Saturday 18 March 2023

SASQUATCH GO ELECTRIC - An Interview With Jason "CAS" Casanova From SASQUATCH

Sasquatch have been a mainstay of the Stoner Rock scene for the best part of two decades since forming back in 2001. The band have released a string of fan-favourite albums that defied genre conventions especially when Sasquatch venture into darker areas of Stoner Rock you don't expect.

The band have built upon a formidable reputation ever since then and they released perhaps their one of their best album releases with 2022's Fever Fantasy.

Sasquatch are headlining the Saturday edition and final day of THE ELECTRIC HIGHWAY Festival located in Calgary which is taking place on Thursday 23rd March to Saturday 25th March.

I caught up with Jason "Cas" Casanova (Bassist) from the band who has been part of Sasquatch since 2007. 

Jason gives a valuable insight with his time with Sasquatch and Behold The Monolith.

Hi Cas. Thanks for doing the interview. How are things with you today?

Cas: All good, Steve! Just packing some merch orders, catching up on laundry, and doing some yardwork. We have brush clearance here in the Spring so that our homes don’t burn down when fire season hits later in the summer. Thus Sunday funday.

I know you're currently busy preparing with Sasquatch for the forthcoming The Electric Highway Festival happening March 23rd to March 25th with you guys performing headlining slot on Saturday night. How are the preparations currently going?

Cas: Riggs just got in to town yesterday and Keith arrives this evening. They are still both living out on the east coast, therefore they’re flying in for rehearsals at the moment. We’re working on the new record(s) as well, so the next two weeks or so we will be hunkering down in the studio to continue writing and putting together a set for the Calgary show. With an album and a couple of potential split EPs we’ve been in talks around, we will need Keith to stay away from the margaritas and focus on pumping out the “hits”. No time for farting around.

What can people in attendance expect from Sasquatch for this festival performance?

Cas: It’s been a few years since we’ve been up to Calgary (April 2018 to be exact), so the sky is the limit. Knock-knock jokes, jazzercise, a pasta cook-off... it can go many different ways. The goal will be for the three of us to collectively stay semi-sober until our set as we go on late into the evening. There is a lot of catching up to do with friends we haven’t seen in awhile. Cam (the Fest MC) might need to keep us locked in the hotel room until set time.

What type of set will you be performing though I presume it will be focusing upon your excellent new album Fever Fantasy?

Cas: Because it has been five years since our last visit, I think the plan will be to play an even mix of songs across the entire catalogue. We’ve gotten a couple of requests, so we’ll be going back through and re-learning tunes we haven’t played in awhile. We do have a fairly long set length based on our attention span, so we may also toss in a couple of new songs too.

Will you be doing any more gigs before the festival happens and if so where will you be performing at?

Cas: No. This would be our first performance out since finishing up our European run with Slomosa in October of last year. Fresh out of the gate for 2023!

What bands are you looking forward to see performing live at The Electric Highway Festival?

Cas: We’re scheduled for Saturday evening, so it’ll be rad to play with our old label-mates, La Chinga for the first time! I’m not as familiar with some of the other bands on the bill, but I’m looking forward to grabbing some beers and hearing some new music!

Sasquatch released their latest album Fever Fantasy in June 2022. What a great album full of KICK-ASS tunes. Perhaps one of the band's best releases to date that's packed full of great riffs and soaring vocals. Have you been pleased with the response the album has received so far?

Cas: Ah, thanks man. Much appreciated! It’s been a weird album for us as it was something we recorded right before Covid and we literally had the masters in hand as we were going into lockdown. The intent was to put it out in May 2020 and tour a shit-ton, so we ended up shelving it until the world began opening back up. Not sure if that was the right call on my part or not. Many of these tunes are over four years old for us now and with a handful of new tunes already prepped for a new release, it does feel like a transition album. That’s just our internal hang-up though, so I’m glad you’re digging it!

I feel Sasquatch last two albums have been their strongest to date creatively speaking. Seems you found a cool new sound that has works brilliantly well for the band. Did you do anything differently for Maneuvers and Fever Fantasy compared to SASQUATCH earlier albums?

Cas: Heh. It’s always hard for us to gauge if we’re actually doing anything different outside the Sasquatch box (especially as we move into album #7). Obviously having a fresh perspective in the band brought a new energy into the mix when Riggs came on full-time in 2016. It does feel like there’s more full band input on the past couple of records. 

Keith is still the main songwriter, but it does feel like we take more time to tweak things these days…you know….move this chugga-chugga to the end, bring up the cadence, dumb down that riff, throw in some ooh-la-las, etc. Now that we’re running our own imprint, we also have the freedom of scheduling releases on our own timeline and that helps a bunch as well.

You joined the band way back in 2007. Did you ever expected the journey to last this long and across so many wonderful albums?

Cas: Hell…I’m surprised we made it through “III”! <smirk> Joking. It was rougher waters back in the olden days. But yeah, it’s wild to think that this has been going on for 16 years. Being able to break ground in Europe and have the ability to tour other countries starting in 2011 really saved the band. It gave us all a new perspective on where the band could thrive and the opportunities that we just weren’t aware of back then. If we hadn’t made that leap and went all-in to get out beyond playing the States, we would have probably thrown in the towel years ago. Now that it has been so long, we’re able to also have a bit of luck touring in the States as well. That perseverance being out on the road in other countries for many years helped bring some love back home. We’re also old as dirt now, and therefore we just appreciate being able to still tour and have fun.

What has been the high points and low points performing with the band?

