Caleb De Casper's New EP Is Here and Totally Queer
De Casper is “high-octane danceable rock music for you and your daddy”
By Beth Sullivan,
3:50PM, Wed. May 15, 2019
“My brain is fucked.” So growls Caleb De Casper on the opening track “Elephants” of De Casper. It’s a ghastly line, but coming from the lipsticked-smeared smirk of Austin’s resident trashy glamster, the proclamation is only fitting for his debut EP, which drops this Friday, May 17.
A staunch believer of sonic collaboration, De Casper recruited two producers Evan Kleinecke of Austin’s 5th Street Studios and DJ Colson, who De Casper knew from North Carolina, to help him blend his tracks into the “audio paintings” he envisioned. De Casper clocks in at five songs – four brand new tracks plus his previously released single “Good Boy” – and bears De Casper’s signature piano-pounding melodies, as well as his unwavering devotion to a queer point of view. Calling in from the mountains of Boone, N.C., De Casper explains, “I don't change any of the pronouns for my situations in songwriting, because time and time again throughout music history – pop music history, rock music history – we know [musicians] are singing about homosexual relationships, but they disguise it for mainstream audiences and that doesn't help anybody achieve anything.”
In addition to making an unapologetically I’m-here-and-I’m-qweeah EP, De Casper says his other goal was to put a spin on the sounds and artists who had “inserted themselves into my DNA through the ether of pop culture.” For now, De Casper doesn’t want to give specifics away, hoping listeners will infer for themselves (“I mean, that’s part of the fun, right”), but he teases that one track, “Havana Hope Boy,” originated “with an inspiration from Lady Gaga, and I mixed it with Cuban lounge music.”
L.A.’s dream pop singer-songwriter Valen and Down Under’s kaleidoscopic artiste Kirin J Callinan (of screaming-phantom-cowboy-in-the-sky meme notoriety) are providing support at Friday’s release show, which De Casper says folks can expect the antics his shows always entail: “the rock dance music, the mixture of genres, the fun disco, and then just the dirty glam.” And if you’re planning on getting up close and personal to the stage, maybe go easy on the hairspray because the rhinestone punkster reveals he’s started throwing and spitting fire, safely, of course. “I really think I missed my calling with not being invited to the Met Gala this year,” he laments. “The over-the-top camp thing, like ‘How extreme can we be?’ I love it.”
It’s a summer of firsts for De Casper and his band Toghether, they're taking the EP on the road for De Casper's debut tour across the U.S., with several stops in the conservative southeast of De Casper’s childhood. He admits it’s put him in a reflective mood about his early days of performing. “I can't believe I did this, because it was actually really dangerous for me to start doing this how I did it, when I did it, where I did it,” he offers. “I'm wearing fishnets, high heels, and lipstick in the NASCAR bars of North Carolina, and I really, honestly, can't believe that I never faced physical violence. I had people throw stuff at me a couple times. I had people say ugly things to me, but no one ever actually threatened my life, and that's pretty amazing.”
“I'm so excited I'm going to be exposing people who've never even thought about doing this. Maybe they're queer themselves and they need someone. … You never know who you're going to influence, and I'm so glad that I've done this and I'm going to take it out there and show people, show strangers, you know?”
Get torched at Caleb De Casper's EP release show this Fri., May 17, 9pm, at Hotel Vegas, 1502 E. Sixth. $13 (advance); $15 (day of). See Facebook for details.