Pop-Break.com prides itself on being a publication that discusses pop culture on the grandest of stages and the smallest of stages. So that’s why we love shedding light on bands who are working hard and producing music right here in our home state of New Jersey. The one man who really has his finger on the pulse of local talent is our resident photographer Jeff Crespi. So we decided to have him curate a monthly column where we focus on an unsigned act that he believes we all should be listening to. For the debut column, he chose Deal Casino, a band who’s lighting up the Asbury Park scene with a regular Sunday Night residency at The Saint.
Deal Casino has become one of my favorite local bands for more then just their musical talents. They are all with no exception some of the coolest dudes I have recently met through going to shows. I have seen them perform at a few local venues like The Saint, The Wonder Bar and The Court Tavern. From their individual personalities to the awesome style of clothing they wear makes the great sound become something to get excited about. I selected Deal Casino to be the first band chosen for this column to set the bar high. Deal Casino is out there doing what they love and showing everyone what good live music is all about. –Jeff Crespi
Pop-Break’s editor-in-chief Bill Bodkin sat down with the band to discuss Sundays in Asbury, great pants and more.
When we first met you guys you were just starting your Sunday residency at The Saint in Asbury Park. How have the shows been going? I know it’s not easy to get people out on the weekly to see original music so how has the response been from locals?
Deal Casino: The response has been great so far. Every week we see new faces and try to put on the best show we can. Luckily, we live really close to The Saint, so after the show we usually have people over and it turns a boring Sunday night into a Friday night party.
What’s been some of the most memorable moments from this series of shows so far?
Deal Casino: We had some crazy nights. Jozii jumped on the bar one night, going nuts towards the end of our song Blanck. JoeP has thrown his guitar to the side and got the whole crowd singing the end of The Runaways. And the best memory for us had to be when we dragged the Saint’s own bartender Meg on stage for shots and a loud singing of Happy Birthday. This last month is only going to get crazier.
How do you feel these shows have helped you guys out as performers?
Deal Casino: We’ve learned so much already through the nearly two and a half months we’ve been performing. At the first show, we were all staring down at the floor and didn’t make eye contact with anyone, but now we try to get everyone involved while staring into their souls. Also, it forces us to practice every week, write new songs, and find ways to keep the crowd entertained.
Members of the band actually relocated down to Asbury Park recently in order to pursue your musical dream. How has relocating to this city helped you guys out?
Deal Casino: We get tighter through playing every week, but living in the same house does wonders as well. It’s been impossible to not know everything about each other. We laugh together, we cry together, we rock together, and we’ll die together. Also, we’ve made so many friends in Asbury Park and it truly does feel like home now.
For those that have seen your name on posters and social media but have never heard you guys before — what song of yours would you tell them to check out in order to fully “get” what you guys are all about?
Deal Casino: In order to understand Deal Casino, you should really check out the song “The Runaways.” We named our last EP after The Runaways because we absolutely love this song. It starts low so everyone can hear each other sing along, but ends in an epic ruckus where we go wild as well as the people in the crowd. It’s just Deal Casino in a nutshell.
Speaking of that EP is there any plan to release anymore music this year?
Deal Casino: We’ll actually be in Lakehouse Recording Studios in September recording a new EP. As for the date of release, there is no set date or any set time length to finish, so you’ll just have to keep checking back for updates.
What do you love about being in Deal Casino?
Deal Casino: The pants.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014? Will the Sunday night residency continue into the fall?
Deal Casino: For 2014, we’ll be recording and writing mostly. Also, probably playing a sh*tload of shows. As for the residency, it may or may not be continuing into the fall.
All photos are courtesy of JeffCrespiROCKS.com which features thousands of photos ranging from local bands playing throughout New Jersey to shows at The PNC Bank Arts Center, Stone Pony and Starland Ballroom.