We met in London in a recording studio. We had all been in bands before, Ariel has worked as a producer/engineer for years, Andy has drummed with bands like Groove Armada, Moby & Faithless, and Zoot has worked as a singer/writer since her teens… we are all studio-addicts so a recording studio is where it all had to start from :).
I (Zoot) was raised in Rome by an English mother, basically stuck between two almost opposite cultures… I’ve grown up feeling pretty puzzled by what surrounded me… the whole carcinogenic Mafioso system of Italian society, the strong influence of the Vatican on every day life, the depressing and mortifying role of women… I just had to get away from all that. That feeling of massive perplexity has definitely influenced me both as a person and as a musician.
Who do you count as your influences? I know you’ve covered Hank Williams at gigs – is he a big inspiration to you?
We covered that Hank Williams song after first hearing Seasick Steve and Amy Lavere’s version… we have been listening to a lot of Seasick Steve recently so that’s more where it came from! Our biggest influences are bands from the 60s and 70s like Pink Floyd and The Doors, as well as Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Claude Debussy, Ennio Morricone… there’s too many to list!
What can you tell us about recording the EP?
Recording the EP has been great, we have recorded drums and bass in a Miloco studio here in London and then we recorded and produced all the rest of the songs (guitars, keys, vocals, strings etc) in our own little studio in Islington… it’s been the typical scenario of never ending nights, surrounded by a cloud of smoke, turning off the equipment at 8am and opening the door to a sun-lit London, with people around us just starting their day etc etc… We loved it, writing and producing is what we love most doing.
When can we expect an album from you? Have you any ideas on how you want it to sound/what it will be called (if it’s not already been recorded!)?
We are planning to release another EP in spring (possibly around April) and then a full length album after that, maybe August or September. It’s still going to sound similar to the EP, so with big old school drums, verby guitars, lots of vintage keys, quite dark…
Do you have any specific aims you want to achieve with Black Casino & The Ghost? e.g play with a particular band or work with a certain label?
My (Zoot) dream would be to be produced by Nigel Godrich, tour the world with Radiohead and get signed by Domino records… eheheh you asked!
How do you find playing live? Do you prefer performing to recording?
We are loving it, it’s very different from being in the studio as it’s much more immediate and instinctive. The flow of energy is great, very exciting and truly liberating. To me personally though (Zoot) the writing and producing process is still more magical… every time a new track happens it’s like a secret is being revealed, whispered in my ears… it’s the closest thing to spirituality that I manage to experience in my very un-spiritual life, and it’s what I love most in the world.
Finally, tell us something about the band no one else knows
Andy can play drums and prepare sushi all at same time.
Nov 12th – Ginglik, London