From Bio: The City Calls are an exciting, fresh and energetic Pop-Punk band from the UK’s South Coast, armed with a host of impressive catchy songs. The band was formed in January 2009 and includes members: Lucas Hardy on vocals, guitarists Scotty Perry and Darren Ledwich, bassist Chris Aldridge and drummer John Plummer. The band released their debut single ‘Take Me Home (Kiss and Tell)’ in the summer of 2009, followed by their first UK tour which both sparked an interest within the music industry and gained them a vast following of loyal fans.
In the past year since The City Calls launched themselves with a string of South Coast shows and a demo CD that received critical acclaim in magazines across the UK, they have been extensively gigging and touring; also supporting the likes of Futures, Twenty Twenty and The Mission District from Canada. The band have also headlined sold-out shows in their hometown of Southampton, played at this years Glastonbury Festival, the massive student festival ‘Beach Break Live’ and played on the Butserquest Stage at this years ‘Butserfest’ along with Deaf Havana and Lecarla. ‘I Am Mighty Records’ signed the band at the start of this summer and released their latest EP ‘Dirty Tricks’ which, is getting positive reviews from magazines, such as: ‘Rock Sound’ and ‘Big Cheese’. Their sound has been described as “a raw version of You Me At Six, Paramore and New Found Glory” and that they have “energy, catchy hooks and an exciting live show, leaving the audience wanting more”
We love this kind of music and were stoked when The City Calls contacted us regarding their new mini album ‘A Spark To Ignite’, we instantly deemed them one of our Best Things You’ve Never Heard. Singer Lucas answered some questions for us and here we go. Flame On!
Let’s start with the basics first – how long has the band been together and what is the inspiration behind the band name?
We have been a band since early 2009. When we were thinking of possible band names we wanted something simple and easy to remember. We had a massive list of names and we circled some words from them and came up with The City Calls.
Please be kind enough to introduce each member of the band and give us a rock ‘n’ roll fact or myth about each?
I’m Lucas and I sing. I’m guess/make-up these facts/myths as we aren’t as Rock and Roll as we’d like to be. My myth is I can grow a Rock and Roll beard.
Scotty plays Guitar, He can play some mean Rock and Roll riffs.
Chris plays Bass, He is pure Anarchy-Punk.
Darren plays Guitar, He is the token Metal kid.
John plays Drums, he is so Avant-Garde that he’s Rock and Roll.
So, you have twenty seconds in an elevator to try and convince someone to listen to your new mini album ‘A Spark To Ignite’, what do you tell them?
All your wildest dreams may come true if you listen to this record. If they don’t, you will have an awesome listening experience.
In terms of your song writing, what do you consider to be the most important ingredients that need to feature in one of your songs?
Hooks, Fun and Honesty. Finding yourself singing along to the chorus of the first time hearing a song is what we like to aim for with some of our songs. Having fun listening to the songs is great and having fun playing the songs ourselves is a biggy of course. Honesty, just playing what feels right to us and something people can relate to lyrically is what we aim for too.
What bands did you grow up listening to and how did they help create the style of music that can now be heard throughout your music?
I listened to a LOT of Blink and other Pop Punk when I was younger but we all grew up listening to different bands of different genres and as we’ve been in the band we’ve been inspired by so many different bands and it’s inevitably come across in our music. But we write what comes natural to us and that’s what gives us our own sound, of course.
Are there plans in the works for a full length album any time soon?
We are focusing on the new record for now as we’re super proud of the new songs. So there are no set plans but we are always writing and there will be plans made soon enough.
Now, let’s talk about the live side of the band, firstly you had the opportunity to play the 40th Anniversary of Glastonbury, how did that come about and what was that experience like?
We were asked to play by the people that are involved with the Glade stage (the stage we played). They were looking for a couple of bands to play and we were lucky enough to be asked.
The experience was incredible. Playing at Glastonbury was already amazing but the 40th anniversary was even more awesome. We stayed on-site from the Thursday I think until the Monday so we had a really damn good time.
You’ve been touring pretty relentlessly since 2009 to build a now loyal fan base, what is it that you bring to the stage that captivates those that come to see you?
We love playing shows, so we’re super energetic, we have a lot of fun and we love getting the crowd involved with our songs so we write tunes that cater to crowd participation as well as songs were people can just listen and have a really good time.
Are there any plans for any International touring in the near future in support of ‘A Spark To Ignite’?
I’m sure next year some time we’ll have the opportunity to play overseas somewhere, and that will be cool.
Your sound has been compared to a number of bands namely a mix of Paramore, New Found Glory and You Me At Six, but if you personally had to describe the bands sound how would you do so?
I’d describe it as a slightly more Rock based Pop-Punk sound. We have the Pop sensibilities but a lot of our songs have a much heavier and bigger Rock mix to them. It really does depend on the listener though so I’ll ask anyone who is reading to see what they think!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of doing what you do with The City Calls?
There’s many rewarding aspects that are all as good as each other. Playing music I love with my friends, Playing the music to our fans and new people, Seeing and playing shows in new places and meeting so many cool people. There’s many more.
Lastly, here’s a chance to gaze into your crystal ball. In the next year, The City Calls will:
1. Be playing more and more shows in more and more places.
2. Possibly be starting a new record.
3. Having the most kick-ass year yet.
Sounds like: Pop Punk/Powerpop/Rock
Band members: Lucas Hardy – Vocals, Scotty Perry- Guitar/Vocals, Darren Ledwich – Guitar, Chris Aldridge- Bass/Vocals, John Plummer – Drums
Latest release: A Spark To Ignite (2011 – I Am Mighty Records)