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Casey Frensz talks past, present and new album “Learning to Love”

Casey Frensz is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and music educator in Minneapolis, MN.  When he is not busy making great music, Casey finds himself still surrounding by music as a music teacher at Patrick Henry High School, maintaining a studio of private students, and producing music in his home studio.  Casey started  playing guitar when he was 8 years old, and it got him started on his endless journey with music. Over the years, he has  learned to play over 20 different instruments,had opportunities to perform around the country, and created a handful of recordings. He has  performed live and recorded music with acts such as: Porky’s Groove Machine, Fforte Adore, The People Brother’s Band, Double Blind, My Kid Banana, Brother Jon Band, Ty Stone’s James Brown Experience, Codesweat Entertainment, Sons of Groove, A Piano in Every Home, Tony Ford and Lindsay Gella, and The Frensz Family Band.

Although I just recently became familiar with his work, musician Casey Frensz’s new album is set to be a latest addition to my playlist. The single  Everybody Needs Friends grabbed my attention immediately the first time that I gave it a spin as an amazing single easily in contention for album of the summer, and for good reason. Its excellent fusion of elaborate, mind-bending funk and quaint folk-rock guitar makes for quite the soundtrack to any lazy bonfire.

The bravado in the lyrics is  understated, minimalist, and yet larger than life when you take the message prose at face value. As a music journalist, I’ve made my living breaking down the little details of tracks from artists making everything from glazed over, polished pop music to jarring, visceral noise rock, and I’ve come to appreciate when  artists takes extra care in assembling an intimate, vulnerable recording that lives up to the production capabilities that we’ve got available in 2020.

Anyone looking for a different kind of music to celebrate the season of sun would be wise to check out Everybody Needs Friends the next time that they’re in the market for new music.

Whether or not Casey is making a chart-topping single isn’t really the point; there’s feeling in his work. Emotion, passion from all the musicians involved leading to a melting pot of quality.

We decided to catch up with Casey Frensz for an interview following the release of new album “Learning to Love”

What inspired you to get into music?
I’ve always loved music, especially playing instruments and improvising. I got my first guitar when I was 8, took every music class I could at school, and studied music education at Lawrence University. Now I am a high school music director and I continue producing records for personal pleasure.

How would you describe your music?
My music fuses elements from multiple genres, but it is usually pretty groove oriented. I like to use rich instrumentation and many layers of vocal harmony to create wide soundscapes. My songs feature lots of pop convention, but I also like to put some little tricky spots and humor into my arrangements. I draw lots of influence from 70s funk bands, jazz, old progressive rock, jambands.

What would you say is your recording and song writing style?
I write my albums all at once- it usually begins with a life event or story that I feel a need to share, and then I start thinking about how to tell such a story with music. I often write all the lyrics first, then I start imagining the general vibe and character of the songs and how the record will be paced. With those general ideas, I start to create basslines and chord progressions, then track parts one by one into my laptop until the sound I hear matches the sound in my imagination. This most recent project features more instruments than I’ve ever used before!

Where would you like to see your music career in 5 years time?
I hope I’m still teaching, and I hope I can continue my pace of releasing an album every year. If I keep that up, maybe I’ll actually get some more people to hear my music and have more opportunities to play it live. Long-term, I’d love to be able to perform this music with all of the instruments and parts, but to build such a live show will take time and money!

Where can music fans listen your music?
The links at the top have all of my music available for download and streaming!

Listen to Learning to Love on Spotify by clicking here


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