Central Iowa Band Listings & More

Interview with Matthew Lemons of The Cassandra Disease

  1.Matt how did Cassandra Disease get started ?
Who is all in the band ?

Matthew Lemons= Front man.
Mike Lawler=Guitar. Brian Olsen=Guitar.
Anthony Thede=Bass.
Tracy Munger=Synth/Samples.
Aaron Plaskas/AP=Drums

Tracy and Mike began making music together years ago after meeting at Maytag in Newton where they both worked. I have been friends with Thede for many years now, and while observing a show of Thede's former band, I was introduced to Mike. It was at that time that he spoke to me about conceiving a band. He sent me a rough demo and I thought it was the best out of the half dozen other demos i received. I tried out, I got it. I had just moved back from Phoenix but was planning on moving to Florida in the next few months. I did move, and after a year in Orlando, I returned to form TCD. I contacted Tracy and Mike. Thede had left his band, so he was in. Thede then introduced us to a drummer, AP, and after months of try outs, we found Brian. Thus, The Cassandra Disease was born.

Interviews -
This Months Victim:
(Sept 2004)
Matthew Lemons

Front Man of
"The Cassandra Disease"

2. What is the concept ?
The concept is Vision. To be a part of the solution and not the problem. To not complain, but to enforce. There are too many barriers surrounding what people think their lives consist of. Beyond those barriers lies freedom. We sell nothing to people except those people themselves. We give you back to you, full of strength, vigor, passion and faith that tomorrow can become today. We have no associations. Not with nationality, race, religion - none. It's even hard to associate yourself with the human race, looking at how (and why) we've chosen to evolve. The concept of white outfits falls in two pieces: a) Everybody else wears black. b) Purity, a clean slate, untarnished.
3.Are the distinct look and lyrical content all a part of this ?
( or are your evil twins in Knuckbone )
The lyrics are in direct relation with all that we do. All that we do, is in direct relation to the lyrics.

4. What other bands have you or other guys in the band played in ?

Everybody in the band is very excited about where life has lead them, into The Cassandra Disease.

5. People may not be aware that you went to school to be an audio engineer. What area of audio engineering do you plan to excel in ?
What tools and knowledge do you see as important to doing this ?

I obtained an Associates of Science Degree in Recording Arts from Full Sail in Orlando, FL. This is the most hands-on institution utilizing unparalleled equipment and professional instructors coming from all around the world.

My direction is into studio production as an engineer. I also have the mind state for pre-production, capable of being a producer. All the tools, and all the knowledge you can obtain can only make you better.

6. Most people in audio engineering head to the cost (east or west) or Nashville , what brought you back here to Iowa ?

I wanted to live out my artistic life before pursuing a career on the other side of the glass. Plus I spent all my fucking money on school and couldn't support myself in LA or NY. Go figure.

7.How are the roles of singer /songwriter / band member and audio engineer an asset ?
Is there any liability.

Very much an asset. I have a lot to offer the band. But I really try to give the band what they need to feel that they are just as important to the group as I am. The singer is always the egotistical asshole of the group, I hate ego. (that just leaves the asshole part!) I'm usually a very kind man. Usually.

8. Live production and studio production can very greatly do you find it a challenge to make sure your sound is reproduced in both environments effectively. As an engineer is there one thing that drives you crazy about typical live production ?

On the local scene, live sound quality is a dream. The only way to maintain continuity is to hire your own sound man. No offense to the sound guys around here, but there are too many bands and too many drinks to choose from to always get the best sound for every band every time. Plus we have six members. Studio sound transferring over to live sound is always tricky. We have Tracy(synth/samples) which helps, but for low budget bands there is only so much you can do.

9. Back to the band , you where all kind enough to let "The Shocker" (featuring former L7 member Precious) use your equipment to do a recent show at Hairy Marys ...a surprise or did you know that going in ?

They had their equipment stolen in Oklahoma and were pretty much fucked. We didn't know until that night. In fact, Thede chose to drive across town to grab another guitar for them. Some say he's nice, but I know the truth. The bassist was hot, and that is that.

10. On to some of our more typical questions :Who musically do you see as your biggest influences ?

Every band I hear influences my perception on what I want to do.

11. Whom should give it up and call it a day ?

Metallica,Metallica,Metallica,Metallica,Metallica,Metallica, and.........yah.

12. What is the best gig you have done to date or best concert that has some schmozey story to it?

12. Nothing has really jumped out and bit us in the ass yet. I love big stages.

13. Any horror stories about live gigs or concerts you have been to you care to share ?
We play with Dope at Mary's on 8/14. They will set their stage up before we get their, so the crowd will see a creative band opening for................dope. This one will be tricky.

14. You may have answered this in part (#5) but what are the best and worst aspects of being in a band in Central Iowa?

This question could get me in trouble. The best........um........the worst.......after moving around the country, I see that Iowa wants to be "cool" like other cities, but when you try to do something different, or be something different, just the word different doesn't get much attention around here. Just think if Iowa wanted to be...."extreme!".....shit!

16. Plans for marketing, label deals, touring are always a big part of a music business plan , what can you tell us about yours ?

We don't want to be noticed for how we look/what we wear. Were trying to paint a picture of what the music and vision looks like, saving the look for the shows. We are working on our promo packs, the web site should be done soon, we are buying a bus, and we are currently recording. WeAreBusy. The web site is up, but not constructed. www.thecassandradisease.com

17. Any advice to those whom want to get in to the audio engineering business ?

Win the lottery. Really?.....realize that your no good, always grow, never stop idolizing and learning from others. NETWORK! First impressions are key so be humble and passionate, not cocky and irritating. Most importantly, make the choice that you are going to do it and that nothing will stop you. 110 fuckin'%!

18. Any audio hardware or software you can't live without ...or are dying to try out ?

I'm magic with Pro Tools. There is so much kick ass stuff out there. It's just hard to get in the position to use it, without having to buy it.
19. What are you listening to today , what new artist have caught your attention recently ? Any other locals ?

Our band's musical opinions and directions are like the stars in the sky. Aaron is more of an Uranus kind of guy.

20. Where should be be looking to see Cassandra Disease next ?

Throughout the Midwest. We don't want to keep playing Iowa for a long time. The sooner we can go out there and fail, the sooner we'll learn.

Anything else you care to add ?

Thank you for you time and interest. Not to be rock starish, but come see our show. Whatever your fancy is, you'll at least see a passionate, theatrical product.

Thank You Matthew !!!

Be Sure to Catch
The Cassandra Disease

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