Interview: CALAMITIEZ

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July 2006

The CALAMITIEZ, with their "ARMY OF THE UNDERWORLD", are turning up from Spain, with their aggressive, devastating and so effective Psychobilly.

Don't miss Then, you should regret it!

Calamitiez

1/ Who plays what?

We are:

  • David, bass-player and singer by night, by day a pedigree stallion on a stud farm;
  • Julio "the gun-slinging grave-digger", lead guitarist runs his own reasonably unsuccessful business arranging Vegas Wedding style funerals (especially unpopular this year are the Johnny Cash Funeral and the Elvis funeral);
  • Nadia our drummer, vet, Barbie doll and evil scientist is responsible for inventions such as the rabbit-mobile and the increasingly popular team game "small mammal paint-balling";
  • Angie, rhythm guitarist and lighthouse-keeper.
Calamitiez

2/ Some of you have played in other bands, before? How did you form together to join the Army of the Underworld?

I played for about 8 years in a punk-rock band called Hi-Fi Killers and David spent about the same amount of years in Smell of Kat playing neo-rockabilly; they were two great bands but they shared a fatal flaw: not everyone in the band was really devoted. I guess that over the years we all changed and started going our separate ways, our priorities changed. Both the bands coincidentally split-up at the same time and both David and I knew each-other from the music scene here, it seemed like an opportunity to put-together the band we'd always wanted with the sound we'd always wanted. Calamitiez was born.
With Calamitiez it's different, we're all a close tight-knit team and we all work extremely hard to move the band forward, that's what makes a band grow strong. David and I were each involved in bands that played different styles of music and we were really itching to play the kind of music we play now. We're really happy with the music we play, with our sound and with the energy we transmit as a band.

3/ You've just released a powerful and melodic debut CD. Can you speak about it a little more?

Of course, I love speaking about the album, we're all really happy with it! It's been very carefully put together, every detail has been carefully looked after and I think that the attention to detail is noticeable in the end product. We're especially happy with the sound, we wanted the album to be a genuine reflection of how we sound live and I think we've achieved that. We all feel that every song is a great song, it's a very solid album with lots of personality... there are no mediocre songs that just "fill space", each song is a little world of it's own. What more can I say? We've worked hard and it shows, we couldn't be happier!

Calamitiez

4/ How'd you describe your music?

Our music is like a quality porn film: visual and easy to relate to but nearly impossible to copy. Each band member has a very clear idea of their sound and we have great chemistry; we each have special working relationships within the band in order to write songs as a group: I'll come-up with fragments of melody and guitar riffs and David and I form them into a melody, Nadia helps form the structure, Angie and I work the guitars around that, then David and Angie put the lyrics together... it's not like some bands where there's one brain and everyone else does as their told; there's no brain in Calamitiez, we have an organic relationship... like a fungus.

5/ Your style of Psychobilly has different elements in it. What are your main influences? Which bands have influenced you? ... Well, what do you listen to?

Two very obvious important influences are rockabilly and punk-rock but we each have our musical deviances; I know that David listens to absolutely every type of music played with an upright base... makes no difference if it's pop, black metal, greatest hits of Bollywood ... from happy hillbilly's singing about picking cotton and loving Jesus to defaced carcasses singing about festered wounds and burning churches... if there's an upright base in there somewhere you can bet your ass David has the record!
I'm generally curious about music and listen to all sorts: country, gospel, 70's rock, metal, blues, Psychobilly... I go through fazes but most and foremost I love rock music. I know that Nadia will happily listen to Spike then change to Nine Inch Nails and Angie prefers metal and Celtic music.

We don't really purposely use any of these elements to create a sound though, you can never know what idea your subconscious will throw at you or why... all I can say is that if you hear lots of different musical influences in our songs this just means that you too listen to lots of different types of music, if not how would you know?

Calamitiez

6/ Why should people go and see you in concert?

Because we live on the 20th floor uptown and the elevator has broken down; coming to see us in concert is better than coming to see us at home.
Another good reason is that we try to be theatrical on stage and do something a bit different; we've realized that quite frequently we can't guarantee the sound is going to be good wherever we play, so it helps if we can at least be interesting to look at; I mean if a band is dull to watch, the club sounds like shit and the beer is expensive there's not much incentive for people to peel their asses off the comfort of their sofa to come and see you when they can be sitting at home watching the Simpsons for free.

7/ Aside from being musicians, what kind of work do you do? Any other hidden talents?

I already answered the work question earlier, as for hidden talents... where do I begin? They range from drinking beer to collecting stamps... did I already mention drinking beer? Hmm... I think that's it. Nadia has a cat called Paco, that's not really a talent; it's more of a pet. When we're not drinking beer with the band, working or collecting stamps we vegetate.

Calamitiez

8/ You were playing in Callela for the 3rd time. So, how was the 14th Callela festival?

This was by far a better show for us than in the past; the band structure has been through several changes and we've finally found ourselves. Last year Nadia was supposed to play drums but broke her leg the night before the gig when, in a state of drunken confusion she thought she was Kato from the Pink Panther films and tried to perform a flying kick on someone. We had to find an emergency last minute drummer so the show was a bit tense. This year we were presenting the album, we put a show together, we had costumes... we had a very clear idea of our image and sound as a band and we were generally much better prepared: we drugged Nadia.

9/ How is the scene in Spain? Some new bands are coming?

There really isn't much of a scene in Spain; we survive nationally as a band thanks to interest from the punk-rock scene and a few Goths that are into Nekromantix; the majority of interest in us comes from the USA, especially California. I think it will take some time before Spain accepts Psychobilly as a subculture; we have contact with the national rock press and they refuse to review Psychobilly material and concerts, it's not considered of interest. There is nothing more underground than Psychobilly in Spain.

10/ What are the next project of the band?

Over the next few months we intend to play as many live shows as we can; we're going to try to get over to the USA next year and see if we can arrange a few gigs in Europe. We'll also start work on a new album, it's good to be busy!!

11/ Last words...

OK, here goes:
In this modern world of war, corruption and exploitation we're all increasingly focused on placing blame on someone for the world's problems... but has anyone thought "what would Elvis do?". Well, Elvis would be rolling around in wads of cash and peanut butter because in the old days they had the same problems of war, corruption and exploitation but they had rock n´roll too. Why waste all your energy worrying about changing the world when so many before you have tried and failed ... but with a small investment of cash and enthusiasm you can be part of something great and fun... the revival of rock n´roll!

Calamitiez

The apathetic days of grunge have long since past: Girls! Tie your hair in pony tails, scream as the band takes the stage, fight over autographs and faint at concerts! Guys! Seduce your lovely lady to the dulcet tones of Calamitiez and for special occasions (such as prom night) why go with the traditional corsage when you can truly impress her with one of our tight-fitting bust hugging t-shirts... sure to get your lady's panties wet!
Just because you're pissed-off with the world, that doesn't automatically give you the right to download free music you know? Buy our cd and do your bit to bring rock n´roll back to society!!

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