Melanie Mae Williamson

Pop-Punk and Post-Hardcore Collide with Calling All Captains [Interview]

Melanie Mae Williamson
Jul 9, 2024
5 min read

Effortlessly blurring the lines of pop-punk & post-hardcore while making it a sound all their own, there are few bands that can compare to Calling All Captains. With several years of experience in the music industry, the band is ready to usher in a new era of music. Back in June, Calling All Captains gave fans a taste of that new era with the release of "wallflower" and, within a month of being released, it has already amassed a huge new following for the band as they have over 92,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Music Scene Media had the absolute luxury and pleasure to sit down with the band and talk about what the future holds.

How do you approach the songwriting process, and from where do you draw inspiration?

Luc: Lyrically, I draw from my own personal life. I’ve never been a great story-teller, but I can always tell you how I'm feeling. 

Musically, I take inspiration from metal/punk artists as well as newer hip-hop/emo-trap artists for melody ideas. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so it’s important to keep an open mind.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they helped to shape your sound?

Luc: For me personally, I was always a big Green Day and Avenged Sevenfold guy. I must've learnt every song I could have by the both of them. The mix of anthemic punk rock choruses and guitar-driven style will always be how I write music. Whenever it comes to vocals I always liked artists like JuiceWRLD and The Story So Far, so it inspires me to showcase a unique blend of punk vocals with a flow from hip hop/trap music.

Can you talk about the creative process behind your latest EP, and what themes or messages you were trying to convey?

Connor: We don’t really have a specific creative process nailed down. We just try to catch a vibe and roll with it to make something we all love. Sometimes the guitar riff comes first, other times the vocal hook. It’s a very free form creative process. 

As for a theme, we actually coined the name (e)motion sickness before we had chosen what material would make up this EP. Our lyrics are generally very personal and open about what we’re going through at the time - so some of these songs were already written, and some we wrote specifically for (e)motion sickness. Overall, we wanted to highlight how being sad can actually affect your physical health, not just your mental health. Make sure to check up on your friends.

How will this EP compare to your previous releases?

Luc: This is our best music to date. Our most recent single "wallflower" has amassed 55k+ streams since releasing the song a couple weeks ago. It seems that our fans agree that it's our best music so far.

If you had to pick out your favorite song or lyrics from the EP, what would they be?

Luc: "skin & bones" is my favorite song because it's the first time I’ve ever opened up about my difficulties with eating and maintaining a positive mindset.

When fans recommend Calling All Captains to others, what song do you think would be the best introduction to your music?

Luc: Honestly, “wallflower” is a great starting point. It's not as heavy as some of our other songs, but it absolutely has every element of our music that we enjoy playing.

How do you stay creatively inspired and motivated?

Luc: I’m not gonna lie, it’s been very difficult for me personally. I’ve recently moved out of my childhood home and now I am navigating a whole new ship in a brand new sea. It feels like a mountain that I can't climb some days. The thing that keeps me going is my bandmates and our manager Cam Birchill. I have a lot going on in my head at all times and I do a good job of masking my internal feelings. But when I talk to the boys, I can be open and free to talk about everything that's going on. They help me see the vision and remind me that I’m not alone. We are all in the same position and we all do what we can to make it better for everybody on the team.

Can you tell us about a particularly memorable performance or moment in your career?

Luc:  We were playing Bug Jar in Rochester, NY when a dude grabbed my shirt and punched me in the chest in a fit of passion during our song "Disconnected". I can appreciate the enthusiasm, but I am literally skin and bones, so it was just knuckles straight to my ribs, haha. Good memories.

Can you share any interesting or surprising facts about the band or its members?

Luc: Tim went to university for drumming and is also an accomplished pianist. He actually recorded the piano outro in "sunbeam" on his iPhone at home!

Connor used to be Luc’s boss at a furniture warehouse and had to fire him because the company couldn't have two of their employees leave on tour at the same time.

Luc is a Metis Educator in Edmonton and goes to schools all across the city teaching students and faculty about Indigenous history and culture surrounding the Metis People.

Brad owns his own business in marketing and website design. He works right from the van on tour to keep up with clients and extends that good practice into the band business as well. 

What have you guys been personally listening to lately?

Luc - I've been listening to the new TSSF album as well as going back to JuiceWRLDs Death Race For Love album. These two records are all I'm listening to right now.

Connor - I’ve been jamming the new PTV album, Jaws Of Life, lately. I also listen to a lot of classical and jazz.

Brad - I’ve been listening to the newest Papa Roach album, Beartooth, Blink-182, and The Story So Far.

Tim - My main influences lately (and while we were working on the new record) have been Arms Length and Hot Mulligan on the emo side, Counterparts and Spiritbox for metal, and nothing, nowhere and Brakence for those experimental vibes. Also, that Nickelback doc got me FIRED UP.

What non-music media has been inspirational for you lately?

Luc: Since I've been going to schools to teach about indigenous culture, the videos and stories I've seen and heard make me want to write more about the Indigenous experience in North America. I haven’t put pen to paper yet as it's a serious topic but it has inspired me to allow more of myself into the music.

Lastly, is there anything else that you’d like to share with your fans?

Brad: We’d like to thank you for all of your endless love and support, it keeps us going through our hardest days. This next release will have some new vibes mixed in with the same classic CAC sound you know and love, and we hope you’re as excited for the next era of Captains as much as we are!

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