Thursday 31st March 2016
Welsh alt-rockers, Calling Apollo, are set to release their forthcoming EP “The Great Depression: Act 1” any time now, so I catch a moment with the band to find out more for The Junction.
Wales is known for producing some of my favourite artists, so hearing that you’re a rock band from Cardiff has made me listen up. What’s the story about how you guys got together, and is it true that you never met before the band formed?
That is true. We had all taken a break from music following our previous bands all self-destructing, but all by chance found each other on internet forums looking for new band members. It was a bit like internet dating at first, we encountered some, let’s say “interesting” people, but we all found each other and hit it off from the get-go. True love!
What bands were you guys in previously, and at what point in your life did you decide that you wanted to make music?
We all listened to music at infant ages. Whilst other kids would be listening to the charts, we’d be rocking out with our toys to our dads’ rock albums. Eventually, making music was a natural progression. We’ve all been in bands before. Zak played in a math-rock band called City Circus, Chris was in a respected South Wales band called Mr Maggs and I blew all my money on a melodic hardcore band called Through Solace.
You’re receiving a great reaction to your music, having being picked up by Andrew Shay, and being featured on Scuzz. How are you finding that, and have you had any “somebody pinch me” moments?
Honestly, not yet. Whilst being on TV can be crossed off our musical bucket list, we’re just focusing on working hard and writing the best music we can. It’s definitely something to tell the grandkids though.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of you before, what can we expect from your EP “The Great Depression: Act 1?” I hear it’s going to be a two-part record.
That’s right. A two-part record is something we’ve always wanted to do and having a theme is a great challenge. The first part has so much scope and diversity. It’s catchy and rocking but then all of a sudden we’ll go really heavy and then extremely ambient and epic. Think Arcane Roots, but obviously not as good!
Could you tell me about your writing and recording process? How do you work to put a track together with each other’s skills?
Each song is different but a good thing is that we all know each other as musicians. I’m bad at explaining things musically so I have to write a demo, but then with that demo I can use everyone’s strengths. For example, our guitarist Dan is very good at creating sonic, ambient guitar tones so if we need something like that, we can suggest it to him and then all of a sudden it’s done.
You’ve supported a number of bands on tour, but when can we look forward to a headlining tour from your guys?
No plans for that just yet. We’re very happy being the support for now.
How far have you taken your music? You’ve picked up a good fan following in Wales, but how are you finding the crowds further afield?
We haven’t had much of a chance to get out of Wales much, although when we have we’ve played some good shows. Bristol has a good scene, as does Brighton.
Whose brain child was it to set up your own record label “Signal & The Noise Records”, and how has that benefited the band?
If I remember correctly it was Dan and me who thought of it. We’ve learned that just chucking a couple of songs on Soundcloud or Bandcamp is going to do nothing unless you invest in your music. We’re also aware that we’re fairly new and a label isn’t going to invest into us, so we may as well do it ourselves. There are some success stories of bands who have done this, like Chvrches, but even if nothing comes of it, the label side of it has been very educational.
Have you worked with any other bands or artists on your record label?
We can barely manage ourselves at the moment so we wouldn’t want to put the kiss of death on any other bands. But in the future, who knows?
You’re pretty busy in the studio working on your EP at the moment, but what are your future plans for the band, and where do you see yourselves progressing?
We have a tour in August of which the details will be announced soon. In the meantime, what’s set in stone is this new record, some new videos and then working on part two of the record. And then hopefully as many shows as we can squeeze in.