Tuesday is new music day again, and this time it comes in the form of electropop beats by way of LA based artist Case by Case. I have a soft spot when it comes to solo artists who are hands on with their craft, since this site itself is sort of my own one man show.
I hit up RJ (the man behind Case by Case) with a couple of questions starting with the hard hitting, indiemusicdb question – ‘what is indie music’ –
So, what’s your take on the definition of indie music?
Hmm, it’s very difficult to describe, as it is a very broad category, but when I hear the term indie I generally think of rock, folk, and electronic based music. If there are vocals, they tend to be less polished and often more affected – not your normal American Idol pop/rock voice. Usually the lyrics also tend to be more abstract, quirky and/or intelligent. I think of musicians that probably taught themselves how to play their instruments. It seems indie music is generally more creative, always pushing boundaries and mixing different genres together. I think there’s often a healthy dose of pretentiousness and metafiction thrown in as well!
I do consider myself an indie artist because I don’t think my music fits into any particular sound on the radio or any particular genre in general…and "indie" seems to be a good catch-all phrase to slap on hard to classify music with rock roots. I also don’t think of myself as a great singer or guitar player, but hopefully I’m decent enough at songwriting that I make up for that!
How did Case by Case start out?
I started my first band in high school with a few friends, played a couple shows, went to college and formed another band, graduated and formed yet another band, but all those guys wanted high-pitched, loud rock vocals over screeching guitars and it was just too taxing on my vocal chords! So, a friend from college taught me to use Reason and create electronic beats. This opened up a lot more room for vocals that were better suited for my voice.
Because with electronic music the creation of each song is it’s own little adventure. I have an idea of where I want to go, but a lot of the writing process is just experimenting with different sounds and fx routing, and chopping things up and distorting them to hell. I always learn new things with every song I create, so my sound is kind of a case by case thing…if that makes any sense. Plus, I like a lot of different types of music and wanted to reflect that with songs that jump from genre to genre.
I love electronic music, probably because I grew up in the 80’s – the heyday of british new wave and keyboard heavy songs. Why did you choose this genre of music? Which groups do you think influenced you?
As I mentioned a little earlier, I feel that electronic music can be built to fit around someone’s voice more easily. But, most importantly, I wanted to create music that poeple can dance to. I love dancing!! As for influences, the list goes on and on, but I think a lot of people will hear influences from bands like Duran Duran as well as more current music like Imogen Heap, Postal Service, and Dragonette. What they probably won’t hear is my love for bands like The Mars Volta and Circa Survive, but I think it’s in there somewhere….
For the song that you’d like to share to our site readers, Everyone – can you tell us more about the song, what’s it all about. Any stories that you’d like to share in creating this song or this album?
The song talks about fantasies that we hold on to within personal relationships and it kind of alludes to power structures created by religion and government. I know it’s a little too heady for a pop/dance song, but I couldn’t help myself! I usually like to leave it up to the listeners to decide what the lyrics mean for themselves though. I’m sure I’ve interpreted plenty of other artists’ songs horribly wrong, but, if I like the song because of my interpretation, who cares! Right?