Interview – The Calls

The Calls have an single launch show coming up very soon for new track Until It’s Time at the 360 Club in Leeds so I decided it would be a good chance to catch up with vocalist Tom Fuller – I’ve been following their career for a while and their music has progressed immensely since the early days, so it’s always a pleasure to hear more from them.

By Jane Howkins

You have a new single coming out soon called Until It’s Time. What can you tell us about the track?

Lyrically, it’s the most hopeful track that we’ve released so far. It’s about second chances, in all senses of the phrase. I believe that people are capable of so much more than they realise and, more often than not, you need to make a mistake in order to realise that. But when the time is right, you can ascend and become someone better. Musically it was originally very John Lennon inspired so, naturally, it turned out almost like an Oasis tune! That adds a nice, different flavour to our back catalogue. It’s just a very positive song, with that anthemic Britpop vibe behind it, which hopefully people will really enjoy.

Do you have further singles planned for release anytime soon?

Yeah, we have a few more planned, certainly one more that we had planned to get out before the end of the year but, logistically, we might need to wait until the start of next year now. It’s in the pipeline. We’re in a good place where we don’t feel under pressure, we’re just enjoying ourselves and trying to make sure that we produce high quality material that we’re proud of.

The single will be part of your next EP release. What can you tell us about the EP and when will it be released?

It’ll be released next year. We have another single we want to put out from it before we get the full EP out. It’s another chapter in the development of our sound and it’s something we’re very proud of.

We reviewed your previous EP, Fall Inside Again, and I was very impressed by the way your music had progressed. Does the new EP elaborate more on this?

Thank you! Yeah, it’s certainly another progression but in a different way. We don’t ever intend on making two records that sound the same. We live for exploring new things. This EP is lighter and airier, but the soundscapes are still just as complex. I think Until It’s Time and Way Far Out are good representations of it. The drumming is lighter and jazzier than on the previous EP which I think sets the tone for a more psychedelic record, but the song writing is more accessible so there’s an interesting juxtaposition there. All in all, I’d say it’s a much warmer and more relaxed sound.

How has the writing and recording process changed over the years?

I think we’ve all just learned more and just got better at it. One thing that’s overtly different on this EP to the last one is we used a different drummer. It was a conscious decision on our part because we knew we wanted a different sound, and the great thing about not having a permanent drummer is that we have that flexibility. Anyone who’s ever been in a recording session will tell you that the drum sound is the foundation of the mix, so changing that up affects everything. That was really the focus of these sessions. We wanted to try processing the drum sounds a lot more and looped them for some sections of songs. We even started playing around with a drum machine too. It’s a great avenue for creativity which changes the way you look at the entire track, but we still wanted the music to feel like a band, which I think it does.

How have your influences changed over the years? And what have you been listening to recently that you can recommend to us?

As we’ve matured as musicians, I think we’ve come to have a greater appreciation for subtlety. When you’re a teenager you just want to sound loud and fast but, recently, we’ve got a lot more into what we call ‘vibe’. By that, we mean the whole feel of the track, which really is an amalgamation of every aspect of the music, so the soundscapes, the tempo, the chords. All those things have a cumulative effect on the listener. Bands like Pink Floyd and Tame Impala are masters of ‘vibe’, and The Verve’s self-titled EP is a huge influence for us too. That’s more the angle we’ve been trying to go for on these newer tracks. Which is something our teenage selves probably would have hated!

You have a single launch show at the 360 Club in Leeds on Friday 15 October. Are you excited for that, and what can we expect from the launch show?

Yeah, we’re incredibly excited for that! It’s our first live show in absolutely ages, over a year, so I think there’s going to be a lot of pent-up creativity let loose in there! You can expect a mixture of old and new material, and by new, I mean really new! We’re not the types to just sit still so we’ve been hard at work over lockdown writing loads of new songs which we think are our best yet.

The support bands for the night are Second Rate, Silverlode and Mundane Arcade. Did you know those artists already and, if so, why did you pick those acts as supports for the night?

We didn’t know them before. They’re all picks of the promoter, Richard Watson, who’s known for handpicking the best of the Leeds music scene so we’re really excited to see them all play live, as should anyone who comes to the gig. If that’s not incentive enough to come along then I don’t know what is!

Do you have any more tour dates lined up?

We don’t I’m afraid. This is very much a one-off for the moment. We have been hard at work recording and we’re planning to hit the ground running next year.

Finally, any last words for the fans?

Thank you to everyone who’s stuck by us all this time, especially through lockdown. It’s going to be awesome to see you again at the show and, as always, we have plenty more new music in the pipeline.