Talking How to Disappear and touring with Tom from Casey

South Wales favourites Casey came back in 2023 after a hiatus and picked up where they left off. Earlier this year, they released their latest album How to Disappear. Here we caught up with Tom to find out all about the album, touring with Holding Absence and the band’s return.

How to Disappear is more melancholic than previous album Where I Go When I Am Sleeping and focuses on a theme of absence overall. Where did your inspiration for this come from?

During lockdown I ended up having an existential crisis. I was worried that if I were to die, the work I’d left behind would lead people to believe I was a miserable person. That lead me down a rabbit hole of not only reviewing my life, but also other people I’ve known who’ve passed. How I thought about them at the time, how that’s changed, how my perception of loss and death have evolved over time. That all fed into the themes for the record when it came time to write.

The album was recorded in three different studios. How do you feel that this helped shape the record?

The spaces themselves definitely played a role; but the key contributor that differed from the previous albums was time. Being able to take the records away from those places in sections, seeing it develop over time, having the opportunity to revisit and revise. That’s what really shaped the record, but having the serenity of Middle Farm, the familiarity of Woodcroft, and the change of scenery at Neil’s helped too.

Is there one stand out song that means the most to you on the album? Or one that you’re most proud of?

I Was Happy When You Died is a very sentimental song for me. It details what turned out to be a very pivotal period of my life, though I didn’t really recognise it at the time. When I was reflecting on it during the writing process, it became really apparent how much it informed my perception of death. It’s a subject I’ve always been comfortable with, and I have not only my grandmother but my family at large to thank for that.

Casey returned in 2023 after a five-year break. How was it reuniting to make music again? And how did you feel about the response from fans?

Before we began making music together again we sat down and had a conversation about it all. We wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page in terms of motivation to do this again, and that we’d be comfortable and happy writing and performing together. To be honest, after that it was all pretty seamless. Stepping back into the practice room, the studio, and onto stage felt really natural. And of course the fan reaction was incredibly gratifying and validating for us. We weren’t sure if anyone would really care, but we were met with an overwhelming outpouring of support and encouragement.

You’re kicking off 2024 with How To Disappear releasing, a US tour with friends and fellow Welshmen Holding Absence and your own UK  tour. How does it feel to be back in the swing of things? And what else do you have planned that you can tell us?

This is the biggest run of shows we’ve done since coming back and it’s definitely had its challenges. I think we’d forgotten how draining the road can be. We’ve had a tonne of fun, and touring with HA has been a blast, but between me ending up in the hospital, Toby having to take over vocal duties, and the general rigours of the road it’s been hard. The crowds out here have made it worth it though, they’ve all been very respectful and supportive. As for future plans, we’re just taking it as it comes at the moment – we’ve already committed to way more than we thought we would, so we’re not pressurising any more at the moment.

We end our interviews with some fun questions. First up: If you could have written any one song in history, which would it have been and why?

It would be I’m Outta Love by Anastacia because it’s an absolute banger.

How many tattoos do you have and which has the most meaning?

I’m not sure how many I have, around 20 I think, but I have the original LINE art tattooed on my arm. It was a doodle that my friend Sophie did, and as soon as I saw it it resonated with me. Obviously it’s taken on a life of its own now, but it holds a special place for me.

Would you rather live without music or live without the internet? (This includes no streaming services in the no music option).

I’d live without the internet. I think it has the potential to be an unrelenting force for good, but more often than not it doesn’t live up to that. As I’ve gotten older I’ve used social media less, and I’ve enjoyed being outdoors exploring more. If I can walk around the hills in South Wales listening to albums I love, that’s more valuable to me than doomscrolling.

Elizabeth Birt

February 21, 2024

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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