Casebere Interview

A number of the musicians we review on NeuFutur have worked in factories, fast food, or any one of a multitude of fairly banal occupations. You have had a slightly more varied life. Can you go into detail about what occupations you held before your music career began?

I worked as an office accountant for 3 years after college. For an office job it doesn’t get any more banal than that. I was 25 and questioning my life.  I needed a way to make a lot of money fast to escape that.

I landed a pretty lucrative job as a minesweeper in the Caucasus region working for a European military contractor (I had a connection from a Bulgarian friend working with them). This was in 2011, a savage war had ended in Chechnya and a ton of money was being poured into the region to rebuild it.  (I had applied to the US contracting firms to work in Iraq or Afghanistan – those jobs paid over $200,000 a year – but they wouldn’t hire me because I didn’t have military experience).bass-tones-3-album-cover

I could go into a lot of detail about that demining experience, but I will leave it at this: We were a for-profit company paid to clear land of mines and other explosives.  We had top of the line technology – flail tanks, robots, dogs, remote control cars, and metal detectors synched with GPR. When one of the guys made a mistake, such as getting one of the robots blown up, that cost came out of his salary.

If we were clearing agricultural land with no trees, it wasn’t that bad to clear. Clearing out a forest where the terrain is hilly and uneven, it was way harder. The best method for that was to set the whole place on fire after digging fire pits around the perimeter. In both situations the final step was for us to go into the minefield on foot with metal detectors and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar)…  That is where we earned our money.

We have reviewed your latest album – Bass Tones #3 – already; one can see that this is not your first rodeo. However, our readers are not familiar with your music. How have your compositions changed since your first release?   bass-tones-2-album-cover

The brevity and efficiency of the tracks has always been there.  Most of my tracks are under 3 minutes long – over 3 minutes would be a long time for me. The meaning of the music is always the same, however different the means.

What sort of influences have had the most impact on your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to set in if given the chance?

My dream lineup of (still living) performers would be to set in with Buckethead, or John Zorn.

The intellectualness of classical (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.) and avant-garde (Webern, Ives etc.) combined with modern music such as Ozric Tentacles and Phish, were the most influential to me.

Each of the tracks on Bass Tones #3 has what seems to be an autobiographical theme (A Great Challenge Ahead, Prepare ; In Combat, Rise Above It ); pulling back a little bit, what story does your current album tell about you?

I was never in combat. I never killed anyone. But yeah some of the tracks are autobiographical, or reference activities or values I like. Others are to name what the track sounds like, such as “Bubbles” or “Echo Ripples”. 

The Bass Tones #2 album is a tribute to the Mound Builders culture of ancient America if you look at the track names.

Your tracks are shorter in duration than many popular tracks, but there seems to be more meat in efforts like Flashback and Find Meaning than what can be heard on the radio. Why do you think that is?

My music is for spiritual purposes. If one is actively listening to the music, 1-2 minutes is a long time. All of my music is designed for the highest level of listening on the Listening To Music Pyramid – http://caseonbass.com/listening-to-music-pyramid

To get into a bit of the technical, what does your recording set up look like (what do you use to record, what are your favorite instruments)?

I’ve found the type of microphones you use to record is more important than being in a studio. My microphone setup has allowed me to record anywhere and get good sound quality. Everything is recorded live. I mic my amp with a directional mic, and use a condenser mic that records everything in the room.

What does the rest of the year hold for you?

I try to do three performances a month and plan on releasing a new album with the spoken word poet Craig Dellaposta, where I’m laying down Bass Tones.

How have your life experiences influenced the music that you have created as Case on Bass?

I have a profound love for Nature and I just know I’m being led by my Creator to create this music.

I also love Pride Fighting Championships

How can interested readers of NeuFutur find samples of your music?

My own website is a giant archive of free music – www.CaseonBass.com. I also have 12 albums on iTunes, Spotify, etc., searching under “Case on Bass” or “Casebere”.

Do you have any final thoughts for us here at the magazine?

A lot of the things NeuFutur Magazine talks about are things I’m already interested in, such as progressive and metal music, the great outdoors, and vaporizers 😉

Thank you so much for the time.

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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