Thursday, July 21, 2011

Show Preview - Interview - Callers - Brillobox - 7/26/11 - Pittsburgh - Concert Preview

Callers will be performing at the Brillobox this Tuesday, 7/26. They are opening for Nate Baldwin. Originally from New Orleans, the trio is now based out of Brooklyn. Ryan, Sarah and Don first began recording in NOLA before placing the project on hiatus. After living apart for quite some time, they met backup in Brooklyn and soon produced their first LP Life of Love. The band has received high praise from the likes of Pitchfork, The Village Voice and Q Magazine. Ryan was kind enough to answer some questions from us. You can also find some songs streaming from their album.

From your bio, I read you resided in New Orleans for a time. Were you all from the area? Or? How would you say that area has influenced your music? How did the band come together?

We're from Little Rock, AR; Cape Girardeau, MO; and St. Louis, MO. We all met while living in New Orleans. Just living in that city helped inform how we listen to each other when we play.

Life of Love by Callers

Why did you leave NOLA and move to Providence before hitting Brooklyn?

Sara and I went to Providence to reconnect with some friends, musicians and engineers. It was an incubation period for us. We started to hone our sound there.

Live is Love is your first LP released. How long did it take you to write this album? Was there a theme behind it or was this just a collection of songs? How does it differ from your first?

"Life of Love" was the first record conceived as a three-piece with our drummer, Don Godwin. It was also written entirely in New York, so that city definitely crept into our consciousness and made an impact on the record. It took about a year, and almost all the songs were very thoroughly road tested by recording time.

Was the album done in the studio? Or did you self record/produce?

We worked in two Brooklyn studios in addition to two home studios...lots of meddling and sculpting at home.

Dressed In Blue by Callers

I know you probably get sick of press asking about the jazz component. So, hopefully something different, how much of it plays into your live show? How is brought together?

We're not in any way a jazz ensemble. I think that some of our harmonies recall "jazz" harmony, but our music isn't improvisitory. I mean, there's some wiggle room, and the songs might change a little from night to night, but we're really just writing rock music and pop tunes. We're also a stripped down band. Exposed. And with our setup and communication onstage, I think that maybe we tap into a musical vein that ends up being equated to jazz. I couldn't follow a lead sheet to save my sweet life. Don can, but he owns like 4 tubas. And plays darbuka and stuff.

How do you go about creating your music? Do you all contribute to the lyrics and music?

We build off of little musical cells. We play small ideas in a room together and let them grow and change until we think they're finished. Sara has the biggest hand in the lyric writing, but we all contribute. In the end, melody wins, so Don and I will work around Sara's strongest melodic ideas. Our songs sometimes go through several incarnations and radical changes before they settle into their final forms.

You Are An Arc by Callers

What would you like to accomplish with this project? Are there any goals you have?

We want to keep exploring our music together and see what happens next. And travel. And make more records. And pay our rent in expensive-ass New York.

What made you want to dedicate your life to music? Was there a show or album?

It's something that each of us has done since childhood. The first cassette tape I owned was Boston's "Third Stage," but that couldn't have been it. I don't think...

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?

Does the O still exist? Is it cool to ask if the O still exists, or does it make me sound like an out-of-touch jerk? Ten years ago, I tried to drink a beer that they sold to me there, and I was asked to take it home first. I want to try my luck again!
Come see us at Brillobox on Tuesday, July 26th.