AP: Writing this interview, I tried to get away from asking as many Northstar-related questions because many of those have been asked before. I think people shouldn't dwell on the past; they should remember, but not dwell. What do you think about this?
Nick: I think you are somewhat right. It was good for what it was, and all it was was music. It's not a person. It's not a car. It didn't disappear. Put it in your CD player and listen to it. The band members are all still alive ... for the most part. Don't sit around and write emails wondering why we broke-up and calling us "assholes" or whatever. I don't care, just take it for what it was. I went through that whole process with Kurt Cobain and it's not healthy.
AP: What does the band name came from?
Nick: I lifted it from Monte Cassino. I just like the way it looked; it has no significance whatsoever.
AP: What is it like to be in a successful band and then have to start all over without a record label?
Nick: It depends on what your definition of "successful" is. I figure now it's just a blessing in disguise. It's not a big deal anymore; record labels aren't a big deal anymore. Of course it would be nice to not have to get real jobs, but that's just avoiding reality. I don't really know why no one was interested in us. Although, I don't blame them. We (Northstar) managed to screw things up for ourselves pretty badly.
AP: Has the music you've written for Cassino been an ongoing project throughout Northstar's career, or did it abruptly begin following the break-up of Northstar?
Nick: For the most part. it just happened. It was like, "Well, that's done with, guess I'll start doing some else". It wasn't hard musically.
AP: How has your experience in Northstar affected your drive for creating an entirely different sound in Cassino?
Nick: Once we toured on Pollyanna for awhile, that was it. I didn't want to make that kind of music anymore. I didn't listen to it, didn't really care about it. So what's the point of doing it? I was personally doing it because I didn't know what else to do. Towards the end, Tyler was like, "This sucks". And I thought about it for a second, and came to the conclusion that he was 100% right. Besides that, the whole genre is watered down to the point where it's not even listenable anymore. It had promise about 5 years ago, now it's just ridiculous. But don't get me wrong, there are still some bands and some people out there in the "scene" who I admire and think are talented. There's just too many that aren't.
AP: What was behind the choice of using Will Noon (on drums) for the demo songs?
Nick: Will is a great drummer. I like his style. We just called him up and asked him and he said, "Okay". We were trying to get him on the album, but we had conflicting schedules.
AP: Is Elliot Fountini a permanent member of the band? If so, what is his musical history?
Nick: Fountini is the moon that circles the planet. He plays with us sometimes. He hasn't really played in any other bands. He's a member of the family, though. He plays, does merch, sometimes he tour manages. He takes pictures, pretty much all our pictures, which he is extremely good at. I guess he's like our Andy Warhol. He's definitely a good character to have around.
AP: Where do you find the inspiration for your songs and lyrics?
AP: You guys are still without a record label, how will this affect you when trying to release a new album? Will it be difficult to find?
Nick: Well, I have a feeling it will be difficult in the beginning. As long as you have access to the internet, you will have access to purchasing a CD. It's not the best business plan, but it will work. As far as finding it in stores, we haven't really worked that part out yet. But as long as people BUY them, then the process will function. If people just download them and burn them, we are probably fucked.
AP: There were rumors that you would only sign to a label that would offer you major label money. Is this true? Also, did any indie labels try to sign you guys?
Nick: Well, we just want to be millionaires. Obviously, I mean, who wouldn't? The smart thing to do in life is to sell yourself for the most money possible. It's the American way. That way you can avoid suffering reality for as long as humanly possible. After selling all those millions of records with Northstar, I mean, we deserve tons of money ... from major labels. It's just mathematics. Actually, we've only talked to one label seriously. They were one of those subsiderary record labels, and they came up with the money. I don't care about money. I never had it, and probably never will.
AP: You said you were going to have the record completed by Thanksgiving. Is it finished?
Nick: Yes, we managed to record 12 songs in 14 days. I just need to go in and finish up some vocals. Other than that, it's done. We have to find some time to mix now, which probably won't happen until late December.
AP: Are the fours (that have already been released) on the new release?
AP: What producer have you guys been working with on the new release, or have you been doing it on your own?
Nick: We are working with Craig Krampf. He's an older guy, and he's produced a lot of stuff, but mostly he works as a session drummer for pretty much everybody. He's great. He also plays drums on the album. We are recording at this place in Nashville called House of David Studios. David Briggs is the owner and he used to play keys with Elvis. One of the main rooms has a door in the floor where Elvis would come up from the garage because he didn't want to use the front door. A very interesting place owned by interesting people. It's a whole different world than what we are used to. We wanted to try it on our own, but neither of us own a computer.
AP: Do you guys play acoustic guitar throughout the new album? Or do you switch off between acoustic and electric?
Nick: There's a lot of both; some songs are mainly acoustic, some songs are acoustic and electric. It's quite a mix up. We went for different sounds on every song, so I don't know what it sounds like. Every song sounds different; it's more like a Greatest Hits album or something.
AP: Are there any surprises we should look out for on the new release?
Nick: Garry Tallent (from the E-Street Band) played bass on about 5 songs, so that might surprise you upon listening, if you are into that kind of thing. We have a plethora of different musicians playing on this record.
AP: Do you guys have an expected ranged date for the new release?
Nick: We don't have a date as of yet. I actually don't even think we will have a "release date", we might just press them and put them up to sell. It shouldn't be that long; the first half of next year.
AP: What are your other plans for 2007? Will you be doing a full US tour?
Nick: Hopefully. We are looking to get a band together and get back out on the road. We have to figure that out.
AP: Are there any bands you guys plan on touring with in the future?
Nick: Not at the moment, although I wouldn't mind another As Tall As Lions tour ... for the 5th time.
AP: What is going to happen with the Broken Parachute EP?
Nick: It's getting mastered; it should be out soon. The guy who is putting it out is a friend. He has this thing called Speak Music Media here in Nashville, he just got it started. I think you can find it on MySpace. It should be out next year, I know it's been awhile.
AP: Do you plan on making anymore videos for the songs that have already been release?
Nick: Yeah, Tyler is really into 8MM and 16MM film. We were talking about doing the same thing we did with "American Low" with other songs. He lives in Dallas now and has access to film editing equipment, so we will see.
AP: Where do you see yourself as musicians in 10 years?
Nick: At the bar down on the corner.
AP: Are there any bands you think the world should know about?
Nick: Hm, I don't know. My CDs got stolen for the 3rd time and I can't afford a MP3 player, so I don't really listen to much.
AP: Is there anything else you would like to say to everyone reading this on AP.net?