10 Questions With Cassettes Won’t Listen

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Today we have an interview with Cassettes Won’t Listen. CWL is the one-man project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jason Drake based out of Brooklyn, NY. He maintains a unrivaled web presence, coupled with a great sound that has reaped him the rewards of having a great buzz. Check out some great insight he has for you guys.


1. What is the biggest mistake your band ever made?
The biggest mistake that I’ve ever made relating to my music career would have to be signing away my publishing when I first got started. It was when I was first discovered and was hungry to make a name for myself. I pretty much handed it over for pennies. Luckily the label / publishing company tanked and they gave it back to me. But I learned the hard way, don’t give up your publishing unless the suitcase is full of money!

2. What is the smartest thing your band has ever done?
I continue to self release albums meaning I own the master and publishing. I feel this is the smartest thing I’ve done when it comes to my career. I’ve turned down a lot of deals because they haven’t been right and I look back and appreciate that I have full control over my music. The deal would have to be pretty great in order for me to sign with a label at this stage in the game.

3. What advice can you give for a band looking to improve their live show?

Practice, practice, practice. And when you’re done practicing, practice some more. Make sure you’re comfortable on stage and can connect with the audience.

4. What advice can you give for a band to build up a buzz?

Free music. I wouldn’t be very far if I guarded all of my music under lock and key. Be prepared to give away a good percentage of your music when you start off. No one will buy music from a band they’ve never heard music from. Spread free tracks all over the place, someone has to like it somewhere.

5. What is the coolest piece of gear you have come across recently?
The Monome. I’ve recently bought a Monome 128 and am still wrapping my head around what I can do with it. Sometimes it’s very frustrating but it’s one of the coolest interactive USB open source controllers I’ve ever seen. When you find those select few who are very comfortable with the monome, it’s amazing to watch what they can do with it.

6. What is something you should bring on tour that most people may not think of?
I actually don’t tour that much which looks to change soon. I’ve stuck to mainly shows in and around NY. I do have plans to set up a national tour in the Fall though. Bring a video camera.

7. Tell us something cool you did in the recording studio?
Just banged out 6 remixes for 6 bands for this free remix ep I’m giving out titled, (F)remix. http://www.cassetteswontlisten.com/fremix.zip

8. Tell us a cool story from the road?
I played a music fest in Vermont a year or so ago and it was filled with tons of people camping in a field who were there just to hear music. I figured many of them had never heard my music before but they acted like they were my biggest fans. Nothing better than getting actual crowd response while up on stage. Nobody moves while watching a show in New York.

9. What is the dumbest thing you see other bands do?
Release the same music over and over and over.

10. What have you learned songwriting wise recently?
Patience. I’m one of the most impatient people in the world. I’m putting out an instrumental album June 16th so I can sit back and work on crafting my songwriting. Instrumentals are easy but when adding the true songwriting element of melodies, lyrics, etc, that just takes time and patience.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.