As millions are ditching iPods and other MP3 players in favor of cellphone streaming, members of one local band have doubled down on the past, giving themselves a moniker that speaks to an even older piece of tech.
“I believe [the name] does kind of embody our sound as we want to write music that you can sing along to in your car,” says Roberto McNutt, guitarist of Lynchburg-based Car Cassette.
Founded in 2015 by Roberto and his brother Ricky, Car Cassette has grown into a lyrically-driven, emotionally-charged soft grunge outfit, says Blake Gederberg, owner of Speakertree, where the band is playing a show on Friday.
“Their live performance is personal and intimate, allowing a genuine connection between the band and the crowd,” says Gederberg.
Before the show, the brothers talked about cassette players in cars, Lynchburg’s evolving music scene and plans for new music.
Several of you have the same last name. How are you all connected?
Roberto McNutt: “Ricky and I are brothers, and Amanda and I recently got married. So, I guess that kind of makes us a family band. All we need to do now is adopt [Jonathan ] Fitch, our drummer, in order to be the real thing.”
What's the story behind the name Car Cassette?
Ricky McNutt: “Well the original name was going to be Pugwash, but that didn’t fly with the other guys. So, I came up with Car Cassette. This is from the idea that I think the best way to listen to music is driving in the car, and my car has always used a cassette tape adapter.”
In what ways do you think the Lynchburg music scene has changed during your time in it?
Roberto McNutt: “The Lynchburg music scene has taken on many shapes from my time here. The bands we have been playing with have all progressed so much, and everyone is just putting out amazing music that I think people are more excited to see no-name bands play nothing but original music.”
Your first full-length album came out in 2017. What can you tell me about it?
Roberto McNutt: “Good intentions, horrible execution. We really wanted to write something meaningful and personal. The album deals a lot with depression and loss of identity that Ricky and I were struggling with, but we kind of bit off more than we could chew. We wanted to write and record an album in two months while we were back at our parents’ house. We ended up rushing things and weren’t thorough. We are still proud of and enjoy the songs we wrote, but definitely think there is a lot to be improved upon.”
You released a new single in January. What's the story you're telling on the track?
Ricky McNutt: “‘I Drive a KIA’ is actually about my girlfriend and the feelings I felt when I [was] first starting to fall for her. Just describing that overwhelming feeling of infatuation when I first met her. I just had to write something for her.”
Is there a new release in Car Cassette's near future?
Roberto McNutt: “We are currently recording a five-song EP and are hoping to have it out by end of May. We also have some singles we are going to record and release throughout the summer. We have been writing a lot and are excited to let people hear what we have been working on.”