SXSW With: Cassia


Words by Elena Katrina

I first saw Cassia play around 2 and a half years ago for Off The Record festival in Manchester. They were nervous, to say the least and gave a performance that only hinted at what was to come. Since then they’re built up an army of fans and have an incredibly assured performance. I mean, you’d have to if you’re going to play The Ritz in Manchester then you’d be needing your A-game (and they had it!).

I caught up with the tropical three out at SX to find out just a little bit more.

For people who don’t know Cassia, why did you decide to form a band together, and what do you think makes that combination work so well?

Rob: We decided to form a band because we all love music. Me and Lou were doing stuff at school together and it’s always been a massive passion for us all. That’s about it really.

Jake: I don’t think there was ever a moment where we said “LET’S FORM A BAND” like, it was just as we were chilling out and doing a few things together it happened. You two knew each other from school, but we met each other in ‘Spoons and then they were like “you play drums right? Wanna jam?” and that was pretty much that. We got offered a festival slot and so we looked at each other and went “well I guess we are a band now then”. The other two picked the name though so they might have had a bit more about starting as a band.

Lou: We had a gig in town and we didn’t have a name so we just went with Cassia and it stuck.

Jake: The name comes from the type of wood the Djembe drum on my kit is made out of. It’s also a type of cinnamon for those fans of fun facts.

Popped: We like Cassia as a name because it fits with the band, but it is also easy to find online.

Rob: We are verified on Google now too, so that’s made things even easier to find us.

What has been the defining moment so far in the career of Cassia?

Rob: The album. Finishing the album was the moment that I thought “this is sick, this is great”. Just being able to do that was BIG.

Lou: From a live angle, it was definitely The Ritz show for me. It was our first proper headline Manchester gig. Our Manchester gig before that was at Band on the Wall which is a 350 capacity, so to then step it up to over 1,000. We felt Oh My God, we have just got to smash this now. And it was a really sick gig.

Rob: Things like this are just crazy. We were speaking about it before and it was bloody hell! Comparing today to when we started, this sort of thing was just a dream and now for it actually to be happening… It’s weird. Me and Lou had a conversation about two or so years ago where we were imagining touring Europe and then going back to our houses having a cup of tea all normal again. About a year ago, we realised that that scenario had happened, I thought that it was an insane idea at first but then it was actually happening. It’s quite nuts.

Lou: It really is mad because we are playing out here and then we are going back to go on tour with Crystal Fighters around Europe and that’s huge. Being able to do all these things is absolutely massive, playing your own music for loads of people is brilliant.

Jake: Thanks to our label for helping us to get out here too.


Who are you looking forward to seeing here at SXSW?

Jake: I would like to catch Sam Fender to see what the hype is about as he does have a lot of hype and I’ve not seen him yet.

What are your plans post-SXSW?

Rob: A lot of touring and promoting the album which comes out on April 5th.

Jake and Lou: Go and preorder it.

Rob: Yeah there’ll be a lot of writing and touring, the same old stuff to be honest. We’ve got a lot of festivals coming up. We are really lucky this year as we are playing some big stages so it’s all ramping up. It’s mad when you look at the calendar and you can see that you’ve coming up closer to playing 30,000 capacity stages. You’re just hoping that you’ll be able to handle it. I’m most excited for Y Not as it’s close to home. And Crystal Fighters. And Trnsmt. Yeah, we’ve got some pretty cool things coming up.


Whilst you’re waiting for those cool things, make sure you’re ready to sing along by listening to Cassia.

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  • About Popped Music

    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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