The Illusion
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The Illusion

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | INDIE

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada | INDIE
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"Talking Bands- Devin Casario"

October 2010
Devin Casario

Talking Bands
by Fraser McCallum

Devin Casario Devin Casario It goes without saying that music is a beautiful, universal language. However, many dedicated musicians will tell you that it’s a slog to make a living at it and survive the industry’s countless pitfalls. When asked the simple question, “why,” Devin Casario responds quickly, “I love music. I love creation. I’m not a solo artist—I’m a collaborator. I love what others bring to a project, and on this one we have a great team. I moved home to make this album.”

Casario is the front man of Devin Casario and the Illusion, a new musical entity in Charlottetown set to release their debut record, Rooftops and Alleyways. The two-disc album combines elements of pop, folk, reggae, jazz, waltz and hip hop into a signature sound unlike anything else you’ve heard. Except for maybe, Mars Hill, the successful band Casario led for five years, but this is certainly new musical terrain for the established artist. This project has more focus on pure songwriting and melody and features Casario singing and less rap or spoken word.

Mars Hill conquered the local scene picking up Music PEI awards, an ECMA nomination, and a few hundred shows from PEI to Ontario. Parting ways in 2008 after a year together in Montreal, Casario flirted with a move to Hong Kong before an injury and a yearning to make another studio creation brought him back to Charlottetown. “I moved home in May of 08. The only place I could do my album is on PEI. I wasn’t gonna hunt around Craigslist for a Montreal backing band. So this album really was percolating for two years.”

This new record is full of concept and theme. “Rooftops and Alleyways is a resistance statement. You’re either taking care of things on the upper business levels or you’re being chased in the alleyways.” Casario enlisted local engineer/producer Adam Gallant (Well Oiled, Racoon Bandit, Haunted Hearts) and long time musician Jon King as fellow producers and a two-year creative process began. Tackling two albums (twenty-two songs in total) with very different approaches, Casario divided his songs into Disc 1: Rooftops and Disc 2: Alleyways. “It’s a Montreal theme as it’s a very militant city. Even when that city wins they riot. We’re all on the front lines in this era of economic collapse yet I tried to tame that political stuff with an all-encompassing theme—enslavement versus resistance. We all face that with relationships, with family…with my old band.”

Casario is quick to differentiate the sound of the two companion pieces. “Rooftops is in stereo and it’s a pure studio album…12 tracks that are slick as shit with a bit of rawness.

“Alleyways is a sloppy, beautiful mess. It’s made of almost entirely live recordings and is mixed in mono.”

Long-time collaborator Darren Gallup provided additional mixing through analog equipment and mastered the album. Musicians featured on the project include Sean Butler, Roger Carter, Chloe Cork, Chris Corrigan, Chris Coupland, Dean Dunsford, Laurie Forsyth, Gallant, King, and Davey Weale.

Rooftops and Alleyways will have its official launch October 1 at the Y Lofts at 252 Prince St. “We’re gonna show the kids how to put on a night. You’ve got to practice what you preach.” Casario says, smiling. “We’ll have all the bells and whistles but it will really be about the sound and performance. I like a good rock show—our show is gonna be a circus.”

Doors open at 8:30 pm and the night will open with performances from poet Sean Kelly as well as local musician Cory Doucette. B.Y.O.B. For more illusions and allusions:
- The Buzz


Devin Casario

Devin Casario & The Illusion- “Rooftops & Alleyways” (Double Album)
Date of Release- September 29th 2010
Produced by Devin Casario, Adam Gallant & Jon King
Engineered by Adam Gallant & James Phillips
Mixed by Adam Gallant, Devin Casario & Jon King
Additional Mixing & Mastering by Darren Gallop
All songs written by Devin Casario

*Received 4 MPEI Award Nominations including Alternative Album, Songwriter, Male Vocalist and New Artist.

