This series has been SO MUCH FUN, I almost can’t stand it. Seriously. I want to do cartwheels every time I receive an email with “Interview” in the subject line!! So far, we have gotten to see what’s going on behind the scenes in music with Matt Blake of WhiskeyBoy Radio, Jordan Buford, The Music Enthusiast, and Brian “Torch” Idell, of Torch Entertainment. (By the way, clicking on names leads back to the interview, and clicking on brands leads to their respective websites.)
Today’s behind-the-scenes look is with Casey Stuhlman of Dark Horse Images. She is a ROCK STAR with a camera, y’all. She does fantastical work and I always look forward to seeing her band promo shoots and her live images as well. I heart her hard core, and she is effing hilarious… So here goes. Read up and then go show her some love!!
What first made you want to get involved with music and photography?
As cliche as it sounds, I think this is what I was born to do. I’ve been a music lover my entire life. I’ve been playing “Name the Artist” since I was 3 (not surprisingly, I was a lot better as a 3 year old). I didn’t dig into photography until a few years ago, but I found that I loved it just as much as I did music… naturally, I wanted to marry the two… and make them have babies…and have those babies published for the world to see. 🙂
What was your first concert?
Weezer / No Doubt / Goldfinger – and you know how much I paid?! $12! Granted, that was 18 years ago… Holy crap! That will make you feel old!
Dude, you would have to ask me this. My mind is racing through the bands and I don’t even know where to start or stop. Let’s go with Dillinger Escape Plan when they played at the Ridglea or at The Prophet Bar (isn’t that what it’s called now?)… but not when they played at Verizon. They’re a band that needs to be taken in a small intimate room so you all can absorb every ounce of energy they put out… and trust me you will, and you will be blown away.
Yeowzas…Hate to say this because they’re still one of my most favoritest bands in the whole wide world, but there was a really bad Deftones show somewhere there between 2004-2010 (I’ve been to their show 9+ times now and I never keep track). I got to photograph them, though, last year when they came through on tour and they did NOT disappoint!! Chino had his old school energy and he genuinely looked like he was having the best time of his life up there. It kinda got me crushing on him again haha.
Who are some of your favorite mainstream bands?
Obviously Deftones, Dillinger Escape Plan… Mastodon, Misery Signals, Norma Jean, Turbid North, and Poison the Well (they were my #1 until they called it quit-skies)… honestly, those are just the ones I was running to this morning. I love everything from old school lowrider oldies to american classics to funk to r&b to hip hop to electronic to doom to hardcore to metal… I could go on forever, and will, if you let me. (Katie Note: I LOVE that Turbid North is legitimately mainstream now!!!!)
Who are some of your favorite local DFW bands?
Black Dutch Sioux / Black On High / Pothead Goat / Burn Down / Oh, Sleeper / Magnum Octopus…. OH and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be coming from Cyanide Crisis (in Kasi Daine talk, Cyanide Crisis is the love child of The Destro & Within Chaos… bands I used to watch every chance I had at the Ridglea)!
Do you have any musical talents? Instruments? Singing? Do you play the spoons?
Used to sing until I dropped the F-Bomb during my duet at the Christmas choir concert in school… since then, my nerves are insta-shot the second I think of performing in front of others. It’s something I’m working on currently (haha). I was doing alright on the drums until the camera came along and I could really only conquer one. Sadly, I never had the focus to bother learning the chords with the guitar, which is stupid. I got the callouses for nothing.
How long have you been active in the local music scene?
I’ve been supporting local music since 2004. Honestly, none of my friends listened to metal or punk or hardcore, so I didn’t want to go to shows by myself. Finally, my husband’s best friend and his wife invited me to go to MetalFest at the Ridglea to go check out this band called Debri. I fell in love with the scene instantly.
What prompted you to get involved in local music?
I really didn’t know how to help, other than by spreading the word, baking cookies for the bands (my cookies were the shizznit), buying merch, etc, until I found this photography skill. When I found it, I wanted to put it to good use. I started asking bands to let me take promo pics for cheap, or in some instances, for free. I shot all shows for free. I have so many friends that get up and rock out on that stage and they don’t pay their bills doing so… most of them have day jobs, or some have two jobs! If I can use my skill and cut them a break, I want to do that. It’s a thank you for being ballsy enough to put your music out there for the masses (including me) to enjoy.
