RECORDS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE With Francis Beringer from Caustic Casanova

Photo by Stefanie Zaenker

RECORDS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE With Francis Beringer from Caustic Casanova

I’m Francis Beringer, bassist/vocalist for Washington, DC heavy rock band Caustic Casanova. We’ve been busy lately. In the past few months we released a new 7-inch, Pantheon: Vol 2, completed a full US tour, and finished recording and mixing our upcoming full length.

It’s easy for me to pinpoint when music became my passion – it’s a clearly defined lightning bolt moment. In the summer of 1999 I saw AC/DC play “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black” on an SNL rerun. That backbeat and those huge riffs woke up something dormant in me – it transformed me from a casual music listener into a maniac. AC/DC obsession eventually led to me to discover the following transformative albums, which shaped me into the musician I am today.

Rush – A Farewell To Kings (1977)

This record made me want to play an instrument, specifically bass. I was initially drawn in by “Closer To The Heart” – but the long cuts “Xanadu” and “Cygnus X-1” became a portal to a whole other world of progressive, heavy, strange music that I’m still discovering and learning about.

Deep Purple – In Rock (1970)

Drawing actual influence from Rush seemed impossible as a teenager. Deep Purple were no less virtuosic, but the meat and potatoes of their best music was always the repetitive, heavy, bluesy riff. This was the kind of music I wanted to make, and felt I could attempt to imitate.

Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley (1994)

I could barely contain my excitement upon discovering this record, and listened to hardly anything else in the spring of 2004. This is the best collection of psychedelic heavy metal riffs ever put on an LP. It was an instant influence on me, and remains so to this day.

Clutch – Robot/Hive Exodus (2005)

My first Clutch record, and still their best. They seemed like a dream band made just for me – the most memorable riffs, the deepest grooves, fronted by a lyrical madman and genius storyteller. It’s still crazy to me that we get to work with J Robbins, who produced this gem.

Melvins – Bullhead (1991)

The Melvins destroyed my notions of what heavy music should be. After encountering Bullhead my entire musical aesthetic changed and my songwriting was forever altered. They’re always going further, getting weirder, challenging themselves and breaking yet more stupid rock rules. Track one – “Boris” – might be heaviest song ever written.


Our new 7-inch, Pantheon: Vol. 2, has a cover of “Cow,” the final cut on Bullhead, on side B.

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