We have the amazing Calva Louise with us today. We are going to getting into the next part of our #BeGreenBeLoud interviews.
They’ve just released their new single at the end of July. It must have been quite a difficult time for you guys?
Jess – Yeah, we’ve tried our best with the situation, trying to keep optimistic and keep on going, always trying to move forward.
We’ve been in lockdown for quite a while now, did it affect the single in a way? Was it pre-recorded? Did it affect any of your marketing campaigns that went out with the single?
Alizon – In terms of lockdown, we’ve been pretty lucky because we were still living together which helped a lot.
Jess – Also, until recently we’ve been pretty independent and so, we already knew how to build a campaign. We worked with some amazing people, like Bobby from Strange Bones. We all live together so we all recorded it in his room. I made the video, it is all home-made so there was no need to go out and record. I took the opportunity with not being allowed to go out, to edit and learn new skills. We recorded, mixed and did the digital campaign all at home.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve taken from lockdown?
Jess – Learning we could do everything by ourselves in regards to the whole creative side. There’s a misconception that bands need a big team and you need to be surrounded by people, but if you don’t you have to be your own team. Distribution of a song – like finding a marketing team, you can learn to do that yourself. Some of the old rules don’t apply anymore.
That’s a great outlook to have! It’s almost like we are at square one so, we can start all over again.
Jess – We just want to be able to be creative and for nothing to hold us back. It allows us to be artistic and creative.
With a “new world” – do you see a difference with the effect of online streaming services compared to digital sales?
Alizon – The digital verses physical war has been happening for a long time, and I think digital has taken over. For example, this recent EP we did with Flying Vinyl, people are just as much into it as they were before.
Jess – I think radio is getting stronger. I have the impression its sneaking back.
At the moment, we’ve not no gigs going. How are you guys finding the lack of live music?
Ben – We all really miss it.
Alizon – It’s allowed us to make improvements to our live set and prepare new things. When you’re playing live every week, there’s no time change much. It is done very slowly and takes a lot of work. This has allowed us to get some extra bits and buy things we’ve wanted for a long time. It’s a good thing as when we come back to going live, we can come back with the new things!
Have you guys got any plans? What are your next steps?
Jess – We are always in a process of writing and recording. We want to release a new song in October. (Which is out now) We work really closely with the band Strange Bones, as I make the videos for both bands. We have formed a little creative family, who help each other to create more and more.
We are excited for the new stuff to come. Listening to you guys, you’ve got a very unique sound Could you describe it in one sentence?
Jess – Learning, with little things, to try to be professional but everything is homemade.
Ben – This is such a tricky question as we see it all from the inside the creative process.
Jess – We are a medley of cultures put together. So, if you blend that together it creates such a different sound. We all input our different roots but together, we are an English band. With me being Venezuelan and Alizon’s smooth french-ness, it compliments each other very well. It’s all history and culture linking together – I went a bit abstract with that one.
You can definitely tell there’s a lot of flavours within your music. What’s your local music scene like?
Alizon – Where we live there is a jam session, which we go to pretty regularly.
Jess – We recently moved to Manchester and you can see so many people come here for the music. On the same jam night, there’s reggae to punk. There’s no age in music. You see 16 year olds to 60 year olds listening to music and telling stories, and we can see the culture in the music. The young kids in the jam nights learn from that generation too and it’s such a nice community.
Ben – With the age difference, its great you see so many young people. A jam night is where you get your first foot into music so, you get influenced by so many people.
Have you joined in with the jam nights?
All 3 – Oh yes!
Jess – One of our closest friends is a rapper, who we actually met at a jam night and we played something a little different, and it was great!
Ben – It’s held in an art centre so by day it could be a dance class or a gallery. By night, it can be used as a band practice room or the jam night.
Jess – Or a drum’n’bass night.
You’ve experienced music all around the world, how do you think it is different now to where you might of previously lived?
Alizon – Our sound has changed!
