They’ve been playing together for at least two years and they hit the shelves in March 2012, inside a compilation launched by the local We Can Still Picnic Arts Collective. Frontman Sam Smith, who spoke exclusively wit FrankMarques’blog was already known by anoother Glasgow projet, Mother and the Addicts, a band that has received reviews from 4/5 of publications like Mojo or Uncut. With some music of is on in hands and working in a studio, Sam began to form another project and went on to recording and release some digital singles. In last April, with “Stroh 80”, the first single on Moshi Moshi Records, he began to consolidated this new band and not only by the suggestive name of Casual Sex. Prior the release to a new EP, “The Bastard Beat,” this new treasure of Glasgow music scene announced the first north American tour, doing the openings of the notorious countrymen Franz Ferdinand. After a few weeks spending a beautiful holiday in the south of Portugal, Sam answered us some questions about this new quartet from Scotland that pull us back to the beginning of the 80’s. Here’s Sam Smith and Casual Sex.
VERSÃO EM PORTUGUÊS da entevista (com vídeos e audios como complemento)
FrankMarques – Let us start with the obvious: Why Casual Sex?
Sam Smith, Casual Sex – It was one of the things that jumped out after a long period of painfully toying with names. The initial thought was: “That’s a silly name but it should rise an eyebrow”. Snappy short and non parent friendly, so we went with it. About casual sex, the act in itself, and a bit of random “slap and tickle”, I have no particular moral quandary. I reserve, however, my amorous intentions for my good lady.
What’s the history behind the band?
I run a studio called the Green Door in Glasgow. I had recorded some of my own compositions with my colleague Emily MacClaren and was looking for a band to play them live. Ed Wood (guitar) I already knew and came in originally on drums. Peter Masson (Bass) and Chris McCrory (flowers) attended a couple of courses we were running at the studio. Chris went to the drums after I asked him and Peter shouldered his way in on Bass. Initially wrestling with some of my older compositions we started writing and recording as a group. In the words of the late great Vivian Stanshal: “Fate played the straight man and the rest is history.”
Casual Sex have released, on April, the first single for Moshi Moshi Records: “Stroh 80” plus 2 more songs. Tell us about them.
Well the first song, “Stroh 80”, is about being caught doing the nasty on the floor of a local occultist – happened a long time ago, thankfully. “Soft School” is about teaching in the 1970s while Bryan Ferry is chatting up Jerry Hall. Other releases include “National Unity”, a satire on the current austerity measures: one rule for those with, one rule for those without played out through someone whimsically musing on a failed relationship while they watch the London riots on T.V.
On your SoundCloud we can find older songs from Casual Sex. Why have you not released an album earlier this year but only a single?
The plan was to release a UK album, with the single being there to raise our profile. As it happens we now have things happening in the US and France. The promotors said they need time to raise our profile abroad. So we’re releasing all the singles so far which is actually three. One on Moshi Moshi and two on We Can Still Picnic. All as a digital download EP (“Stroh 80”, “Soft School”, “National Unity” and “North”). In October were releasing an EP on 12inch vinyl in the UK though it will be available digitally globally so people can catch up. Then we finally head towards album land.
I’ve read in your Facebook that in October Casual Sex expect to release an EP, “The Bastard Beat”. Is that the one? What can you antecipate us from this new record?
Indeed that is the above EP, five tracks on twelve inch vinyl. Slinky sex on one side; dark grit on the other.
Casual Sex are described by some media as “the new Franz Ferdinand”. How do you feel with this comparison? You’re all from Glasgow, do any of you know in person anyone from Franz Ferdinand?
It’s one of those terms that is banded about a bit to liberally. We’re not the first to have that description and probably not the last. We probably share similar tastes and play guitars but thats about it really. Indeed we are friendly with them. Lovely chaps.
And you’ve just announced a north american tour, opening shows for Franz Ferdinand. How did this came up?
I don’t really know. I think one of our members spoke to one of their members one day and the invitation appeared. We’re hoping to take copies of the EP but that depends if the manufacturing is turned around in time. It’s being released later on that month. Also we need to check out what the rules are regarding importing stock/merch, taxation, etc, etc, before we commit to bringing products over for anything outside of promotional use.
When I listen to your music I sense something familiar to Gang of Four. Maybe the bass line. Are they one of your musical references? What others do you have?
Indeed I like Gang of Four very much. Other influences… I would say Public Image Ltd, The Pop Group, Sousxie and the Banshees, Teddy Peters.
Sam, you were recently on holiday in Portugal. How long did you stay? Have you had the chance to have any “casual sex” in the Algarve?
I stayed three nights in Lagos and three more in Carvoeiro. Had a super time, very keen on the clams. No casual sex.
What did you think of Portugal? Wwas it the first time?
It was my first time, I really loved it and did a lot of coastal walks. Excellent food and wine. Enjoyed the “vinho branco” which I’ve never had before.
What about music, had you the opportunity to listen to some Portuguese Rock?
No I have not heard any Portuguese Rock. We do have a Portuguese friend in Glasgow who did have a number one in Portugal back in the day – I’ll have to find out what the band was. There was a band playing in Lagos centre on Saturday night but it was much more traditional rather than rock though I enjoyed that.
I saw on Casual Sex Facebook page that Pete Masson participated in this year’s Tough Mudder in Scotland in late August. How was he? Is he already able to play the bass or does he need a few more months of recovery?
He did it without training as well. But Peter is rock hard and made of one hundred percent sweat and determination. After the event there was a glimmer in his eye that hinted and a tenderness in his legs but this was quickly repressed by a manly grimace.
Is there any chance or ever have you been contacted to come and play in Portugal?
Not as yet but we’d jump at the chance (of playing in Portugal).
What final message would you like to leave to the Portuguese speaking people who will get to know Casual Sex – the band I mean – by this interview?
Well I hope they might be encouraged to find their way to our Soundcloud and my sincerest appreciation for the country for it’s culture and clams.