It's the third instalment of Interview Roulette where we ask people questions from interviews with other people and we're delighted to welcome Her Name Is Calla into Tha Knows Casino.
We first got wind of them in 2014 when they released their third album Navigator. We just missed them opening for Cult of Luna in Sheffield because we had to clean baby sick off ourselves before we could get down to Corporation but finally got to see them supporting Sólstafir at the same venue not long after. We were especially impressed with the way the drummer smashed the absolute cro-mags out of his drums.
As we all know the best way to describe a band's sound is to consult the Last.fm tags. Those people spend a lot of time "debating" the correct genre labels that should be used so we can safely describe Her Name Is Calla as "ambient melancholic chamber folk."
Her Name Is Calla are currently writing their next album and bassist Tiernan Welch was kind enough to take some time out to take on the Interview Roulette wheel.
Keeping up with the lineup of this band can be difficult as members have come, gone, come back and then gone and come back again over the years. Tiernan told us that in respect of writing the new album the band is a three-piece but will be a five-piece for recording and touring. At the time of writing Wikipedia has the lineup thus:
- Tom 'Odell' Morris - Lead vocals, Electric/Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Magnus Organ, Banjo
- Sophie 'Elis Bexter' Green - Violin, Vocals
- Nicole 'Scherzinger' Robson - Cello, Vocals,Piano
- Adam 'Ant' Weikert - Drums, Piano, Banjo, Synthesizers, Guitar, Mandolin, Double Bass, Theremin, Vocals, Organ
- Tiernan 'Florence' Welch - Bass, Vocals
Tiernan sent us the most up to date photo of the band in its current state.
Oh no wait, sorry. It's THIS one.
Here's a nice, older picture that includes 'Elis Bextor' and 'Scherzinger'.
Other former members of Her Name Is Calla include:
Proper website ech(((o)))es and dust did a lovely 10 year retrospective of the band in which they describe them as "a national treasure that we should appreciate, nature and celebrate accordingly," and if you want to learn all there is to know about this fine band then you should probably head there. However, if you want to find out which books Tiernan's parents had in their shitter when he was a kid, read on.
We found 10 interviews with other people, picked a question from each one and sent them to the band.
Interview A Question 2 - Philip Glass
What do you think it was about your music that really upset some people?
I guess it’s our complete disregard for people, their emotions, culture and background. I’m kidding, if pressed I would have to say that people may find us a tad indulgent. We’re not, frankly. It just takes us a while to get going. We like to think it’s worth it when we do so if it’s not, sorry.
E8 - Nina Simone
You talked about walking the tightrope between compromise and integrity. What if you didn’t have this limitation?
As with the above question I don’t think that we compromise much, if at all. We’re not so arrogant to think that we’ll appeal to everyone and I think that there is sufficient evidence which suggests that we don’t. I’m so pleased that we don’t have to alter what we do as the thought of compromising art really makes me quite sad. If we want to write a 40 minute post-rock opera then we’ll write a 40 minute post-rock opera…
…I think I want to write a post-rock opera.
Tha Knows: Look, if clipping. can do a 40 minute Afrofuturist hip-hop space opera and still get on James Corden's American telly programme then Her Name is Calla can and SHOULD do a 40 minute post-rock opera. LET THE KICKSTARTER COMMENCE!
I2 - Jeremy Paxman interviews Russell Brand
But is it true you don’t even vote?
No. I voted. I voted hard. I even voted in the local police commissioner elections. I know this year has seen a lot of disappointment (for many) on the other side of the ballot box, but that’s democracy and for what it’s worth, it works. We fought hard for it and I’m very proud of it. The alternative is unthinkable. I don’t get cross at people who don’t vote because, if I’m honest I assume that they're stupid and you can't be mad at stupid people. I’ve yet to hear a single good argument not to vote. Russell Brand is a smart guy, but that was a foolish remark and I suspect he regrets it.
