We had the pleasure of chatting with up and coming South Wales rock outfit Calling Apollo, and their recent EP, The Great Depression, Act 1. (Which you can now finally pick up on iTunes at the link below!) We spoke with the band about the making of the EP below.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of "The Great Depression Act 1". I like the vibe that I'm getting from songs like "Obelisk". I can't quite put my finger on it but the sound feels very much like a mix between old school rock and more modern alternative. What kind of mindset did you have going into the record in terms of what you wanted the tracks to sound like?
That’s interesting because our producer, Todd Campbell has produced many great modern bands such as Samoans and Straight Lines, but at the same time his dad was in Motorhead for about 30 years, so he obviously has that great natural old-school sound. We all love modern acts like Arcane Roots but we also grew up on the classic rock records our fathers played us when we were infants. We want our music to sound natural and that it’s being played by actual musicians and then we’ll use electronic sounds to give sections certain tones. It’s also interesting because the musical mix kind of mirrors the political themes the record has with comparing political attitudes of the Great Depression and modern day political attitudes.
Can you tell me a little bit about the meaning behind the track "Obelisk"?
We find ourselves presented with so much information in the world designed to make us feel a certain way that a lot of people have no idea what to think or who to trust. This song is how we deal with the propaganda way.
About how long did it take for everything to come together for this EP, in terms of writing the tracks, getting into the studio and recording, and getting everything mixed and mastered?
We spent a year writing the songs and recorded multiple demos for each one. Actually I wrote the song, “Act I: House of Cards” in 2010 but it was in a different tone and the string-led section during the second half wasn’t suitable for the band I was in at the time – I’d just been waiting for the right time to have it recorded properly. We then spent a week with Todd recording, which was a very fun and creative process. Then we took our time with the mixes because we think we’re perfectionists when in reality we’re just annoying. And finally Ade Emsley mastered the whole record in less than 48 hours.
What does the EP title "The Great Depression" signify for not only the kind of tracks we'll hear on the EP, but what it represents for this stage in the band's career?
The Great Depression of 1929 was the lowest point in the United States’ financial history and the attitudes that led to it were reckless. Today, we feel current politicians and the media are using the same reckless tactics for their own gains and we are musically proposing the idea of another depression, whether it’s in the UK or the US. As we’re in or reaching our 30s, these political decisions can directly impact our lives. Even on small but significant musical scale, the propaganda used to leave the EU has potentially put the future of bands touring EU countries in jeopardy with potential imposed working visas. Some of the songs show our anger at some of the decisions this can mean for society which is evidenced in the EP’s first single, Clone City.
Last two questions: they're broad but I use them to close each interview out: first, what kind of message, if you have one, would you like fans to walk away with after listening to your music?
Aside from hoping people hear our thoughts about today’s political climate and the media, we just hope they simply love the songs. We don’t follow trends, we literally write whatever we want – even if a particular influence is deemed ‘uncool’. We hope they rock you, chill you out and shake you to the bones!
Finally, what does music mean to you?
It’s always been the biggest passion of our lives. There’s nothing else like music. Being able to find yourselves lost inside a song is a description that some people can’t relate to, but that is literally what music can do and what it does for us.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.