Cassia : The latest band to take Manchester by storm

Cassia recently played at Label : Arts Festival and were quite a sensation. Jo Boon sat down with them afterwards to find out more about their music style and the secrets behind their success. You can see more photos of Cassia on the night here, and make sure you follow them on facebook

Please could you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little bit about yourself, and fellow band members? 

So we're called Cassia, we're a three piece from Macclesfield. Rob sings and plays guitar, Lou plays bass and sings backing bits, and I (Leff) play drums and sing backing bits too. 

How did you first meet and form the band? 

Well, Rob and Lou went to the same school so they've know each other for ages now and I met them in a Wetherspoons when they asked if I knew anyone who played drums. Rob started writing the music on his own a few years ago, then Lou joined and started writing with him for a bit, then I met them and it became more of a band kind of thing. 

What have been the highs and lows of the experience so far? 

There have been a few highs, Y Not Festival this year was insane. The turnout we got was well good and we also managed to sneak into the back of the mainstage and give our CD to some really huge bands so that was dead cool. 

There haven't been many lows really, a few rubbish gigs getting rained and stuff but nothing too bad! 

Why do you perform? What do you hope to get out of the experience? 

I think we perform just because it's a really fun thing to do with your mates. We really liked writing music and playing it live before anyone came to our shows so now to have people singing it and stuff just makes it even cooler. I'm not sure what we'd like to get out of the experience, we'd love to play some bigger shows next year and just keep making and playing music that we really like. We're going on tour for the first time soon so that should be sick.

Could you tell me a little more about your style of music? 

We describe our music as laid back, natural beachy kind of stuff. There's always been a West African thing going on too so those things will always be there in some way but it's always changes constantly depending on what we're into at the time.

How have your individual identities shaped your music and performances? 

We've all been playing music independently and in other bands for so long before this we all have our own musical tastes and things that will just come out naturally in how we play. 

Who / what have been your biggest influences? 

Biggest influences are bands like Vampire weekend, Strokes, Arctic monkeys, then some older stuff like buddy holly and other people from the 50s. Jazz and neo soul stuff as well like D'angelo. We like to draw small things we like from loads of different kinds of music. 

Any advice to anyone just forming, or looking to create, a band? 

Just focus on listening to and writing as much music as you can really. Try to pick band members that you really like too because it's loads more fun.