Every opportunity I’ve had with this blog I have been completely honored and humbled by. Flash back to a few weeks ago I get an email from a label that is based in London asking me to do an interview and a small review of a song called Shadows by the UK band Carnivals. I had to pinch myself, how did they hear about my blog? I, of course, said yes.
Took me a little while to come about but I was very pleased how it turned out and waited patiently to get it back.
Carnivals is a unique sounding, I really caught onto their song Shadows. I was really excited to be able to interview them for Stack Attacks Music.
Now I am going to take you on a journey with Cal Green, lead vocalist and guitar player for Carnivals. The melodic sounds of Cal’s guitar along with Joe Hannen also on guitar, George Brimble’s soulful bass jams and Harry Wood playing the drums, Carnivals takes you on trip on their melodic roller coaster you’ll wish never ends.
(all photos courtesy of Mollie @ Gatepost Music and Carnivals facebook page)
**Start off by telling us all who you are and where you are from?
CAL GREEN: Hello there, I’m Cal and I’m the lead singer of Carnivals- a
four-piece from South East London.
**How did the name Carnivals come about?
CAL GREEN: When we had just formed the band, I was working in a cafe on my local high
street and I saw a shop window display of the Brazilian World Cup. In big
letters it stated “Carnivale”. I was trying to think of names at the time
and it suddenly clicked that Carnivals was a pretty sick name. I also knew
that The Doors’ Ray Manzarek described their music as carnival music, which seemed very fitting for us.
**The sound of your band to me is very Doors/Queens of the Stone Age
sounding, where do your musical influences come from?
CAL GREEN: You are correct with our influences being from The Doors, they have provided us with inspirations for many of our songs which is why we are likened to them so much. Also, The Beatles and other 60s and 70s bands have taught me about the enhancement of vocals and now I’m obsessed with incorporating harmonies into our music. I would say we all have a variety of inspirations for our music, for example we all love hip hop and old school rap, especially our drummer Harry, you may be able to tell from his drumming.
**What bands, if any, did you have before this project?
CAL GREEN: Before we formed Carnivals, I was in a band called Kaleidos Eye which was fun as I was young and still in college. It was the first band I was in and it taught me a lot about becoming a musician. Other than that I’m still always writing tunes and home recording some solo stuff on the side.
(photo courtesy of Carnivals Official Facebook page/Mollie at Gatepost Music)
**At what age did you say, hey I think I want to make music? Was there ever
a time when you thought “Maybe this isn’t for me?”
CAL GREEN: I think I was about 16 and 8 months old when I wanted to start making music. I wrote a very cheesy love song with 4 chords; I still remember the words to this day. To be fairly honest and true with you, I have never thought that music isn’t for me.
* The single Shadows, I absolutely love the sound! So mellow and exciting
at the same time. Is the song about something in particular that happened
or kind of like the proverbial shadows in life chasing us down?
CAL GREEN: Yes I guess you’re right in a way, there can be lots of interpretations of the song. However, shadows came to me when I was on one of those spine shivering walks home in the early hours of the morning. Over thinking everything and seeing odd “figures in the distance” are themes in the song which are used to portray how your mind plays tricks on you. Ironically, although the song is mellow, it’s about thrilling and haunting events.
**What has been the most rewarding part of this musical journey so far?
CAL GREEN: This year, we recorded at Parr Street studios and played at the Isle of Wight Festival. These moments have shown us what being in a band is really about.
**How does the process of writing a song happen for you, do you think of
the melody first then the words or vice versa?
CAL GREEN: I normally have lyrics saved on the notes of my phone which I jot down when I have an idea. These thoughts for songs come to me in really random places. We then jam a lot as a band and in these sessions I lay down vocal melodies over parts of songs that the other band members come up with. To be honest, every song that we have made has been created in a completely different way. It just depends on what comes naturally.
**Sometimes to get yourself out there you really have to rely on word of
mouth from friends and fans of your work. What kind of following do you all
have? Is there a lot of fan interaction?
CAL GREEN: From the start we have always had a big group of friends who come to support us. Since then we have noticed new faces and familiar faces which is good to see. We always interact with fans and love getting to know them, especially after we have just played a gig.
**Do you think the music industry nowadays focuses too much on one genre of
music while others seem to suffer and get pushed back in the line? How will
you make sure you don’t fall to this?
CAL GREEN: When it comes to creating songs, we just prioritise writing good tunes and being part of a good scene. The reason that the music industry focuses on ‘pop’ music too much is because it is a money making market. We prefer to stay undercover with bands who produce quality music which isn’t influenced by the thought of ‘making it’.
**How do you feel you can stand out from other bands in your genre? Give us
a little insight as to what really make you all tick!
CAL GREEN: We pride ourselves on our catchy bass lines and harmonies which we hope people sing along to. The themes throughout our songs are significant and we want our audience to be able to relate to them. Although we want to stand out from others bands, we also want to support them as much as possible too.
**Ok a little break from the serious stuff, here’s a few zingers: Do any of
you have any secret talents?
CAL GREEN: I have been known to be the best person around to crack people’s backs. So
if the band fails you’ll see my name above a Chiropractor’s office.
**Any nicknames that you would care to share with us?
CAL GREEN: People have likened me to Roger Federer, so I hear that nickname a lot.
**If you were trapped on an island and you could only take three things,
what would they be?
CAL GREEN: Solar powered electricity generator, A TV (installed with DVD player), and A Bear Grylls boxset!
**Let’s say you wake up tomorrow and you weren’t able to make music
anymore. What would you all do?
CAL GREEN: Cry…
**What’s on the cards next for Carnivals? Give us a hint as to what we can
look forward to in the future?
CAL GREEN: We have all just bought a shit load of effects pedals so there are good things to come…
A BIG THANK YOU goes to Mollie @ Gatepost Music for allowing me to be a part of this amazing interview. Thanks again!
Thanks also to Cal Green for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down and answer these questions for this little girl from Pennsylvania! You are amazing and your soulful voice will surely carry you and Carnivals far!
If you would like to find out more about the band or the other members of Carnivals, here are a few places you can catch them:
Or you can check out their sounds on Itunes and Sound Cloud
or search Carnivals on iTunes.
thank you for reading! Leave a comment!
Until Nexttime… Stack Attack signing off!