1. Introduce us to your band!
We are Calling All Astronauts, a west London based Alternative Rock 3-piece, made up of:
David B – Vocals/Programming
Paul McCrudden – Bass/Keys
J – Guitars
We have released 2 albums, 11 singles and 2 EPs so far. Our current release is our “Influences EP”. We have recorded versions of four songs that have influenced our love of music and done them in our own style. We have released each of them as a single 2 weeks apart, creating videos etc. for each of them, and packaged all four up as an EP.
You can check out the EP here www.smarturl.it/Influences-EP.
2. How did you guys start out?
We had all been in seminal Rap-Metal band US:UK together, years ago, we had a lot of fun, opening for bands such as Faith No More, Pop Will Eat Itself, Ned’s Atomic Dustin. I (David), bumped into J at a petrol station in Fulham one day, he had been touring in Caffeine for several years, but they had kind of run their course, and we just decided to make some music together again. After several line-up changes, we drafted in Paul prior to the second album and haven’t looked back.
3. Describe your band’s sound
This is always the $1m question, we use a lot of electronics and mash them up with loud guitars and pounding bass, we get compared to some great acts, which we always find flattering. We’ve been compared to people like Nine Inch Nails, She Wants Revenge, Mindless Self Indulgence, Sisters Of Mercy, The Prodigy, Joy Division. We are probably a mashup of all of them, with a bit of Skrillex and Nero for added dance-ability.
4. What influences your craft?
We take a lot of influences from the late 70’s early 80’s alternative scene, but also from dubstep, and drum and bass. Although we don’t officially have a musical agenda, I think it would be fair to say, we try to make a modern version of an old-school alternative.
5. What makes your band different? Why should people listen to you?
We are totally DIY. We have total control of our own studio, label and publishing. We try to always say it as it is, we aren’t afraid of saying if we don’t like a song or an act, there are too many sycophants in the music industry right now, the major labels have learnt how to polish a turd and brainwash the masses into buying it. We have never sent a single demo to a label, we make the music for ourselves and our fans, we are not about becoming millionaires, calling ourselves a brand, or having an exit strategy, we just create art, if people like our art, awesome, if they don’t it’s no big deal, if everyone liked the same thing, we’d be just like all those chart acts we despise.
6. When introducing people to your music, what song should I show them first? What is your quintessential track?
That would all depend on what music they are into. If they are a goth, “Black World” or “Someone Like You”. If they are into alternative dance, “Time To Fight Back”. If they are into metal “Hands Up Who Wants Metal” or “Divisive”. If they are into pop-punk or alt-rock “Living The Dream” or “Empire”. We really are that eclectic that if somebody doesn’t know us already, you really have to pick the track to suit their musical tastes.
7. What has been the biggest struggle in your career so far?
Every day is a struggle in a DIY band, nobody sells any records anymore, everybody wants music for free on streaming sites, which for indie artists is a disaster. The figures that get banded around are grossly inflated, so unless you are on the major playlists, and the vast majority of indie artists don’t make the playlists, you will probably not even recoup your mastering costs never mind making enough money, so you can put some into promotion, it really is a constant struggle. But hey, we believe we make great records, isn’t that the important thing?
8. What has been the biggest highlight in your career so far?
We’ve had 6 consecutive Number 1s on the Hype machine Twitter chart, that is always a massive thrill. However, every time anyone interviews us, reviews us or plays us on their radio show or podcast – it’s a massive highlight for us, we find it quite humbling that we get so much support from people who do it because they love music rather than play or write about music for a living.
9. How bright is the future of your band – what are the plans?
As I said, we have a new EP out right now, it has been received amazingly well. We have started work on our third album, so far, we are really excited about how it’s sounding. We are not one of those bands who are content to keep writing variations on a theme, so we find creating a new album very exciting.
10. When all is said and done, how would you like to be remembered?
It would be nice to be remembered as good blokes, who always had time for everyone, never got any affectations, and made pretty good music.