If you live in London and you like going to gigs, you’ve probably heard of Casual Nun, for a while they seemed to be the talk of the town, appearing on countless bills, playing with everyone and their mums and putting out consistently good albums on a seemingly annual basis; they’re an exciting, quickly-evolving group that deserves the hype and delivers new heights at every show. I can’t recall the first time I saw Casual Nun but, by this point, I consider them a sure-thing and I’d implore any reader to come and see them at The Brewhouse, London for our 8 Years of Chaos Theory All-Dayer to discover exactly why that is the case.
CM: For anyone who has yet to see Casual Nun, how would you describe your sound?
I guess heavy and repetitive is what we do? I’ve always been interested in the way repetition works on the mind as you listen to music, blasts of dissonance working against steady rhythms, subtle changes in the music creating a different experience as the song progresses. Listen to live versions of the Velvet Underground doing Sister Ray or Oneida’s Sheets of Easter or anything by Les Rallizes Denudes as a good example of that. To be honest with you, most of our stuff starts around simple ideas, with everyone layering their parts on top. We try and keep a lot of improvisation involved with it as it keeps things interesting and different every time we play.
CM: Will there be any new Casual Nun merch for fans of the band to pick up at the all-dayer?
We have two new records coming out soon, but I am not sure if one of them will be with us by the time the all-dayer rolls around. The most likely candidate to be in our hands on the day will be a split 7” we have with Luminous Bodies on God Unknown. It’s part of the God Unknown Singles Club Vol. 3 but we will have individual copies to sell at some point. We also have a split LP with Bruxa Maria coming out, but that is definitely not going to be available until March. At the very least we will have T-shirts, and the first and second LP’s for sale on the day.
CM: There are a lot of great bands performing at the 8 Years of Chaos Theory All-Dayer, do you think it will be challenging to stand out in such a strong line-up, and how do you approach gigs like festivals or all-dayers as a band, in terms of making a particularly resounding impact on the audience, so that they think of you when checking out records et cetera after the show?
I don’t really think like that to be honest. Playing with other bands just gets us excited to play, and I enjoy every gig we get to do as it’s a chance to play with my friends and have a great time. If someone leaves affected by what we have done that is a great feeling, but it really isn’t on my mind when we are going to be playing. I think with festivals I just enjoy the whole experience of seeing a lot of different bands and hanging around, I talk a lot so it gives me ample opportunity to speak to all sorts of different people as well.
CM: Which other bands/artists are you most excited about watching at the event?
There are a lot of bands playing that I haven’t seen before, so I am looking forward to watching everyone really. Of course, having Taman Shud and Big Lad there is going to be great, as we are pals with those guys. It’s going to be a lot of fun bringing the night to a close among them.
CM: How do you find building a set for a line-up such as this, do you feel as though it is easier or more difficult in any way, as your number of releases increases?
We pretty much go with what we want to on the day, so we’ll probably make a list of what we want to do a couple of hours before our set. We pick the songs we feel like playing completely dependent on how we feel at that moment, so it actually is a lot easier the more releases we have as it gives us more choice.
You can find Casual Nun bringing their psychometric riffage to the face-melting spectacular that will be the 8 Years of Chaos All-Dayer on 03/02/18.
Interview by Chad Murray