Interview by Violet Krause
A few weeks back on a random Thursday night, fellow Alt Philanthropy member Cait and I both headed to The Lexington in London for ‘BBC Radios Introducing’. It was part of an assignment Cait needed to complete for school and me, having gone longer than deemed allowable, hadn’t seen a local band perform live in what felt like a year. So I agreed to tag along with low expectations in tow, I was just happy to be in a low pressure setting close enough to the dingy house shows I was used to back in America.
Everyone was having a good time, the venue space a comfortable size making it seem all the more intimate. Two bands came and went, both good but seemingly not what everyone seemed to be there for. Calva Louise then took the stage and that familiar sense of alertness seemed to pass over the small room. The trio took the stage, lead singer Jess immediately making the room fall in love with her via an enthusiastic welcome spouted in an adorable accent. The band had personality, jokes and light hearted comments were made in-between songs, but that wasn’t what took my interest over the edge.
Their music was noticeably influential, the entire room was listening and living in the moment. Each song was high energy, reminding me of the Cherry Glazerr show I had attended not that long ago with the way the crowd was reacting. I was in starstruck by the end of it and went home that night feeling more inspired than I had in months. Their discography played on a loop for the next few weeks and I found myself telling all my friends about them anytime someone reached out. I was excited about music again, and have been since. I sent Calva Louise some questions while they were on tour with The Maine, and this is what they had to say.
All of your music videos are very visually fulfilling and seem to have the their own personalities, what is the creative process of coming up with something like that? Do you each have a small idea of what you want the video to look like when writing the song?
We all have a lot of ideas when it comes to visuals but the real brains behind the process are our friends who directed the videos; Bart Jones and Georges Hauchard-Heutte. We all brainstorm together but they are the ones that write the script, put a team together, direct and edit the videos. We were really lucky to work with them!!
Talking about heavier sounding alternative groups, it seems like newer bands with a strong female front are starting to take over this new wave of punk. As a female musician do you feel a sort of duty to act as a voice for all women? As a group, what values do you think the music industry should consider essential when working with women?
I feel the most important thing is to keep conveying the idea that everybody can be an artist no matter what. It's really bizarre to me that there's so many "requirements" for artists to be considered real artists, there really shouldn't be any preconceived judgements. It should be a normality to respect everybody the same way, so I don't really understand the logic behind some people's judgements regarding female artists. That's an abnormality.
Going back a little bit, when did you all know making music was something you wanted to do? Are there any specific groups you remember hearing when you were younger that helped sparked the idea?
We all started pretty young, I started when I was 10 playing with my dad, Alizon started around the same age playing cello and same for Ben playing drums. There were many different bands that inspired us from the start, Ben was really into skatepark-rock like Linkin Park , Alizon into Pink Floyd and I was into the 70s rock my parents listen to!
Can you tell us a little about the process of finding your particular sound as a group? Was it a group consensus right away of what you guys wanted to sound like, or did it take a bit of time to find the right flow?
It took a bit of time! We're still in the process of finding a new sound, it all comes quite naturally because we are very influenced by our surroundings and we're always trying to find out our identity. I think it might be a lifelong process since everybody changes all the time!
Aside from music, what are other interests or passions you all have? What is some of your favorite ways to spend free time?
We love films and comic books! We go to the cinema all the time whenever we have a bit of free time!
What is the top song on all of your playlists right now?
Vicious by Strange Bones!
Your debut album 'RHINOCEROS has been doing so well since it came out this past February, (I’m a huge fan of it by the way) and you just finished up a tour run before starting on this new one with The Maine. What has been some of the most memorable tour memories you’ve all had so far?
We had a really good time all together, I think most memorable moment was when we played in Paris and I crowd-surfed for the first time! It was a bit mad and we were all a bit nervous cause a guy was climbing to the balcony of the venue and he jumped into the crowd! It all went really smooth but we didn't expect the night was gonna be that crazy!
If you could get a glimpse into their mind and songwrite with any artist, who would you all pick and why?
It would be either Josh Homme or Jack White! They are both heroes of ours and we would love to understand their writing process. We were listening to Better living through Chemistry by QOTSA and I was wondering how did they come up with the fades out and fades in, that big feedback after the 1st bit of the song. It's such a driving song with so many ideas and one could wonder how did this come up?
Where do you all get inspiration for songs from? Is it easier to write about personal experiences or do you prefer writing about hypothetical concepts?
All of our songs have a personal insight. When I write our songs I always think about why am I writing this, what do I wanna say. I focus on what I try to understand and what is happening to us at the moment.
Lastly, what’s next for Calva Louise?
Same old! Keep writing and trying to play as much as we can!