Of Bird and Cage—Who is Casey Grillo?

16 September, 2021

Of Bird and Cage is a unique project: a metal album blended with a story-driven game. Symphonic metal will carry you through a story of trauma, madness, and violence inspired by ‘Beauty and the Beast’. One of the famous metal artists who added to the uniqueness of this game is the drummer Casey Grillo.

Casey Grillo is best known as the drummer for the symphonic metal power band Kamelot, which he joined at the early age of 21. But his love for the drums started much, much earlier. He was born in Oklahoma to a musical family and a house with a drum kit. As the youngest of three siblings, his brother and sister had learned to play the drums and became an inspiration for him to try it out for himself. He discovered his passion for percussion at the tiny age of eight.

Casey was already becoming known to the music world at the age of 16, when he played and toured with Debra DeJean. In 1997, Casey replaced Richard Warner as the drummer for Kamelot. He went to play with the band for more than 20 years and contributed to nine of their albums. If forced to choose, Casey is proudest of The Black Halo album he recorded with Kamelot, saying that it was a turning point for the band.

Kamelot is one of metal’s most active bands, but if you thought that maybe Casey sometimes just had enough of all the travelling, recording, and long hours, you’re rather mistaken. “Everyday going to work for me is like it’s not work, it’s just a lifestyle, you don’t want it to end, you know, it’s like going off on tour is like going to camp or something, you know, like going band camping. It’s just an experience!” he told Nerissa Alison.

Casey played drums for Kamelot for more than two decades. Prior to the recording of their album The Shadow Theory, Casey announced he would be leaving to pursue other musical endeavors and spend more time on his other business projects. 

He went on to join Queensryche as their touring drummer. Casey’s initial interest in the band wasn’t what you would probably expect. “My wife and I, we actually fell in love together listening to Queensryche… Queensryche was kind of our music underneath the beginning of our relationship, when we started dating and stuff. So it was like our theme music behind us…. So we’re huge fans. And I was a huge fan when I was a kid.” he said in an interview for Blabbermouth.

Some might wonder if playing the same instrument for several decades doesn’t get a little  tiring. It certainly doesn’t for Grillo, who shared how he stays motivated with Musikholics: “I really love playing music… I dig the people that I work with and that really helps.”

Despite his amazing career, long list of albums he played on, and unique talent, Casey is still intrigued in learning new things and developing as a drummer through playing many different types of music and in various styles, including his work on Of Bird and Cage. If you want to hear the song that best showcases Casey’s drumming talent (including complex double bases), give “Descent of an Archangel” a try. 

Thankfully for future generations, Casey has no intentions of keeping his experience to himself and now teaches others how to play the drums. “Students can bring out the best in you. Makes you know what you need to work on and every student is different so you have to teach each person differently. I love that I have to be on my toes when I go to teach.” he told Rocknotes Webzine. Besides teaching, Casey also runs his own business, Drumstatic, which produces drumheads and skins for A-list music stars of all genres.

Are you a fan of Casey Grillo? Let us know on Discord and follow Of Bird and Cage on social media to stay updated.

Of Bird and Cage is already available on Steam. Get it now!

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