I am proud to present the first ever Mind Equals Blown exclusive interview! Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk with Casino Madrid’s guitarist Austin about his band, shows, and music in general.
To start off, can you give us a brief history of Casino Madrid? How did you all begin?
Oh man… Well basically Casino Madrid used to be a totally different band, the only original member being our drummer Johnny; We just kept the name and added new members. I was introduced to the band by one of our former vocalists, Andrew (he’s what you hear on Silence In Alpine & Oh No, Cassandra!). Andrew and I were just buddies that liked to jam occasionally. When they needed a guitarist, he offered the spot to me. We then found Quinn, the other guitarist, as well as our old bassist Kevin.
Unfortunately, Andrew was in a terrible accident, which left him paralyzed, which was a huge blow to the guys in the band. We took some time off and after a couple of months we found Aaron, who is now also a former vocalist; He did the screams/clean vocals on Rockula, as well as some vocals on Everlast ( although Kevin did the majority of the vocals on that song).
Eventually we parted ways with Aaron, and Kevin introduced us to Joe, our current vocalist, and we were blown away with his skill. He was a perfect fit for the band (You can hear him in the new song The Big Sleep). Finally, Kevin left the band very recently because he was asked to join Sea of Treachery.
When we met Rob (keys/synth), he was a photographer & played drums for another local band. When they disbanded, he hit us up and asked us if we’d ever been down to try out a keyboardist. We were surprised.. We had no idea this guy even played keys. So we thought about it, and it actually a pretty hard decision. The addition of another type of instrument (especially something as epic as keyboards/synthesizers) can drastically change the sound of the band… But we decided to give him a shot any way. He came to a practice, we jammed a couple of songs, and we instantly knew it was a prefect fit.
How about the name? How did you come about being “Casino Madrid”?
Before the original Casino, there was another band of an entirely different members (except Johnny & Andrew) and apparently one of their guitarist came to practice and said “What if we changed our name to Casino Madrid?”. Yup, that random! There’s no deep meaning behind it, besides the fact that it sounds pretty cool! It is a historical land mark/hotel in Madrid, Spain however.
You guys are currently working on your first ever EP, care to go into any details?
We have most of it written, we’ve just finished up one last song. It’ll consist of a couple old songs, The Big Sleep, a couple new songs, an intro/interlude etc… around 7 tracks most likely. We don’t have a name for it yet, but we’re hoping to have it pressed and able to be purchased anywhere by late August/early September. Unfortunately our vocalist’s car was broken into last week and someone stole all of our money, some of the equipment, and the subs out of his truck! Which pretty big setback, so we’ll have to play some shows and sell some merch to get money, and when we do that, we’ll have a better estimate of studio time but I’d say late July perhaps?
I read on your MySpace that your bassist, Kevin, left to join Sea of Treachery. Can you talk a bit about that?
Kevin departed on great terms. We’re glad to see him getting the spotlight that he deserves. He actually is in the process of helping us find another bassist, as well as continuing to play a couple of shows with us. The search for a bassist is going great, we’ve got a ton of people willing to tryout.. which has been awesome! I think we got our future guy lined up already though.
What bands do you draw your influences from?
Influences for the band overall would probably be The Devil Wears Prada, Sky Eats Airplane, Attack Attack!, A Day To Remember, I See Stars, Chiodos, and even some more metal bands like Parkway Drive and Born of Osiris… the list goes WAY on, I’m sure. We are most often compared to The Devil Wears Prada and Attack Attack!, even you guys said so! That means a lot because Attack Attack! is so huge right now and everyone loves them, so it feels good to be compared to a band like that.
How is the scene like out there in California?
Depending on where in California, I’d say that the scene is incredible, especially San Diego. Depending on the bands playing, shows are almost always packed if not sold out. San Diego’s pits are notorious too! That’s why we love breakdowns so much! We actually have a pretty big show coming up with, Fear Before The March Of Flames, Oceana, Memphis May Fire and Of Machines on July 16th at the Epicentre in San Diego!
A bit more personal questions. What has been your favorite show you’ve ever played, as well as your favorite show you’ve ever attended.
Oh man, that second one is a hard one. The biggest venue here is definitely Soma and I’ve been going there since I was 15, so any time we play there (I think we’ve played at least 6 times), it’s a treat. All of the big bands play there and all the bands I’ve looked up to play on the “main” stage. Even though we’ve been able to play the main stage twice, I think that the “side” stage is much better. It’s a more intimate environment, and the kids are right up in your face. I would say our last soma show was my favorite to play.
As far as the best show I’ve ever attended would be a tie between Coheed & Cambria at Soma way back in the day (probably 07) and maybe a Dance Gavin Dance show :P
[MEB]:DGD does put on a wicked show. I saw them at a venue in Tallahassee with like….maybe 30 people total and they still played their hearts out.
[CM]: yeah they’re so awesome. Truly amazing musicians. I remember I saw Chiodos like that. Probably 15 kids total…maybe that was my favorite show?
Have a musical ‘guilty-pleasure’? Like a secret love for NSYNC* or something?
Everyone loved NSYNC*! Um.. I guess mine would be that I used to take hip hop classes in junior high/early high school. I was the only dude in my class…it was me and like, 10 girls, and I wound up doing that for like five years. It was actually super fun, as embarrassing as it may be. I’ll definitely have to break-dance on stage one day.
What was the last record you purchased?
With Roots Above and Branches Below by The Devil Wears Prada
Remember the first?
Probably Juturna by Circa Survive
If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Off the top of my head it’d be: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 by Coheed & Cambria, Sky Eats Airplane‘s self titled, and Word of Mouf by Ludacris!
If you could suggest any one band for our readers to check out, who would it be?
Can I say two?
[MEB]: go for it
Alright first off, a band from LA called The Syncope Threshold (myspace.com/tstband). They’re amazing musicians and they’re good friends with us. As well as our homies in Falco Does It Dirty (myspace.com/falcodid). They should have their new stuff up soon which is LEGIT. They have Matt Geise from Lower Definition spotting some guest vocal on a track
Well I think that does it for my questions. Thanks for the opportunity to talk and if you have any ‘closing remarks’, have at it.
Well I guess I’ll just say thank you to anyone who took the time to read this blog, and please feel free to check us out and tell us what to think! We love to hear from people, weather its good or bad. And thanks to you all at Mind = Blown for conducting such a sweet interview, and running such a sweet blog!
Make sure you check out Casino Madrid if you live around the San Diego area and catch them live with Fear Before on July 16th! I thank Austin for his time and can’t wait to see whats to come of these guys. Keep checking back for more information on their upcoming EP!