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Casey Turner is a phenomenally talented musician living in our beautiful city of San Diego. He is amazing with loop pedals, has opened for The Expendables, and is taking his music where almost no man has gone before.
That’s no exaggeration. An astronaut is literally taking Casey’s new song into space with him to debut it in the International Space Station. What an amazingly cool way to spread good vibes!
I first saw Casey live at the famous Winston’s in Ocean Beach, CA (one of Slightly Stoopid’s early venues). The passion, words, feeling and depth of his music blew my mind. I stood there soaking it all in like a beautiful dream.
Music has the power to take us to special places, and Casey knows exactly how to bring that through in his art.
As soon as I saw his one-man show, filled with cosmic harmonies, catchy hooks and positive island vibrations, I knew I wanted to do my part in helping introduce him to our amazing Hill Kid community.
We chat about why he plays music, his song debut in space, and the power music has to change the world. Casey will be supporting Josh Heinrichs on tour this fall, as well as playing a show with Through The Roots!
Hope you enjoy the interview! Leave a message in the comments if you dig it!
Hill Kid (HK): Where are you from?
Casey: I use to live in Satellite beach, FL. I now live in North Pacific Beach, CA.
HK: Why do you play music?
Casey: I play music for a few reasons. It feels good. I’ve always had strong auditory senses.
Hearing and playing good music seems to elicit certain emotions and can be powerful. That’s why I choose to play and listen to positive music.
HK: Why did you first begin playing music?
Casey: It kind of just happened. I recorded my 1st song when I was 3 years old. My mom put a microphone and recording device in front of me and said “Go ahead, say something”. Instead of saying anything I guess I decided to sing a song that I made up on the spot. The song was called “Chuckle Baby”. And I
ended up releasing it on an CD/album back when I played in a former band in college. I don’t think I chose to play music, it chose me.
HK: What was the hardest part about initially learning to play music? How did you overcome that?
Casey: The most difficult part about learning to play music was overcoming the distance from the string to the fret board of my father’s 1970s beat up, left for dead acoustic guitar. The neck was so bowed and bent there had to be at least an inch between the string and fret board and pressing down to form chords was excruciating on my 14 year old unconditioned fingers.
No one in my family really played music. My father had that old guitar more as a show piece and I found it in the basement. I had asked my parents for a guitar and they said that if I could learn a song on Dad’s guitar then they would buy me one. So there I was 14 years old in my room after school working on rusted-out strings, forming the chords that would eventually get me to the next step – a new guitar.
HK: What’s your proudest accomplishment to date?
Casey: I have many accomplishments that I’m proud of. Some music and some not. My latest musical accomplishment that I’m proud of is having my new single about to be released onboard the International Space Station.
On September 23rd, Astronaut Robert Kimbrough is launching from Russia aboard the Soyuz rocket and bringing my new song with him up to the International Space Station where it will be released and played aboard the ISS. The song is called “Waves On the Ocean”. I’m having a Launch and Release party here in San Diego at the 710 Beach club on Sept 23rd 5 to 8pm. You should come!
HK: What was the best show you ever played? Why?
Casey: That is a tough one. I’ve played a lot of shows and continue to do so.I’ d like to think my best show is ahead of me haha!
If I had to pick, I think I’d say opening for The Expendables at Liquid Aloha Festival for Kona Brewing.That one was a blast. Jamming the Mai Tai Bar in Honolulu on my last HI tour is up there too. I think it’s mostly because of all the support I’ve received out in Hawaii from friends and family.
I had people fly out to Hawaii to catch some tour dates, and it’s awesome seeing that and meeting up with them in a different location. Plus, I think I help give people an extra reason to take a vacation. LOL. I love that!
HK: What is your favorite part about what you do?
Casey: I think my favorite part about what I do is connecting with people. It’s pretty simple. Music has a way of transcending everything.
Borders and differences fade away when good music is injected. It brings people closer together. It’s a commonality between us and it creates synergy. Being part of
that is what I love most about what I do.
HK: What is the most challenging part about what you do?
Casey: I’m a live loop artist. I play solo with my loop station and effects pedals. Putting together songs on stage, in certain environments and and venues can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s difficult to hear yourself. Sometimes the stage is wobbly. Sometimes there is no stage and I’m on a beach trying not to get sand in my pedals and gear. Haaa.
Keeping in time and recording live is a challenge in itself, but that is also what I enjoy about it. You have to stay on top of things when performing, and for some songs you have to stay 1 or 2 steps ahead in order to set things up for the next part. At any moment there is potential for a train wreck so to speak.
You can easily mess up and that’s not counting the equipment failures either. Cables and pedals can fail on you, and of course they never fail on you during a practice. Always on stage in front of a crowd. LOL. I had it happen to me on a live Radio performance once! Dead radio silence as the loop station I borrowed completely shut off. Crickets…oh God. Haaa. So yeah Equipment can be challenging also.
I spoke to Expendables guitar player Raul Bianchi about this since he has 3x the pedals that I have – smart guy.
He basically uses Aux switches to run his massive effects collection. This way he can bypass any pedal that ends up having an issue. It also keeps your effects pedals in better condition because you aren’t stomping on them. You are stomping on the aux switches.
HK: How have you overcome that challenge?
Casey: I basically try to buy the best available cables and equipment. If something isn’t available I will sometimes build it if I have time.
HK: What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
Casey: In my free time I like to surf and chillax after, preferably somewhere in the tropics. I‘m all about the islands!
HK: We believe everyone is an artist or has the potential to be. What does “art” mean to you?
Casey: To me art is something that can be shared with others. It can inspire and create all kinds of emotion. Without art and music the world might be a rather boring place.
HK: If you could give one piece of advice to other artists and creative people who are pursuing their dreams, what would it be?
Casey: Do it because you love it. Follow your passion, but do it wisely.
HK: If you could give one message knowing everyone in the world would read it, what would it be?
Casey: I think I would have to consult Ziggy Marley or the Dali Lama before sending out a message to planet earth. But, I am hoping that my new single being played on the International Space Station gets heard here at ground level and inspires people. : )