It's pretty rare for bands to not lay claim to some specific influences, whether blatantly obvious in their music or the occasional subtle nod to an homage. But for London-based electro punks Calling All Astronauts, they've recently worn their influences on their sleeves with a brand new EP quite literally titled 'Influences', boasting a thumping insight into some of the artists that lurk behind this dark brand of goth punk the trio have come to call home.
And while this group are adequately equipped to tackle some of their idols (including Deep Purple and Gary Numan), their tendencies to fuel Pendulum-esque drops, skulking vocals and menacing basslines make for a contagious combo. Are they punk? Are they electro, or borderline metal? Perhaps it's bands like Calling All Astronauts that highlight the redundancy of certain musical labels, because ultimately all that really matters this that is an act that have a uniquely likable and bustling twist on tradition, with a delicious British tinge. And with their new EP out in the world, the Calling All Astronauts lads took the time to chat to The Soundcheck about desert island dreams, beginnings and why they could technically be called a "pizza band". Interview below.
BAND NAME: Calling All Astronauts
LOCATION: London, UK
BAND MEMBERS: David B – Vocals/programming Paul McCrudden – Bass/Keys J - Guitars
HOW DID CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS START? We had all been in seminal Rap-Metal band US:UK together years ago, J and David bumped into each other On a petrol station forecourt and decided to make music together again, recruiting Andy on Drums and Kristi on bass, Andy went to Asia travelling, so we decided to start using a drum machine, Kristi left to have a baby, we continued as a two piece for a while between the first two albums, but during the writing of the second album we decided to ask Paul if he’d like to team up with us again as we knew what he’d bring to the band.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND FOR? Around 6 years, because you can’t really count the time with Andy, as we sounded way different at that time.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INFLUENCES? Too many to list really, we take influences from every song we ever hear, I can tell you some of the bands we’ve been compared to, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, She Wants Revenge, Joy Division, Sisters Of Mercy, The Prodigy, Mindless Self Indulgence, Killing Joke, Psychedelic Furs, Bauhaus, Pendulum
DESCRIBE CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS IN THREE WORDS: Noisy, Dark, Arty
WHAT'S THE MOST MEMORABLE GIG YOU'VE PLAYED SO FAR AND WHY? We played Alan Magee’s night at Notting Hill Art’s club, it was absolutely packed with Made In Chelsea types, we thought they would hate us, but they went totally mental.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS SONG? J has three, “Living The Dream”, “Empire” and “What’s So Good About” Paul - Says he doesn’t have a favourite as we haven’t written it yet!! David, I’m very attached to “Someone Like You” as it was our debut single, I think my favourite is “Divisive” just because of the dubstep drop
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON RIGHT NOW? ANY NEW THINGS ON THE HORIZON? We had out new “Influences EP” out on March 30th , a quadruple A-side single. We’ve done covers off our tracks that have influenced our love of music, each with it’s own video. It kicks off with a what has been described as 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 :). We finish off with a Post Industrial version of Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water” you could think this is madness or stupidity, don’t worry, they’ve given them all the full Calling All Astronauts treatment and claim them as our own. Hahahahaha
IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING MUSIC, WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU BE DOING? David is Daddy Day Care Paul messes about in gardens J looks longingly at more guitars for his collection
IF CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE OTHER BAND, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY? David – I think it would be good the have The Smiths with us, the animosity between them would keep us amused all day. Paul - Not sure but they would have to be good at fishing and sun tan application. J - It would have to be Kiss, although I think Gene would probably become annoying if we didn’t get rescued quickly.
PINEAPPLE ON A PIZZA, YES OR NO? David – Of course, with mushrooms, chicken, Ham and a fried egg, I love bolognaise pizza that they sell in France Paul - Nooooooo!
J – it really shouldn’t work, but does, a bit like us mixing many different styles of music, we are a pizza band.
CATS OR DOGS? We love all animals, David has 2 cats Nellie and Noodles, J has 1 cat called Mira May and Paul has a lurcher called Flo.
WOULD CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE? Definitely……….Paul owns a chainsaw!!
AND FINALLY, WHAT'S THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME AND WHY? David - If you asked me this question every day for a decade I’d give you a different answer every day, todayI would go for The Buzzcocks – “Love You More” at 1 minute 52 seconds it’s the perfect pop song, it’s got everything, angst, hooks, melody, riffs, however if you asked my seven moth old daughter, she’d say it’s Disturbed – “Down With The Sickness” as she splashes around if the bath if it comes on my playlist when I’m getting her ready for bed.
CALLING ALL ASTRONAUT'S EP 'INFLUENCES' IS OUT NOW. YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON IT HERE, AND A HEAP MORE INFO BELOW.
'ARE 'FRIENDS' ELECTRIC' - CALLING ALL ASTRONAUTS
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BY TIANA SPETER