NEW YORK — Making their New York debut at the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon, disco/funk quartet Casxio aren’t letting the opportunity go to waste. With sets scheduled for four of the festival’s‚ five nights of the festival, the soul rockers are hoping to broaden their fanbase beyond their native Los Angeles.
Amidst all the running around, frontman Lucas‚ Guerin chatted with Blast while gulping coffee at a TriBeCa diner Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s always interesting when you know you’re playing to people who have never heard you,” he admitted. “The show is a journey, and by the end you want to have the audience.”
Asked to assess the band’s‚ first performance, at Piano’s on Tuesday night,‚ Guerin said confidently: “By the end of the show, we definitely had ’em.”
The band’s formation is a classic L.A. story: they met as strangers on a ride at Disneyland two and a half years ago.
“(Keyboardist Andrea “Dre” Choe) was screaming,”‚ Guerin recalled. “‘It’s Disneyland,’ I said. ‘It’s not scary.’ She got offended.”
That led to a conversation and musical bonding session over hot dogs and lemonade that‚ fellow park attendees Eric Saez (guitar) and Zach Schrock (drums) joined in on. With that, Casxio was born.
Fast forward to present day, and the band is gaining buzz with their single “Seventeen,” the video of which features‚ Guerin in full-on drag acting out the role of the song’s narrator.
“I wanted to write a song from the point of view of a 17-year-old girl,” he explained. “Because no matter who you are, as far as love goes, everyone’s got a 17-year-old girl inside of them.”
When it came time to film the video,‚ Guerin said he pondered dressing up as the character, but was reluctant to share that concept with his bandmates. Eventually, a friend brought up the idea, unaware that Guerin‚ had already been considering it.
“As soon as he said it out loud, I was like, I have to do it,” Guerin said.‚ “If I was really gonna do this right, I’m gonna be the girl. That’s got to‚ happen.”
Utilizing his‚ acting background, Guerin‚ “researched” the role by watching Madonna videos and trying to imitate her moves.
“It was awkward for the first half hour or so,” he said of the video shoot. “Until I had the third or fourth beer in me. Then it was fine.”
Casxio’s sound is a mishmash of the band members’ individual tastes, which range from 50s motown to jazz and funk, Radiohead to Phillip Glass.‚ Choe is classically trained. Guerin is aware that the band’s aesthetic defies convention and might leave some listeners bewildered.
“The songs are about relationships, but it’s not like, someone broke my heart and I’m gonna cry about it,” he said. “It’s like, someone broke my heart and I’m gonna fuckin’ throw up all over myself, but do it in a crowded room and not even care.”
Casxio plays the Rumble CMJ Showcase at Southpaw Wednesday at 9:30 p.m.; the Official ASCAP Showcase at Canal Room Thursday at 8:30 p.m.; and the High Rise Showcase at Norwood Friday at 9 p.m.