Exit Calm – A quick chat

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After a busy 2010 my favourite new band, Exit Calm, took time out from their New Year bunker to speak to me about the past, the present and the future.

ZANI - Where did the name " Exit Calm," come from?

Exit Calm - It came from a book called Silent Rebels that I think Si was reading. There’s no grand statement or meaning. It's just two words that sit well together. I was always of the mindset that the music would give the name meaning and relevance so it’s not something that caused too much debate. We just needed something that looked good written down and sounded right when spoken. I think it does both.

ZANI  - You often get overlooked as another Northern band – is it a help or a hindrance?

Exit Calm - I wouldn't say it was hindrance. You make a little noise and people have you marked up before they even know what they're talking about. We are Northern, we just don't go mouthing off to every one though or hang out in the right bars, kicking up a stir and kissing arse. We like our clothes and I've been told that I have a little swagger but I was born this way. I think people look beyond those kind of things these days, good music goes far and above that. But if someone is waving the flag of the North for us, then that's ok as well. Apparently, we’re from the three worst places in the country according to a survey. But I love Stockton. I love Barnsley and I have only been to Hull twice, but I hear they had some decent ships a few years back.

ZANI - What is the format for writing: is it a collective or a singular approach?

Exit Calm - In the room collectively is where ideas turn to songs. Things are written outside, but by the time every one has put their stamp on it, it turns and sways and becomes Exit Calm.
 
ZANI - Lazy critics often compare you to the guitar bands of the past. Does it do your head in?

Exit Calm - We're generally compared to the greatest bands that have come before us so you've just got to take it as a compliment. If we were being compared to the Wombats then I'd be worried.

ZANI - Who are your main influences?

Exit Calm - A good bottle of red wine these days... Though I've learnt to appreciate the importance of a good coffee. And tea for that matter... Barry’s is the choice. I'm constantly finding new things that are influencing me.

Like the discovery of Blue Nile, Blue Aeroplanes, the back catalogue of Joe Meek or new stuff like the new BJTM and Unkle records…There’s so much out there.

ZANI - Your sound LIVE is pretty HUGE. Is it something you concentrate on, or is it just a liberal accident?

Exit Calm - Bit of both. It’s definitely happened naturally though. I didn't realize we had such a big sound till other people started to comment on it. I've gone crackers over the years trying to do things that are outside the normal approach. People put up limitations, like you can't do this, that and whatever. I want to break through those limitations and create new ground... And it’s more in the man than in a pedal anyhow. I’ve said it before, but it's right there in Terry Bickers and Link Wray. Or Hendrix. Just keep listening. And dynamics are key. Without that, you’re nothing. We are loud. But right now we need to be. We need to be heard. We need to wake people up... there are too many sleeping people!
 
ZANI - Your debut album was well received in the UK. Any plans for stepping off this island and taking your sound around the rest of the planet?

Exit Calm - We'd love to. There’s talk of us doing South By South West in the US next April but it falls at the hands of the label and finances. It's tough 'cause we're gagging to get out there. Anywhere. As a band, we’re fairly low maintenance. No diva requirements. A couple of sandwiches and a crate of Red Stripe and we're all smiles.

ZANI - Album two: a radical departure or stick to the same formula?

Exit Calm - We have to move forward. It’s just the natural thing to do. Radical is probably too strong a word but we can't tread over the same ground over and over again. I want to push music forward. New ideas, new songs, new sounds. And new approaches. I really believe I've got it in me and us collectively to make many great albums. Albums that will be remembered. It’s right there in front of us. I’m looking forward to next year.
 
ZANI - New Year Resolution?

Exit Calm - I don't do them. But I guess, work harder, dream harder... And be well.
 
Thank you to Rob Marshall and Exit Calm.


© Words - Paul Gallagher/ ZANI Media

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Read 3131 times Last modified on Friday, 08 May 2015 15:43
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