Crash Doubt chat to Broadway Calls
Broadway Calls hail from Oregon, USA. They’ve been touring with recently with Gnarwolves and Great Cynics to promote their latest record “Comfort/Distraction” a fine demonstration of finely crafted pop-punk and one of our top records of last year. Stephanie Cross spoke to vocalist Ty Vaughn.
It took four years since your last full-length album Good Views, Bad News until the release of Comfort/Distraction. Was there any particular reason for this?
Yeah we just really wanted to take our time. I hate seeing some of my favorite bands shit out a new record every year and a half because they think it’s the only way to stay relevant or stay on the road. We agree as a band that the music world would be much better off if everyone slowed down a little bit and tried making LP’s full of quality songs and not a couple singles and nine or ten filler songs. I felt very rushed during the writing of Good Views, Bad News, and so we didn’t want to deal with that again. Plus, I’m a slow writer in general, so the time just added up and then we decided we were ready after we had plenty of songs to choose from.
I feel like it was natural and I need to give Adam credit for that as well. This is his first record with us, and he’s one of my favorite bassists and he really knows how to make a pop song sound dirty and dark. When Adam and Josh play together, it’s powerful. Sometimes it really catches me off guard while we’re on stage. I love those moments. They have a volume and heaviness that not a lot of bands that we are grouped in with have. Another reason for the shift in sound might have to do with the recording process. We had a week less in the studio for this album, so we really had to have our ideas for tones and junk to be pretty thought out before heading to the Blasting Room.
I read somewhere that Comfort/Distraction was initially going to be a concept album- what was it going to be about and why did you decide to abandon the idea?
Originally the idea behind the song Stealing Sailboats was going to be behind the whole record. About a sad old man who wants to go on one more adventure before he dies. I abandoned it because I just realized it was a bad idea. I’d rather not limit myself when writing lyrics. It’s hard enough, and I should be able to write about whatever I feel in the moment. Not trying to follow a plot.
It seems that having a social networking presence as a band is becoming more and more important; with sites such as Kickstarter and Pledge Music being used to gain funds for musical projects, what are your thoughts on sites like these being used by musicians?
I don’t really have an opinion on it, because I’ve never used a fund raising site and I’ve been lucky enough to not really care to research them. As far as social media goes, yeah it’s important to get the word out about shows and stuff, but I can’t bring myself to care about it otherwise. A lot of bands and friends are great at it, and make me laugh daily. I’m just not like that. I haven’t logged into our band’s Facebook in about a month. I don’t know the password to our tumblr, and I don’t even turn my computer on anymore. I’m not saying I’m not active on the Internet or anything, I read twitter every day and all that. I just don’t always have a lot to say.
You have toured extensively across Europe and the US. Are there any venues or cities which hold special memories for the band?
Denver has a place that used to be called the Blast O Mat. That place has been amazing on several nights I can recall. Same with the town of Redding, California. When we started, we toured with a band called Set It Straight and the whole scene there really took us in. Tokyo, Berlin, and London have always been amazing as well.
When writing songs is there any particular process you go through when writing and where do you get your inspiration for songs from?
I usually just try to make a melody fit around some chords and get a verse/chorus I’m happy with. Then I take it to the guys and hopefully they like it enough to make a song out of it. As far as inspiration goes, it could be anything from major world events to an inside joke with my best friends.
If you were going to give us just one song of yours to listen to what would it be and why?
Surrounded By Ghosts. The lyrics may seem a little vague or dark, but so are most of mine. Melodically and musically it is exactly what I imagined Broadway Calls sounding like when we started this band in 2005.
What’s the most important thing you learnt when you were just starting out as a band?
That it’s a good thing to stand out sometimes. When we started I only wanted to play with bands that we sounded like. But the only kids and bands we knew were hardcore bands, and for some reason that community really took us in. I’ll always appreciate that.
When touring and meeting other bands do you feel a sense of community and that you try to help each other out or (without naming names) have you experienced some animosity among bands?
I feel like most bands we tour with, we’ve ended up being friends with. Some people we unfortunately don’t keep in touch with as much as I’d like, but that’s nothing personal. Some bands that I never thought I’d get along with have become great friends.
Who would you put on your ideal tour?
I just wanna tour with The Ramones in the Pet Semetary era.
If you could choose any method of transport to go from gig to gig, what would it be and why?
What’s next for Broadway Calls for the remainder of 2013?
Not sure. We got The Fest in October. Don’t really know what else though. Hopefully some more foreign travels.
– Thanks Ty!
Comfort/Distraction is out now via No Sleep Records.