D1 - Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, American Literature Quiz Sheet
Macabre ideas include all of the following EXCEPT : decomposition / premature burial / coming back from the dead / ghosts / sorrow
Madeline comes back from the dead, premature burial is a fear, it's laden with sorrow. Ghosts?
Tha Knows: The online quiz we got this question from won't give us the answer unless we sign up for a free trial which we're not going to do but we reckon it's probably "ghosts" so well done Tiernan. Tom and Sophie from the band wrote and performed a score for the 1928 film of Edgar Allen Poe's short story The Fall of the House of Usher as part of the Romsey Art Festival in 2014. We don't just pick random stuff, you know. Interview Roulette is a fine science. You can watch the film with the Her Name is Calla score below.
G8 - Sample questions for job interviews at Michigan State University College of Music
How did you feel about your favourite teacher? Why?
I think that it was Kevin Ramsey. He was my English teacher. I’d like to say that it was because he introduced me to the wonder of the American fiction writers (which he did), but actually he liked Radiohead and we used to talk about them instead of doing work. He also knew I plagiarised something once and still have me a 'C' for it as he respected how obscure the original source was. (It was Sega's Cyber Razor Cut advert).
B7 - Benji Rogers, CEO of PledgeMusic
I talked to an unsigned band from Liverpool that recently self-released an EP and they were a bit disappointed about that. “We really feel like there are much better ways we could have done it”, one of them said. So, as an artist, what’s the main reason to make me decide to use PledgeMusic to finance a record?
We’ve done this. The main reason was that we wanted to do something within our own time frame and (God this sounds awful) ‘give something back’ to the people who have supported us. The album was our soundtrack to the short Wave of Endorphins film which we did last year. We put out incredible box sets which basically no label in the world would have been interested in as the profits would have been so lousy. I think we actually lost money. Looks cool though.
Tha Knows: Her Name is Calla make REALLY pretty things.
Interview C Question 9 - Myley Cyrus
Can you ever imagine your life playing out like Britney Spears' or Lindsay Lohan's? They started out as squeaky-clean Disney stars too.
I’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t.
J8 - Composer Max Richcter
The relationship between music and other forms of art – such as painting, video art and cinema - has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself and in how far, do you feel, does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
Art's art. We try to integrate all art forms into our performance and output. They're not mutually exclusive. I wish I had a better answer for this but I could be here for days.
D8 - Ennio Morricone
What is your opinion of Pope Benedict XVI, a Pope who is also very musical?
He also used to be a bouncer! He also has a helicopter pilot license. I like him personally. The catholic church is always going to have a figurehead so I’m not treating this as a question about my view on organised religion if that’s ok. He appears to be progressive, in so far as he is able within the confines of his role. I do respect him using his position to challenge long-standing prejudices. That’s brave. I didn’t know that he was musical however, good for him!. ‘Maybe we should put Benny on our next album, he can really wail.’
H 5 - Composer and silent film accompanist Neil Brand
Why do you think Louise Brooks has endured as a cultural icon whereas many silent stars are now largely forgotten?
Because she popularised the bob hair cut? Nah, she was a pioneer and way ahead of her time in so many respects. I don't know much about her really but I do always recall that there was a series of books called They Died Too Young which was in my parents' toilet. There was one on Kurt Cobain, Marilyn Monroe and Hendrix. There was also a series by the same publisher called The Life and Times Of… which looked identical and featured Louise Brooks and weirdly Hitler. It used to look like Hitler was part of the They Died Too Young series. In that book though, Brooks had a quote which I’ll always remember and often use which was ‘If I ever bore you, it’ll be with a knife’. Cool lady.
Big thanks to Tiernan for facing the wheel.
Go here to buy all the lovely Her Name is Calla things, including new 7" Kaleidoscoping.
If you want to check out the actual interviews we took questions from, you can follow the links below.
Jeremy Paxman interviews Russell Brand
Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, American Literature Quiz Sheet
Sample questions for job interviews at Michigan State University College of Music
Benji Rogers, CEO of PledgeMusic
Composer Max Richcter
Composer and silent film accompanist Neil Brand
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