Jess – We live in a very small town next to the sea, which we’ve not had before. It’s quite an old town but there’s always music. There is so many musicians that come from here. The house we live in, Lemmy stayed in, what is our bathroom now!
Alizon – This town and this area has so much music history. Jimmy Page recorded a few doors down from us!
Jess – Bobby from Strange Bones. His dad has a collection of loads of old records and was actually a film maker and a of manager punk bands in the 70’s. He has so much random footage of Jimmy Page just recording down the street. In Blackpool, I don’t think people link together that is has so much music culture and history in the town. There are so many independent venues that we love.
What impact do you think the music industry has on the environment and how important is it to you?
Jess – We take recycling very seriously. When we tour, we try to minimise waste.
Ben – We plan out the minimal milage to get the best route round.
Alizon – It’s so hard when you’re on tour. You’ll get a full crate of plastic bottles and we’d save the bottles to the point the car is full, but we would reuse as much as we could. Every night on tour, you’re given so many disposable things and we’ve really tired to cut that out.
Jess – One of the best places we’ve been is Germany. They have the best hospitality and they try so hard to reduce their waste. Instead of getting a rider, you’d get freshly prepared food rather than processed food in packets. Even if they give you a bottle, it would be glass. Your duty as a normal person to recycle.
Ben – In the supermarkets, they have these machines outside so you can take your bottles in and they give you money back.
Alizon – In terms of touring and lifestyle, I think they have a general consciousness and they’re mindful of it. It’s the first time I’ve seen a whole society follow the movement.
Jess – There’s festivals in France, where they give you a glass for a pint and that is your glass. It was almost a normality. You got to keep the glass so it was like a memory too!
Ben – Sometimes when you finish a show and everyone is gone, there is just a sea of plastic cups across the whole floor. Even festivals, I’ve seen clean up videos of tents which is awful!
That’s what we are trying to do at Sifer, we help to find these kinds of solutions. It’s one of these things you do see more in Europe, that we are trying to bring over to the UK. What about your merchandise? Is it something you’ve taken into consideration?
Jess – When started doing merch, we did it all ourselves. We screen printed everything ourselves. The downside of that was it took up so much time. We tried to do everything as much as we could at home.
Alizon – With the merch, I don’t think we looked into it. Sustainable merch is definitely something to explore.
Once you get any kind of success, there’s no way you could continue hand printing and shipping. It is a lot of work.
Alizon – It was sooo hard! As they’re all handmade if we made a mistake we couldn’t sell it, but Jess repurposed them into tote bags or we’d wear them ourselves!
Jess – We don’t buy clothes!
Alizon – If we do, it is second hand stuff!
Jess – It is so hard from a fashion sense. Sometimes vintage shops have their prices are sooo high! So we try to cut up bits here and there to repurposed. We don’t want to buy from fast fashion. I get given stuff and painted stuff on it to make it new again.
Alizon – I think everything I’m wearing right now, people have given to me.
Where do you think the change lies? Do you think it lies with the bands, the bigger corporations, or labels as they have the strings to pull?
Jess – I don’t know about you guys, I think the change needs to start with the person. The biggest problem as humans, it’s not what is around us, it’s what’s inside and what we believe in. If we all changed for the better, maybe the world could change, it’s something you need to force yourself to do first.
Do you think you have the platform to change the minds of your fans?
Jess – We are still pretty small. All the private messages we get, we try to make it a meaningful conversation which makes friendships. I don’t like the word fans. We just put stuff out there and hope you like it. We had a friend who came to a few of our shows and we became good friends, then he actually made one of our videos for us! The communication is the important thing and we want our platform to be about art and inspiring people to create.
We have to ask you one more important question. What did you think of your tea??
Alizon – We actually had no milk in the house, so we’ve all had it black but it’s been really nice and smooth. Even though it says to have it with milk on the box.
Ben – I think without milk, you can really taste the flavours which is nice.
Jess – The difference is when its made locally it has heart!