The Calls – Interview

We recently sat down with local guitarist Tom Fuller from local Leeds lads The Calls to chat to them about their new mini album and their rather random EP launch in Dortmund! Find out how it went below!

By Jane Howkins

You’re releasing a new mini album in September, titled The Night the World Stood Still. What can you tell us about that, and what does the title refer to?

It’s the name of one of the tracks. It’s a play on The Day the Earth Stood Still but other than that there’s no connection. The lyrics paint quite a chaotic scene, I think, which sets it apart from the generic ‘songs about a night out’. I guess the idea was to look at the more surreal side of that experience. It’s also one of our favourites to play live and we felt that it really captured the vibe of the release as a whole.

Do you have any plans for a full-length album anytime soon? We reviewed your EP Garageland and enjoyed it, so it would be nice to hear something even longer!

We definitely have the material for it. We just keep writing and writing, and have at least 30 songs flying about now. We’ve got some demos which are unlike anything else out there at the moment and we have ideas for how to put it all together as an album but, for now, the important thing is to get this mini-LP out there and start playing it live.

You also recently released a new single called What Can You Do. What can you tell us about that? And do you have any more singles planned before the mini album comes out?

It’s a tune we’re really happy with and it always goes down well live. We played at Millennium Square in Leeds at the finish line of the Tour de Yorkshire and got the international cyclist Lizzie Deignan dancing along to it! That was pretty cool. And, yeah, we do have one more single before the mini album, called May Day. That’s coming out on 24 August followed by the full record on 7 September.

You’re launching the EP with a date in Leeds on 15th September. Are you excited for that? How do you plan on making it different from a normal gig?

Yeah, we’re very excited for it. We’ve got two great supports in Velvela and The Omega Era which should make it a really standout gig in itself. We’ve got a visual backdrop which our guitarist Will made, plus we’ll have a boatload of new merchandise. We’re also planning on throwing a couple of surprises into the set as well, but we don’t want to give too much away about that.

We hear you’re also having another launch night in Dortmund, which seems a little random to us! What was the reasoning behind that, and are you planning anything special for that gig?

It came out of nowhere! When we released Lost Art of Romance in February, a guy called Dietmar sent us a message on Facebook asking us to headline his festival in Dortmund. They wanted a British band this year and since Leeds is twinned with Dortmund he decided to look at Leeds bands and found us. It’s only a couple of weeks after the launch in Leeds so we figure that can be our launch in Germany. We’ve never played overseas before and we’re taking a small contingent over with us as well, so we’ll have an away crowd. It’s gonna be a belter!

Do you have any plans for a full tour at any point? If so, where and when?

There are no plans for a full tour right now but we’re working on it.

Last time we spoke to you we had a chat about some of your influences, such as legendary punk band The Clash. What have you been listening to recently, and have your tastes changed at all over the past couple of years?

That’s a big one! Yeah, our tastes have definitely evolved since then. These days Tame Impala is a massive one for us. They’ve really changed our perspective of how music can sound, especially in terms of effects and texture. Happy Mondays, Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Radiohead and Pink Floyd are also really important in how our sound is shaping up now as well. There’s also a fair bit of shoegaze influence coming through as well, Slowdive especially. Mac Demarco has also been a big influence recently as well, with his chilled out, slacker vocals and guitar tone. That’s definitely seeping into our new material. The last couple of weeks I’ve really been into Alvvays as well, who I would really recommend checking out.

How have things changed for you guys as a band since the release of Garageland? Has the way you write and record music changed at all?

When we put out Lost Art of Romance a lot of the press were shocked by the sudden change in direction. The reality is that it had been a long process and people who know us weren’t surprised at all, since we’d been playing it live for at least a year before it was released. We also had a couple of line-up changes which allowed us to express where we were really at and the music now is at a complete new level of quality to where it was before. We’ve already seen evidence of that in the response we get at gigs, and the numbers we get at gigs – the fans seem to love it. Where it’s heading next will be another level again.

What would you say to people to encourage them to come and see you perform; and what can people expect from one of your gigs?

You can expect great, catchy songs, with sweeping soundscapes and funky grooves.

Finally, any last words for fans?

Listen to the record; come to the show. And watch this space – we’ve got plenty more to come.