Casual Armour is a band that formed in June 2014 and consists of Jamie Thomas, Nathan Lewis and George Pinkett. They take an unusual approach in their music in the sense that they write everything but work with guest singers to put their own lyrics on the music the band wrote. We caught up with Jamie to find out more.
How did you get started?
We all know each other from a band called Seconds From Ruin and have known each other quite a long time so we literally just joined forces and started writing music at our local practice space. The idea just came from there!
You’re currently getting ready to release your new EP Series Two, part of a three-part series featuring guest singers from local bands – can you tell me about the writing and recording process?
We tend to write at home and bring our ideas into the room to see what the other members can input. Some of the time we come up with certain ideas or hooks while we are just playing along. We find if it comes naturally, the track tends to turn out better.
As for recording, everything is all DIY. We setup as if it’s a live performance and all record through the MAC separately. George does all the technical stuff with the software and we all sit down to mix and add parts before we release the tracks. This again is all taking place at our rehearsal room.
Like Series One, you’ve worked with three guest vocalists for each song – what made you decide to work with these three singers?
We know the vocalists from previous bands and know exactly what they are capable of. Normally when we create a track in our practice room we know exactly who we want to ask, due to the nature and sound of the song. This will apply for all our guest singers and tracks.
Would you say it follows on from Series One or is it a standalone piece?
Without doubt its a standalone piece. The three tracks are totally different to the first series and we have experimented with different sounds and recording technique to add a edgier sound for series two.
Any interesting tales from the studio?
We had a blast recording the first two releases and many tales to tell but one that stands out is Jody Davies from punk heroes Dodgem X. He recorded the whole track in just his pants! Such a funny lovely man!
Have you decided who you’re going to work with on Series Three?
We have a rough idea – one person has agreed but all names shall be kept a secret until the vocals are done and dusted!
If you could get any musician to lay down some guest vocals, who would you choose?
If he was still alive it would be Freddie Mercury. There is no frontman who will ever match him or even come close. There are so many vocalists who have incredible voices who we would like, we just have to match them to a track I suppose.
What has been your best experience in the business?
Working with all the talent that Wales has to offer. There is such a vibrant music scene at the moment is just all around fantastic vibe. Just being part of that is a valuable and great experience its self.
And what’s the hardest thing about being in the business?
Probably getting people through the door to watch bands and possibly trying to keep your head above water while touring. It costs so much money to do what we do so you do have to be careful I that way. Only a small selection actually makes enough to do it as a living.
What inspires you?
The comments and encouragement people have been giving us. If it wasn’t for them then what would be the point? We do it so people smile and enjoy what we do. Obviously we love what we do but the reward is in the fans comments and constant encouragement.
Who are your role models and idols?
The whole Welsh music scene can be classed as role models as many of them are doing their own thing and getting lots off recognition. As far as idols go, each of Casual Armour has different music taste so it can range from Funeral For A Friend to 90’s indie all the way to Joe Bonnamassa.