Scotland Week: Casual Sex | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Scotland Week: Casual Sex

Cosmic Innuendo

Sep 02, 2014 Scotland Week Photography by Wendy Lynch Redfern Bookmark and Share

We have a special theme on Under the Radar’s website this week which we’re simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we will be posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. Here’s an article on the new Scottish band Casual Sex.

Are you a fan of Casual Sex? What’s not to love about Casual Sex? Casual Sex is fantastic. Once you give Casual Sex a try, you’ll never be able to get enough.

On paper, from the capital lettersand this being a music magazineit’s pretty clear we’re discussing a band. Spoken out loud, however, without context, it’s almost impossible to avoid unintended innuendo.

“I think one of the most painful processes anyone can go through other than childbirth is trying to find a name for a band,” explains Sam Smith, guitarist and lead vocalist for the Scottish post-punk quartet Casual Sex. “You make these lists with names like, I don’t know, The Starry Nights, or The Elegant Village, or something. Or Pop Star! And you cringe. Then I came across Casual Sex and it made me snigger. It’s got a naughty ring to it, and it’ll raise an eyebrow, at least.”

“That’s the only reason I joined the band,” jokes guitarist Edward Wood. “The best thing about it was the name.”

Casual Sex started out as Smith’s solo project, encompassing a set of seven songs he’d written and recorded on his own. Those tracks eventually made their way to several like-minded musicians through Glasgow’s The Green Door Studio, where Smith works as an engineer. Soon, bassist Peter Masson, drummer Chris McCrory, and Wood joined Smith. The band found their sound together, which lies somewhere between the melodic, post-punk mode of fellow Glaswegians Orange Juice and the brash, punkish glam of early Adam Ant.

“The first single is from that original set of songs, but everything else is by the band,” Smith says. “Very quickly it became evident that we work quite well as a unit. When you work alone you can become very attached to something in a way that can actually stifle a lot of creativity. Having other people on board really opens a lot of avenues to you.”

That lead single, “Stroh 80,” is about Smith getting caught in an affairit was written from experienceand is named after a highly potent brand of rum. It follows the band’s The Bastard Beat EP, whichwith song titles such as “What’s Your Daughter For?” and “The Sound of Casual Sex”rightly earned the band praise not only for their rhythm-driven songwriting, but their sense of humor, which can be detected in everything from their lyrics to their stage banter and interview answers.

“The next thing I’m going to work on is an Eagles tribute band called The Seagulls, and we’ll specialize in doing weddings and birthdays, things like that,” jokes Masson, when asked about the band’s future. “Because everyone needs money, and that’s the only way we’re going to make any.”

The band is currently wrapping up work on their debut full-length, which should be out later this year. One day they hope that people will come around to realize that behind the silly name, Casual Sex are serious artists. But until then, they don’t shy away from double entendres.

“My favorite thing to say is that I play bass for Casual Sex,” says Masson. “I want to see how far [the name] can be pushed before everyone agrees that it’s exhausted.”

“We’re looking for a new level of innuendo,” says Smith.

“We’ve been talking about cosmic innuendo,” Masson continues. “That’s where we want to go.”

[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s June/July print issue (Issue 50). We are posting it as part of our Scotland Week coverage. Also check out our earlier Q&A with Casual Sex here.]


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