Tommy2: How’s it going, it’s Tommy2 and joining us tonight – just hours before the release of his self-titled debut album, we’ve got Casey Abrams. So how you doing?
Casey Abrams: I’m doing great… just hours huh? Yeah, you’re right.
Tommy2: That’s right, the countdown is on. Now, I’ll bet it’s been a busy day getting all those last minute appearances and interviews in.
Casey Abrams: Yeah, yeah, it’s been pretty crazy – it’s been fun though, you know cause like it’s kind of like a therapy session cause you just got to talk about yourself all the time, you know.
Tommy2: Tomorrow, the album finally drops – do you have big plans for the day?
Casey Abrams: Yeah, I was thinking of releasing a video of me just performing somewhere, but somewhere random. You know, just in honor of the “Simple Life.”
Tommy2: Another street corner video?
Casey Abrams: Ugh… yeah, yeah, I was thinking why not. Like a little porch section.
Tommy2: That’s definitely your sweet spot!
Casey Abrams: Yeah, yeah of course. You know what? I think raw musicality is just where it’s at and where it should be, you know.
Tommy2: I definitely agree, that’s something we’ve been missing for a very long time.
Casey Abrams: Yeah, I mean if you can’t sit on a porch and sit on a, you know street corner and have people like it, than there’s something missing, you know?
Tommy2: Now talk about you about your album. About how long ago did you start your work on the album and who did you work with?
Casey Abrams: I started writing with random people here and there, like Rune Westberg and Jason Reeves, they’ve made some pretty cool songs in the past, and like Toby Gad. And then I actually flew to England to work with Martin Terefe who is a crazy musical genius who worked with Jason Mraz on some of his stuff, and Randy Jackson kind of hooked me up with Concord Music Group, so it’s just been crazy people all around.
Tommy2: And since you’re such an accomplished bass player was that fun having Randy Jackson supporting you?
Casey Abrams: Oh, it was the best thing in the world because he’s like one of the famous bass players of all, you know?
Tommy2: And yeah, he definitely has an ear for what you’re doing.
Casey Abrams: Oh must definitely… well I think he just believes in what I’m doing and I think that’s the most important part. As long as believes that I can do good, you know.
Tommy2: Now, are their any specific songs on the album that are personal favorites.
Casey Abrams: Uh yeah, track seven – “Stuck In London” is kind of my favorite because first of all, it changes time signatures, which is like awesome. And it also uses my little recorder that I got when I was… back in first grade, you know those little flutey things.
Tommy2: Yeah, with the little velvet bag right?
Casey Abrams: Yeah, exactly!
Tommy2: Now what color is that?
Casey Abrams: This one is just pearl white.
Tommy2: Okay, I think I had the standard black one
Casey Abrams: Oh, I didn’t know it was standard. We all got the white one back in Chicago growing up.
Tommy2: Okay! One cut that’s an obvious stand out on the album to me is the cover of “Hit The Road Jack” with Haley Reinhart. Last year you two released “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and it’s so apparent that you two definitely have a great chemistry together.
Casey Abrams: Oh, it’s always fun singing with her, she knows what’s going on musically and she’s just a cool person to hang out with and I think that’s what makes it so fun.
Tommy2: Now, I know you’ve got the reputation of being quite the musician – but one thing that surprised me is to see you actually performed at least one instrument track on all the songs on your album, cause it’s so common these days with many bands that go into the studio and then get replaced them in the studio. That definitely speaks highly of your skills.
Casey Abrams: Oh thank you very much. I feel like you have to have a little bit of the musician in me speaking out too, you know.
Tommy2: When did the whole music thing start for you, like when did you start singing and picking up instruments. Was the recorder the start or was there something before that?
Casey Abrams: It was kind of the recorder, the recorder and the piano were at the same time when I started getting interested in doing musical things. You know, I started kind of late compared to, like I remember back in first grade there were people already playing the flute and already playing guitar and I was kind of jealous. Like why can’t I play a cool instrument? So I started playing a little bit of piano and I never really sang until I got to High School, you know I did musical here and there where I’d sing but that wasn’t what I was really into until the talent shows in High School you know.
