An Interview with Jordan Casty of Eleven Dollar Bills

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Jordan Casty is the lead singer for the band Eleven Dollar Bills; here is a link to the band’s first album:

All Our People

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

 

A: I’ve been singing and messing around on instruments for as long as I can remember but something strange happened when I was sixteen and I found out just the slightest bit of music theory.  I felt like I was stepping into a different world and speaking the same, mysterious language all my musical heroes were speaking.  I felt like I had joined a new club and I never wanted to leave.

 

 

Q: What is your creative process?

 

A: My creative process starts with drinking a whole bunch of coffee and messing around with my guitar or piano.  I feel around in the dark, humming melodies and fiddling on the guitar until something sounds like the beginning of a real idea.  Some melody that feels sturdy enough to build on or some group of words that sparks a song idea.  It’s just a construction job from there.  That’s how our new single ‘Waves’ came about.  Some mumble sounded like the key to a joyful idea about serious fun.  A couple hours later we’d fashioned up a whole new chapter of our musical lives.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of your album, All Our People?

 

A: The All Our People EP is about bringing people together through celebration of life.  It’s about amplifying experience across the entire spectrum of emotion so that life becomes a deeper and more exciting ride.

 

Q: Did Bob Dylan inspire your name or is there another meaning behind it?

 

A: Bob Dylan has been my favorite songwriter since I started diving deeply into his work during my college years.  I felt like if I named my band after one of his lyrics, I might be able to direct a bit of whatever spirit has been speaking through him to come through me for a while.

 

Q:  How did you and the other band members get together in the first place?

 

A: This incarnation of the band came together in Los Angeles and we all met through playing music in the bars out here.  There are so many places to see killer live music in LA and when I got out here, I just started talking with everybody I thought was great after they got off stage.  We’d jam and play some trial-shows together and then it congealed into the lineup you see today.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it influence your music?

 

A: I drive a bit of Uber when the music money is slow.  I like to talk with my passengers if it feels like they’re open to it.  I feel like it helps in my songwriting to get so many different people’s stories.  The more varied your perspective, the more powerfully you can write.

 

Q: Your recording is very professional sounding! How did you get the album financed?

 

A: Thank you for the kind words!  Our producer Jim Huff is indeed a master craftsman.  And a master with the budget!  He called in a lot of favors to get this record made and we had a bit of family funding for whatever we weren’t able to cover ourselves.

 

 

Q: What would you change about the music industry?

 

A: If I could change one thing about the music industry, it’d be updating the royalty rates for songwriters.  Songwriters are really getting shafted lately and it’d be nice to see the money split up more fairly.

 

Q: What is your weirdest LA story?

 

A: One of my weirdest LA stories came while driving Uber.  I picked up this guy who told me to “just drive”.  I said okay and when I looked over, he was ‘making it rain’ on Tinder.  That’s when you rapidly and indiscriminately swipe right to rack up a swath of matches.  He kept it up and I kept driving through Los Angeles until he’d found a match that met his criteria.  He must’ve been a pro sweet talker because he had her address in minutes and we headed that way.  I pulled up and he went in.  But not before asking if I’d like to join.  I told him I’d have to take a rain check.

 

Q: At which club do you most look forward to having a concert?

 

A: Since I grew up in Chicago, playing the main stage at Lollapalooza will be a pretty serious thrill.  But the Hollywood Bowl might be even more fun.

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.

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