It’s that time again, when are man on the ground Desh Kapur Editor/Photographer All Music Magazine UK/Europe spotlights a bands or artists he thinks are going to have a big 2021 ; bands and artists we think you should check out to stay ahead of the curve
So welcome to THE CALLS!!! Hailing from the thriving metropolis of Leeds, THE CALLS remain a proudly defiant DIY band who write, rehearse and record their music in a converted barn and travel in an old window cleaner’s van. The trio are driven by the unconventional songwriting of Tom Fuller, who puts an introspective slant on social observations through cryptic wordplay and metaphor, with lyrics often dystopian in their outlook, often reflective and always deeply personal; lead guitarist Will Johnson, a film maker and visual artist whose unrestrained and highly unusual sound is due to the fact that, remarkably, he had never picked up a guitar before joining the band; and bassist Marcell Haslewood, a lifeguard finding his way via a combination of ambience and dub and a unique approach to playing that invariably defies expectation. This versatile, chameleon-like sound is one of the band’s biggest assets, moving through dark, psychedelic dub-rock, to soaring rhythms, to bold and inventive percussion.
Recently All music Magazine UK/Europe had the great pleasure of reviewing their EP FALL INSIDE AGAIN
THE CALLS released their “FALL INSIDE AGAIN” EP on 20 November 2020 on Atomic Records ORDER HERE
For Fans of Tame Impala, Radiohead and Slowdive
So we decided it was time to have a little chat with singer Tom Fuller to see where they came from, what they have been up to and what their plans for the future are.
What is the story behind your name?
There’s a street in Leeds called The Calls, down by the river where they used to unload cargo to the warehouses. I remember thinking that would make a good band name!
What first got you into music? Or who inspired you to make music?
We’re all inspired by different artists but none of us come from musical backgrounds or families. For me personally, Paul Weller was my first inspiration. He’s my dad’s favourite musician so I grew up listening to him and always thought his lyrics and the intensity of The Jam were what made me want to write my own songs as a teenager. My mum’s favourite band was The Police so I heard a lot of them growing up too. Between those two bands that was how my musical journey began. Since then I’ve discovered a ton of great bands and I wouldn’t say either of those are my favourite bands now, but they are still really important to me for starting my journey.
How did you all meet?
We all went to school together in Leeds. I’ve actually known Will since we were 4 years old but we didn’t actually form the band together until we were all at university together in Lancaster. Once we finished our courses there we all came back to Leeds and kicked on with the band. So, it’s quite a long story how we all met and ended up in this situation, but it was worth it!
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Melodic, groovy, psychedelic indie. I know that doesn’t really tell you much but I genuinely don’t think we really sound like anyone else. I’d say a melting pot of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Stone Roses and Tame Impala. I guess you need to listen to get what I mean.
What is your creative process like?
Usually it starts with a song I write. The idea for that can come from anywhere, but often it’s from something I listen to. There might be a little hook somewhere in a song that I like and I take that idea and build a new song around it. Then I take it to the guys and we jam on it and try and find the vibe for the song. Our creative process is always “feel” orientated. We try to get each song to have a vibe that conveys whatever mood feels appropriate and create the sounds and parts on that basis. Usually after a day of playing around with a song we’ll have a fairly solid demo at the end of it. Then actually getting the final record down is another story in itself. It’s an intense process but it’s a lot of fun, and I think that enjoyment comes through in the records.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
The answer to that changes all the time, but right now it would have to be Radiohead
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Thank you for bearing with us through this crazy time. With lockdown it’s not been easy for anyone and we haven’t been able to do much but we have been recording a load of new material which will hopefully make this last year all worthwhile.
What is the most useless talent you have?
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
All the time! It really depends. It’s usually the most random things, whatever pops into my head at the time. I’ve been listening to a lot of REM recently so right now probably something by them.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
Well, right now I’m having to work as a postie anyway so I guess I’d be doing more of that!
Where have you performed? What is your favourite and least favourite venue? Do you have any upcoming shows?
We’ve played at some really great places. Millennium Square in Leeds was great, and The Brudenell was probably my favourite. We played a couple of times at a bar in Dortmund called Subrosa which had a fantastic vibe. Least favourite? There used to be a bar in Leeds called Milo which has shut down now. That had this horrendous room with metal sheeting covering the walls and the sound was so bright and awful! That definitely jumps out at me as my least favourite. I’m still excited to add more places to the list though, hopefully more good than bad!
What is your favourite song to perform?
That’s a tough one. I think A Change Is Gonna Come Around Here because every time we play it you can see people’s minds get blown in the audience. Live it has a really powerful edge to it and they’re never ready for it. I think that’s a song that takes on a completely different life when we play it live.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
So many, for so many reasons. John Lennon, Michael Stipe, Thom Yorke, Johnny Marr, John Squire, Alex Turner, Bob Marley … I could go on forever.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
I got pulled over by the police on the way back from a gig in Whitby once, for driving an uninsured vehicle. It actually was insured but the info on their system was out of date. I was sat in the back of the police car for about forty minutes making phone calls trying to sort it out! So not the most rock n roll story ever, but it was a thing!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
To keep writing all the time. The more you hone your craft the better you get. It’s obvious but it’s true and that’s what I would say to anyone. The other thing I’d say is to listen to as much music as possible and broaden your tastes. It’s the simplest advice really, but it’s the best advice I was ever given. It seems like these days, bands are only ever advised to work on their social media and how they present themselves but I think that’s why there’s so few great bands around at the moment. Ultimately for me the music is what counts. Be as good at that as you can. Everything else is secondary.
What’s next for you?
We’ve been working on a load of new material so we’ve got that to release. We’re aiming for more singles and then an EP at the end of the year. Then more new material beyond that. Watch this space …
Tell Me Why
I Just Thought I’d Say
I Should’ve Known
A Change Is Gonna Come Around Here
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