Casual Drag’s attack on mainstream music

By Alfredo Violante Widmer

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Do you see DIY just as a survival strategy or more as cultural stance? No matter how far you stand on DIY ethics, Edinburgh’s punks Casual Drag are in front. When we asked Richard his band’s position on mainstream music, well, let’s say we got the message.

Richard: We loathe the shit you hear on the radio, and we want our music to stand as an affront to the mainstream culture. We strive to carve out our own niche in Edinburgh and stand alone. Our music has a dark punk energy – we want our music to shake the mainstream supporters. If they don’t like us, then we feel like we are doing the right thing!

How do you maintain that punk attitude?

Richard: Our live shows are frenetic and full of punk energy – we want the music to act as a release for our crowds. The DIY ethic is essential to our identity. We put on our own shows and like having control over everything we do when it comes to gigs. There are so many image-focused manufactured bands out there trying to seem authentic. These bands are the enemy, we want to give a voice and platform to authentic, hard-working bands, so we choose who we play with very carefully.

How would you describe the scene in Edinburgh?

Richard: Edinburgh is quite stuck up culturally – we feel there isn’t space for rock music in the city, we are in a constant fight. Venues in our city face closure all the time, we feel we are fighting against this wave to survive! But we love our city and are proud to be an Edinburgh band, this fight gives us a sense of identity and drive. 

How are you coping without playing in venues?

Richard: There are obvious things we can do to keep ourselves going, social media is going to be essential. But I guess it’s time to start writing a new batch of songs and getting some demos down! We had a hell of a lot of really great shows lined up that will now be cancelled altogether and hopefully rescheduled. This is having a massive impact on venues and staff all across the country obviously. The government has fucked our venues and their staff, and we must do all we can to support them. Some of our favourite venues are running crowdfunding pages to cover the costs over the coming months, we’ve donated and hope others can do the same! our favourite venue, Sneaky Pete’s, where we had our first ever gig, is running one here:

Support Sneaky Pete’s

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Cover photo by Neelam Khan Vela