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Crisis Casanova Celebrates Haunted Melodies With 'The Fool'

Hugo Phan
Crisis Casanova (L-R): Brenna Beeson, Cecilia Raheb and Josué Estrada."

Crisis Casanova celebrates the release of its new EP, The Fool Friday, March 23, at Kirby's Beer Store. Here, the band, which consists of guitarist/vocalist and primary songwriter Cecilia Raheb, Brenna Beeson (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Josué Estrada (trumpet, drums), recently stopped by the KMUW studios to discuss some band history and its current status.

Interview Highlights

Jedd Beaudoin: Cecilia, this started with you writing songs. When did Brenna come into the picture?

Cecilia Raheb: Me and Brenna both went through a very similar struggle and met each other because of that situation. Through music, we were able to find relief. It was a sort of therapy for both of us to be making music together.

How did you wind up with Josué? Did the two of you know him before?

CR: We already knew him. He's already in so many other bands. He wanted to join our band immediately. He said, "Well, I don't know if I have time." But he couldn't help himself once he started hearing our music and what we were coming out with. He was already writing parts in his head.

Then, when he started playing with us, he couldn't go back. We needed him. He added too much.

Josué Estrada: They're actually keeping me hostage in this band. I'm not allowed to leave.

And you're on drums this time, right?

JE: It actually started with a little bit of trumpet, just for harmonies on the EP. They were writing new stuff. I think we were at my place and I had some drums set up. I just thought I'd try drums. I think Cecilia was a little terrified because she's never played with a drummer. The first time I played drums for real was during Tallgrass. Somebody asked [Cecilia and Brenna] if I could play just to make it a little fuller for that specific event. Then, after that gig, it went so well that they said, "Don't leave! Keep playing!" And the music is so amazing it was hard for me to step away.

Let's talk a little bit about the musical direction. It has some, I suppose, old-timey elements and jazz. Is that the music that you've always enjoyed listening to or is that just what came out when you started writing?

CR: I grew up listening to a lot of different kinds of music. The music I was originally writing was more in a gypsy jazz style. We started expanding more and branching out into new things. I've picked up electric bass, we've added keyboard and drums.

JE: I think the EP and what we're doing now is almost polar opposite. Now you hear a ton of my influence and a ton of Brenna's influence, and it just makes this … like the mixing of a drug. You take it and then you hear a song and at the end of it, you say, "What just happened?" You're hearing all kinds of different things and you can't pinpoint what's happening, but it makes sense at the same time.

Brenna Beeson: The great thing is that we all have different past musical experiences and we hear different things, but we respect everybody's influence in this band. So we don't really have a set genre that we're trying to fit into. We really experiment with our different personal styles and it creates something that I've never really even heard.

You working Brody Wellman on the actual recording of this. He's very meticulous about sound. He really hones in on things.

CR: You have to tell him to stop at a certain point. He's like the artist that won't put his paintbrush down. "It sounds good, let's print it!" He'll say, "No, I just need to fix that one line."

BB: "It sounds like that one note is just a little flat. Let's fix that." It's really amazing to work with someone with that great of an ear. With this, I really wouldn't have had it any other way. It was absolutely amazing.


Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.