Monday, March 26, 2018

SITTING DOWN WITH THE LONDON BAND CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS



Hello all,

So who is Calling All Astronauts? Calling All Astronauts are a West London based politically charged 3 piece alternate rock band. They have released 2 critically acclaimed albums,11 singles, and 1 EP in the past 6 years. They have had 6 successive number 1's on the Hype Machine Twitter Chart. They have shared the stage with many successful headliners such as Pop Will Eat Itself, A Place To Bury Strangers, Echo and the Bunnymen and Roger Daltrey.  I have recently had an opportunity to do an exclusive interview with this awesome band, and here's what they had to say-



All interview questions answered by David B, lead singer of the band.



1. Could you please introduce us to your band members and include a little background information?


We are - David B – Vocals, programming, production
J - Guitars
Paul McCrudden – Bass and Keys
We are just three regular guys with families etc, we’ve all been in bands before, with varying degrees of success, and we came together with a common goal of making music that we would buy.




2. What inspired you to get into music?


Punk rock and the idea that anyone can make music. In the mid seventies the major labels dominated radio and the charts, then punk rock came along, and independent labels took them on at their own game.




3. How did your band members meet?


I (David) was in a rap-metal band called US:UK with J’s brother, he was the drummer. We kept going through guitarists like Taylor Swift goes through boyfriends. And one day Paul said, my little brother (In Sheffield) can play, so we got him down to London and he joined us. Next we kind of had a thing with bassists leaving us. We advertised and Paul applied. We played lots of shows back then, opening for the likes of Faith No More, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Pop Will Eat Itself, etc. We got to play some large venues and had a great time. US:Uk ran it’s course and J formed the Pop-Punk band Caffeine. They went on to tour with The Offspring, The Dickies, New Found Glory, AFI, the list is endless. Paul joined UK Goth stalwarts The Marionettes. Fast forward about a decade, J and I bumped into each other at a gas station and decided we’d have a go at making music together again. After a couple of lineup changes, we rang Paul and the three of us are back together.




4. What comes first with writing a song, the music or lyrics?


We write all our music in the recording studio. It always starts off with a drum pattern, and really just take it from there. Sometimes Paul and I will start building up from the bottom. Sometimes J comes up with the guitar riff first. I usually wait until we have got something that sounds like a verse and write one verse of lyrics so we have the melody, and the same for a chorus. Our songwriting process often takes some time. It’s kind of like three men making a sculpture together. We are forever adding different percussion, changing drum sounds etc. We take a lot of time writing our songs. Our last album took over 2,000 hours.




5. What message if any are you trying to convey with your music?


If we were American, we’d be firmly in the Bernie Sanders camp. Most of our songs have a socio-political element to them. We don’t preach, but we like to suggest things that may make people think.The idea, that seems popular nowadays, is that if you abuse people who have different opinions than yourself, it will somehow change people’s minds. It is just preposterous. It only galvanises extreme thoughts. You need to educate people just enough so they come to the right conclusions themselves.




6. What is your favorite part about touring?


As Calling All Astronauts we’ve actually never toured. J and I have young children, in fact I am Daddy Day Care to my baby daughter. We would love to tour but you have to put your families first. We’ve all done it in previous acts though. We tend to play some festivals in the summer. This summer we can’t fit any in, so we are concentrating on recording our third album.




7. What is your favorite place you have performed and why?


My favourite show was when we opened for A Place To Bury Strangers. I first saw them at SXSW a few years ago, and they blew me away. I’ve seen them several times since. When we opened for them, they watched us from right down the front of stage, it was really quite a thrill looking out  and seeing them.




8. Who are your favorite music artists?


J is a massive Kiss fan. When he was in Caffeine they got to play at a Kiss Convention in the US, and he was absolutely stoked. Paul loves Alice In Chains. I have so many favourites, I find it hard to pick just one, so I’ll give you a list 😊 New Order, Fad Gadget, NWA, Killing Joke, Sisters Of Mercy, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Offspring, Jimmy Eat World, Nine Inch Nails. This list could run and run, but I’m sure you get the idea.




9. Do you have any tours coming up in the US?


We’ve never played in the US, we would really love to one day, it’s an awesome place. I’ve visited a few times, it would be awesome to tour there and see more places.




10. What is your favorite song to play live?


I’m very attached to “Someone Like You”. It was our first single, and amazingly it got played on the BBC. We even got to go into the BBC 6 Music studio to be interviewed by Tom Robinson.On the back of it, It was the moment when I realised that we may have hit upon something that people may like.




This last question is just for fun and not music related.



11.  What is your favorite show to binge watch?

I have binge watched many shows. I like to wait until a series is several seasons old before I watch it, and then watch 2 or three episodes at a time. We watched the whole season of Breaking Bad like that, the first 4 seasons of Orange Is The New Black, and 5 seasons of The Walking Dead. I still haven’t watched season 2 of Stranger Things, I’m looking forward to that. I met Norah who is the music supervisor on Stranger Things. The first thing I said to her, was, “It’s great to have a meeting with somebody who puts Joy Division onto a TV show".



Listen to their newest music-  Smoke On The Water now:







       

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