Hailing from The Boss's old stomping grounds of Asbury Park, local favorites Deal Casino have been dishing out a series of EPs over the past two years, with each one capturing the group's stylistic progression over time. Today we're premiering their latest track, "Halley," the driving opening cut off of their upcoming Nika
EP, that contains an infectious pop rock chorus hook that sticks to the mind like glue. The song's lyrics remind me of the lyrical wistfulness found on Rick Springfield's classic (and my shameless go to shower anthem), "Jessie's Girl"
It's easy to spot Deal Casinos influences on their latest EP, as they combine the vigor found in contemporary acts like Cold War Kids
with the roots of classic, bluesy American groups like ZZ Top
We got the chance to ask Deal Casino a few questions about their influences, styles, and the grou'ps development as a whole as they venture from EP to EP.
Along with the general alt rock/pop sound to your tracks, I'm getting a bluesy straining preacher feel on "Halley" that isn't as present in your previous works. It makes me wonder what your musical backgrounds as artists are; what is your musical history like?
Deal Casino: Everyone grew up listening to different music. JoeP was big into classic rock like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin which is a huge influence on his guitar playing, but he also is really into pop music as well. Jozii grew up playing in jazz band with Linardi, but he was more into punk and alternative in his youth, while Linardi was into jazz drummers and The Beatles. As for Jon, he just absorbed all music without really getting heavy into any specific styles. Since the backgrounds are so varied, our songs usually vary in style. As for "Halley", it just made sense for the music and happened to work out.
Nika will be your fourth EP as a group; is there any particular reason we haven't seen a full length album yet? What different sounds can your fans expect this time around?
We're always developing our sound and it's easiest to express that change through EPs. They are short clips of what is influencing us at the time. Currently, we're trying to approach production from a minimalist point-of-view, and Nika
is the result of this approach we're taking. None of the instruments sound huge because the focus is on the song rather than a plethora of guitars and fake vocals. Sonically, Nika
is comparable to albums of the 70s because of the recording techniques, and Nika
was also recorded to tape to help enforce this vintage sound. We recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in Asbury Park, and our producer Jon Leidersdorff was a huge influence on the approach to this EP.
I appreciate how on your previous EPs you include at least one track that slows down the pace to focus more on your lyricism and melody; can we expect another one of these soft rock tracks on Nika?
The song to be on the lookout for is "Anything That's Bad". It still has a driving beat that you can groove to, but it's an emotional, lyrically driven song. The story, melody, and production all combine to take the listener into a certain emotional state that you really cannot prevent from happening. It's our personal favorite song just because of the emotional experience it's imparts on the listener.
You guys seem real busy bouncing around the tristate area from show to show. Have you had any troubles managing this tour while still trying to grow and develop yourself as a group?
We've been conditioned to play at least a show a week; it's the only way to develop yourself as a group. Right now, we have a residency in Asbury Park every Sunday, and the main purpose of this residency is to develop our performance. If you play at the same venue once a week, it forces you to change the way you play, or sing, or perform, or write a set to keep the shows fresh. Also, we get to record the performances and look back after the show to analyze what was said or how the crowd reacted to a new song. And playing shows are the most fun too, so it's all around a positive experience.