Casual Male is an indie rock band based out of – brace yourself – Brooklyn, NY led by songwriter / guitarist Tim Lappin. Lappin has actually been a bassist and sideman in notable acts for years, known for his permeating sense of humor as much as his creativity and skill on four strings. The music video for “Takin’ It Easy” from their debut, the Casual Male EP, premieres exclusively today via BandWagon, below.
Lappin set out to make something of his own (literally, literally anything, like a vase or a loft bed) after years of playing in so many different projects, including Nick Murphy – fka Chet Faker, Companion, Hayes Peebles, Bright Silence, Goodbye Picasso, Steve Waitt, Seasonal Beast, Pepi Ginsberg, and perhaps most notably, his role as Jimmy Buffet’s original guitarist and co-writer in the early 1970’s before he was born and this is actually not a fact at all. The other stuff is true though, and you should definitely buy him a Jimmy Buffet t-shirt for Christmas.
All those years playing in other bands and singing “Fins” in unison with thousands of Parrotheads on stage with Buffet (see false resumé bullet point above) brought many real musical friendships. Stand-out friends from those many projects Kirk Schoenherr, Dave Burnett (yep, the amazing car photographer), Grant Zubritsky and Brian Killeen were brought into the Casual Male studio fold. They each tote seasoned musical backgrounds themselves, having played with MS MR, Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker, Companion, Gold Lake, A Great Big World, Skaters (appropriately) and no, not Jimmy Buffet.
EP is Casual Male’s first release and Lappin’s first foray as a front man. The record was co-produced by Lappin and Abe Seiferth at Transmitter Park Studios in New York, a detail worth including in your “Casual Male” google search so you don’t accidentally buy some oversized khakis from the Big & Tall clothing outlet of the same name.
Lappin says the “Takin’ It Easy” video is the result of himself and director Ian Lynch having worked together many years ago at the Brooklyn Brewery. (“Worked” – nice. Cheers, boys!) The synchronicity of musical details and moments of action seen here were inspired by frequent screenings of classic surf films projected on the Brewery’s walls. During the casual screenings, so to speak, the two “employees” would take turns spinning their favorite records.
This vibey, visual and sonic combo was the basis for their collaboration, with Lappin suggesting a similar aesthetic to the surf films as a starting point. Lynch, now a filmmaker based in Los Angeles took that idea and ran, er, skated with it, shooting a beautiful slow-mo-heavy golden hour homage to friendships. The narrative follows three skateboarders (JC Tremblay, John Getz, and Trevor Hollander) journeying on their decks from the stunning, hilly landscapes of Joshua Tree, all the way to the famous Venice skate pool.
Buttery playback speed and the gorgeous juxtaposition of silhouette and lens flare heighten the simple action of the three bros shredding, creating narrative depth which hints at the flux of group dynamics. Perhaps a not-so-on-the-nose influence bleeds through here: Lappin’s hard-earned experience in the music world. Groups form, members join, and when the golden light hits just right, it’s beautiful. But members leave too and groups divide, putting you back on the road alone once in a while. Lappin and Casual Male have kept their grin and carved a path forward despite the constant change in the music world, making the only call true players can really make: that to either Skate or die.
Watch “Takin’ It Easy” below.