with us to talk about the band and what they’ve been up to while COVID-19 has put live music on hold.
How did you come up with the name ‘Cassia?’
“I think it was a very quick decision, the name. When we first started it was just me and Rob, we had a gig in Mac, our hometown, and they were like ‘so what name you gonna go under?’ So we were frantically googling names and a couple came up. I think we had Macu as another option and Cassia and that’s what we eventually went with, cause it had a tropical association and at the time we were making quite tropical sounding music. Nothing more deep than that but as we progressed as a band Jake bought a Djembe drum and it was made out of a specific type of wood, funnily enough it was Cassia wood.”
Why did you choose to keep the band as a 3-piece?
“There’s something quite easy about it just being 3 people and I think we felt we were able to create what we want with just the 3 of us. Even from a live perspective we always kind of thought we delivered what we wanted without adding too much so I guess that was the initial reason but I wouldn’t rule out us adding more people in the future.”
Any big plans post-lockdown?
“It’s so hard, like – when we initially went into the first lockdown we were thinking a couple of weeks and then we’ll be back gigging for the summer and that didn’t happen, so at the minute we’re kind of just waiting to be told when stuff can open again. Obviously gigs is a massive one, we want to be back out there playing live cause that’s what we excel at doing and we really miss it. And trying to release more music. We’ve been spending our time writing and writing so we’ve got big plans for releases this year and 2022.”
How did lockdown affect the way the band worked?
“For us, it was kind of a unique situation. At the backend of 2019 we finished our tour and we ended up getting new management, who gave us the opportunity to live out in Berlin for the year which was pretty crazy so in January of last year we all moved out there. We planned to work for the foreseeable and then obviously lockdown hit but we were all living under the same roof for the first time in our careers. We were writing together and recording stuff. There was a studio there where we were able to record. We were doing everything ourselves and found quickly it was very productive.”
What were some of the inspirations behind the Powerlines EP?
“When we moved to Berlin there was a change in direction, musically, I don’t think it was intentional really. Rob had been away to South Africa for a month and he was meeting new people and ended up writing ‘Do Right’ the first track on the EP and it had just a slightly different feel to it but we all really bought into it. It wasn’t as tropical sounding in a sense it was more refined, I think, and I guess that influenced the later stuff. I guess there’s not really one artist has influenced in that sense, more like how we felt.”
What’s the biggest thing about touring that you miss?
“I don’t really know, there’s loads of things like just travelling in a van. As boring as it sounds there’s something really liberating about it. Getting up a 7 in the morning, driving for 6 or 7 hours across Europe and then arriving at some other random place, doing the gig, packing up at 2am and then repeating the whole process. It detaches yourself a bit, away from your normal life. I miss meeting people and having people come people come to the shows as well cause it’s been weird in lockdown. When we’ve released music you can’t really get perspective on how it’s been received cause all your looking at is Spotify numbers but when you’re live you really get an idea of which songs people are picking up on.”
Are there any plans for album number 2?
“There’s definitely plans for album 2, I think sort of 2022 is the plan but nothing’s set in stone at the moment. It’s all quite dependent on what happens with the virus but we want to release when we can gig again. Like I said before we’re just constantly writing new stuff, trying to find new inspiration. It’s definitely on the cards but I can’t really give an exact date.”
Cassia fans can expect new music on the horizon, but maybe not a new album for another year. Till then we can all only hope for live music to make it’s long awaited return.