Andrew Yonki (Caustic Casanova)

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This time around we feature the collection of Andrew Yonki, guitarist in the Washington, DC based heavy rock band Caustic Casanova.

The first record I ever bought with my own money was…

Is it considered “my own money” if it was done with a gift certificate I received as a birthday present? Because if that doesn’t count, I have no idea. If it DOES count, then I’m pretty sure that it was the 90s 1-2 punch of 311’s self-titled album from 1996 and Stone Temple Pilots either Core, or Purple. I have no idea which of those two it was. I think it was Core. I needed “Plush” in my life.

The record that made me want to make music was…

To say that it was the ALBUM that made me want to make music is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams, from the “Reckless” album. My brother gave me the full length cassette as a Christmas present when I was like 6, but that was the song that I played over and over again. It’s all about that open-D power chord at the beginning. I’ve seen cover bands try that song, but they never nail that power chord properly. You really gotta dig into that chord, and play it with enough grit to connect with that primal rock and roll id.

The record I’ve played more than any other is…

Good god, that’s asking a lot, because I’m sure if you took a census of the records I binged at any given time of my life, the play counts are probably even. I’d hazard a guess that I’ve listened to A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs from 2017 onward a similar number of times as I listened to Full Collapse by Thursday between 2001 and 2004. I might have to say that Television’s Marquee Moon and the Allman Brothers’ Band Live At Filmore East have gotten their fair share of spins over the years.

The record that always make me feel good is…

If “The Crossing” by Big Country can’t lift my spirits, there’s a serious issue.

The record I turn to when I’m feeling down is…

I think “The Crossing” is up there, but I also have to give it up for “Keep Your Heart” by the Loved Ones. Side 1, Track 1, “Suture Self” is basically a sonic adrenaline shot and wakes me from any kind of stupor I can imagine.

The record with my favorite cover art is…

It’s a toss-up between “Purple” by Baroness and “Fig. 14” by Human Sexual Response – the former because it’s gorgeous and intricate terrifying, and the latter because it’s absurd slightly upsetting. It WOULD be innocuous if it weren’t for the band’s name.

The strangest LP I own is…

Hands down, my instructional LP of “Russian for the Scientist.” It is literally lessons on how to speak Russian for the purposes of attending scientific conferences. I’ve not listened to it.

The rarest LP I own is…

I have an original press of “Street Survivors” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, with the band photo over a flaming backdrop. We all know the lore – this cover was pulled from shelves after Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines were killed in a plane crash in ’77. Either that, or an LP by Gideon Jaguar’s band from before the formation of Priests. The font is illegible, so I can’t even tell you that band’s name.

The last LP I bought was…

“Ride the Lightning” by Metallica. I can’t believe it took me this long. I had a Sunday-but-not-actually-on-Sunday School teacher play us “Creeping Death” when we were talking about the Old Testament and the book of Exodus. I knew the Black Album and the singles from Load and Re-Load, but never really anything from the era that made them at one time the greatest heavy metal band in the world. I’m not sure Karen Cunico knew that she was about to cement one of her students into a life-long, die-hard heavy metal fan, and I can’t thank her enough. It’s the best thing that inadvertently came out of a Catholic upbringing!

Caustic Casanova’s latest album, God How I Envy The Deaf, was released on October 18, 2019. You can download it, or purchase a physical copy on CD or one of two different vinyl variants here.

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