“Stay Casual San Diego” – An Interview With The Casualists

Article written by Kyla Wyllie

Photography by Annika Cimas

Elisia Savoca, Anthony Minsky, Chris Justo (referred to friends as “Justo”), Steven Arnett, and Hunter Corbisez. These names may be currently meaningless to you, but trust me, you’d do yourself some good to remember them. One of the latest additions to the San Diego music scene, The Casualists, are taking the city by storm, one performance at a time.

Each member brings something completely new to the table, a perfect blend of different personalities, all contrasting yet blending together to make something powerfully amazing. “Steven (guitarist) believes real heavily in punk rock, Anthony (bassist) believes real heavily in medal core, Hunter’s (drummer) just chilling around, he listens to pretty much everything, Elisia (lead vocals) has a strong indie background, and I (Justo) have a real jazz influence. We’re all just chilling” (or as the band likes to say “keeping it casual”). This is a rare occurrence, for so many independent individuals to be able to rely on one another without creating chaos. This “melting pot” of musical impact has helped shape the band into their un-replicable sound. Whoever said “too many chefs spoil the stew” has clearly never heard The Casualists.

The group recently released their debut EP “Past,” setting the first step in the staircase that is their musical career. When asked how this set of songs would define their future music, Hunter simply put, “we put out an EP with five songs that we think are entirely exhilarating and emotional and capture what we want music to be. If in six months we want our music to be something different, it’s just going to be something different. This EP does not define our future music at all, it just defines our present and our ‘past.’ I particularly found this statement very interesting, considering the fact that most musicians would answer with the complete opposite. It’s especially admirable, their firm and immovable control of the content that they produce. Many might take this as stubbornness, but I personally found it as a strong determination to guide oneself without the restrictions of past choices.

Starting out the set of songs, all band members agree that “She Took Her Cat To Amsterdam” was the hardest song on the EP to write. “Elisia wrote a riff, Steven had a vision, I (Justo, yet again) didn’t like his vision. We argued forever, but… I think we achieved his vision without making it suck.” Justo then adds, “I love Steven,” with Hunter quick to jump in, “I love Steven too.” Following up this song, “The Bum Song,” “Crayons,” “Secks On The Rox” and “Mister Floyd,” tie in to create a perfect debut EP.

If you think the recording is fire, just wait until you see them live. Elisia may be small, but she’s got enough spunk and moxie to flood the entire room, along with her soulful vocals. I was entirely taken aback when Justo pulled out that harmonica solo at their Battle Of The Bands performance (refer to previous article for more insight into that night).

But don’t take my word for it! Stay updated for the release of their digital EP and future shows! (Some of which will be featured in the “Upcoming Shows” calendar)

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