A Few Minutes with… The Cast Before the Break
ALBANY – Coming on the heels of their release, Where We Are Now, The Cast Before The Break has even more exciting news. Being met with critical acclaim for their newest record, the band has decided to put the album, which was ten years in the making, on vinyl. An exciting venture for any project, it seems that a band once thought to have ridden into the proverbial sunset is breathing new life once more.
Those interested in the band’s work can help fund the release by clicking here.
I had the pleasure of catching up with the band. As we discussed their vinyl endeavors, it was nice to see what has arisen since the release of their record back in March. What follows is our conversation.
Lucas Garrett: Welcome back, you guys. Good to see you again.
Jeremy Carter: Good to see you.
TJ Foster: Good to see you, too.
JC: Good to see YOU, TJ!
TF: Yeah, you as well!
JC: I feel like the last time we saw each other was during the last interview.
LG: It’s been a few months since the album came out. How do you feel about it? How’s it been going, and what are you guys working on now?
JC: I feel great about it; the response we got was pretty awesome. I’d say it was more than what I expected from a band that hadn’t been doing anything for ten years and suddenly came out of nowhere again. It did really well. I’m excited to see the response and see people enjoy it as much as we enjoy it.
TF: Yeah, I agree. We went in with very few expectations. As Jeremy said, we haven’t done much in a while, but it was cool seeing people come out of the woodwork; sending us a lot of praise. It was great.
As far as what we’re working on now… we’re trying to do a vinyl pressing of this record – something we’ve never done before.
LG: What was the impetus behind wanting to put it on vinyl?
TF: The only way people buy music nowadays is really on vinyl. It felt like a great record to put on vinyl.
JC: For me, part of the impetus was, that we actually had a lot of people that reached out individually that were saying, “Oh, are you going to press this on vinyl anytime soon?” It started the conversation and then we started looking into how we wanted to do it. We landed on something we’re all excited about.
LG: Nice. You guys haven’t really done anything, as you said, in ten years. Now, this album is out that was very much revitalized, and there’s this interest in it after a very long time? How does that feel? To me, it must feel like a sense of not only closure on a record that was in the works for so long, but also pretty surreal.
JC: Yeah, I definitely think it’s surreal. You’re one-hundred percent right in that – at least for me, personally – I’ve had all these songs in the back of my head for ten years. Any time I thought about it, it was always… I don’t know if “dark cloud” is the right word, but it was this thing hanging over us. I really did believe these songs were some of the best songs we’d written and I was always disheartened they’d never see the light of day.
Now that they are out and better than I thought they’d be, it definitely gives me some closure. I can look back on it and just be happy that it was released. Even if nobody ever listened to it; if it got a bunch of bad reviews or people were shitting on it, I feel I’d still have been OK because I was happy that it got done and I saw those songs finalized.
TF: It’s not unfinished business anymore, right?
JC: Yeah, no, it definitely feels like it’s not unfinished. It’s led to more inspiration to pick up the guitar more and keep writing. Who knows, maybe something else will pop out down the road. We’ll see.
TF: Yeah, one-hundred percent.
LG: How do you feel about it, TJ?
TF: Pretty similar. I had a little different connection to the songs, or at least in the sense of how I was revisiting them over the last ten years like Jeremy was saying. I was the one with all the raw recording files, right? Every now and then when I got a little wistful, I could open up a Pro Tools session and see what we had done. It was a blessing and a curse. Was this thing ever going to get done? The fact that it did and it came together – not only musically, but from a personal aspect, too… The five of us connecting again and everything like that were really beautiful and meaningful to me. And, I think to Jeremy’s point, the songs… just having all the knowledge and skill, for lack of a better word, that has developed over the last ten years or so for each of us, individually, I think it made the songs a lot better than what they would’ve been, had we finished them back in our 20s.
LG: So, the album is out and people are writing to you saying, “Is this album going to be on vinyl?” Over and over again. Now, you’re doing it. Where can we order one?