Tommy2: And what singers and players were you influenced by the most?
Casey Abrams: Growing up I listened to a lot of Tenacious D and I think Jack Black’s voice is just like ridiculous and Queen. Especially with the harmonies and musicality were like so crazy, like they’re like above anything I’ve ever heard and they’re so jazzy too!
Tommy2: And there’s a little bit of the progressive element too, like you were mentioning about with your song “Stuck In London.”
Casey Abrams: Oh yeah, yeah…
Tommy2: Right, a little time change and stuff like that?
Casey Abrams: Yeah, there’s some jazzy aspects to it. Yeah!
Tommy2: Taking a look at your daily or weekly schedules about how much time to you dedicate to practicing your instruments?
Casey Abrams: Oh my… I mean it’s along the lines of eating and drinking, I do it more… I’d probably say three hours a day – you know spread out. I don’t like say, this time period – three to six I’m going to practice. It’s usually, it’s my A.D.D.’ness. Like, oh I’ll play some bass, I’ll practice this song, okay… good. Then lets play this on piano, let’s play “Stuck In London” on banjo, let’s see what happens.
Tommy2: And that’s more of a labor of love thing. Where as, a lot of time people say “three hours how could you practice that long,” but it’s different when you’re doing it at your own will and you’re not forced to do it.
Casey Abrams: Exactly! And it’s always fun. I only do it because it’s fun. Cause I remember back in High School they would tell me to practice the upright bass, cause that was my major, but I would go into the music room and I would just play the drums, and piano, and guitar, and clarinet, cause I was A.D.D. and that was kind of frowned upon back then, but now it’s my career.
Tommy2: Now that visual kind of makes me laugh, cause when I think of a guy that was playing double bass in High School, I thought of the guy carrying that huge bag. Were you the guy that was always lugging around that thing, or did you have one at school?
Casey Abrams: Yeah, yeah I was…I had it on a wheel though, I remember, so it wasn’t that hard. I could get around especially since it was a little mountain town, so I got used to it being hilly. So I got lazy and used the wheel.
Tommy2: Now getting back to American Idol, what did you learn the most from being on show?
Casey Abrams: How to like… ugh… I definitely grew some, I think. Because like playing in front of people is really scary, I think it’s always going to be. I think I got some confidence, you know like how to perform in front of people. How to look at a camera, and then look at the judges and then look at the audience and that’s like the worst case scenario. But you know like, I’m planning on just doing it to an audience and you know, no cameras, so.
Tommy2: Yeah, it’s definitely different from when you’re just, like we were talking about earlier, performing on the porch, than when they say it’s time to go, 5-4-3-2-1. Right?
Casey Abrams: Scary man!
Tommy2: In addition to your new album, you’ve also got a new song that came out just today called “Chip On Your Shoulder” (download for free at IBDIcons.com). Why don’t you share about the song and the purpose behind it.
Casey Abrams: The purpose is, it’s dedicated to all those people with Ulcertive Colitis and Crohn’s, but it can go deeper than that. It’s just, you know anyone that has a disease or illness and obstacle that’s going to stay constant in their lives, that they don’t have to worry about it all the time, and they can get over it and they can live life to the fullest. You know, I hope I’m an example of that. So that comes out… yeah, it came out today and people can go check it out.
Tommy2: And that’s something you’ve struggled with. Can you share more about that?
Casey Abrams: Yes, during the show I remember I got hospitalized because I was… I didn’t ever want to talk about it because I was kind of scared, because it’s a disease about… you know, in my case, I pooped blood. You know, it’s very graphic and nobody ever really wants to talk about it. But I think it was kind of a kick in the butt to create awareness about it. Cause I remember back in college when it happened, I started getting all these symptoms, and I had not idea what was going on with my body and I was really scared. So, you know I don’t want that to happen again to anybody else. And I just, I hope we create awareness with it.
Tommy2: Alright, Casey – thanks so much for sharing with us about your album. It’s really a refreshing release that I think everyone should give a listen to. You have a good one!
Casey Abrams: Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it man.
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