Exclusive Interview with The Casey Jenkins Project

The Casey Jenkins Project Why country music ?
~ Casey: Well my music is more of a crossover sound rather than what most think of be "country". Country music nowadays is a blend of all different types of music that's what drew me to the genre. Being from San Diego my songs definitely have that Southern California element to them.
~ Mike: I love all kinds of music, but my roots are in rock and metal.  I met Casey in a metal band back in 2008. The band lacked spirit and drive.  I find that good country music has plenty of spirit, and Casey is an artist with immeasurable drive. 

If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Casey: Personally I think Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood would be an amazing combo due to how powerful and full both of there voices are.
~ Mike:  I'd love to hear a crossover between country and metal somehow.  You have some amazing vocalists in the metal world, and you have some real extraordinary talents in country.  If Carrie Underwood teamed up with someone from the other genres, say Michael Kiske, I think you'd have a lot of room for growth.  HA That is kind of a random answer, but when I saw Carrie live, her projection was amazing, and it made me think of the cross-over idea!

What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ Casey: Well I must say the song that means the most to me would probably have to be "What I'm Missin" (because of) why and who I wrote it for. I have sooooo many new songs that have yet to be recorded that definitely hold up higher in my ranking. But as far as what has been recorded that one means the most.
~ Mike: I think “The Drifter” is my favorite.  Casey wrote the initial ideas before I started rehearsing with him, and he kept saying how much he believed in it.  Once we worked out recorded version, I loved it!  It was the first song that I helped on, and I think it helped me grow as a musical drummer.  The lyrics really take me somewhere too!

Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Casey: I wouldn't mind getting a song placed with Blake Shelton or Chris Young. Alot of my previous songs have been centered around what I think is best for my voice but since moving to Nashville I have learned a great deal about songwriting and how big the business really is with song placement and whatnot. 
~ Mike:  This really doesn't apply to drummers, as we usually are helping out an artist to say what he/she wants to say, but I really enjoy working with anyone who writes music that is meant to be played live.  Brad Paisley's live show comes to mind!

Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Casey: I am gonna have to go with just a few ice cold Coronas. I am not a huge drinker anymore (used to be). I have learned over the years to drink on special occasions rather than every night lol. Just take a listen to “Devil's Punch Bowl” and you can get a little closer to my "twin brotha trouble" lol.
~ Mike: I am definitely into specialty beers...but not to excess! Life can take sharp turns down bad roads if you lose track of whom and what is important. BUT.... I LOVE Pumpkinhead from Shipyard Ales, and all the fun winter brews from Europe!

If you could turn back time to make only one change, what would you change?
~ Casey: I wouldn't change one thing. I believe everything happens for a reason and the mistakes we make teach us to better the future. I have had a rough and dark past but on the other side of the tunnel I have seen what life is really all about and what really is important. I don't think I would be who I am today if it wasn't for mistakes along the way.
~ Mike: I would have lived within my limits.

What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Casey: I have yet to hear "what does it really take to make it in this business" .... with Reality TV and the Internet there are a lot of people who gain instant success and who are a household name for a short while. It seems to me though that your "Brad Paisley's, Keith Urban's or Blake Shelton's have all taken the road of paying dues and working extremely hard to get to where they are and they have a life-long journey with an extremely amazing track record to show for it as-well. I just think when the artist really takes the time to perfect and mold his unique style and craft it makes for a much more unique and personal performer with something different to offer the people.
~ Mike: Hmmn...No one ever asks if a band has problems and how they resolve them internally. I think that is important for other aspiring musicians. When I was young, I just thought bands always were friends and got along, but as I embarked on my own songwriting journey, I saw it as a constant fight with other people. I saw favorite bands break up over irreconcilable differences, but from the outside, I cared more about if they'd make another cd or not. I did not stop to think about what would make the artists' lives better. It was selfish. I think that with Casey and I, we have clear roles with the writing and the band in general. These are natural roles, and when you have mutual respect for each other, there is a synergy that heightens the creative process. If you let the other person or people be themselves and live up to the roles they naturally assume, then the issues and frustration that arise will be acute and not chronic.

Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Casey: Michael Knox. (he has worked with the best that this business has to offer and has broken so many new artists. I think having the right producer is key and much more important than the almighty million dollar studio. Although that is nice too. It’s nice to have a world-class producer behind the the 250,000 dollar board!
~ Mike: I love a great drum room! If it was possible to have drum room with
a monstrous window that had a view of the Montana Rockies, I'd be there ;)

Johnny or June ?
~ Casey: Johnny because Cash comes after it.
~ Mike: Why separate a great team? I can't play favorites, since nothing
good comes from it!

Give us your top 3 country songs ever.
~ Casey: Do to me being fairly new to this genre I think my top country songs are "Crazy Town" by Jason Aldean due to the raw rock edge and the doors it opened for up and coming artists like myself, Brad Paisley's "Online" due to the humor yet clever story behind it. Not to mention how amazing he is at both guitar and singing and "Angels Like Her" by Trent Tomlinson due to just how amazing his storytelling and lyrics are.
~ Mike: I'm new to country, but I remember some childhood faves:”Oh Lonesome Me,” “Big Iron,” and “Ghost Riders In The Sky” (The Outlaws version really jams at the end!).

What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Casey: Well the most memorable moment of my career so far was actually when I was 16 years old playing with my old band GRANDVIEW to 1,000 screaming girls who knew every word I wrote. I must say that made me sure of what I wanted to do with my life and will always be stuck in my mind. Cant't wait for that feeling again!
~ Mike: The day I learned to respect myself as a musician and not get into bad situations. Great shows will come and go, but when you find yourself,
even the bad gigs, sessions, and writing days will end well.

The Casey Jenkins Project

For more info about The Casey Jenkins Project you can go to:

www.reverbnation.com/caseyjenkins

Answers given onseptember 20, 2011