Calling All Astronauts are a London based, Electro Punk three-piece, formed by ex members of Uk Pop-Punkers Caffeine, Goth stalwarts The Marionettes and seminalRap-Metalers US:UK, their ability to mix electro, rock, post-punk and even dubstep into their sound, has seen them become firmly established in the alternative underground.
Calling All Astronauts are:-
David B – Vocal/Programming
J Browning – Guitars
Paul McCrudden – Bass
Their 800,000 Twitter followers have helped them chalk up no less than 8 consecutive No.1’s in the Hype Machine Twitter Music Charts.
They have shared stages with the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen, PWEI, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and A Place To Bury Strangers, they also headlined a stage at Beautiful Days festival as well as playing Mainstage at Guilfest and appearing at Kendal Calling Festival.
Their eleven singles so far have seen them gaining support from all four corners of the globe as numerous rock and alternative radio shows have taken them to their hearts putting them on heavy rotation. They have been featured on BBC Introducing, and have been studio guests on BBC 6 Music’s Introducing with Tom Robinson
Their underground attitude to video production has received great praise from many, including Irvine Welsh who, after viewing the video for “What’s So Good About” proclaiming it as “Brilliant”
They have so far released 2 albums, “Post Modern Conspiracy” (2013) and “Anti Social Network” (2016) are currently working on their third.
Their “Influences EP”, a quadruple A-side single, is set for release on March 30th 2018. The band have covered four songs that have influenced their love of music, every second Friday commencing on February 2nd one of the “A-sides” will be premiered on YouTube and Spotify leading up to the full EP’s release on all download sites.
I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?
We are a 3-piece Alternative Rock bang based in West London, we have so far released 2 albums, 12 singles and 1 EP, we have another EP coming out on March 30th, we decided it may be fun to interpret songs that have influenced us over the years and record versions in our own style, so we’ve ended up with a “Pendulumesque” version of Gary Numan’s “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” this is followed by a stripped back, dark, atmospheric version of T-Rex’s “Metal Guru”, next up is the David Bowie classic “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)” and yes it’s more scary and more monsterous than the original J we finish off with a Post Industrial version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water”. We have started work on our third album, we have around 15 tracks to far, but have ideas for several more, it may well end up as a double album.
Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be?
As I say we have this new EP, we’ve actually made it a quadruple A-side single, we’ve been getting loads of radio play on all four tracks which is really amazing, we have also done videos for all the tracks. One track that sums us up, hmm that’s a hard one as we are quite eclectic, I I would have gone for “Time To Fight Back”
as I like the way it sits perfectly between metal and drum and bass, however, for a more accessible track for people who haven’t hear us before, I’ll have to plum for “Living The Dream”
When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.
We write everything in the recording studio, it always starts with a drum beat, then we build it up from there, we never take the same path after the drums, sometimes J will throw a guitar riff down that we love, sometimes myself of Paul get a synth part, it really doesn’t follow a structure, what we end up with is never what we started out with
With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
I feel the music industry is dying a very rapid death, there have been so few festival headliners created in the last 7 years, if you look back to the late 80’s early 90’s there were 20 or 30 new bands every year that could easily have become festival headliners, how many can you name that are currently rising up the ranks? It has all become about streaming, artists getting paid 0.001 cents per stream by the time everyone else has taken their cut, but as the majors own big chunks of the streaming sites it seems easier for them to hype anything into the charts and onto mainstream radio than ever before, and they just concentrate on disposable karaoke singers, rather than developing real talent, it’s a sorry state of affairs
Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?
Not really, I do some remixes for people from time to time, I do enjoy doing them it’s a challenge that I like to rise to, J our guitarist used to be in Caffeine, there is an unreleased album of theirs that was never released that is coming out shortly, it’s really awesome, if pushed I’d compare it to Jimmy Eat World
When you’re preforming how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?
As there are only 3 of us on stage we use a lot of machines we have to be so tight, as we can’t afford mistakes, it’s not like when you have a drummer and if the singer misses his cue you can just do another four bars and come in, we have to hit every cue. We were playing the mainstage at Guilfest and I told the sound engineer at least four times that the right channel goes to font of house and the left goes to the onstage monitors, the left channel having all the clicks on so we know where the songs start etc, the intro starts, we walk on stage, the intro ends, the first song starts, no clicks, we didn’t have a clue where we were, and to compound it, the first three songs were all linked together by samples and loops, so we couldn’t stop everything for the first 10 minutes of the set, it really was a nightmare, we got away with it, but it really was luck rather than us knowing what was going on.
How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?
We just tend to play the singles, people want to hear all your biggest songs, so that’s what we do, yeah we’ve done a couple of covers live, we’ve done a version of Robin S’s “Show Me Love and also The Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog” the latter of those always descends into mayhem as we seem to always lose track of where we are.
If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?
The are so many, there are bands that have influenced our sound like Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, New Order, and bands that we love like Editors, Killing Joke, The Offspring, to be honest we’d love to tour with anyone who has an audience that would get what we do.
Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
Make music because you love making music, don’t try to sound like anyone else, don’t refer to yourselves as “the brand”, don’t send off demos unless they are amazing, get your demos mastered, if they don’t sound good enough to be on the radio, don’t send them out, when you play a gig, watch the other bands on the bill, be humble, be nice to the all the staff in the venue, don’t take too long with your soundcheck as all the other other bands want a soundcheck as well, interact with everyone on social media, don’t be one of those bands that tweets about your music but never replies to fans.
Any last words?
If you’d like to watch the videos for our new EP they are here
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Label website www.supersonic-media.co.uk