Interview With Broadway Calls - 17th February 2009
Photo Of Broadway CallsWe caught up with Ty and Matt from Broadway Calls back stage after their last show of their UK tour with Alkaline Trio at the Koko venue in Camden to talk about how they got together, plans for the future, Zebras and so much more.

Hi and thanks for taking time out to do this interview...

How did you guys come together as a band and how did you come up with your name Broadway Calls?
(Ty) As far as the band goes, Josh and I have been playing together since we were like 14 years old, we were in other bands; we were in one other touring band and the other members didn't want to tour anymore and we still did so we just made it happen. We started a different style of band and kept going!
(Josh) Um, the name; well there's a band from Portland near the area we're from called The Decemberists.
(Ty) They're a pretty massive band, they have a song called 'I was meant for the stage' and we kinda took lyrics from that.
(Josh) It's not like a direct quote but broadway is sorta seen like a stage and they're calling - that sorta thing.

What are your influences and whom would you say contributed to your current musical style?
(Josh) I would say Greenday is like a pretty obvious influence, Jawbreaker...
(Ty) Alkaline Trio, The Ramones and all the bands that The Ramones have influenced! Teenage BottleRocket, The Queers and bands like that!

You were signed to Adeline Records throughout 2008, they helped you re-release your debut album and how did the company treat you?
(Josh) Amazing, so far one of the best labels we've worked with, like a family, it's not a big label with a million people there, it's just a few people running it so it's been awesome!

You have just signed to Sideone Dummy Records, how did this come about and how excited are you about this?
(Ty) We're verrry excited about this, we did Warped Tour in 2008 and on that tour we became friends with the people who ran the Sideone Dummy Tent and at the end of the summer, one of the guys from that tent got a job at the office at Sideone Dummy and he kind of talked for us and told everyone about us there and they came and watched us play in San Francisco one night and that was it!

You are currently writing material for your second full length album, how is this coming along and what can people expect from it?
(Josh) It's slowly coming, we started writing in the winter and Ty got snowed in for a week! (Laughs) So he was writing by himself but we kind of worked things out together, that put a little pause and being in shitty cold weather doesn't make for good pop punk! Unless you're Alkaline Trio and want it to be depressing but for a band like us, it would be a lot better if we were writing in the sun but as far as what people can expect...just the same, assorted, quicker version of the first record, that's kinda what we're going for. We're not trying to do anything different, might be really boring to people but it worked on the first one!

You released your self-titled debut album in 2007 and again in 2008, are you happy with the way the album has gone down with your fans and the press?
(Ty) Yeah really happy, I mean any time we have kids come up to us at a show and say they like us or they like our record or they're buying a record because they liked the songs we played live then it's positive you know, we don't have any complaints at all and the press are actually pretty nice, it was websites mostly and we got some really cool reviews, and the ones that weren't - I can't think of any right now that stuck in my mind as hurting my feelings or anything!

What is your favourite song that you have created so far?
(Josh) There's songs that I like to listen to and it's kinda weird that we listen to our own record but if we do listen to it, there's a song that we did called 'Daniel my Brother' that is something that we don't play live but listening to it is good. Then something that we do play live is the song 'Suffer The Kids', that's probably one of my favourites.
(Ty) Yeah Suffer the Kids is good and different, because we don't usually go down that road very often and I think with that one it wasn't hard to write that song which was really weird, like that song just kinda came really naturally. Also, 'Back to Oregon' is a really good love song and I really like the way it's arranged and everything about it so I really like that one.

The artwork for your releases are pretty impressive, who comes up with the ideas and designs for these?
(Josh) The guy that did the full length, his name is Cody Fennell but the first idea came from the song 'Big Rock Candy Mountain', I don't know if you know that?! (We both haven't got a clue).
(Ty) In the states it's really big, you learn it in school! It's a really good song!
(Josh) It was supposed to be based on lyrics - pretty much a perfect world and we're trying to...well we love where we're from and we're trying to say it's like a perfect world. But Cody Fennell, he's an amazing artist he does a lot of our friends work as well so he's the guy behind that!