: Let’s start on the positive. Nothing is better than playing live and getting out on the road. The people we meet and the food (and drinks) we share with the fans across different cities make it all worthwhile. We definitely tested the boundaries last year, partially losing sight of “fun” by going out for almost four months straight, but I learned a lot in the process. And frankly, it doesn’t matter the size of the show. Yes, some of those European rock festivals we’ve played are definitely up there amongst the top of the heap, but some of the most memorable moments are those small gigs at Rocksound (Barcelona), Glazart (Paris), or Wild At Heart (Berlin). People just going nuts right in your face. The BEST. Amazed to this day that people still dig it.

The darker times in the band really came in my earlier days and it intersected with our studio endeavours. Keith was going through some real rough patches with family and personal life when it came time to track both III and IV. Just brutal trying to get him in a mindset to even put the guitar on. I don’t know to this day how IV even got finished. (I would suggest following along with the lyric sheets on those records for context). We somehow made it through though and he got to a place where the road actually saved him. (Usually it’s just the opposite, right?). 2010-2011 wasn’t the best of times, but here we are…2023 or bust! The last two records have been much more stable in the studio, so perhaps that might have some influence on the tunes?

I'm also a huge fan of your work on Behold The Monolith's 2015 album Architect Of The Void. Such a great album. What was making that album like for you. Though, I know you left the band sometime ago.

Cas: It was super rad! First, I got to meet and record with Billy Anderson. Smart as a whip and a quick draw on the jokes. Second, playing with BTM made me a better, more proficient bass player. BTM is obviously a different genre and style of music. I had to pay attention a lot more and really build my chops to keep up with some of Matt’s technical riff salad. I cleaned up a lot of my sloppy habits in the studio and also became a better pick player. Learning bass as a kid, I focused on finger style first and foremost. But I found switching between fingers and the pick later in life opens up a whole new set of tonal possibilities. I’m not much of a musically competent player to begin with, so building a palette of tone is all I got working for me.

We unfortunately had some ins-and-outs with a couple of vocalists during my time in the band and as Sasquatch moved into full tour mode, I felt like I was also holding Chase and Matt back (the two core members). We were struggling to get the new record done, so I talked to the guys about stepping back. They were cool with it and we talked about them asking Menno to take over while I reduced my time. It worked out because he’s cool as fuck, he can sing, and he’s a much more proficient bass player. He’s like a young Ron Royce (Coroner)! They’re also back to a slimmed down trio, so it’s much more efficient. Much love to those dudes, and their new record on Ripple is bitchin!

Do you have any other musical projects that folks can check out or any exciting releases coming in the future?#

Cas: Nothing outside of Sasquatch at the moment as that has taken up all of my extracurricular time since stepping back from Behold! The Monolith. As mentioned above, we are trying to get enough tunes together for a new album later this year and maybe a split or two. I’m probably being optimistic as we are slow as dirt (on top of being old as dirt).

How did you get involved with music? Was it a particular album, group or artist that made you want to write and play your own music?

Cas: My mom turned me on to rock at a young age. She bought me my first Queen 7” when I was like 10. I might have gotten Destroyer from Kiss on 12” around the same time? I saw the Cliff Em’ All video around 8th grade and was driven to get a bass shortly after that. Black Sabbath’s Sweet Leaf was probably the first tune I learned, but Cliff was my idol.

Will you be performing any gigs with SASQUATCH later in the year?

Cas: Yup. After this one-off in Calgary, we will be heading back to mainland Europe in August, then returning to the UK and Ireland (and maybe Iceland!!) in November. We also have RippleFest Texas in September, so there may be some more US/Canada dates mixed in if scheduling works out.

Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom for your fans currently out there?

Cas: Be patient. Be humble. It’s not a competition. Just enjoy the time you have being in a band. Play every show like it’s your last. Whether it’s 5 people or 5000 people. And goddammit, have fun. Oh, and please don’t forget the bass player when you’re leaving the gas station or rest stop.

Words by Steve Howe and Jason "CAS" Casanova

Thanks to CAS for doing this interview and thanks to Asher Media PR for arranging the interview.

Fever Fantasy is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl.


The Electric Highway Festival Info

Check to purchase and for more festival information.

All tickets and pass holders will be receiving instructions by email on how to transfer their 2020 tickets for 2023 ones. As well, all vendors will receive an email to confirm their attendance. Anyone that cannot attend this year – both ticketholders and vendors – can transfer their attendance to a future year.

We look forward to bringing this festival to you, and can’t wait to see everyone in March!

​Ticket Information:​

Advance 3-day Festival Passes are $75. Advance passes are on sale March 22 or while quantities last.
Regular Festival Passes are $95 at the door if quantities are available.

Limited advance 2-day passes are on sale until March 22 or while quantities last.

Thursday/Friday $45 advance
Thursday/Saturday $55 advance
Friday/Saturday $65 advance

Advance single-day tickets are available until March 22 or while quantities last.

Thursday $20 advance/ $25 door
Friday $30 advance/$35 door
Saturday $40 advance/$45 door
*Door prices are in effect if any are left. Watch the event and page for ticket and pass updates.

Please note: All ticket/pass holders from the cancelled 2020 Electric Highway can redeem their tickets and passes for 2023 Festival tickets and passes or can choose to hold on to them to use at a future edition of The Electric Highway. You must contact the Festival via email to arrange the transfer of your passes before attending the festival. We are holding spots for all previous pass holders until February 28, after that tickets and passes are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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