Thursday, 19 August 2010

Bristol v Sheffield - Two Bands Of Tomorrow?


Just over a year ago I got a couple of golden ticket "pass-outs" from my then pregnant wife to see two bands I really wanted to see, Kalenko and Call The Doctor. They were playing in their local city of residence music festival in Sheffield (Tramlines) and Bristol (Harbour Festival) respectively. In fact on the bottom photo of Kalenko you can me and Schonberg if you look closely. Anyway a year has passed, my wife gave birth to a beautiful girl, the bands have both been working hard and as they have just played the festivals I thought it was time to catch up with them and see how it's going. You'll have to excuse Rob's (CTD) sense of humour it's obviously a defence mechanism against Elliott's good looks.

Hit play and listen to these tracks as you read the interview below:

MP3: Lights Out - Kalenko
MP3: For Your Leisure - Call The Doctor

You’ve just played Tramlines / Harbour one year on since I last saw you, how’s the last year been for you?

Kal:
The last year has been steadily progressive. We've worked hard at our sound and set list. We consciously aimed for a more instantaneous live show; the key to converting an audience into a fan base is the first few songs. Last year, our first few songs would set the atmosphere, which is great if you have 45 minutes. But with the standard 30 minute sets we get asked to play, it is paramount that we capture peoples attention early on and hold it throughout.


CTD:
ITS BEEN GREAT, SINCE WE LAST PLAYED WE RECORDED A MINI-ALBUM, DID A COUPLE OF TOURS, PLAYED WITH BAND OF SKULLS, FOXY SHAZAM AT THE BARFLY, AND SHONEN KNIFE AT THE THEKLA, SORTED A DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR THE RECORD WITH GLASSTONE, RELEASED IT, PLAYED MORE GIGS AND THEN LAST FEW MONTHS WE'VE BEEN STARTING THE SONGWRITING PROCESS AGAIN. WE JUST GOT BOOKED AS MAIN SUPPORT FOR OASIS' REFORMATION TOUR IN 2012



How was the festival compared to last year? Do you think the festival as a whole has improved?

Kal:
I think Tramlines is the best thing Sheffield has to offer. The buzz on the city streets in incredible, and it's important for the local venues to keep supporting the local talent. We see it as the one chance of a&r coming to us, instead of us travelling down to them.


CTD:
THERES MORE GOING ON THIS YEAR, ITS EXPANDED TO CASTLE PARK. WE PLAYED THE SAME VENUE BUT MUCH HIGHER UP THE BILL AND HAD A REALLY GOOD AUDIENCE, THERE WERE ROUGHLY 13,024 PEOPLE WATCHING US IN THE LOUISIANA - 1 IN, 1 OUT. GOOD TIMES.


What’s been your best moment from the last twelve months?


Kal:
Our best moment was being picked up by Tom Robinson on BBC 6Music. We got played as unsigned band of the week, which really boosted us to push things forward. We had some interest following that, and plan to chase that up in the coming months, with our first single release.


CTD:
I THINK GAINING A FEW GENUINE FANS FROM PLACES AS FAR FLUNG AS MEXICO, SWEDEN AND AUSTRIA. PEOPLE THAT WE DONT KNOW CHOOSING TO BUY OUR MUSIC IS THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU CAN HAVE. WE HAD ONE GUY


You’ve written a few tunes in the last twelve months, how has your music progressed?


Kal:
Generally, i think we have refined our sound. It is satisfying to know that our earlier songs still stand up to the new material. We feel that our early songs seem more like the album tracks - a little more experimental. The latest material seems much more upbeat, without losing that sinister nature for which we have become known.


CTD:
WELL ITS GOING TWO WAYS AT PRESENT, WITH SOME POPPIER SONGS (THAT STILL ROCK) AS WELL AS SOME TRACKS THAT DONT FOLLOW THE TRADITIONAL VERSE-CHORUS-VERSE-CHORUS-BRIDGE-DOUBLE CHROUS SONG STRUCTURE. GOT SOME DRUM AND BASS AND DUBSTEP REMIXES IN THE BAG TOO. OUR DRUMMER IS REALLY INTO DISNEY SO WE ARE GONNA BE INCORPORATING SOME FAIRY TALE MAGIC INTO THE NEXT ALBUM IF HE GETS HIS WAY


If you were signed by a major label tomorrow would the whole band be up for it, would you quit your jobs?

Kal:
That's what we're in it for. Unfortunately, the way the industry is heading, it looks more and more like bands have to fund themselves while writing, recording & touring. If someone offered us something that enabled us to quit our jobs, then I would envisage a big leap forward in the calibre of product we create.


CTD:
HELL YES.

Talking of jobs, what are you doing to pay the large costs of being in a band?

Kal:
All of us have office jobs. Our Jonny (drums) used to work in a bar, but we convinced to get rid of that to make time for the band.


CTD:
WE'RE ALL DOCTORS OF SORTS. WASN'T THAT OBVIOUS ALREADY? (A vet's not a proper Doctor is it now Rob, I don't want you to come running if they shout "Is There a doctor on board?" - Jal)

You’ve built up a good following, what now, what will get you that break through?


Kal:
It was unnerving when our uni friends slowly migrated elsewhere. Conversely, it feels good when we win over new fans now - we've progressed past the 'friends and family' fanbase...although not exclusively. Our following is still growing, and we look to really push things over the next few months, to gather a bit of steam. It is important not to forget the brand away from the music - 'Sheffield's best Russian band' is something we hope people will remember.


CTD:
THIS INTERVIEW I HOPE


For bands who are trying to make it, what have you learnt along the way?


Kal:
Do something different; Unfortunately, it isn't all about the music.


CTD:
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE JAEGER-BOMBS ARE NEVER A GOOD IDEA BEFORE YOU PLAY.


Finally, what do you predict for your band in the next twelve months?


Kal:
Continued record label interest would be nice, and a few more high profile shows. We intend to move things down to the capital for a few weekends, as we've yet to explore the sights and sounds of London. All in all, continued support from people like yourself, (flattery always helps - Jal) and eventually people in high places will come around to Kalenko's way of doing things.


CTD:
MORE TUNES, MORE GIGS, MORE FESTIVALS, MORE DISNEY AND MORE BUY ONE GET ONE FREE J-BOMBS OF COURSE




So there you have it. Kalenko plan to release a single in October so we'll be getting behind that nearer the time. Call The Doctor's mini album is available from HMV.com

2 comments:

Dancingbear said...

Great interviews, really interesting stuff... keep us updated!

Jal said...

I thought it was interesting that both bands had been Unsigned Band of the Week. I don't think CTD mentioned that but it's interesting that they're both making waves at the same rate.