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Interviews : De La Cruz – “Everyone always thinks we’re massively influenced by Def Leppard” (A quick chat with Casey Jones)

By on March 8, 2012

De La Cruz – Casey Jones

Since a mid-teenager in 2006, Queenslander Casey Jones picked up a guitar for the first time of his life and never looked back. Over the years, Casey has made many highly-viewed YouTube videos showing off his great guitar skills, covering songs by some of the biggest bands of the 80s such as Dokken, Whitesnake, Ratt and Guns ‘n Roses. In the middle of 2011, Casey formed De La Cruz; a band that gives you a mind-trip back to that generation where the big hair and catchy tunes were alive. Their debut EP “De La Cruz” (available for free download here) was released last October, and since then it has had over 80,000 downloads (and is personally one of my favourite releases of 2011.)
Recently, I had a quick chat to Casey to talk about that EP and the bands current success, a new album and everything inbetween.

Metal Obsession: To start this off, tell me a bit about your musical background. What got you into guitar and what achievements did you make before forming De La Cruz?

Casey Jones: Musical background? I have this rad picture of a Kramer guitar set as my background, it’s a real awesome one, it’s of a Baretta with some hot chick!
However, I was actually a drummer before I was a guitarist, I got REALLY sick when I was 15 though, and was missing in action from drums for about a year. I couldn’t just waste my time doing nothing musical so I picked up the guitar, been doing it ever since. As far as achievements go, I have heaps of little ones, not many big ones, but I’m still proud of them. Probably the one that would stand out to most is the Gibson Kramer Guitars endorsement about 2 years back, that was such a shock but such an honour!

Metal Obsession: With songs aired in several countries, over 80,000 downloads of your album and a full page feature in AOR Classic Rock magazine (with another one coming soon), I bet you’d be pretty amazed on how far you’ve come since the album release last October?

Casey Jones: It seriously has amazed me! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought De La Cruz would be sitting in this position in our honeymoon stage! We’ve had numerous offers from labels since the article came out in Classic Rock AOR Magazine. Can’t say too much about that at this stage however…

Metal Obsession: Who are De La Cruz’ main influence musically?

Casey Jones: Haha, you wouldn’t like it if I told you, so that ones a secret. 😉 But everyone always thinks we’re massively influenced by Def Leppard. To be honest, Roxxi (vocalist) is the main one with the Def Lep hysteria.

Metal Obsession: I know that you and singer Roxxi had been working on some music a while ago, with a song called S.E.X on YouTube. Did you two have all of the debut album songs pre-written before you got a full band together?

Casey: We didn’t have all of them pre-written, but some of them, yeah. Our next full length album will be different though, everyone is putting their trademark in, which I personally LOVE! This album is gunna be SO much better than the first! Some of the songs on there are just ridiculously cool, both musically and vocally. I can’t wait to hear the final production.

Metal Obsession: Let’s talk about the new album that you’re currently working on. Can we expect it to be similar to your debut album or will there be a slightly different sound?

Casey: It will be the same sound, but with a few added bonuses. 😉 We’ve still got LOTS of tricks up our sleeves. Its gunna include a solid De-La-sound from the last album, with a little more musicality and some super catchy hooks.

Metal Obsession: Releasing the first album for free download seemed to work well for you in getting the band known. Do you plan on doing that with the next album or will there be hard copies?

Casey: The next album will be for sale………. however i can’t stipulate how or via what mediums because we just don’t know; whether we stay self-dependent or go with a label is unbeknown to us at this stage. The album is WELL on its way, personally i want to hold off for another October 3rd release and keep it the same every year…. But this album may come earlier. We’re only going to announce it 2-3 weeks before its out.

Metal Obsession: Do you think your highly viewed videos on YouTube and being endorsed by Kramer guitars has helped get the De La Cruz name out across the world?

Casey: It has definitely given us a kick start in the right direction! I don’t think its the only thing that has helped us though, thats for sure!! Its amazing how much De La Cruz has taken off away from YouTube, in a way its gone further than we ever could have just promoting on YouTube.

Metal Obsession: What’s the local music scene like in Queensland? Is there any way you think it could be improved?

Casey: It has got some AMAZING bands. Seriously, bands I love to watch and listen to. The scene is the same as everywhere else; average at best, however there seems to always be good turn outs!

Metal Obsession: Are there any bands from Queensland that you’d like to give a shoutout?

Casey: Yeah, definitely! The boys from Prefontaine! They’re AWESOME, killer band, love their sound! And Battleaxe, those boys are rad!

Metal Obsession: What bands do you listen to often that don’t revolve around the glam rock genre?

Casey: Haha, will I be shot if i say Skrillex? Being an academic sort of musician I listen to HEAPS of stuff, from jazz, fusion, rock, hiphop, zook, world, indie… Everything you could imagine I come across on a daily basis at uni!

Metal Obsession: I’m pretty sure you would have come across a critic who says that ‘glam died 20 years ago’ at least once. What do you say to people who tell you that?

Casey: Glam did die 20 years ago, but at the moment its just being revived! SO many bands and movies are bringing it back! Like that new Tom Cruise movie with Catherine Zeta Jones (She’s got a pretty good last name that chick!)

Metal Obsession: If you were to pick two 80’s rockstars to go on a two week holiday with you, who would they be and where would you go?

Casey: I’d probs pick Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee! Who cares where we go! Those boys would make anywhere fun!!

Metal Obsession: Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Casey: Yeah there is actually. At the chicken farm, who decides which chickens become roast chickens, and which chickens become chicken salt?

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Patrick has been a dedicated contributor to Metal Obsession since 2011. He believes that you can put Lars Ulrich's face on just about anything. Add Patrick on Facebook.