How can a friendship end up in a catchy and interesting band? Casual Vice has the perfect answer and to make a long story short their debut single released in January 2020, entitled “Brighter Days”. The enjoyment is the main “ingredient” of their upcoming success and we had the opportunity to talk to Kyle Krone -the one of two members- and convey to us all his positive emotions. So, Casual Vice founded in 2020 and consisted of Kyle Krone and Brandon Hoogenboom.
Since they’re about to release their debut E.P. entitled “Joie De Vivre”, we wanted to know what drew them to this joyful concept taking into consideration that its creation took place during the pandemic due to COVID-19. We have to say that Casual Vice are really focused on creating music, which automatically leads to a positive response from the audience.
Talking about their song’s mood, Kyle thinks that “Big Ideas” is very inspirational. He believes that while he’s writing by heart the result will be perfect. We can say that “Antihero” is the band’s most representative song, so if you want to start listening to Casual Vice, start with it. This song can be described as a “celebration” of most of their influences.
So, if you want to learn more about Casual Vice’s aesthetics and music, and their future professional plans you can read the whole interview below.
Casual Vice, welcome to SounDarts.gr! Since you are a new entry in the music industry, would you like to tell us how did your story begin as a band?
Man Casual Vice has just been this natural phenomenon for us, it really feels star crossed. It was a friendship forged from music initially that brought us together. The first time I met Brandon was playing in a band that opened for him. Brandon enlisted me to Produce and co-write a song for him in January of 2020 and that ended up being the first Casual Vice single “Brighter Days”. Honestly it just felt really good, there was this natural chemistry between us. We were both just so pleased with the result and perhaps even more importantly what a great time we had doing it and we just haven’t relented ever since.
During this global difficult time -due to COVID-19- you decided to release a great, up-tempo E.P. entitled “Joie de Vivre”. What drew you to this joyful concept?
The process of making the EP itself was a joyful experience and something about making music in the context of all these modern challenges humanity is facing gives us this energy and urgency to do it. Writing these songs and expressing ourselves just felt essential on some basic human level. I’ve always leaned heavily on writing songs and making music as a way to deal with life and at this point it feels like a fundamental necessity. For me it feels more important than ever to hold on to that internal joy for living in the face of all the challenges and struggles. For me its a choice in a way, this way of saying I am going to enjoy my life and defend my optimism, not blind naive optimist but a productive and meaningful attitude, bringing thoughtfulness to the equation, keeping the curiosity burning, the sense of adventure alive, the creativity, the celebration and the expression of all the emotions I feel.
What are the differences and the common points between your first E.P. “Summer Noir” and the last one?
For me there is this seasonal nature to songs and collections of songs. In that context I think the first EP has this Spring / Summer youthful exuberance to it, everything is new, in bloom and exciting. Joie De Vivre progresses forward into this Indian Summer / Autumn territory with a more reflective deeper look at a lot of the emotions under the surface in my life. The songs from Summer Noir were created in a pre-covid reality. Brandon and I were discovering what we sounded like together (we still are) we didn’t have a plan initially we were just doing it for the joy of it. By Joie De Vivre we felt this meaningful purpose asserting itself. The EP’s reflect us well, there is a bit of a yin and yang quality happening there, at least for us.
How easy it is for an upcoming band to introduce itself to the global audience during a technological revolution with social media at its peak and offering to listeners so many choices?
Man I have no idea. I tend to be consumed by writing and making music and the accompanying artwork, those are the things that excite me. I concern myself with those things more than anything else. I suspect when it comes to getting your music heard many roads lead to Rome in a sense. I just have this feeling that if I really put all my energy and heart into the music itself then the audience will find it. We have a lot of creative and talented people on the team that are helping with these matters, when in doubt I differ to the experts.
By listening to your music we understand that you wanted to do something that was more creating a mood than setting up a specific plot. Is it true? And what’s your own opinion?
Well it all depends on the song, they all inhabit their own space orbiting around our lives. I will say it’s all important to me; the words, the music, the melodies, the production, arrangements, performances etc. A lot of the songs themselves have very specific themes, stories, ideas etc. some are more over arching in their sentiment and themes. A song like “Big Ideas” is very aspirational and universal in its approach where as a song like “Anti Hero” or “Hourglass” is extremely personal but because of that I feel it is ironically relatable.
Have you ever thought that your song “Antihero” would receive such a great response from the audience? How do you feel about that?
Anytime a song connects or means something to anyone it feels really good man. It gives the whole thing more meaning. I mean if you really cut your heart open and let it all bleed out into the songs and then someone feels something as a result, something desirable or meaningful that is a rewarding humbling experience. So yeah its rad.
How could you describe the most creative day of your life, from the beginning to the end?
I like to live in that space of creating. I do this nearly every day, it is my great joy in life, I might take one day off a week. The best days are where you sort of transcend and are able to somehow articulate all these things you feel, observe, think etc. I don’t know it can be this strange and beautiful thing. I get ideas and the more ideas I get the more that seem to follow, it feels like this expansive sort of thing in my life that isn’t finite. I wake up with an idea, a melody, a lyric, sometimes a full song is in my head, I drink coffee, maybe take a walk, I write, sit down with an instrument, maybe go at the ocean, I record my ideas and keep adding to them and at the end of the day I’m outside on my patio with headphones on listening.
When and how were you given the opportunity to pursue your professional career in music? In other words, what was your motivation?
I was always drawn to music from a young age, I like the way it makes me feel, its always improved my life. I finally got a guitar when I was 13 and the motivation to play and learn was just a natural force, it didn’t feel like work, most of the time it still doesn’t. Theres just this creative curiosity or some internal need to express myself, I dont ask too many questions about it I just feel fortunate that there are enough people who love, support me or tolerate me doing it all the time.
As we can understand indie and folk music genres are your main influences. Who are the artists who have significantly influenced you in your creations?
Most of my influences are celebrated in the Antihero music video, which is what that was all about, all my heroes who have had a significant impact on me, many of them are musicians and many of them aren’t. Most of the time when I’m not making music I listen to jazz like Louis Armstrong and Stan Getz or I enjoy the quiet and just read.
What is Casual Vice’s biggest dream about their career?
We want to play the big stages, the festivals and the timeless venues. We want to make records all over the world and live and breathe music, we’re talking about making our third album in Mallorca. We want to travel and make albums and collaborate with our living heroes.
Apart from your upcoming E.P., what are your future professional plans?
Currently we are finishing up mixing our debut record which is set to follow up this new EP and we will have that out this summer as well as new singles, vinyl etc. One thing I know for sure is we will continue making releasing new music well into the foreseeable future, much of it has already been written and recorded.
What is your motto in life?
I enjoy studying philosophy… Kant, Plato, etc. I find Kants ideas attractive, the formula for humanity. This formulation states that we should never act in such a way that we treat humanity, whether in ourselves or in others, as a means only but always as an end in itself. In other words, be good to yourself and others because it is the right thing to do, not for transactional reasons. Kant’s ethics are organized around the notion of a “categorical imperative,” which is a universal ethical principle stating that one should always respect the humanity in others, and that one should only act in accordance with rules that could hold for everyone. So yeah I do my best to love everyone and treat everyone with respect, kindness and dignity. I do the best I can to do my work thoughtfully and purposefully.
Interview: Elektra Limnios