Definitely NOT Lacking Energy

by Gill Sherry

TRNSMT is the word on everyone’s lips this summer, not just in Scotland, but over the border and into the market town of Macclesfield, the home of indie band, Cassia.

“It was amazing, it was so good,” says drummer Jacob Leff, recalling the band’s first and only TRNSMT gig. “We’ve played in Glasgow loads, right from pretty much the first time we played outside Macclesfield. The crowds are always crazy. It’s been the benchmark.”

Safe to say that he and bandmates Rob Ellis (lead vocals and guitar) and Lou Cotterill (bass and vocals) are looking forward to their second appearance at Glasgow Green on Saturday 8th July. Particularly as they’ll be performing songs from their latest album, ‘Why You Lacking Energy?’

“We went to Berlin just before Covid…we ended up living there for about two years on and off. We wrote the album whist Covid was going completely nuts, not going out and not speaking to anybody because we can’t speak German at all, still, which is quite embarrassing really.”

Forgivable, though, considering they wrote the entire album from inception to completion in that strange, isolated window of opportunity. Presumably that same window inspired the title?

“When we were looking at all the songs we’d put together,” explains Jacob, “they all had this same theme of being very introspective, like trying to understand yourself. It felt like a slightly metaphorical but also broad enough way of saying, why do I feel like this? It just encompassed all the feelings of the album in a really nice way.”

All three band members contribute to the song writing, as Jacob confirms: “We all write music. We all bring ideas in… usually up to the first chorus and then we finish them, record them and do whatever needs doing, together.”

They’ve been doing this since they first got together in 2016, the result of a drunken night out in Macclesfield.

“Rob and Lou knew each other from way back,” Jacob tells me. “I don’t really know why they chose the tactic, but they decided that going out, getting drunk and trying to find people who play the drums was the best way of doing that. But it actually worked!”

Jacob had been playing drums since the age of ten and had just started to play professionally. He was looking for opportunities when the chance meeting with Rob and Lou occurred. Since then, Cassia has gone from strength to strength. Not only are the guys playing TRNSMT again this year, they’re also supporting Bastille and Circa Waves.

“That should be cool,” says Jacob. “We’ve never really done big support stuff before so that’s going to be a new experience. We’ve been fans of Circa Waves since we were young kids.”

Inspiration, however, is not restricted to this Liverpudlian four-piece. Jacob elaborates: “I get inspired by people I’ve met… when you get to really unpick their music. There’s a band in Germany called Giant Rooks, we got to know them and I really love their song writing. But also The Beatles and The Beach Boys. We’ll forever endeavour to make music that makes me feel like their music makes me feel.”

Although recognised as ‘indie’, Jacob admits it’s a label he uses when he can’t think of anything more niche or clever to describe the band’s style. Having just viewed Right There, Powerlines and Motions on YouTube, the word ‘uplifting’ springs to mind. However you choose to describe it, Cassia’s music is certainly attracting attention. And with a new single (High Tones) due to be released on 2nd June, an EP on the way, and a summer of gigs ahead of them, there’s plenty for the trio to look forward to.

“We’re super excited about the new stuff. We can’t wait to start playing it!”