Mars Hill- “Fate Chance Luck Dance”
Date of Release- April 30 2006
Produced by Mars Hill
Executive Producer- Devin Casario
Engineered by Adam Gallant
Mixed by Adam Gallant and Darren Gallop
Mastered by Darren Gallop
All songs written by Mars Hill/Lyrics by Devin Casario

*Received ECMA nominations for Alternative Recording of the Year (2007) & Urban Single (2007)
*Won PEI Music Award for Alternative Recording of the Year (2007)

Mars Hill- “Oxcart”
Date of Release- Oct 1 2004
Produced by Devin Casario & Darren Gallop
Executive Producer- Devin Casario
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Darren Gallop
All songs written by Mars Hill/Lyrics by Devin Casario

*Received an ECMA nomination for Alternative recording of the Year (2005)

*2007 Atlantic Film Festival (Music & Film-2007) “I Don’t Know, You Don’t Know” from the album Fate Chance Luck Dance
*Well-Oiled PEI Compilation (2006) “Sleepwalker”- unreleased
*Well-Oiled 2 PEI Compilation (2007) “You Aint Seein’”-unreleased

Notable Showcase/Festival Appearances
*Feb 2005- ECMA’s Sydney, NS -House of Rock Showcase (w/ Jimmy Swift Band, Slowcoaster)- PEI Music Suite- Sennheiser Suite
*July 2004- Shoreline Festival
*July 2005- Shoreline Festival (w/Buck 65, Metric, Slowcoaster) Rollo Bay, PEI
*July 2005- PEI Jazz and Blues Festival (w/Salsa Celtica), Charlottetown, PEI
*August 2005- Close to the Coast Music Festival, Charlottetown, PEI
*Feb 2006- ECMA’s Charlottetown, PE- Mars Hill Presents, PEI Music Suite, House of Rock
*July 2006- PEI Jazz and Blues Festival (w/Scott Parsons)
*July 2006 Shoreline Festival (w/ Xavier Rudd, The Sadies, De La Soul) Rollo Bay, PEI
*Feb 2007- ECMA’s Halifax, NS- Main Stage Metro Centre (pre-telecast), Post-Gala Show, Mars Hill Presents, Music PEI Showcase
*July 2007- Fringe Festival Montreal, QC



Devin Casario is a poet, writer and musician hailing from Charlottetown, PEI. His lyrical ability has been compare to the likes of *****, *****, ******** and Lennon.
In 2003 Devin helped form Mars Hill, a seminal, ground-breaking East Coast band that went on to record two acclaimed albums entitled, “Oxcart” (2004) and “Fate Chance Luck Dance” (2006). Both albums received ECMA nominations for Alternative Album of the Year while “Fate…” went on to win a PEI Music Award for Alternative Album in 2007. Mars Hill performed hundreds of shows, festivals and showcases throughout the Maritimes, Ontario and Quebec in their five year run. Their music has been featured in local and regional films and compilations and has charted throughout the country in college radio reaching numerous top 10 lists. They have received extensive airplay on CBC (DNTO/Atlantic Airwaves etc) and to this day maintain a loyal fan base. The band amicably parted ways in June of 2008 two years after relocating to Montreal.

Devin returned home to PEI in the fall of 2008 to pursue a solo career in music. He is the brainchild of The Illusion, a project that will strive to build upon all of the elements that made Mars Hill successful while turning a new corner musically with an increased emphasis on melody and purer songwriting. His new album, “Rooftops & Alleyways” is an ambitious two album project that explores the over-arching theme of ‘enslavement vs. resistance.’

The album was released in October 2010 and received 4 Music PEI Award nominations in January 2011. The sound of The Illusion is eclectic and genre-defying. Broad in scope, The Illusion employs a subtler version of the “Wall of Sound” technique blending elements of pop, folk, reggae, jazz, waltz and hip hop, creating a highly original and visceral soundscape to frontman Devin Casario’s unique vision.

"Rooftops" was mixed in Stereo. "Alleyways" was mixed Mono.