We’ve decided to occasionally include non-Scottish bands in this blog. The bar for this is pretty high, and we promise to work in a Scottish angle wherever we can.
I was introduced to Calla by the Cooper Temple Clause. I left that trainwreck 4 songs in, but the (then-unknown to me) opening band, Calla, blew me away.
Pedro managed to secure this interview. I imagine putting on a few art shows with Aurelio helped pave the way.
Since you’ve obviously toured Scotland, we’d be interested in your impressions.
“Our first experience in Glasgow was amazing. Scottish fans we met were very intensely passionate about the music they were into. I got the sense that there is an understanding of what good music is and a sense of pride that Scotland has produced their fair share of legendary bands; all distinctive in their own right.
When I was younger it seemed any band coming out of Scotland had a cool class about them, always coming out of left field doing something you haven’t heard before. I’m sure some of the fans we came across there are in great bands now, and if not then still supporting the music scene like a religion. I hate to say I don’t remember the venues we played there. I do remember the drive there was great, like finally going to a place you only read about, all coming together visually. After the show we went down the street to a pub close by and had drinks with our friend and producer Victor Van Vugt.
We had just worked on Collisions together and he happened to be in Glasgow producing another band there.”
What can you tell us about your new project?
“The project I’m working on came about in the last year or so. I was starting to work more on my music and didn’t feel I wanted to go the traditional route of releasing records. Signing to a label wasn’t necessarily on the top of my list of things to do, there are constraints and headaches that really tend to dilute your passion for the work. Wanting to do another art show, I was trying to think of ways I could combine my music into it. I decided why not just release the work directly to the fans. I could finish the record, start my own label where I could release any and all projects in the future and possibly release other bands. There’s no pressure from the industry, I can work on my art and music on my own terms, directly for the fans.”
Can you cite any Scottish bands that you followed or that you found to be influential?
“Bert Jansch, The Waterboys, Aztec Camera, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Simple Minds, Altered Images, Primal Scream, Big Country. I’m sure that I’m leaving out a lot. I’d also add Franz Ferdinand and Belle and Sebastian, but the first few I mentioned were important to me and made a huge impact on me growing up.”
Finally, is Calla merely on a ‘creative hiatus’?
“After playing together for so long you start feeling like your living in a box, completely confined to this world you’ve created around you. We were on the best terms as friends, like family. We found ourselves in a constant struggle with labels and the industry shit show for years.
That wasn’t important anymore. We had so much more we wanted to experience and accomplish. Sometime you have to realise that there are more dignified ways of being artists and being in control of the way you live your life. I wouldn’t say we’re done, we still work together on projects and, of course, still remain very close friends. Done with the industry rat race? Yes! Calla as a creative entity? Definitely not. We are recording some new tracks for this fundraiser. I think if all goes well, I could see us working on more. We’ve had offers to do shows overseas, I think if the right offer and right shows came along we could possibly play again.”
P & T