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Friday, January 18, 2013

Death of Kings' Steve Casey on Atlanta, metal, and moving up north

Steve Casey
  • Courtesy Steve Casey
  • Steve Casey
If you're a metal fan, and you haven't had the chance to see Death of Kings, do yourself a favor and head to the Star Bar tonight. Death of Kings has been thrashing audiences all over town for the past four years, and tonight will be no exception. Tonight's show promises to be no quieter and definitely not any softer than any of their previous shows, but it does come with a wistful note. Tonight is lead guitarist Steve Casey's last Atlanta show with DoK before he leaves us for New York.

Death of Kings has gone through a few personnel changes since your start back in '09, but you're one of the founding members, right? How did y'all get started?
Yeah, as with many bands, we've had our fair share of members coming and going. I joined when the band was still called Das Manics. The music had much more of a punk rock feel than it does now, for sure. Matt Matson and I both worked together at a bar in Little Five Points and started talking. I wanted to be in a band, and he needed a lead guitarist. As we were talking Matt told me he wanted to take the band in a heavier direction. Since I had been playing metal since High School we felt I'd be a good fit. A few line-up changes and a name change later DoK was born.

You're moving to New York soon. Do you see yourself getting involved with musicians up there? Will you be making trips back home or meeting up with DoK to play shows in other cities when you can?
Yes, I'm moving to New York. I go to school for Audio Technology, and my school has a campus in midtown Manhattan. I'm going up there to start my career in audio. I want to get my foot in the door in the industry early, as opposed to graduating in Atlanta and then moving up there where nobody knows me or my abilities. So, yes, I will be working with other musicians. As far as my future with DoK is concerned, I can't expect them to wait around for me. My school schedule makes it impossible for me to tour until I graduate, and it's unfair to make the guys wait around when they're trying to do so many awesome things. Also, the love of my life is up there. That's a thing, too.

I saw you play a couple of years ago without a bassist. Between lead and rhythm guitar, it almost felt like there was a bass on stage. What was it like, working without half a rhythm section? Of all the changes the band's gone through, what was the most challenging? Worst? Best?
When we played without a bassist for those few shows, it was actually pretty fun. We've always had a "the show must go on" mentality. The most challenging change was when we had to find a new drummer. It was a tough month or so. As far as the worst change? That's a hard question to answer, as any significant change in a band is difficult. The best was definitely when Amos joined. The guy is a machine. He's extremely talented, skilled, and business savvy. Our momentum picked up substantially when he jumped in. It's been an honor to work with him for the last few years.

As exciting as this move is, do you kinda want to cry a little bit, thinking of DoK playing with a new guitarist?
Ha! It is a little sad, as DoK was my life for a good portion of my twenties. I've changed a lot since I joined, though, and I can't hold my friends back any more than I have already. Honestly, I'm excited about what the future holds for them, and I can't wait to record them. They're all very talented musicians. I foresee even greater things for them in the future.

Death of Kings, Primate, Savagist, and Utah play the Star Bar tonight. $8. 9 p.m.

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