Cassette Culture is a young band – a very young band. With members aged just 16 and 17 years old they’re on a mission to bring back concept-driven music.

While their young peers are seduced by a never-ending wave of hit-driven and EDM music, Cassette Culture has taken a different path. With their ears focused on bands from a different era like The Velvet Underground, and statement makers like Bob Dylan they’ve worked hard to understand concept-driven music. Combined with influences from modern alternative acts like Julian Casablancas and Queens of The Stone Age the resulting unique sound is best describes as “prog meets pop meets message”.

“Why do what’s already been done” says 17-year-old Jacob Mandel, the band’s frontman/composer/guitarist. Mandel, along with young drumming sensation Evan Schaid, guitarist/keyboardist Dylan Knight, and bassist Gabe Bourdeau comprise the band.

Lyrically Cassette Culture’s music is heavily poetic and rich in deep meeting. Choruses have unusual twists, and intense meaning. Songs move from hook-like melodies to odd-metered breakdown sections. Yet somehow it all works.

Not only is the music unique, but so are the band’s live shows. “We want the audience to ride an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish” says drummer Schaid. Indeed they deliver on that promise. At a recent show at The Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana, California – a venue known for it’s trend-setting live music scene, the band was asked to deliver an encore – and they were the opening act. Patrons, many in their 30’s and 40’s were left slack-jawed and dumbfounded at the level of complexity and musicianship from this group of teenagers. Even other musicians were left impressed. Dennis Leeflang, a rock drummer who’s worked with Lita Ford, and other prominent artists throughout the world walked away saying “I didn’t know what to expect…but I didn’t expect that! It blew my mind.”

Audiences quickly forget that it’s a band of teenagers they are watching. As word of the band’s exploits has grown, Cassette Culture has seen its appeal strike a 30-something audience as much as anyone their own age. It’s no surprise that the band has caught the ear of major record label executives, big-time producers, and prominent touring musicians.

Hailing from Long Beach, California Cassette Culture’s members have all grown up playing music together in various groups. They’re part of a growing Guitar Hero/School of Rock/You Tube generation that has instant access to the history of rock music, the ear for understanding it, and the talent to apply their own twist.

For more on Cassette Culture including upcoming shows, music, videos and information visit

Upcoming Shows:

Wednesday August 10 at Diego’s in downtown Santa Ana at 220 E. 3rd Street
7 PM doors
The lineup is Cassette Culture, 222 Band (Tosha Jones on drums), and Halo Circus with Allison Iraheta from American Idol
Saturday August 13 at Bar 1650. 1650 E. 6th in Corona
8PM doors
The lineup is Cassette Culture and Halo Circus

***And at press time, Cassette Culture has been added to Ultimate Jam Night #72 at the legendary Whisky a Go Go, and will be opening the show at 8PM!***


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