Former Honors College, psychology and philosophy student Casey Mahoney '98 is the bassist for industrial rock band 9Electric.
by Chris Gasiewski“If the band keeps going the way we are, we are living the dream.”—Casey Mahoney ’98
During his days at Adelphi, Casey Mahoney ’98 was a psychology and philosophy student in the Honors College. He played for a men’s basketball team that advanced to the NCAA tournament twice. He was always a member of at least one band. And, as an admitted “super-shy kid in high school,” he said he developed social and analytic skills that he utilizes every day.
He needs them.
|Last year, 9Electric completed its first full-length album, Control, which is slated to release sometime this spring.|
Along with owning three businesses, Mr. Mahoney’s main gig is as the bassist for industrial rock band 9Electric—a foursome that has seemingly rocketed onto the Los Angeles music scene. Last year, the band completed its first full-length album, Control, which is slated to release sometime this spring.
“It’s done. We are just waiting for some promotional things,” said Mr. Mahoney, who goes by the stage name CaseyDC. The album comes on the heels of a heavy touring schedule [a couple of hundred shows] for 9Electric, whose influences include Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and Korn. The band recently capped a busy 2013 by performing on the same bill as metal music pioneer Megadeth.
“It was amazing,” Mr. Mahoney said of the December show. “It’s a band that I listened to when I was a kid.”
As an entrepreneur, there’s no question that Mr. Mahoney uses the knowledge and skills he learned at Adelphi. But in the music business?
“In the music business, you have to be constantly figuring out what is motivating people,” he said. “There is so much persuasion. It’s so important to weed out what is real and what is not.”
While Mr. Mahoney is managing to navigate his way through the business, he is proud of the success he has had. Playing in bands since he was 12 years old, music was always a hobby. And it wasn’t until he realized that pursuing a doctoral degree wasn’t for him that he went into the business full time. He also got some advice from Honors College Dean Richard Garner, Ph.D.
“I told Richard Garner that I am scrapping the Ph.D. planning,” he said. “[Dr. Garner] said the opposite of what I thought he would say. He said it was a good idea.”
“I usually tell students that if you do not have that burning desire for the Ph.D., and if you are going to be miserable doing it, then to move on,” Dr. Garner said. “[Mr. Mahoney] has traveled a lot and he’s grown. He’s in a better financial position than I think he thought he’d be in. He’s had this terrific adventure that very few people have—you’re going to be a rock star and drive around in a Lamborghini.”
There were humble beginnings, though. After graduating, Mr. Mahoney moved to New York City and played any gigs he could get. He even played in the subway in downtown Manhattan. But he got a break when he went on tour as the guitar player for Rent.
“Actors that I had met at other theatre shows recommended me for the guitar position,” he said. “Once I did that I never looked back.”
The touring didn’t stop either. Mr. Mahoney became the bassist for hardcore music legend Dry Kill Logic, playing significant gigs like Gigantour, a sporadically organized heavy metal tour that featured such artists as Dream Theater and Drowning Pool, before going back on tour with Rent. After four years, he decided to take time off from the road and he moved to Los Angeles, without a band or job.
“I had visited almost every city in the country, so I decided to move to the city I loved the most,” Mr. Mahoney said of L.A. “The weather. There’s also a lot more opportunity for me here than in New York,” which proved true when Mr. Mahoney played a show with singer Sam Marcus at the Hotel Café in Hollywood on the first day he moved out West.
So how did he join 9Electric? “I found them on Craigslist,” Mr. Mahoney said. “They had a couple of instrumental songs and I knew.” He also previously knew Ron Thunderwood—9Electric’s lead vocalist—and said that the early success is indicative of its hard work, something he hopes continues.
“If the band keeps going the way we are, we are living the dream,” he said.
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