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INTERVIEW: Strange Case Talk (And Premiere) New Single “27 Club”

As we begin to wrap up another series of premieres, we are joining forces with Strange Case for the release of their infectiously new single “27 Club,” a track that walks the thin line between indie and pop in such a perfect way, filled harmonious vocals and a drum/bass driven music that will get you pumping your head with its catchy melodies so reminiscent of Foster The People and Cage The Elephant.

In addition to the premiere, we get to sit with the band to discuss their writing process and more!

1.  What is the inspiration behind the new release? 

We’ve been spending a lot of time building and developing the Ventura County music scene. I have been recording and producing a few local bands, and we have all been super inspired, and feeding off each other. There has been a buzzing energy between us and the other Ventura County bands to keep pushing our writing abilities, and putting out better, and better music. We have all been watching the indie scenes in Orange County, and San Diego develop and blossom. In the last two years we’ve had some amazing groups come together in Ventura County, and I think we are all ready to show the rest of SoCal that we mean business.

2.  What is the story and inspiration behind the title of the new release? 

Recently Mikey and I have been taking notice at some of our childhood inspirations getting older. It’s been pretty depressing haha. It’s not fun realizing some of your heros are washed up. Being realists, we understand eventually that’s going to be our fate. The lyrics we wrote are pretty cynical, and it’s basically us imagining what it will be like someday when we aren’t the trending artists we once were. We are picturing being an older musician who in a way wishes they were part of the “27 Club”. If we would have died a young death at the peak of our career, we would have never shown our weaknesses and human qualities later in life. We tend to dehumanize all the legendary musicians who passed away earlier in life, and we create a mysterious, and god-like way of viewing them. This song tells the musicians perspective to what that might feel like, and how human every artist really is.

3.  When and where was the release recorded? 

This track was recorded during the first two weeks of August 2019, at Surf and Turf studios in Thousand Oaks, CA. This is our rehearsal space/studio for 75% of what we record. All drums and most guitar/bass parts are tracked here. Vocals are recorded at Regime Studios in Malibu, CA, as well as Surf and Turf. Regime studios is tucked away near the beach, and is always a tranquil getaway for recording. We often stay the weekend out there to clear our heads and to get away from all the noise in the valley. On top of the prime location, Regime studios is owned by the music biz mogul Kevin Zinger, and he’s always our go-to for advice, or a good laugh.

Backstories of recording

4.  Are there any stories/anecdotes you want to share behind the making of the new release?

The first night I recorded the demo/ skeleton for the track, I was so stoked on it I probably listened to it almost a hundred times that evening. Surf and Turf studios is connected to our drummers house, and as much as they all liked the song they had definitely had enough of it by day two. All our friends went on a trip to Vegas the following weekend and I had it on repeat for the entire time. I was so happy with how the song was sounding I completely burnt myself out on it. I must have heard it over a thousand times by now. Unfortunately for me, I’ve gone numb to it, like most musicians do before releasing music, but I know it’s going to stick with some people like it did to me.

Songwriting

5.  What was the songwriting process like? 

Usually I will bring a general idea for a song to our studio and start recording a rough outline of the track. Mikey is really good at writing melodies so he will help develop the melodic structure, while I focus more on lyrical content and production/instrumentation. I usually write my best stuff when I’m in a shit mood. Our track “Baby, Baby” was written at a lookout, sitting in my car with a guitar I had in the backseat. I was going through a really rough time, and I remember thinking to myself: “Why do I have to feel like this? Why me…Blah Blah Blah self-pitty BS”. Now looking back at that night, I see how positive the whole experience was. We have a song that most our fans relate to, and have already created so many positive memories while listening. To me, that is completely worth it, and is something that helps me through when I am feeling down. As a group we are all a little bit ADHD, and usually find it hard to put an entire song together in one sitting. Our creative process works best when someone brings a general idea, riff, or melody to rehearsal, and we all play off that and create music out of spontaneity. Personally I will get a creative streak for a couple weeks and spend almost every night in the studio writing and recording demos. I try to milk all I can get out of those manic creative sprees, because when they’re over, they’re over. I will spend a couple weeks to a couple months without inspiration to write, and things tend to feel a bit monotonous and boring. A creative spree will usually begin with me getting a couple new CD’s, usually from an artist or genera I haven’t dove into yet, and just consuming and studying. When I find something that particularly moves me, I often become obsessed with it, and pull everything I enjoy from it. This becomes a landslide of new ideas and motivation, and I will sometimes end up with 10 new songs in less than a week.

Notable names to highlight

6.  Are there any notable names to highlight that worked on the release? 

I produced, engineered and mixed this single. It was mastered by my go-to mastering engineer, John Greenham. I send my mixes to John always knowing he’ll bring the best out of them, and that peace of mind is everything to me.

What makes this release special

7.  What’s the difference between this release compared to your previous releases? 

Personally, I am extremely proud of how this recording turned out. I have been self producing and mixing for a couple years now, and I can say with confidence that this is my most professional/ coherent sounding mix to date. I also believe this track will have more mass appeal than our previous work. Not in a sell-out kind of way, but in a more easily listeninable way, even for older people who aren’t so hip to our scene. 27 Club also features more fuzz tones, and less reverberated guitar licks. This isn’t a new direction I want to lock my sights on, but I think it will fit into our catalog as a nice single to switch things up.

Touring

8.  Do you plan to tour in support of this release? 

We have a handful of shows lined up for the end of 2019, spanning from SLO to San Diego. We play for our local Ventura County scene quite often, so we are always challenging ourselves to switch it up to keep even our closest fans on their feet. You haven’t experienced Strange Case until you’ve seen us live. This biggest reason our live shows are so electric, is because all four of us genuinely LOVE performing. To us, playing gigs is the best part of being musicians. It’s exciting, it’s sweaty, it’s emotional, it’s life changing. There is no better feeling than watching your friends and fans sing along, and relate to songs that you wrote from the heart. I’ve seen shows bring even the most unlikely of friends together. Scene kids, frat brothers, surf kids and science majors. Music has the power to do things I’ve never seen possible anywhere else.

9.  Talk about the new single “27 Club”

An upbeat sing-along, with an undertone of inevitable sadness. Fuzzy, groovy, and repetitive, your ex-girlfriends will be singing all summer long.

10.  Anything else you want to say about your music, yourself, or this release?

 We are looking forward to expanding our domain, and meeting other like-minded bands and music lovers. Strange Case does not plan on slowing down, and we are looking forward to delivering a unique sonic experience for years to come.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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