The Casualties
The Casualties
With seven albums under their collective belt and countless tours across the U.S. and Europe,−South America, Japan and Mexico−it would seem hardcore punk stalwarts The Casualties have done it all. But one shouldn’t be so quick to assume anything with these guys who still have much more to bring to the punk-rock scene.
To wit, their latest album, We Are All We Have, though full of their signature bracing, high-octane hardcore punk, also features a few surprises. As drummer Meggers testifies, “[It’s] definitely our most diverse album. There’s a reggae song on there, there’s our staple Casualties anthem sing-alongs, there’s some thrash-metal influence in there, so it’s all over the place, but still holding on to the true Casualties sound” adding, “I think it’s what the band needed after six records.” He attributes the more varied sound to the fact that they all listen to such different styles of music, which are finally seeping into some songs. Meanwhile, guitarist Jake says the diversity is also due to their extensive touring. “Being in different countries just opens your mind to things,” he explains. “It’s definitely still way Casualties fuckin’ real hardcore punk,” the guitarist assures us, but nonetheless still believes “it’s leaps and bounds from what it was [in the early days] to what it is now. We’re not the type of band that would stay stuck in that era. You have to move on. Natural progression just happens , and I think this album definitely− whether it’s our last one or not, we’re all stoked.”

The two also agree it’s their strongest effort to date and think both longtime fans and new will really dig it. Meggers similarly believes it’s their best record sound-wise, saying even though they recorded their last two albums, 2004’s On The Front Line and 2006’s Under Attack, with Bill Stevenson, that with We Are All We Have, the legendary producer has truly outdone himself. But working with the accomplished drummer was also a bit daunting for fellow skinsman Meggers. “For me, it was the most intimidating thing in the world. He’s one of my favorite drummers of all time. I would lose sleep when he would come to New York and do pre-production with us. Just playing in front of him was so nerve-wracking,” he concedes with a chuckle. “I learned so much from him and just became a better drummer out of it. He worked me like a racehorse.”

Another way this album differs from records past is how they went about writing lyrics. While vocalist Jorge penned a majority of the lyrics, Jake, Meggers, and bassist Rick each wrote a few songs as well. “We all have our own say in this,” the drummer explains. But it wasn’t left solely to the band. Meggers’ father, a musician and purportedly the biggest Casualties fan around, even wrote one, a fiery socio-political number, “Apocalypse Today.”

Bottom line: With We Are All We Have, the band’s love for songwriting shines through and they solidly prove they’re more than capable of keeping things fresh and exciting while still satisfying their diehard fanbase.

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