On April 25 independent rock band Her Name Is Calla presented their brand new CD Navigator with a live show at London’s St. Pancras Old Church. On the same day I took the chance to have a chat with the band’s long-time violin player Sophie Green, who was joined by Gavin Miller, who accompanied the band as bass player during their European tour. The show presented the occasion to introduce the incredible talent of Principle Six, “a collective of songwriters, performing ensemble and recording label based in London“. Her Name Is Calla delivered an interesting show in the cozy old church, immersed in quite a surreal atmosphere made of low lights, ringing bells and fantastic music, with Tom Morris delivering particularly enchanting vocal performances. Highly recommended for alternative music lovers.
Following is our interview with Nicole and a photo report of the show.
Q: Why did you choose this name for the band?
A: It’s always been a bit of a myth within the band. Nobody will really find out who or what is about. It’s best to keep it secret.
Q: Who’s your inspiration?
A: Each member of the band has a different sort of music they like. And also sometimes it’s something different from music, like what’s going on in our lives, and so. Adam likes very folky music, quite obscure music, me and Tom like certain songwriters. We all like really different things.
Q: Who writes the songs?
A: It used to be Tom would have the most ideas for the songs, but he never really enjoyed that. Since me and Adam joined a couple of years ago, it’s been a bit more collaborative. We get together, maybe one person would bring a frame-work or maybe just the lyrics, and we jam it out. We also use the internet, like sending parts with dropbox.
Q: So you basically jam through the internet…
A: Yes, we pass files with dropbox.
Q: Dropbox jamming… that’s a new way of making music. That’s cool. How did you come up with the idea of forming a band?
A: The only real founding member is Tom. Him and his friend Mike, he was in the band until a few years ago, they met at Uni. They wanted to do something different, so the band sort of started from that point, but then people’s lives change so Adam joined about 6 years ago, I joined 5 years ago. It feels quite natural, the band has changed in time, people joining and leaving, he joined for a week (pointing at Gavin smiling).
Q: How would you describe your sound?
A: A lot of songs on this album are quite different, while people seem to pick a more electronic sound on this one. I would say quite a rock band with more singer songwriter’s elements cause of the violin and the cello and the acoustic guitar. We often get called post-rock, but we got too many vocals for that.
Q: How is your new album Navigator different from the previous works?
A: Probably because we’ve all taken part in it, we’ve all collaborated and added a thing here and there. It seems like it’s taken 4 years for us to make, cause we’ve had very busy lives, I remember what was going through our lives, whether it’s good or bad. It feels like it’s a real diary of the past four years.
Gavin: I think bringing the strings section, it really helps feeling the songs a lot more, if that makes sense?
Q: What’s the fil rouge of Navigator, and why this title?
A: I think it does sort of refer to our real lives where 4 years ago we had two members leaving, changing patterns; it feels like we were navigating from that point of our lives, we’re still together, after what happened. The album hopefully should show how this is a sort of journey, with the ups and downs.
Q: I was particularly stricken by the song Dreamland. How did it come to life?
A: It felt like it was always gonna be like that, it was very cathartic to do that middle part. It’s like the song that represents the whole album as well.