Since the time Marty Casey shot to fame as a runnerup on hit CBS reality TV show Rockstar: INXS, his brand of rock ‘n roll has been ever evolving. Former L.A. Guns bandmate Tracii Guns describes Marty as “a charismatic front man with a golden voice, incredible drive and impeccable songwriting skills,” Marty’s long and winding journey as a musician has led him to this moment: releasing his debut solo album, The Ground You Walk On, in 2017.
XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Marty Casey: I recently release the video for a song called “Anything You Want” from my solo album The Ground You Walk On. The single was written with Andrew Farriss from INXS and is a straight up blast of kinetic energy!!!
XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Marty Casey: I have been in the bank Lovehammers for 30 Years….. That’s right, THIRTY YEARS!!!!! Way back when we were just little kids, we all bought different instruments and started jamming. We only knew like 30 seconds of any one song but just jammed thru it. We did early Motley Crue, some Led Zep, White Lion, Black Sabbath and we even started writing our own tunes!
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Marty Casey: Our original motivation for starting the Lovehammers is the typical reason… We were not cool enough to be in the hip crowd, we were not big sports fanatics and we loved rock n roll more than we loved school. We were more of a gang than a band. We were like minded friends that wanted to be Rockstars!
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Marty Casey: My Dad only listens to Willie Nelson, my Mom listens to Barbara Streisand, my brothers listened to hard rock and metal and my sisters listened to pop and
rap. I was the youngest and all of that music just seeped into my musical bones and made me like anything with a BIG HOOK!
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Marty Casey: I think the Lovehammers are known for high energy live shows that are as much fun for the band as they are for the crowd. It’s more of a party than an enlightened musical experience. People take the songs to heart but let themselves go at the shows and just have a ball.
XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Marty Casey: I want to continue to write/create new music and make the stars align for Lovehammers to make a new album and play some shows.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Marty Casey: It’s the yin and the yang. You start with writing and creating and recording and dive into that and make something happen that you are proud of. After all that time locked in your creative mind, it is then fun to break out into the light and perform in front of an audience. A song reaches its full potential when it is shared with the crowd. It is also really helpful if that crowd has a few drinks in them!
XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Marty Casey: Lovehammers songs are about real-life personal experiences that happened to me or the band. We write from experience. The crowd is a part of the song because they have ridden this wave for us for so long and are actually part of these life experiences we have. The Lovehammers and our friends/fans are a community and we care about one another. We hang together, we support one another and we share this musical journey together. That is who we are and that is what we are all about.
XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Marty Casey: To not suck! Haha. To write some songs that carry on longer than I do would be the truthful answer.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Marty Casey: A fan was trailing our tour bus from one town to the next for like 4 hours. When we finally pulled into a gas station to fill up, we stepped out and met this beautiful girl Jodie that knew every lyric to every song and just wanted to meet the band and say hello and that she believed in the band. She was at all of the shows that we had on the west coast. This was the first time that the band realized we had affected people outside of Chicago and really made an impression. We had been a big deal in Chicago for years but we felt it never expanded beyond the Midwest. When we met Jodie and her friends, we realized we were making more ground around the USA and beyond. To this day Jodie is a great friend of the band and still comes to our west coast shows and has even seen us in Chicago!!! It’s friends and fans like this that are such an awesome party of the Lovehammers journey.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Marty Casey: I think one of the strangest requests was a girl asked me to sign her boob and she was then going to get my signature tattooed permanently there. I told her that I am not going to sign her boob because I think I am helping her make a solid life decision. So I signed her butt instead. jk
XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Marty Casey: My friends and family are the only reason I have been able to keep the candle burning for all of these years. In the early years my parents not only helped me financially but they were also my biggest support system. They wanted to see me build my dreams beyond the unthinkable. They never once challenged my decisions (not even my decision to join LA Guns!). My father still hands out my DVD to nearly everyone he meets. He is proud of what the band and I have done and he shares that with the world. My brothers and sisters still come to my concerts and are my best friends. All of them have supported me throughout my life by letting me live with them, listening to me vent about the music business and also always being there for me. When you are the youngest of 6 children, you parents and brothers and sisters are your whole world. You think they are all the coolest and you want to be just like them. To this day, they are still my idols. I look up to all of them and try to follow in their footsteps because they understand the true meaning of life… Family!
XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Marty Casey: Be unique and take your spark of energy and throw it way out there. Be different, be weird and do not censor your creativity. Take one simple idea and blow it up into the focus of your life. Don’t overthink everything and silence the critic in your head. Don’t be a band, be a GANG!!!! And the best advice of all… Don’t ever stop! Keep the train on the tracks and you will be amazed how far you will go.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Marty Casey: From my new album it is “Anything You Want”. When we play it live it feels like a jangly, 70’s era Rolling Stones jam with a funky vibe in there. It just makes you move. From the Lovehammers catalog, it would be “Tunnel”. From the intro metal slide of the guitar into the thumping bass and the pounding drums, you get the feeling you are going on a roller coast ride. Every lyric in that song brings me back to the exact moment I wrote them and where my life was at that point. That song is a high definition snapshot of a young band living for the sole purpose of taking over the world.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Marty Casey; The passion of Eddie Vedders vocal delivery on the album Ten made me want to sing. The reckless abandonment of all of the metal bands from the late 1980’s made me want to be a performer. It was the clashing of the two genres in the early 1990’s that made the Lovehammers want to start this over the top, big rock, musical force with passionate songs at the root of the party.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Marty Casey: Van Halen in 1982 (fun-fun-fun ON and OFF the stage), Bon Jovi in 1986 (they were bigger than Michael Jackson), Motley Crue in 1987 (they were at their
baddest of the bad), Pearl Jam and Nirvana in 1991 (changed everything about music for me) and Guns n Roses in August 1988 when they released the video for Sweet Child of Mine and I knew I wanted to be a Rockstar when I saw how cool those dudes looked jamming this EPIC song.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Marty Casey: My greatest accomplishment so far is after 30 years of being on this carnival ride that is music and the music business, I AM STILL ALIVE AND KICKING,
making music and performing shows. The highs and the lows will come and go, but in the center of it all, you just keep goin’!
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Marty Casey: Commercial Real Estate. I have a finance background from the University of Illinois and commercial real estate has been the backbone of giving me and my family a great life while I have been building this Rock n Roll Dream!
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Marty Casey: I am a vocalist so I am proud to use my Shure Microphones. From wireless to the traditional SM 58, it has been a war horse and has never let me down no matter how high I have climbed it or how hard I have thrashed!
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Marty Casey: I think that it is the responsibility of each band to raise their own flag and make their own scene. We did not ever fall into a scene in Chicago. We met a bunch of cool bands and put together some killer shows. We never relied on a music scene to get us anywhere. We were never the cool guys in high school and we were never the cool guys on the music scene. We worked our asses off and never waited for any handouts. We did our own thing and there was no other way than the hard way for us. The cuts and bruises we have experienced along the way have made us who we are today.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Marty Casey: The Lovhammers had a #1 on Billboard well before we were ever signed to a major record label. We did a Musical DVD and we charted on Billboard when we were an INDY band on our own record label (Swinging Lovehammers Records). What it showed us is that you do not need to wait for a major label in order for your band to be successful. Get your friends, family and fans on board to help you take over the world. Don’t run after the record labels, let them chase after you as you start your own revolution.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Marty Casey: Why doesn’t everyone reach out to Dino Kourelis, Bobby Kourelis, Billy Sawilchik and Cousin Bill and tell them to get their gear out of storage, fire up the
amplifiers and let’s kick some ass on stage soon.
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Marty Casey: XS Rock, thank you for giving a voice to the artists and keeping rock n roll alive and well. Without your support, there is no way the young bands would have a chance to grow and get to that next level. You are as important as the musicians in keeping the art of rock n roll in the minds of the youth. Thank you for all you do!