Edmonton’s Calling All Captains and its band members have been a fixture of their local scene since 2014. The pop-punk/post-hardcore band consisting of Luc Gauthier (vocals), Brad Bremner (guitar), Connor Dawkins (guitar), Nick Malychuk (bass), and Tim Wilson (drums) finished a touring cycle in 2019, and spent the pandemic recording songs for their first full length LP. After dropping the single “Tailspin” earlier this year, they recently released their second single “Undone”.
Band members Nick and Brad recently took the time to talk with us about their powerfully addictive new single, and what’s next for the band.
Indy Review: Can you speak a bit about how your band came together? Coming from Edmonton, was there any sort of punk/underground scene to coalesce around?
Calling All Captains: CAC was actually formed on Kijiji (Canada’s version of Craigslist) but the current line up has been involved in the scene together for years. Brad and Nick started the band in 2014 and quickly after inception brought in Luc on drums and Connor on guitar, with whom Nick was in a band both with previously. A few years later, Luc stepped off the kit and up to the front and we brought on an amazing drummer in Tim that the rest of the band had the privilege of playing with before in other projects. Our Manager Cam was also a part of the Edmonton scene for years so we were very happy to get the whole team together. As for the scene in Edmonton and Western Canada, we’ve always said “West Coast, Best Coast” because the shows here are louder, the crowd here parties harder, and the vibe is stronger.
IR: What bands/groups did all of you consider inspirations when forming CAC?
CAC: For the start of the band, Four Year Strong was a massive influence, the driving music and harmonic vocal melodies really inspired our original sound. As we’ve grown the band has drawn inspiration from the likes of Knuckle Puck, Counterparts, Like Pacific, The Story So Far, and other kings of the scene.
IR: Tell me about the origin of “Undone”. What sparked the initial inspiration for it?
CAC: “Undone” was written in the middle of the process of our upcoming record. Like “Tailspin” before it, it was motivated by personal experiences dealing with people battling their demons. In this case, someone so caught up in themselves that they cannot do any wrong and continuously fail to own up to their shortcomings. The song started out with a simple intro riff accompanied by angsty lyrics, but it went through lots of revisions and restructuring in the creation process. The original riff was cut altogether and the intro lyrics became the final chorus. We had a great team in the studio that really helped turn it into what it was meant to become.
IR: The gang vocals on the song give it a really epic feel. How difficult is it to record and capture that kind of group harmonizing and get it right?
CAC: It definitely took a couple tries to lock down, but honestly we’re very fortunate that everyone in this band can hold their own in a vocal booth. On previous releases we went in one by one to track gang parts but for this we just stood side by side in the booth and made sure everyone hit the note. It’s also the kind of song we wanted to be able to recreate live with fans once shows get back so we kept in a register that wouldn’t be too tough for most fans.
IR: What was the lyrical inspiration for the track?
CAC: As mentioned before, “Undone” is an anthem about standing up to that person that refuses to accept any responsibility for the things they say and do and puts in zero effort to change their toxicity. Most of the lyrics were written by Luc and Connor and were inspired by an actual person they know and have had to deal with for years. Not sure if they’ll ever know the song is about them, but hey that’s the price you pay for being a dick to musicians haha.
IR: How do you feel the track fits in thematically to your next album?
CAC: The album is going to be very diverse, but “Undone” fits in beautifully. We have some lighter tracks and some heavier ones, and it sits nicely in the middle. Slowly Getting Better is a record of maturing and growing up. Talking about leaving vices behind, standing on your own, and moving on from those things that aren’t healthy for you or your mental health are all major points of this album. If “Undone” was a handshake introducing you to a form of recovery, the record is a hug letting you know it’s all going to be okay and you aren’t alone.
IR: The song is very catchy and I can see it really energizing an audience during a set. Have you had a chance to play it live yet?
CAC: Unfortunately no. With the world in the state that it has been, we finished our EP cycle at the end of 2019 and were just starting on this record as the pandemic got serious. We’ve been practicing these songs for the past year to get ready for the inevitable return of live music and we are beyond excited to be back on stage screaming our lungs out with everyone.
IR: What are the band’s plans for the rest of the year?
CAC: Hopefully we’ll have another single or two out and release our first full length LP Slowly Getting Better and get back on the road. We love touring, being in front of a crowd, and making new friends every night and have been anxious to get back to that! Keep your eyes peeled to the bands social media accounts, there should be more coming sooner than you think!
Be sure to catch Calling All Captains when they hit the road next, and keep an ear out for their first LP, Slowly Getting Better. Watch the video for “Undone” above, and stream the track below in our A Single Sit-Down Playlist!