Showcase: The Calling Card
Published on November 15th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
South Wales rockers The Calling Card released their debut album Everything You’re Not in June and are currently writing their second, so Rocksucker fired some questions over to front man Benj Squibbs to find out a little bit more about how they operate…
What’s the line-up of the band? How did you all meet, and how long has the band been going for?
Benj – Vocals
Simon – Guitar
Steve – Guitar
Reedy – Guitar
Kyle – Bass
Hobnob – Drums
We have been a band for a couple of years now and have had a few line up changes because some members just didn’t fit in and whatnot. Then a few months ago we finally came together with the line up we have now and it’s probably the best we have ever sounded.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I hear quite a lot of stuff in our music so it’s not easy to pinpoint it down really. There’s definitely some early Taking Back Sunday in there, there’s some Ryan Adams in the Rock n Roll phase in there all mixed together with bands like Feeder and the Gaslight Anthem. Basically we write the best pop/rock songs that we can.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We are based out of South Wales and practise in Newport. Equipment wise? Well we did our album at Junkyard studios with the guys who have done stuff for Bullet For My Valentine and Skindred and they were using Pro Tools. Usually for demos I’ll just record the basic acoustic track on a 4-track so I don’t forget any of it.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
Well the first album is out on iTunes and Amazon now and was released back in June, and I have already written most of the next record and have messed about with a couple of tunes already so we are always looking forward.
Where can we hear your music online?
If you haven’t got the album yet and would like a bit of a taster first there are a couple of videos floating around on YouTube and you can hear the album on Spotify as well.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Well where can we start haha. There has never been a Calling Card gig that has been normal. Or what would be considered normal to other bands. There will always be the one guy that gets naked, someone will get hit in the head by a swinging mic or bass, stages will break, you name it really. There was one show we played that was at a festival in South Wales and halfway through the set I could see a tractor heading towards the stage, then started getting close, and closer to which it then parted through the crowd, straight in front of the stage and started smacking in the railing. Slap bang in the middle of the set. You really couldn’t make any of it up. And we have been lucky enough to play with people like Zebrahead and Alkaline Trio which were some great shows.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
We have a few coming up around STheouth Wales but we hope to get out more early next year, and release some music videos as well to really get our name out there.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Wow great I love giving shout-outs to other bands because that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about sharing music and hoping likeminded people will get the same kind of buzz out of it the same way you do. I’ve really started to get into the underground US emo scene lately and there are tons of great bands to be found there but check out these to start with:
Dowsing – https://www.facebook.com/Dowsingband?fref=ts
Citizen – https://www.facebook.com/citizentheband
Signals Midwest – https://www.facebook.com/signalsmidwest
Dikembe – https://www.facebook.com/dikembefl
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Right ok this is going to be tricky. Well first I’d pick Ryan Adams. You can’t go wrong with Ryan Adams because he has so much material and it varies so much so you could never get bored. Second would be Oasis who are the biggest influence on me and my favourite band of all time. Third I would pick Nirvana so I could have something with a bit more bite to it but still have those great harmonies in my head. Fourth would be Bowie. Again how could you go wrong with Bowie? He has every style of music you could ever need and a ton of albums to get through. Then fifth I would take The Gaslight Anthem. Even though there aren’t that many records to take, the ones I own are amazing from start to finish. To be honest with you this doesn’t sound like solitary confinement, this just sounds like my living room.
The Calling Card, thank you.