Calling Apollo – Interview

Sunday 22nd October 2017

Calling Apollo were one of my favourite finds of 2016, when I was approached to review their debut EP “The Great Depression: Act 1,” and I was instantly taken in by the strength and progressiveness in their sound.  Fresh off the back of touring, Calling Apollo have just released their final single “Light The Way” which will bring Act 1 to a close before opening up the second part of their story in the form of “The Great Depression: Act 2.” The idea behind creating a concept album is quite admirable, it steps out the comfort zone of a usual debut release, and it compliments the bands style. Wanting to find out how the journey over the past year has gone, I speak with lead vocalist Christian Neale who also gives me an insight in to their next release.

It’s been over a year now since the release of your EP “The Great Depression: Act 1.” How has the journey with the EP been for you guys so far?

It’s been great.  The feedback we received for it was beyond complimentary so we definitely cannot complain. And from a personal standpoint it was the first release that I have been part of that I loved from beginning to end. With five people, all with different influences and visions it can be hard to please everyone. There’s a lot of compromise but on this release its safe to say we were all very happy.

How would you say you’ve grown as a band since the release, and will your new material reflect that? 

We have definitely grown. Act I was our first release with Zak on drums so it was an exciting time.  Its safe to say we all know each other a little too well now and can almost predict each others contributions and write with that in mind. The next release is just entering post production as we speak. I wont give too much away but it’s big!

You’ve done quite a lot of touring too. How have you found the response to your music, and have there been any personal highlights? 

We have spent a lot of time on the road promoting this release so it definitely pulled us together as a band and as friends.  Especially those nights after a 400 mile journey and just playing to the bar staff, that’s a real character builder haha.  But that’s all part of it, its depressing at the time but you get over it.  The highlights are usually the bands and people we meet.  Some of the bands we have toured with have gone on to become good mates and in turn leads to new shows and opportunities. That’s band life in a nutshell.

Where have been your favourite venues to perform?

That’s a good question, I’ve been lucky enough to play alot of different places.  Of late I really enjoyed playing ‘The Globe’ in Cardiff with The Answer but headlining a sold out show at the legendary TJ’s in Newport will always have a special place in my heart.

Your next single “Light The Way” is also to be the final release from your current EP.  Have you always known you wanted to release this track as a single, and what was the decision behind it being the final one before your next chapter?

To be perfectly honest. We had no plan to release another single. But we were approached by a videographer called Sean Sheridon. He offered to film us on the Bournemouth date of the last tour and put a video together for us. We had no expectations but the guy put together a great video and we thought it would be a waist not to push it. Check him out, great talent and a lovely guy.

What’s the story behind “Light The Way?”

Light the Way is essentially my cry for a leader/politician/icon that can actually represents the working people.  I’m not gonna lie, when Jezza (Jeremy Corbyn) first got on the Labour ballot I was inspired and actually felt like there was chance for something different. Jezza’s not perfect, but neither am I, far from it. We dont need perfect, we need someone with a heart.

You’ve actually just done a surprise drop on the single and accompanying video. What was the idea behind that?

As this released wasn’t planned we thought we would try something a little different than go throught the usual process.

You have mentioned previously that “The Great Depression: Act 1” would be a two-part record. Can we look forward to your next release in the near future?

Yes, Act II is very much on the horizon. We always planned to split the story in two. Where as Act I focuses on the past and present, Act II is all about the future. Where are we headed? What can we all do to try eliminate the all the things that are holding us back as a species? Don’t get me wrong, we don’t have the answers but there’s no harm in asking the questions I guess.

How are things going with your record label “The Signal & The Noise” and will you be releasing your next EP through it too?

The label is a great fall back. We can’t guarantee a label will pick us or our record up, and to be blunt they haven’t haha despite having brilliant reviews for Act I.  Which is fair enough, we are a weird band, we dont fall into a particular genre.  We take from so much, so we receive so many random comparisons.  I’m sure there’s someone out there for us but having our own label reduces the need to rely on that. And you never know, when the band itself becomes less of a priority we have the option of our own label to try and help new up and coming bands.

What do you guys get up to outside of music; are there any particular hobbies that you enjoy?

I used to race go-karts but these days being a dad is my main focus, which I love.  Kev does a lot, he’s always writing, he acts, he also runs a podcast called ‘the table read’ (check it out). Dan is a keen mountain biker and he’s recently joined a roller derby league… which I cant wait to check out. Zak is a drummer through and through, we actually work together outside of the band so I can confirm that if he’s not at his desk he’s watching YouTube videos of drummers; and Luke is always up to something, rock climbing, bike riding, geo caching… extending his kingdom in Minecraft!

Connect with Calling Apollo via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.