Castle Black have been carving up a unique niche of music that is bold, powerful, intense, and special delivering a soulful brand of alternative rock/grunge filled with feminine angst and plenty of hooks that will mesmerize you from beginning to end.
The Brooklyn band include Scott Brown on bass, Joey Russo on drums and Leigh Celent on vocals.
Castle Black are kicking off the year with a tour in March and have plenty to offer fans in the months ahead.
This band will not only rock you but wow you with their sheer intensity and attitude. “We are making music from our hearts and are sincere in our approaches and messages, said Celent. We are trying to make music that matters, and give our all in our performances. That’s not enough though – we also strive to be decent human beings who think about more than just ourselves and who give back to the environment, to our community and to people we may not even know.”
“We put everything that we can of ourselves into this band, and we think our commitment shows – whether through our music, with its math-grunge detours from the typical steady-tempo 4/4, or with our schedule, which has us on the road and playing shows nearly 100 dates a year, said Russo. We want our fervor for the band to be palpable to an audience, so the listeners and audience members may take that excited energy and do something positive and impassioned.”
Celent always wanted to use her magical talents in performance since a child. “I wanted to play drums when I was a child, but I was pushed in the direction of dance, which I loved very much. Through dance I fell in love with rhythm, emotion and blending the body into sound. I wrote from the time I can remember – poetry, stories and journaling, mostly. Once I was an adult, I still had a strong desire to play music, so I finally learned guitar and went from there. Music combined performing, sound and words into the perfect trifecta in a way that nothing else ever had for me.” Russo added, “As a child, I spent a lot of time listening to CDs on repeat – Nirvana, old Green Day, old Offspring. One day, my siblings and I decided to make a home movie with us pantomiming to Smash Mouth’s Walking on the Sun. I must have drawn the short straw because I was relegated to playing drums. Drums have become a release for me. After that makeshift music video, I took the drumsticks and never looked back.” And for Brown, his dad played a major influence. “I grew up watching my dad play bass in a couple of cover bands.”
“This line-up has been together since around the fall of 2018, said Celent. There are many things that are different about this line-up, but most notably is the intensity and emotional quality to our live shows. Joey and Scott match the emotional intensity of the lyrics, and feel every beat of this music while reflecting that back to the audience. We all love being on the road and love the joys, as well as the challenges, that touring can bring. Scott’s love of pedals and finding the perfect bass sound really elevates the bass parts, and Joey’s creative drumming style and drum parts consistently blow everyone away.”
The release of Take Her My Life in 2019 highlight the band’s progress. “Take Her My Life is a culmination of this band’s journey up until now, said Celent. It’s representative of the new line-up of the band, and speaks to where we are going, sound-wise. We broke the album into two parts – Born in a Dream and Dead in a Dream – and there is this constant push and pull between themes of death and birth throughout, with everything seemingly interchangeable. The first song on the Born in a Dream part, Happy Bday, 2Moro, is a song about the end of things. At our release show, we had a birthday cake with burning candles lit throughout the latter half of the set. That kind of sums up the EP, at least in one image.”
The New York music scene is challenging in a lot of ways, as there are so many things going on in NYC on any given night that you really have to catch people’s attention to get them to your show. It’s also an amazing place to be as a musician because there are so many opportunities, and you are surrounded by inspiring and talented bands. The scene has many facets and has been a huge influence on how we manage ourselves and the music that we make. In terms of fitting into any scene here, I don’t know that we really fit into any of it. We don’t fit in not because we haven’t tried, but perhaps because this is our journey and we aren’t supposed to perfectly fit in. It’s an oddly familiar feeling, if you’ve struggled with this type of thing in other areas of life.
Because we’ve toured a lot, we’ve experienced other scenes, and appreciate things about them. For example, in some smaller towns, there are only a few places that one can go to see live music. So those places tend to be full of people who are really outwardly appreciative of the bands that come through, and you really feel like you are connecting with people in a meaningful and lasting way. The most memorable interactions that I’ve had have been at shows like these, where people have said thank you for coming to play in their town. One of the best parts about being in a band like Castle Black is that we get to travel while doing what we love. We love seeing new places, meeting new people and learning about local culture and history. If there’s somewhere you think we should play, let us know, we will make every attempt to make it happen! We’re also always on the lookout for somewhere that we can play a good game of Tapper.”
While a strong online presence is a necessity in today’s music market getting to see the band live truly will make a major impact in the way Castle Black perform. It is a ‘must see’ performance and highly recommended! “Our number one way for people to find our music and find out more about the band is to come to one of our shows. However, we do have a strong online presence, so people can find the music on most major streaming services and online outlets, although we encourage fans to buy our music from Bandcamp if they do decide to purchase downloads. Bandcamp favors an artist-friendly business model, and holds various fundraiser days, where they donate their proceeds from sales to important causes . These are values that are strongly aligned with our own.
Our website (http://www.castleblackmusic.com) lists our upcoming shows (usually updated a few months out), as well as cool information on the band, including press coverage, information on radio play, a merch store and links to other places you can find us, including social media links.”
Castle Black not only own a creative edge like no other but are intent on doing it their own way and making their own path in the music world and give greater reason to not only experiencing their music but supporting their journey in music. Castle Black is a band with a mission. Celent said, “To make and share our music, and to have people connect with it – doing it in a way that is ours and in a way that supports being decent and caring human beings in the world.” Russo adds, “Same goals as before – be honest and passionate with our craft and reach as many people as we can with that message by sharing our art.” Moore said, “To play the music for as many people as possible.”