What prompted you to start photographing bands?
The second I picked up the camera, I knew I wanted to do rock photography, moreso than any other subject… I mean I love the wedding photography (man, I LOOOOOVE weddings), as well as the families and pets (oh pets!) – but it’s a different feeling… and it’s not on the same connection as the rock photography. I literally find myself lost in the moment when I’m editing a powerful shot… Like Turbid North for example… I’ve seen them so many times and photographed them so many times that when I am editing their stuff, I can hear “Stormblast” starting and I’ll start bobbing my head slowly and before you know it, I’ve got a little headbang action going. It’s like that with every band I edit… it’s like re-living their set.
How many shows would you say you have seen?
Who has been your favorite band to work with to date?
Gah, really?! Don’t make me pick!! Seriously, all the bands I’ve worked with, I’ve kinda formed a bond with, and they’re all welcome at my home anytime! But if I had to pick one, I’d have to say Turbid North… they really took a risk on me when they were working on getting signed and because of their rise, my work’s been published on a couple dozen places online, in a few newspapers, and then in Metal Hammer magazine in the UK. But then again, the drummer from Black Dutch Sioux did let me move his living room outside… 🙂
Where do you see Dark Horse Images going in the next year? Five years?
In the next year I’m going to be building the brand. I’ve operated as Kasi Daine, but to separate the weddings and the music business, I spawned Dark Horse Images. The new site is currently in development, and I’m working on a super big cool project for 2012 (to be formally announced Septemberish). Five years: I want Dark Horse to be a common name in the community. I see myself getting super creative and building sets and really pulling off some dope shit and help some of these bands get to the level, visually, that mainstream bands are at with their fancy shmancy industry photo shoots. 🙂 I’m also looking to build a service offering for sponsorship photos for the bands in the area… Some of these guys are sending in photos with their gear using their phone.. which don’t get me wrong the iPhone can take some decent pics.. But if you’re an industry exec and you’re looking to spend your cash on someone, you’re more apt to spend it on someone who put forth the effort and a little extra cash because that means you’re serious.
What is one thing you wish would change about the local scene here in DFW?
The Buddy System. I used to be able to go out and see maybe two of the same bands and then a few new acts… but everyone got into this habit of having each other play together because, well, it’s hella fun to hang out and share the experience with your friends! However, so many bands should have been provided a chance to perform but weren’t even offered a spot on the bill because they’re not good enough friends with someone… and that’s pretty whack for the fans. Why would I spend my hard-earned money paying to see the exact sets over and over again? One of the best things about local music is finding these young kids who are fresh to the stage and helping them along and giving them the support.. but if they can’t get on the stage because your lame lesser talented friend is playing – well that kinda sucks!
What is one thing you hope NEVER changes?
Do you like sushi?
What do you do with what little spare time you have outside of seeing shows, taking photos, and editing?
I’m a nerd with a bit of social anxiety, so when I’m not shooting a band or a wedding or editing, I’m trying to relax and just spend time with the husband..We spend a lot of time being dorks video gaming lol… I get down with my Xbox Kinect – that Michael Jackson game is off the hook!
Do you have any upcoming shows you want to, as we say at Sawed-Off Productions, WHORE out???
April 6th is a shitty day for me because two of my favoritest local bands are playing in different metroplex cities. Black Dutch Sioux will be tearing it up at The Ranch, while Black on High is having their first show with new guitarist Spenser Freeman. Both killer shows, but entirely different vibes yanno… Either way, I gotta figure out how to be 2 places at once. Then there’s also a special announcement coming about an upcoming 2 day music fest happening soon, and I’m geeked about that. I have the worst memory for dates, but if you connect with me on FB, I’m always whoring out someone’s swag or show.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
I wanna fly. I’ve always wanted to. And can you effin’ imagine if I could fly above the crowd to get shots?! Possibilities are endless. Links to your pages? My website is undergoing a facelift, but it’s kasidaine.com My new work is at facebook.com/DarkHorseImages My old stuff is at facebook.com/kasidaine
Anything else you would like to tell us?
Hey bands – I like t-shirts!! And I will pimp that shit for you! Hook it up! 🙂
Check out Casey’s Work and Awesomeness Here:
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Casey!!!!!