Q&A: Ty Cassutt/Almost Barely

in Q&As/SF Local Bands by

How did you come up with the name of the band?
It’s a play off of how I don’t really consider myself to be a musician. I’m “almost barely” a musician. Almost Barely could be translated to “not quite.”

How would you describe your sound?
I would describe it as Indie Pop with subtle influences from several different genres. There are underlying rock, punk, new wave, and even 90s hip-hop influences in most of my songs.

When did you first become interested in playing music?
Music has always been my biggest passion, but until recently, it was just listening to it. It wasn’t until Covid hit, that I decided I was going to use my downtime to learn to produce music. Once I started there was no going back. I started spending every free second I had outside of work in Logic Pro, learning guitar and writing melodies and lyrics. It was always my dream to make music and I finally decided that I was going to pursue that dream.

What’s the strangest or funniest thing that’s ever happened to you at a show?
Since this is my first song, I haven’t played any shows yet.

What are you listening to these days?
I’ve been listening to a lot of The Cure, Toro Y Moi, The Neighborhood, Fana Hues, and Porches as of recent.

What are some of your favorite Bay Area music venues?
By far my favorite is Bottom of The Hill. When I’m at a show there, it feels like nothing exists outside of that little, grungy room and I love it. I also love The Fillmore, Brick and Mortar, and The Independent.

What are some of your favorites hangs in the Bay Area and why?
Easily my favorite spot is Alta Plaza Park. I love how it sits up above the city and you can just look out over the cozy hills while laying in the grass and just be content. Also, love Baker Beach and Ina Coolbrith Park (just recently got married here).

What does music mean to you?
Everything (cheesy, but true). I wake up every day excited at the thought of finding a new song that I love or being able to make/write a song that means something to somebody. Music makes the sweetest moments in life just a little sweeter and it’s really cool to think that a song I made could be in that special memory for someone.

What inspires you to write?
Kind of what I mentioned above. For me, music has had an INCREDIBLE impact on my life. Making the hard moments easier and the good moments even better. I would love to be able to have an impact on people and their lives that some songs have had on mine.

What’s your favorite neighborhood in the city and why?
Ohhhhh Cole Valley. It’s just so damn cozy, I could spend all my time there. It makes me feel like I’m in some old, European village or something. There’s just so much character stuffed into that tiny neighborhood.

What’s one thing that people would be surprised to find out about you?
I was a state champion long jumper in the state of Iowa in high school.

Is there anything you’d like to plug?
Just a thank you to my parents, friends, co-workers at Bright Antenna, and my amazing wife Stacie for being supportive of me!

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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