Terry Taylor chatted with Cassidy Paris and Tom Rogowski about how the band was formed, what it’s like working together and what they are most looking forward to on their forthcoming UK tour

There’s no doubting that 21-year-old Australian, Cassidy Paris, is on a mission: to create rock ‘n’ roll with a modern twist. Brought up on a diet of ‘80s and ‘90s rock by dad, Steve Janevski (Radio Sun, Wicked Smile), she sees herself as very much a ‘bridging artist’ and the band as part of the new wave of classic rock.

Citing as major influences, Pat Benatar, Lita Ford and Joan Jett, all classic rockers in female fronted bands, Cassidy’s goals are not only to continue that tradition alongside the likes of Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless), Moriah Formica (Plush) and another of her key inspirations, Lzzy Hale (Halestorm), but also to cut through to a younger generation of rock fans. She’s acutely aware that she can use her position as an artist to give young women and girls in particular a voice, and if she can motivate some of them to create their own music, then that’s a job well done. Said Cassidy, “The rock scene… is very male dominated so I hope to change that a little bit and try to get females, young females, to pick up a guitar or learn to sing a song.”

Cassidy was about 7 years old when her dad taught her to play the guitar and around 10 when she started having singing lessons. Later, when she expressed an interest in writing music, it was her dad who introduced her to Paul Laine (ex-Danger Danger, The Defiants) whilst he was over in Australia. Paul then took her under his wing and, as she puts it, ‘from there Cassidy Paris was formed.’

Since that time she’s released two EPs, Broken Hearted and Flirt, and a critically acclaimed full length album entitled New Sensation via Frontiers Music SRL with whom she signed in 2023, becoming the youngest person to secure a record deal with that label. Cassidy has nothing but praise for the way in which Frontiers has treated her and supported her in her ambitions: “Frontiers are very much of the idea that they are not marketing us like a band from the ‘80s. They want to do something different with us and that’s exciting because… they understand that it’s going to take a band like us to [reach] a younger audience.”

Photo Credit – Ian Ritter

Asked how the collaboration with Tom (Rogowski) and his brother, Alex, (both former members of UK band, Mad Haven) came about Cassidy explained, ‘We were on the same WebFest during COVID which was basically the only thing you could do and Tom reached out to me and said he loved our music. We became Facebook friends and from there we met at HRH (Hard Rock Hell).”

Tom continued, “That was in November 2022, I think. We played a few gigs with Cassidy as well in Mad Haven and we just we stayed in touch and the following tour we were in the band! We realised that… if we just joined forces then we’ve got these two creative engines working together to make something better than either of us had been able to do before.”

Cassidy agreed: “We just instantly clicked and when you find that magic with people it’s something you don’t pass up as a musician.”

At first it was a long-distance relationship with them relying on Zoom calls and emails to share music and prepare for their first tour together, with the inevitable frustrations of time difference delays. But now that the brothers have moved to Australia, the whole process of rehearsing and songwriting has become a lot easier.

“I think we are very similar in the way we songwrite,” reflected Cassidy, “so a lot of the time we come up with a riff or a chorus and just kinda work things around that and then implement the lyrics… we [both] were brought up with [the idea that] a good hook makes a good song and that’s something when we’re writing we really try to think about.”

Tom concurred: “The great thing about being in the same room when the creative juices are flowing is you can just go and pick up a guitar and get together in rehearsal… it’s been exciting to write with somebody else who has very similar interests and goals as myself. We’re still writing plenty of stuff now for things to come in the future… but we can’t speak too much about that!”

Whilst they may be working on new music, their top priority is getting ready for their upcoming headline tour of the UK which starts on the 12th July and includes a slot at Steelhouse Festival, and it’s evident they can’t wait. Said Tom, “I’m so looking forward to the tour. What’s really exciting is that we’ll be playing some songs from the debut album that we haven’t played before… so it’s going to be fun!”

“The last time we toured the UK the album wasn’t even out yet so it’s exciting for people because, like Tom just said, they’re going to hear things for the first time… and obviously the set is much longer as we’re the headline band this time. We’ve got 17 dates so it’s the longest tour we’ve ever done so it’s just a very exciting time for us.”

“And I’m also really excited to play at the festival,” enthused Cassidy before adding, laughing, “let’s count how many times we’ve said exciting in this interview!” She went on, “It’s been a goal of mine and Tom’s [to play at Steelhouse] for a long while; we’ve heard so many great things about it.” And Tom agreed: “Me, my brother and my dad have been a few times now and it’s just awesome. Everyone’s so friendly and it’s really well put together. It’s going to be a highlight for sure.”

Photo Credit – Adam Kennedy

Speaking of dads, Cassidy confirmed that Steve would be joining the band on tour and, whilst many twenty somethings wouldn’t want to spend so much time with their parent, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I work with some of the most respectful men in the world like Tom, Alex and my father. They’re just so lovely and being on tour with them is an absolute blast!… And you know what… it’s a massive safety net for me too. Being around my dad has allowed me to understand what is safe and what’s not safe on tour… you always need a person, whether you’re male or female to kinda stand by you and guide you.”

She freely acknowledges that her dad has played a key role in her success from encouraging her to experiment with her sound; to introducing her to the likes of Paul Laine, Danny Cecati and Dave Graham (both of Wicked Smile) who have been so influential in her career so far; to helping her to understand what makes a good live show.

“My dad really taught me that stage presence was a lot of what makes a performance interesting or people could just go and listen to the record. That was something in Tom and his brother Alex, on drums, that I really liked and I felt it brought something new and energetic to the band as well.”

“He’s a real rock ‘n’ roll dad!” quipped Tom.

Despite all of her dad’s support and her obvious achievements, things have not always been plain sailing for Cassidy. In high school she was bullied by one of her peers. It’s an experience she carries with her but it’s something she wouldn’t change. She feels she’s been able to use her music and songwriting as an outlet to express herself and believes what happened to her at school has shaped her as an artist and made her a stronger person. As she explained, “Not only did it give me a thicker skin which I think is something you obviously need in the music industry, but I think it also allowed me to help people who have gone through something similar to me… I’m really excited to see people connecting to my music in a different way that I wouldn’t have been able to do without [me having] that experience.” As Cassidy comes across as a bubbly, confident and self-assured young woman, it appears she has succeeded in turning that negative into a positive.

So what’s next for the band? As Tom hinted earlier, there’s new music in the pipeline. “It’s all about refining things for us now,” reflected Cassidy, “and putting the finishing touches on everything. We just want to release it to people but obviously I can’t speak too much about it. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes. We’ve been having chats with a lot of people about touring internationally in different areas of the world too so a lot of opportunities are coming our way. I feel really lucky.”

“And we’ve a video coming out*… just before the tour,” added Tom. “We’ll have the new music video of Midnight Desire (the debut album closer and one of their favourite songs to play live), the tour is for Midnight Desire and we’ve got merch for Midnight Desire as well so…’ leaving it to Cassidy to have the final words: ‘…Everything’s connected!’

And the future? Well, there’s only really one word for it… exciting!

Band Members

Cassidy Paris – Vocals
Tom Rogowski – Guitar
Alex Rogowski – Drums
Stevie Janevski – Bass

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