In Conversation with Call To The Faithful

While a relatively young band, Call To The Faithful are already gaining a reputation as one of Cambridgeshire’s most energetic and passionate live acts. Following the release of their first singles in 2019, the boys are back with a more pensive single, ‘Demons’. To be released alongside their first music video, Matt Beard (vocals), Ethan Grice (bass), Will Bowen (drums) and Oscar Smith (guitar) are placing themselves at the forefront of the UK underground music scene. We spoke with Call To The Faithful about ‘Demons’, the new music video, discovering new music and more.

Why did you decide to enter the music industry?

We don’t think there was ever a conscious decision to enter the music industry. We just started out jamming as friends, playing covers before we had the confidence to try and write our own stuff. Once you start to get that confidence and pride in what you’re creating, the next logical step is to get out, play some shows, record and release music so that you can share with your friends and family. The feeling of being on stage is such a rush that you want to keep doing it and the more you do the more people start to notice what you’re doing. It snowballs from there.

Can you tell us about your release ‘Demons’ including the music video?

‘Demons’ is written from the perspective of someone that is battling the demons inside their own head. Mental health is a topic that we are so passionate about; we wanted to write a song that touched on that, which we hope will resonate with people and help them process their own battle. The single came out during Mental Health Awareness Week and we are donating all proceeds from it to a mental health charity called Papyrus UK. They do great work to prevent suicide amongst young people.

The video is the first we have ever done and we really wanted to portray the feelings so many are going through. The monotony of their daily routine and the anxieties that build up to a point where you feel like you can’t take it anymore. We’re really proud of what we are able to achieve with the video. The overwhelming responses we have had back are that people are connecting with the message. It’s deliberately hard-hitting and emotional because we want to have a lasting impact on people’s views of mental health and show just how serious an issue this is.

What was the writing and recording process like?

When writing ‘Demons’ we had the lyrics and the music, but something just wasn’t clicking. The song structure and the melody just weren’t right. One day we just started playing with something different – a more stripped back and slower-building style. As soon as we played it that way we just knew that we had landed on what we had been looking for.

Heading into the studio, our producer David Leighton at Riverrun Studios really helped us kick the song to the next level. We introduced some string elements with Ethan playing the double-bass and a session violinist to give it more depth. The rest is history.

 

 

Does the single have significant meaning for you?

Mental health issues are something that all of us have experienced in one way or another, either directly or indirectly. The conversation around mental health is growing considerably and that’s great to see. We wanted to contribute to that discussion and do what we can to help keep it at the forefront of people’s minds.

What do you hope people take from your music?

Just that they are not alone. Everyone has their own sh*t that they are dealing with and that’s why it’s important to be there for one another. You never know fully what someone else is going through. The power of your one positive interaction with them that day, no matter how small, might just be the encouragement they needed to get through another day.

What is more challenging for you – melody or lyrics?

I’d say probably melody. Like I said with ‘Demons’, we actually had the lyrics written long before the final melody. So much is going on in the world that we can use as inspiration to write about, but your melodies have to come from within.

How do you stay motivated?

It’s tough to stay motivated when you’re a small band trying to stand out amongst a sea of great local artists, but with every new release or show, you get those little markers of success. The new follows on social media, an extra listener on streaming services, a YouTube subscriber – those things help to reinforce that you’re doing the right things and people are into what you are creating.

How would you describe your sound?

I would say our writing is influenced by sounds like Rage Against The Machine or Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes. Our latest single is much slower and more melodic than we typically produce. Usually, we like to combine big riffs with punchy lyrics to create something loud, angry and in your face.

What do you think is the best way to discover new music?

100% going out to grassroots music venues and catching shows of small bands just trying to make their name. You can often go and see 4 bands for a fiver and you’re likely to see some of the most talented and authentic performances you’re ever like to see. All of your favourite bands started out as a small local band once and some people were lucky enough to see them for a few quid in a 100-capacity venue.

What does the future hold for Call To The Faithful?

We’re working on our first EP which we had just gotten into the studio and started recording shortly before the coronavirus pandemic, so we are super excited to get back in and finish that off once this is all over. We had a bunch of shows lined up this year which are all postponed indefinitely. If we are honest, we can’t imagine being able to be back playing shows for the rest of this year. As soon as those venues open up we will be ready and raring to go.

Do you have a message for our readers?

We like to say a piece on stage encouraging everyone to look after one another. We usually summarise with a closing statement along the lines of “don’t be a c**t, just be nice to each other”. Now go find us on social media – we promise to look after you.

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