“Bass lines for days. Guitar hooks for days” Ahead of C2C we chat with King Calaway

Playing three sets over the C2C Country To COuntry weekend, King Calaway are bringing their style of music back to the UK. We caught up with them to find out all about their recent album, Rivers, and the band themselves.

Hey guys, how the devil are you?

Chad: We are fantastic! How the devil are YOU, that’s the question.

What have you been up to today, and where are you right now?

Chad: We’re in lovely Nashville today, doing some promo and classic releasing-a-new-single work.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know.

Austin: The band name was originally just ‘Calaway,’ but apparently there’s a duo named ‘Calloway.’ Obviously spelled differently, but still confusing. We needed to differentiate, so we added ‘King’ in front of it.

What can you tell us about your new album, Rivers, in two sentences?

Chad: Rivers was made entirely in a live setting, both instrumentally and vocally. It has a very authentic, very dusty feeling when you listen to it.

OK, you can have more than two sentences, anything more you want to say about it?

Caleb: It’s just a really fun record and we had a blast making it. We hope that the vibe of youthfulness and just having a good time comes across when you listen to it.
Austin: Bass lines for days. Guitar hooks for days.
Chad: Harmonies for days.

What can you tell me about ‘Driver’s Seat’?

Austin: ‘Driver’s Seat’ has a lot of layers to it. Caleb plays some mandolin and there are a ton of harmonies. It has a really fun bridge. For me, you can do whatever you want in a bridge, so we just took it to a spacey place – kinda like you’re hang gliding for a second – then boom, back to the hook.
Caleb: I feel like ‘Driver’s Seat’ really represents who King Calaway is and brings a lot of harmonies and energy.

Which track on the record most sums up where you guys are as a band

Chad: I think ‘Rivers’ really encapsulates the theme of who we are as a band. Ultimately that’s why we named the album Rivers. When playing that song live, we give it our all and use every single bit of our experience and history as musicians to show off our dynamic musicality.

In your press release there’s a long string of cool things you’ve done (Grand Ole Opry, Late Late Show, The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, etc) what the best thing you’ve done?

Caleb: Opening for Garth Brooks is going to be hard to top. Playing to a stadium of close to 80,000 people within your first year of being a band is pretty monumental. Just the energy and the feeling of being in that stadium and playing to those people – incredible.

Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your view on how we get a better representation of diversity in music?

Chad: Music is such a great platform for people to tell stories and we need to more hear stories from people with different backgrounds. That means listening to more women, listening to more people of color – just trying to hear life experiences from a different perspective is really important and brings us closer as a human race.

This is your first C2C, what are you excited about?

Caleb: It will be cool to see how country music is received in different parts of the world. In America, it’s pretty common to grow up around country music, but going halfway across the world and seeing people who have the same love for country – that’s going to be pretty cool.

And what about the UK in general, what’s the thing that you’re hoping to experience?

Chad: More pints! But in all seriousness, every time we go over there we experience something new. We actually fit in pretty well with the culture in the UK given we have two guys in the band who are from there. It definitely helps the rest of us feel like we’re not completely foreign whenever we visit.

If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?

Caleb: Billie Eilish.
Chad: J.S. Ondara – he’s a really cool folk singer.
Austin: Steely Dan – the entire Aja album.

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?

Austin: “How do we not kill each other on a daily basis?” Answer: We love each other.

Four quickfire questions to end… 

Who’s the biggest moaner in the band?

Chad: Jordan.

Who eats the weirdest food?

Caleb: Austin.

Who’s the funniest?

Austin: Caleb.

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

Chad: Black.

Max Mazonowicz

Updated: Mar 03, 2020

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“Bass lines for days. Guitar hooks for days” Ahead of C2C we chat with King Calaway | The Digital Fix