Casket of Cassandra Embraces the Void!

Originating in March of 2009 Casket of Cassandra is a five piece Metalcore band from Concord CA. Consisting of lead vocalist Amanda Maddera, lead guitar player DJ Montanelli, rhythm guitar player Riley Olacsi, bass player Jake Ramsey, and drummer Chris Campanga. Casket of Cassandra has achieved several milestones over the past few years. The band has successfully completed two self booked west coast tours in 2010 and 2011 as well as produced and released several releases and are at it again with new material in-store and much more for this year alone!

1. Casket of Cassandra where does a name such as this come from and does it symbolize anything for the band?

Originally the band was just supposed to be a fun side project and then it turned into something a lot bigger, so we started to become more serious. The band name has no specific meaning behind it at all, really.

2. What type of band are you?

Although we’re known as a "metalcore" band It’s tough to classify us as any one kind of music. We love the metal and hardcore stuff, but we also love a lot of non-heavy music as well. And at times it seems like we’re so split down the middle of being a hardcore or a metal band that even fans who listen to that music all the time don’t quite know what to think of us.

3. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Amanda and Riley came together in 2009 wanted to create a sound that combined a lot of their favorite styles, and although we've had several member changes, everyone who has ever joined or left has made some sort of impact on the band. A year after the band had started, we went on our first tour after releasing our first EP (The Makings of a False Truth) in 2010, and then shortly after that, Nemesis Records took notice of us. We went on our second tour in the summer of 2011 and announced our signing with them, and a year later we released our full length album, “Embracing the Void” under Nemesis Records, then not long after the release, we went on our third tour this past summer.

4. Who writes the songs, what are they about?

We all have contribution to our songs, generally our guitarist Riley structures them and creates the full out come of the songs. We tend to write songs about all kinds of stuff. Some of our songs are about all kinds of past experiences and feelings, while some of them are even about movies, comics and video games.

5. Can you tell me about the song and video for "To Fear One's Self".

It’s a story about a girl who is struggling with life, and her only escape is the ocean. While she contemplates life and death she decides to just dive in and swim as far away as she can, however as she’s swimming, the waves are so overwhelming for he that she eventually drowns.

6. How about your single "Breathless" whats that song about? Will there be a video to follow it?

Breathless was the first song we wrote with our guitarist DJ after he had joined the band. The lyrics of the song are about the thought process of suicide and the struggle between the regret of your past and the will to continue. In the end of the song, the lyrics are “It’s not too late for me.” Which symbolizes the realization that you must go on. We all love our songs so much that it’s difficult to decide which ones we should do videos for; We’re always coming up with ideas for one.

7. How does your EP "The Makings of a False Truth" and "Embracing The Void", differ and compare to one another?

On the EP, we all just wanted to get our great ideas out there and produce a record to kinda show the world that we’re here and our peers better start taking us seriously. For “Embracing The Void”, we wanted to show that we have evolved as a band so much since we released our EP and that the only place for us to go from here is up. I’m sure on the next record we make, we’ll turn some heads in all kinds of ways all over again.

8. How would you describe the overall sound of the "Embracing The Void"?

Achieving the sound on this record was definitely a tough job to do. We recorded all of our stuff at Riley’s studio and since he has basically been the band producer since day one, he’s constantly gaining new skills and tricks with recording, and at times he can be a real stickler with making every little thing sound completely perfect. We've had to re-record all the Embracing the Void songs quite a few times because he’ll keep wanting to try something new on the song or change a part or add some sounds or textures and stuff, so it’s a little frustrating at times, but of course it’s definitely worth the headache. Haha.

9. How has the band’s sound evolved from "The Makings of a False Truth" to "Embracing The Void"?

During the release of the first record, we were struggling a bit to fit in with the scene we were in, because not only did our peers not know what our deal was, we didn't either. We were kinda still trying to figure out what kind of band we were. All we knew was that the music we were putting out was fun to play, fun to write and we were just excited to be doing what we’re doing. On our latest album, we feel like we've finally figured out the kind of band we are and have started to achieve the sound that reflects that.

10. Was your songwriting and recording process any different than usual for this CD?

A few of the songs on Embracing the Void were just re-recorded, better-sounding versions of our old songs, and some of the songs were total experiments, for example, one of our singles on the CD, “The Case of Sarah Scott” goes right into “Molotov Cocktail Party” which serves as a surprise because it’s much more melodic and a lot less heavy than what we usually play. Then right after that song is “Of Demonic Obsession” which is probably the heaviest song on the album. That sort of surprise contrast is something we've always wanted to have in an album.

11. What inspired the album title? Is it a concept album?

One reoccurring theme we've found in our lyrics is idea that something dies, whether it’s a person, a relationship, an idea, an emotion, there’s always something that dies in the song. The title “Embracing the Void” is about realizing that everyone and everything eventually ends, which can be both a negative thing and a positive thing depending on your perspective.

12. What are your expectations for the CD?

We just want people to listen to the music and hear our message because we believe there’s something positive to be taken from any of our songs, even the heavier, scarier, more brutal sounding

13. What are your dreams and goals?

Although most bands have their goals set to “make it” we just want to tour and be comfortable enough to not have a day job and do this for a living. We love what we do and hope to do it for a while.

14. You’re signed with Nemesis Records LLC. How did this happen and are you happy with the results?

We had applied to their annual Bay Area Metal Festival where they heard our music and had come to a few of our local shows before the event. Not long after, they had given us the offer and we took it. We absolutely love working with Nemesis Records, they have helped us in more ways than any other label could have.

15. Where are you in the recording process of the new material?

We have a lot of new ideas for our next album and we are hoping to be releasing some new material soon! Stay on your toes!

16. What are your upcoming tour plans?

In March we will be playing Hoeks Metal Festival in Austin Texas March 15th then we are hoping to go on a two week run in July as well as a short run in October.

17. How do you promote your band and shows?

We generally do an online promotion but we still love to do old school promotion such as flyering. We are looking toward getting a crew together to help promote in areas further away.

18. Describe your show, visual and musically for us.

We are very energetic; we love to feed off the crowds energy. We all are fans ourselves and know what we want to see from a live show. We love to interact with our fans and make them a part of our live performances; it’s not just up on the stage, it’s everyone in the crowd that is the show.

19. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Our Advice would be to do music for all the right reasons. There isn't a whole lot of money in this industry, so if that’s all you’re looking for here, you might as well go home. You need to love what you do and when things get rough, don’t give up. Whether it’s touring, making a record, anything at all, if you want it bad enough, make it happen.
20. What inspires you to do what you do?

The love we have for music is what inspires us, and our fans are the ones that keep us going.

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