You have just played your last show of a two week UK tour with Alkaline Trio and The Audition, how has the tour been?
(Josh) Great, this has actually been a 4 week tour for us, we also did mainland Europe but The Audition joined up just for the UK, it's been awesome, the UK - we have only been here once before and it's gotten twice as good.
Was that for Give it a Name?
(Josh) Yeah Give it a Name. Then also meeting The Audition, we had never met them before so it was a good time to get to know both of the bands.
(Ty) I mean Alkaline Trio is a dream tour for us - it's one of our favourite bands and they're awesome people and everyone in their crew are amazing and they helped us out a lot.

How was last nights show at the Koko and did you do anything different tonight or do you tend to stick to the same formula?
(Ty) Yeah we were planning and talking about changing it up but we like...procrastinate, then there was ten minutes before we had to play and we thought, let's just play the same set! So kept it the same!

Do you have any funny stories from being on tour?
(Josh) We've got this story - it's not that funny but we're not the type of band that gets hotels, we meet people and stay at their houses...but the first night we were in mainland Europe we didn't meet anyone so we had to sleep in the van! I mean we do that at home so we didn't think it would be bad but it was the worst sleep ever, we were freezing! It was SO cold, our bass player - he didn't even think to bring a blanket on tour, or a coat, he just had a sweatshirt! So he stole one of them blankets you get on the aeroplane - that's all he had! Everyone else came prepared. He actually went in a gas station for like 4-5 hours and just sat there. Also, we were woken up at 4,5 o clock in the morning to German guys yelling at each other RIGHT outside our van, just hearing that language is scary! But they're the funniest things so far.

How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you play before?
(Ty) It's not a lot of like...showmanship! It's just we get up and play the songs you know! I admire bands like Greenday etc, like rockstars who can control the audience with whatever, but I also admire bands who just get up there and play great songs that kids just want to sing along to and don't have to jump around and go crazy the whole time - they just play the songs passionately and that's the kind of band we want to be anyway, none of us really want that rockstar thing and we don't even know how to do it!
(Josh) We're saving up for flame throwers!

What do you do in between shows on long tours to keep you busy?
(Josh) Well not so much over here but mainland Europe where we hadn't been we tried to sightsee everyday, over here, we just sit at the venues - pretty boring!
You did go shopping! (Earlier that day, they asked us where any good shops were and they went to Oxford Street, London!)
(Josh) Yeah we went shopping today and that's the most we've done in the UK actually!
(Ty) A lot of time in the UK we have a British driver who drives other bands so he knows everything and we don't really need to be here until about 5 o clock for a sound check so a lot of times we just sleep in then just get in the van and show up right when we're supposed to be there.
(Josh) We like to eat a lot - don't know if you can tell! We love to eat so we try and find the best places to eat!

If you could play with any band, past or present, who would it be and why?
(Ty) I'm going to go with The Ramones - they started it all for us, well, for countless bands they started it off so we gota go with The Ramones.
(Josh) They paved the way for everything and we've never seen them! The Ramones is my answer as well!

Do you have any plans to play any festivals over the summer?
(Josh) There's talk of Reading and Leeds but nothing's confirmed. But obviously we want to do it and the label is talking about it but that's all we've heard, that they want us to be on it - there's nothing confirmed but we have Warped Tour when we get home but that's all the festivals so far.

What are your long term plans now tonight's show is over?
(Josh) Mainly we are just focused on the record; we have half of it done and a little bit of time to finish it, but long term we're just going to keep touring. We've been touring about 2 years nonstop pretty much.
(Ty) Once you get into that cycle of all these bands like, make a record, tour, go back to making a record. That's the cycle until you want to retire! So that's what we'll do, finish the record and keep on touring!
(Josh) ...maybe stay at our beach house!

Most bands end up getting presents from fans, have you had any weird presents yet?
(Ty) We've had people make us collages of pictures in frames and stuff but I don't think we've had anything weird really!
(Josh) We've had vegan baked goods - none of us are vegan! But one's vegetarian, our guy who goes on tour with us he's a vegetarian and a lot of people who are involved with the music actually are vegetarian.

