Artist Spotlight

An Interview with the Ladies of Casual Strangers

Casual Strangers, a band out of Austin, Texas, formed in the last year and already they’re releasing their first album. The band is comprised of two women, Jaylinn(synths/keyboards) and Katey(lead singer, lapsteel guitar, triwave) and two men, Paul(guitarist, vocalist) and Jake(drummer). Their sound is psychedelic and retro, yet they manage to keep it current. The band’s couple, Paul and Katey have a vocal combo that could remind you of Jefferson Airplane but there’s something more there.

The gals, Katey and Jaylinn were kind enough to do an interview with Women in Rock. Here’s what they have to say about their band!

IK: With four people, who writes the songs? Is it a collaborative effort? 

Katey of Casual Strangers
Katey of Casual Strangers

Katey: Our songs come from moments of inspiration, and we try to capture that instant in a song. Sometimes it comes while we are making dinner in the kitchen, or unexpectedly running into an old friend. All of our songs are built on moments, and then we get together and work it out as a full band. Paul always wrangles us in and gets the arrangement right for the songs. But it’s a very supportive environment, so we try to honor everyone’s ideas.

IK: Who are your musical influences?Who’s your favorite female musician?

Katey: Major influences are a lot of the late 60s early 70s psych bands that have both males and females in the band, like Jefferson Airplane, Gong, and Amon Duul II. There is a real power in harnessing the male and female energy as one entity. Meshing the two is super psychedelic. It’s hard to pick one favorite female musician, I’d say at the moment it’s Heart. Ann Wilson is such a rock star. Her voice and power is inspiring.

Jaylinn: I always love listening to kraut and psych rock. Richard Wright (Pink Floyd), Rick Wakeman (YES), and Herbie Hancock are 3 of my favorite keyboardists. My dream is to one day have Brian Eno tell me I’m awesome. I am a huge fan of Hawkwind and Tim Blake. I guess as far as the ladies go, I would have to say that Dolly Parton is still my favorite lady. And my mom who was just inducted into the Women of the Honky Tonk Hall of Fame in North Texas.

IK: What influences your psychedelic style?

Katey: My Mom has influenced my psychedelic style more than anyone else. She was a part of the hippie-era, counter-culture movement. She protested Vietnam in D.C, was at Woodstock, and then lived in Boulder. I still wear a lot of her vintage clothes! She raised us with the music of that time, so it’s kind of just who we are. She still won’t let me have any of her good records, though!

Jaylinn: It seems like culturally we are in an “anything goes” period fashion-wise which is perfect

Jaylinn of Casual Strangers
Jaylinn of Casual Strangers

for me. I have always been eclectic in my wardrobe and music choices, and being in a band gives me an opportunity to dress up and wear things that I might not sport going to the grocery store. Or maybe I might… I think it’s mostly influenced by my freedom to dress myself choose my own outfits from a very young age.

IK: What’s your favorite thing about the music scene in Austin?

Katey: The best thing about Austin, and its music scene, is that there are all these adults being creative, pursuing their dreams,and expressing themselves. It’s those people who make Austin such a dreamy place to live.

You can listen to their debut album, Casual Strangers here. Be sure to check out my two favorite songs, “Space Blues” and “Banshee.”

Casual Strangers

An avid rock musician and enthusiast as well as a rock history buff.

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