2012 Roundup with It’s Casual (playing Alex’s Bar on December 27)

After my pal Bradley (Flattbush) asked me if I’d be interested in setting up a show at Alex’s Bar, it’s fitting that It’s Casual would headline. I first saw the band earlier this year when they played with DYS and Negative Approach. Man, they were great and I became not only a fan but a friend of singer/guitarist Eddie Solis. How could I not like a guy who channels the work ethic of SST and modern heaviness of Southern Lord (he’s worked for both labels) and sings exclusively about our hometown of Los Angeles both critically and caringly while never forgetting to deliver genuine punk power and head-banging metal riffs.

That the duo would agree to play a small show with little promotion or planning for a buddy says a lot about It’s Casual being cool dudes but also how much they live to rip it up and share their brutal yet positive message. Hope to see you in front on Thursday, December 27.

MW: 2012 has been a great year for It’s Casual with press that keeps building and a kick-ass new album, The New Los Angeles II–not to mention that rad 7″ split with Early Man. Shouldn’t you be relaxing instead of squeezing in a final show between Christmas and New Year’s?
ES: No way! You and Giant Robot gave me the opportunity to do this show at Alex’s Bar and I wanna seize the moment. In the past, It’s Casual has played at Alex’s Bar with bands like High on Fire, Zeke, Chuck Dukowski, DYS, and Negative Approach! It’s time to create new memories and it’s time to live up to the expectations. Whether it’s being a good person, an honest person, or someone who works hard and delivers the goods, you have to deliver when you are called upon! On November 23, It’s Casual headlined an amazing show at the Troubadour and I wanna bring that same full-throttle show to the LBC. (Witness evidence here and here.)

 MW: In addition to cranking out rad new music, there’s also your new radio show. Can you describe it to people who haven’t heard it? Is it liberating to communicate outside the song format?
ES: I am all about Constant and Never Ending Improvement (CANI)! I love advocating public transportation. I have been taking it for a decade, and through it I have been inspired. I have seen my city anew city because of it! The city is much different as through the eyes of a bus rider rather than through a windshield. So I decided to create a new platform to advocate public transportation and a green message.

Since my music and band is already established, I decided to create and host Los Angeles Nista, an Internet radio show/podcast. There are fashionistas that are experts on fashions, but there are no Los Angeles Nista/experts on Los Angeles. Each week, I have a guest on and he or she talks about something that the city has to offer. Then I tell everyone how to get there via public transportation. It is facilitated at skidrowstudios.com, and is live every Monday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. PST and then archived as a free podcast on iTunes. Some of my early guests have been OFF! and the author of the book Vegan Junk Food, Lane Gold. Upcoming studio guests include Rick Kosick of Jackass, world-class skateboarder Mike Vallely, and living legend Chuck Dukowski

MW: And then you have a photography show coming up. Your work is on your LP covers and I love your Instagram account, but is taking pictures something you’re serious about? Tell me about your attitude toward the art form. Are you into the technical aspects, are you more into just capturing moments, etc.
ES: The other platform i have created for my public transportation advocacy is a photography installation called Through The Eyes of a Bus Rider. It will be opening the Saturday before Earth Day in April at GCS in Santa Ana. It’s all about capturing moments. Visually, my goal is to capture a moment and spoon=feed a message to the people, being that when you take public transportation not only do you save money but you are also stress-free and have plenty to look at. There are more pros than cons in taking public transportation!!

MW: You’re working it 110 percent in Los Angeles. Can you tell me about plans for sharing the It’s Casual agenda outside of our great city?
ES: Worldwide domination is in the works!

MW: Finally, how’s your holiday season going?
ES: Great. It has been abundant: Tamales, A Charlie Brown Christmas, family, and friends!

It’s Casual’s latest album, The New Los Angeles II, was included in the Best of 2012 metal releases by iTunes alongside The Sword and High on Fire. There’s also a compilation cassette, I Scream L.A., which features It’s Casual’s “Forgive Me,” produced by Billy Anderson (Brutal Truth, Melvins, Neurosis, Jawbreaker).