What do you think about the Blink 182 reunion?
(Josh) We're excited, we've been waiting! I think everyone knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of time when Tom (Delonge) realised that Angels & Airwaves wasn't all it was cracked up to be so I think it's great that they are going to help get this kind of music back into the spot light instead of whatever is in the spot light right now!

What do you think of the current music scene?
(Ty) It depends what scene you're talking about - mainstream, I think it's pretty shitty. There is a couple of big rock bands but most of it is really bad compared to like in the 90s or something like that. Underground - I think it's really exciting right now, there's a lot of good up and coming punk bands, pop punk bands and hardcore bands and it's a cool thing to kind of IN that!
(Josh) Gaslight Anthem is one of the bands, they are a punk band that's really breaking into the mainstream and that doesn't happen that often. I mean, Greenday did it...but there's only a couple of bands who break through to everyone and they're one of the bands so it's cool to see that happen.

What bands and albums have you been listening to recently?
(Ty) Polar Bear Club, they are incredible.
(Josh) Teenage BottleRocket we always listen to.
(Ty) We always listen to things like Lawrence Arms, Jawbreaker, Jets to Brazil, but as far as new bands go, The Swellers are done making a record and that's going to be awesome. I don't know if they've ever been over here but they will be, eventually, I'm sure - they are awesome.
(Josh) I downloaded the Glass Vegas record, I think they're like a mainstream band here? They are actually really good, it's like... 'oldies', it's really really cool! But that's the only like newest thing i've listened to.
(Ty) They played recently in Portland in this place called Doug Fir which is a small venue and then we played shows on this tour where they still had their stuff up from the night before, like their promo posters and stuff, they play massive rooms over here compared to the west coast where we're from so it's kind of a new discovery!

What advise would you give to a new band starting off?
(Josh) We make our own T shirts, we book our own tours... a lot of new bands that we're kind of friends with, they think they have to get a manager, a booking agent etc
(Ty) Yeah, don't depend on other people to do things for you because that won't happen for a long time. Some bands get really lucky and get up there immediately. But you HAVE to tour and sacrifice a lot to make tours happen, money especially.

Where do you hope to see Broadway Calls in 5 years time?
(Josh) Hopefully doing this, touring and hopefully successful, headlining. I think as long as we are doing tours that we want to do I think we'll be happy. Even if it's small clubs that we actually prefer rather than a barricade and all that sorta thing!

Okay, one final random question we ask every band, if you had a choice, what animal would you be out of a Zebra and a Giraffe?
(Josh) A Zebra???!
A 'Zeeeeeebra!' (The English accent has confused him!)
(Josh) I would be a zebra because they look really cool! Girls love zebra looking things!
So does he! (Points at Trigger!)
(Josh) Well that's okay! Well giraffes are cool I guess!
Cool if you want to be big and see a lot!
(Josh) What would you be? (Looks at Ty)
(Ty) You have to choose between those two?
Yeah - Zebra or Giraffe!
(Ty) I guess I would have to go with zebra because...well they're both prey! They're both going to get killed by lions! A zebra might have a fighting chance like, to run away!
(There is a lot of random discussion and laughter about zebras, giraffes and lions!!!)

Well thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to give to your fans reading this?
(Ty) If you're our fan...thanks! Up until just recently it's been pretty much friends, we see it as friends at our shows, not fans so if you're both then thank you very much!
(Josh) If you're a fan, come up and say hi, like let's be friends!

Interview By Trigger And Charlotte
 Band Members

Ty Vaughn (Guitar, Vocals)
Matt Koenig (Bass)
Josh Baird (Drums)
 Latest Releases
Broadway Calls - Oregon
Release Date - 2008
1. Call It Off
2. Bad Intentions
3. Back To Oregon
4. Suffer The Kids
5. Van Rides And High Tides
6. Escape From Capitol Hill
7. Three Weeks
8. Daniel My Brother
9. Save Our Ship
10. Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours
11. Life Is In The Air
12. Classless Reunion
13. Meet Me At Washington Park
14. So Long My Friend
 Band Related Links
Broadway Calls Myspace