The music of Casey Just and the PsykoPhoniks blends dark humor, stories of sordid love, sex, death, and everyday small-town, blue-collar life while putting a modern spin of different musical styles such as Psychobilly, Surf, Swing, and Punk. The band cites Reverend Horton Heat, Link Wray, Tom Waits, Dick Dale, and Southern Culture on the Skids as the biggest influences on the sound of the band.
Casey Just grew up due east of the Nevada Air Force bombing ranges on a dry farm in the high plains desert of Northern Utah. As Just describes what growing up in that corner of the Beehive state was like he said "It was like living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. We lived a mile north of a missile plant, we lived about 10 miles south of the Interstate. We'd see strange lights hovering over the missile plant. Every now and again someone would drop off a dead body under the overpass of the Interstate. City folks would move out there and totally flip out, some of them moved out there to start their own cults. Looking back on it I guess there was alot of bizzare things that went on around that little town even though it was only big enough to have 4 stop signs and two swimming holes. I guess it does make for some great song material."
He learned about guitars from his father's Rockabilly/Surf/C&W band "the Westerners". As far as Just was concerned nobody was ever cooler than his dad when he strapped on his big red Gibson guitar, took the stage and stepped in front of the microphone. "One of the first thing my dad did was teach me how to fret an E chord and use the wang bar and the toggle switch to make all sorts of cool sounds. That's what I wanted to do right then and there but I wanted to do it crazier, louder,with a punk rock attitude and a heavy metal type of precision" says Casey, "I didn't just want to 'Rock', I wanted to R-A-W-K!!!"
Just spent many years in Utah creating a unique blend of retro-tinged Rock n Roll that fed off of the racous energy of his live performances. Self-producing his first CD he then began performing as Casey Just and the Jive Cats. At that time, he was doing a "bluesy, heavy-rock type thing" with references to Tom Waits and John Fogerty. Quentin Tarantino's film 'Pulp Fiction' however, was the inspiration that he claims made it all click for him." A lot of the music I loved was rooted in that primal music from the soundtrack of that movie." He started experimenting with some of those old music styles and created some hybrids just to see what might happen if you said "to hell with the rules."
His search for musicians that could help bring his sonic vision to life and the desire to further hone his song writing led him to relocate to Austin, Texas in 2001. Upon his arrival, Casey set to work putting together a rhythm section of two seasoned musicians, bassist, Gary Feist and drummer, Jimmy Fenno. Soon the trio was playing live in Central Texas, and people were starting to take notice.
One night after a performance Casey was introduced to veteran producer Stephen Doster. Doster was impressed with the intensity and honesty of Casey's live performances and he was dead set on getting what he saw on tape. The trio went to work recording their finest performances with Doster and his longtime partner, engineer James Stevens at the Bridge Studio in South Austin, Texas. Drawing inspiration from early rock and roll albums, an all analog recording was made without the aid of computerized software.
The final product of Casey's collaboration with this talented team was "HickaBilly Style", a fun, vibey, stripped-down, all out rock and roll party with serious under currents and jagged textures. The title was chosen for the subject matter of the songs and its fusion of Casey's primal Rock roots. "HickaBilly Style" is the culmination of a lifetime of musical experience of experimenting with new musical styles and setting them on a foundation of vintage rock music. Casey's fully realized sonic vision and the hot-rodded sound of the "HickaBilly Style" recording demanded a new name for the band, Casey Just and the PsykoPhoniks.
Both of Casey Just's Cds can now be purchased at http://CdBaby.com.