-Interview- Calibrating The Calamity (5/10/21)

Calibrating The Calamity talks about their formation, sound development and much more.


From: Maine
Sounds like: Post Hardcore

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Calibrating the Calamity" and is there any meaning behind it?

Calibrating The Calamity took form after a few years in development. Before the name came to be, finding the right people to make these ideas into a reality became challenging with a relatively small/less populated/dynamic scene than other larger cities & more densely populated areas. With that said there is a lot of musical talent that comes out of Maine & it comes in many flavors as far as genres and styles of music, everything between hardcore & “dad rock” to death core & jazz bands. Our goal is to set out and tap into something new yet, filled with nostalgia, while bringing our own individualistic style, voice & expression to the table, but out of the box. Essentially, CTC began when I (Ethan Oldham - Guitar & backing vocal/Songwriter/Manage) approached a long time friend who dabbled with drums, Roger Perry. For a tight knit scene or for any scene at that, finding a solid drummer who is into playing within our genre is a pretty tough feat. I encouraged him to develop his abilities, and we began jamming regularly in his basement. I had 8 original songs that I wrote over a span of years prior to jamming with Roger & had a vision for how the drums should fit into the music. Fueled by a mix of different influences like Coheed & Cambria, The Used, Silverstein, Bring Me The Horizon & many more, we began to put our own ideas into practice & perspective. Together we found a rather immediate chemistry within our music & set out to find the other counterparts to build a machine, our band. Throughout a few changes in the line up over the years of building CTC, Zach Hall fit right into place as our vocalist/frontman based on his previous experience with his other projects. He joined the Summer of 19’. With mutual musical interests he was a solid match for what we wanted to do.

We started playing shows shortly after even without a bassist at the time. Zach helped land us on one of our first and more noteable shows at The Fete Music Hall in Providence Rhode Island, during The Static X, Dope run. The showcase featured other bands of various yet relateable genres & was an incredible opportunity. What a crazy experience for a couple dudes jamming in a basement every week! Almost immediately after that, we were able to get a few other small local shows, but knew that we were lacking a certain element without having a bass player in the mix. We did find a bass player for a short time, and he filled the shoes temporarily for the few shows in Maine we played prior to COVID lockdown, he left at the end of February 2020. We dug deep & reached out to everyone we knew who either had an understanding or interest in playing our kind of music or that had experience with playing guitar. Oddly enough I was selling an old Bass & our friend Kyle Ramsay bought it. He shared enthusiasm in what we were aiming to do, and we collectively thought he would make a good addition to CTC. He quickly developed his craft & was eager & quick to learn all these songs we worked on for so long prior to jumping on board, while combing his own flare to the low end that bass provides in our mix. The name Calibrating The Calamity happened out of sheer creativity between Roger & myself when we decided that we wanted to get serious with what we were making.

The name is essentially a play off words while incorporating a little bit of video game nerdi-ness if you will. In one hand it’s line saying “planning a disaster” or “plotting destruction” so it kind of leaves an open minded approach in that sense, while incorporating the nerdy element that comes from “Calamity” which is loosely inspired from the video game Zelda: Breath Of the Wild in which the final big boss is known as Calamity Gannon.. it’s just an Easter egg, that perhaps few will appreciate but definitely plays a role in our music while relating it to our love for video games. For our age group & others, video games have played a huge role in the culture of the music that we listen to today. Growing up playing games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Guitar Hero & various racing games, the music always grew on us & truly developed our horizons and appreciation for different music that wasn’t as mainstream like the majority of the pop music you would expect to hear on the radio. Our name is uniquely ours & it leaves a diverse somewhat open perspective. That’s what made it stick with us.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

We hope that fans and listeners are able to find their own purpose through our music. We wish to develop a fan base that can relate & understand that we’re making the music we want to make and that we’re not bowing to tradition or going out of our way to be the “cool guys”. We aim make music in a way that tells a story that brings forth emotion while letting the listener experience it in their own way & be able to connect with it no matter what it is they are experiencing or going through. We aim to bring real hope and positivity through our music, while also touching upon real life matters. Even if our music finds true meaning to one person in a room of 100, we’re grateful. We strive to write catchy music, that brings forth feelings of the new & old. I’m confident people will eventually broaden their appreciation for CTC when they discover us.

3. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Three bands we’d like to Tour with? That’d be a really tough one to answer definitively. I would say The Used, Coheed & Cambria, Deftones.

4. How has Covid affected what you do as a band?

Covid has been both a blessing & a curse. Considering our debut shortly before Covid became a real issue, we had several shows booked. A few from out of state as well as a show in Montreal, Quebec that I was able to land us on. With the momentum we built in a short time frame, Covid was a quick way to slow our steam. With so many shows cancelled and travel restrictions in place we began practicing more infrequently & life changed for everyone all around us. Nobody knew how long things would be before things opened up but we were not about to call it quits. With the funds & time we had available we were able to get into the studio with Evan Sammons (insanely talented Drummer for Last Chance To Reason) He helped record mix & master our first 3 releases & has a good eye and ear for what we were looking for. He also did work for Equal Vision Records band Kaonashi, as well as bands like The Contortionist & more recently Enterprise Earth. For someone that was native to Maine, he was a big part in helping us get the sound we wanted. So now we’re over a year into this Covid monster, but we’ve accomplished something and have something real to share with everyone. We will be going back to do another 3 songs for our EP.

5. What’s your take on the current state of Post Hardcore?

I wouldn’t really say that we have an opinion really. I would say our genre is formed mostly by the listeners own perception based on their familiarity with different sub genres, but for us it’s difficult to determine. We wanna make music that sounds good and incorporates what we enjoy, from catchy riffs, heavy breakdowns, beautiful cleans etc. Our music could vary from metal & hardcore, to prog, emo or anything and Because of these variants we found the genre of post hardcore to be most fitting, but def not a boundary.

6. What’s your take on the royalties that streaming services pay out to artists?

Rather abysmal. As a musician you work so hard to get your music out there, and of course it’s a business where profit has to exist in some way but it’s sad how much profiting doesn’t find its way to the musician putting in the work. In this modern day and age, regardless you have to have your streaming services available, but it also brings forth the importance of Album & music sales, merch sales, Ticket Sales etc. People who are supportive enough to purchase a track or even a hard copy of an album or CD do more for the artist or band then what those streaming services will pay out for a few thousand listens.

7. What’s next for Calibrating the Calamity?

Right now we’re planning time with Evan to get started on our Self Titled EP.

8. Any shoutouts?

Of Course shout out to fans and followers new & old. Thank you to Evan Sammons for helping us develop some incredible music. Thank you Evan Camalich for producing our videos/vizialisers & of course thank you Mike of FTD Entertainment for reaching out to us & having us on board.