I’m pretty sure The Casket Girls are the most existentially cool band of 2013… The Casket Girls are a Savannah trio, comprised of Phaedra and Elsa Greene, along with Ryan Graveface of Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Marshmallow Ghosts, Dreamend, and the mastermind behind Graveface Records. The three came about when Ryan was strolling through the city that he would soon call home, when he came across the two girls in a park, singing avant-garde pop songs. He studied them like a NatGeo reporter until he eventually got up the nerve to approach them. Apparently he’s always fantasized about creating a postmodern take on the Shangri-las… and these girls seemed like they would be his ideal partners for such a project. The band… which really can’t be better described than “a postmodern take on the Shangri-las” released their debut full-length, Sleepwalking, last November on Graveface Records and they got the chance to do a bit of touring behind the release… which seems to be driving their current sound. The band has a self-titled, five-song, EP that is to drop this Saturday, 4/20 – Record Store Day – which is apparently a preview of their sophomore full-length, which is set to drop before the year’s end. I recently got a chance to chat with Phaedra about their new sounds… along with a few of the band’s favorite things…
Phaedra Greene: I think a lot of the EP has more energy to it, which was inspired by our tour with Black Moth Super Rainbow and The Faint. We realized that, live, the band kind of takes on a life of its own and now that energy is seeping into our new songwriting. On-stage, it feels like one of those balls you rub your hands on and electricity shoots out towards them. We’re about to start recording our next full-length, which takes that element even farther.
IC: Are there any other Record Store Day releases that you’re especially excited for?
PG: The Big Star Nothing Can Hurt Me special pressing! And anything else Ryan tells us to listen to!
IC: What would you consider to be the band’s biggest influences and inspirations, whether musical or otherwise? I quite like the story of how you came together, in somewhat of an attempt to create a postmodern take on the Shangri-las.
PG: Oh, thank you! Elsa and I have been writing together for years, but had never really performed for anyone in a professional capacity until we met Ryan. He had been looking for the right girls to work with and somehow we fit the bill. Haha! As far as inspirations, we are really into Bob Fosse, leather and lace (the textiles), and older girl groups like the Shangri-las, the Chordettes, the Ronettes — ESG and Vera Lynn are pretty sweet, too. Sometimes we like to pretend we’re writing in the Brill Building and then delivering those songs to ourselves as the “Talent.” Then we can take a fresh perspective on the songs for performing.
IC: I’m a total cinephile and I’m super into the band’s music videos. They make me think of the likes of Amos Poe, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, and the Cinema of Transgression, but also the Czech New Wave film Daisies, and even the musical number in P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia. Does the band have any especially profound cinematic influences?
PG: We’re so glad you like them! We don’t really have any profound influences, unless you consider old infomercials, VHS tape, and Tales From the Darkside influences. But I just looked up what you mentioned and they are all awesome! We may have some influences now! 😉
IC: Your debut was released last year to critical acclaim and you did a bit of touring. What have been the highlights of the band’s career, thus far?
PG: Honestly, every moment is a highlight right now. We are having so much fun. But, probably, our tour was the most fun. We love playing live!
IC: What are your plans and hopes, as a band, for the rest of 2013? Any chance of another tour?
PG: Our EP comes out on Record Store Day — 4/20. Then we are going into the studio to finish our next full-length, which will be released on Graveface Records in 2013 and hopefully lots of touring as soon as we get a booking agent!!!