TF: We’re using a platform called QRates. They combine the whole crowdfunding platform with just a general pre-order. Vinyl is quite expensive to press; it was cost-prohibitive for us to just dive in, especially not having much activity over the last decade. We did a lot of research and this company is really cool with how they approach things.
The preorder campaign is wrapping up at the end of the month, and those interested can purchase their vinyl here. Then, the turnaround time is a few months, which is standard these days.
JC: One of the things I didn’t realize is, it’s not like, “Here’s the recording, press it on vinyl for us, please.” There’s a whole process it has to go through to even sound decent on vinyl.
LG: With all this going on, what do you see happening next? If this vinyl does what you want it to do, is there more in store?
TF: One of the things with the preorder campaign; we wanted to do something a little more special than, “Preorder our record!” It was Jeremy’s idea to do a re-imagining of songs from our whole catalog, dating back to 2007. So, in the works right now is an acoustic EP where we’re re-imagining a few songs from each of our records in a different, more stripped-back light. The idea is to give that away digitally with the vinyl preorder.
As far as any writing from there on out, we haven’t talked about anything formal. Jeremy just sent me a random, minute-long sound clip that I listened to that was really beautiful. So, there are things popping up that we send each other to tease one another.
JC: There’s a lot of back-and-forths.
TF: We have our own musical projects going on as well. Between that and families, it’s definitely busy. I think anything we do going forward will be relatively casual, which is good. It’ll keep it lighthearted and fun.
JC: Being able to tackle this record in the way that we did and over the time that we had, I feel we were all able to write a record that we loved with no expectations. I think beautiful things happen that way; when you can let go of the outside. When you can do what you like; write what you like; do what you enjoy. Doing it this way and keeping it casual allows us to do that and hopefully, we’ll keep putting things out that are on the same level.
LG: Is there a favorite song on the record for either of you?
TF: That’s a thinker! I’ll go with what my favorite song has been consistent – it has sort of changed as the record’s come out. But, since we started recording back in 2012, the song that meant the most to me was the song that opens the record, “Friends of Mine.” It was very encompassing for what we were as a band. It combined everything we liked to do up until that point, and then kind of brought us into an indie-rock direction as well. And, that’s what I really like about this record, as a whole, is that It’s post-rock in a soundscape sense, but from a structural, lyrical standpoint, there’s a lot of indie-rock influences that meld into that. I’m proud of that and that song, in particular, was the epitome of that.
JC: I love all the songs, so it’s hard for me to say one is my favorite. The thing I’m most proud of this time around is the guitar work I got to do. I feel I got the chance to do more than I normally do – at least as far as the last record. I think that was a function of the way in which we wrote. I had the scratch tracks from TJ and I could sit down with that basic track. I feel like I had free rein to write whatever…
TF: Yeah, yeah.
JC: Unfortunately, I was like, “Whatever’s left, Jordan can fill it in.” When we used to write together, our parts came together simultaneously. It was easy to overdo it with three guitars. I felt I had to step back and play more simple things. I felt this time around I got to open it up a little bit; do some more fun stuff; do some more things that I’m proud made it on the record.
TF: It was always kind of difficult to balance three guitars in the mix, right? It’s not the easiest thing in the world, by any means. I did feel it worked out a lot better this time around; we all knew where we needed to play to fill in the right.
LG: Part of that is also the maturity of a songwriter.
JC: Yeah, it’s definitely as important to know when not to play.
TF: Yes. Ryan really demonstrated that. He adopted that “less is more” philosophy and it really paid off in the end, overall.
JC: Not a big Thrice fan, but to quote Dustin Kensrue, “I’m finally seeing how the spaces make the song.”
TF: That’s a good quote!
LG: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about?
JC: We’re super excited for everybody to check out the record, and we hope everybody enjoys it!
TF: Our big push is getting this thing pressed on vinyl. If you like what you hear, it’s a good way to support the music and get a beautiful, physical copy of this thing that you can spin on your turntable.
LG: Alright, you guys! I wish you all the best with this endeavor!
JC, TF: Thank you!
JC: Thank you very much! We appreciate you taking the time.
TF: Thanks, as always. Take care.