The Crystal Casino Band’s new album Maryland House, out January 27th, is top notch. The music is incredible and professionally produced and is a crusher! Yes, I am seduced. Its lyrically smooth and it’s got the alternative vibe I have missed since The Killers and The Strokes came on the scene. Songs “Curfew” and “Jamie” are reminiscent of the explosive alternative music and vibe in the early 2000’s. Maryland House will appeal to all walks of life and even genre – loving people, so take a break from the norm. This is what I needed today, and I think its something we all need to enjoy music and feel the power behind it.
We were able to get some time in with Jordan Mullaney, bass and vocals and discuss the band’s history and the music in the making.
How long have you guys been together? Where are you from?
- Jordan: The four of us met as students at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Pete (lead guitar, vocals) and Joey (drums, vocals) first met at freshman orientation, naturally bonding over their love for The Black Keys. Later, I met them both playing gigs together in separate bands and from just sharing the communal music space. Later, they asked me to join the band and I didn’t hesitate. After graduation, I left to move to New York, and then Jarrod, who we always knew via mutual friends, joined on guitar. When I moved back to DC in 2020, the guys asked me to “jam” and now, well, here I am again.
Tell us about the last album to now, the progression?
- In my view, Not About You is a compilation of solidly strong indie songs that have memorable hooks, coming-of-age lyrics, and very tight, to-the-meter playing. Our new album, Maryland House, is less one-dimensional. The songs have an ebb and flow tackling more complex subjects like the insurrection in “Curfew,” the hypotheticals of a near-death experience in “Antlers,” and love songs that self-reflect more inwardly, like in “City That Sleeps” and “Talking Stage.” There’s a lot to savor and explore in this newest album, which I think makes a more interesting listener experience searching for depth in song meanings and easter eggs in the production. Maryland House has a unique feel and shows a maturing confidence in our songwriting and performance.
Who is the mastermind behind the music & lyrics?
- Pete, he writes about 90% of our songs, and with the other 10% that we’ll bring to the table, he’s generally there to help us fill in the gaps, polish it, and bring it from demo to TCCB song. Jay Nemeyer, one half of Sunday Coffee will also take our songs and rework them, so he also plays a huge role in allowing us to think outside the box and elevate the structures of the songs. We are very lucky to have such a great partnership.
What inspires you musically?
- In terms of who inspires us musically, the two most obvious answers are The Strokes and The Beatles. The Strokes’ inversions of chords, using the entire neck of the guitar, and vocal leadings within a straight, 4/4 major key song are a huge influence. The Beatles, well…yeah, not going to draw any comparisons there. Another honorable mention is Dr. Dog for their guitar and vocal harmonies. In terms of what inspires us musically, personally, its improvisation and letting the musical environment and your mind hijack a song. If you allow yourself to be vulnerable many pleasantly unexpected things can happen that wouldn’t have been discovered otherwise. Also, the general goofiness of jam bands is something I think we have in live settings.
What’s been your most inspiring experience so far touring and playing shows?
- We’ve never done a full tour or anything more than a leg of two shows consecutively. That’s partly what inspired the name of the album Maryland House. We spent so much time traveling up and down i95 on weekends doing trips to NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, always back in DC by Sunday. Maryland House is a rest stop just north of Baltimore. Something noteworthy always happens to us there. On the way back from our travels to the Northeast it serves as a landmark and lets us know we are almost home. The building also just looks kind of sick from the outside.
The scariest experience on tour? Or any ghost stories?
- When we were in an Uber once in Boston, a Halsey song was playing on the radio and Joey asked the driver, “Can you please turn this song up as loud as possible. It’s my favorite song and I would really appreciate that.” The driver obliged and we were all really caught off guard because there was no warning of that happening, and no one knew Joey liked Halsey so much. It was out of left field, kind of scary how out of character it was for him. But it turned out that Joey was just trying to drown out whatever Jarrod was talking to him about at that exact moment. Haha!
Your perspective on music life and the industry as a whole?
- I have a love/hate relationship with TikTok. Love it because of how many convenient life hacks its taught me and how niche the humor can be. Hate it because it’s destroyed my attention span, but more importantly, its grip on the music industry and the preoccupation with making a song go viral. I really don’t like how now there are factors you need to consider, like length and quotable lyrics that could drive trends, that outweigh creativity and what feels natural to an artist. That said, I’m sure that’s the same old argument against any invention, like the radio. Good music can still exist.
The Crystal Casino Band will officially celebrate the release of Maryland House on Thursday, February 9th with a headlining show at the 9:30 Club in their home city of Washington, DC. Grab your tickets if you’re in the area!
TCCB will also head to Columbus and Chicago in May for more headlining gigs; visit www.crystalcasinoband.com
Artist Links: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify
Maryland House Track Listing
- 1. Curfew
- 2. Twenty-something socialist
- 3. Jamie
- 4. Sorry Not Worried
- 5. Boys & Girls
- 6. Until The Sun Comes Up
- 7. Talking Stage ft Divine Sweater
- 8. City That Sleeps
- 9. Wealth and Riches
- 10. Half Staff
- 11. Antlers
- 12. Quarter Life
- 13. Getting Closer