The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Michael Calle Colossvs - Interview
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Colossvs are one of those bands that are hard to define but it's that very fact that also defines the band itself. 5 years of hard work playing the clubs around Melbourne and various other places around Australia have finally started paying off with a a series of massive tours including most recently with fellow Melbourne legends King Parrot and US metallers The Black Dahlia Murder. With their debut album "Unholy" which came out last year and an upcoming tour with Thy Art Is Murder, we had a chat with guitarist Michael Calle to discuss everything about the band, their music and the recent tours they have been a part of.



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Andrew: We saw you in Perth not long ago when you were touring with King Parrot so how was it for you guys?

Michael: Yeah that was awesome! That was kinda the end of the tour, the last couple of shows for that was at Perth and the Bunbury show that we did, and that whole tour was awesome. Just the bands, there was no crew or anything like that so it was a really cool, chilled vibe and those guys are so much fun. So we ended that tour in Perth and we had a few weekends in a row so it was kind of built around the weekends. The last one we had 4 or 5 days off before and then we had this really cool sendoff in Perth and the show was wild. It was at Capitol or Amplifier, I can't remember which room it was.

Andrew: That would of been the Amplifier room.

Michael: Yeah so that was fun and then we all kinda partied afterwards and had a really good time.

Andrew: I could imagine hanging out with the guys from King Parrot must have been an experience I would think.

Michael: Yeah definitely fun, they are definitely a wild crew!

Andrew: Now you also toured with The Black Dahlia Murder just recently which also would of been pretty cool as well.

Michael: Yeah that was kind of a wild one for me. I was actually talking to Trevor (Strnd, TBDM vocalist) about this at the last show, The Black Dahlia Murder were that band that, not got me into metal but the band that got me playing in bands. Before I heard them, metal kinda seemed very technical and I didn't really know how to approach it as much as I loved it and hearing Dahlia, they were the band that made me realize, 'Oh you can just kind of figure out your way to play this stuff'. So "Miasma" for me was a really big one when I was younger, that album and the previous one to that made me want to play in heavy bands so it was kind of a trip to be playing with them. And that was actually their first shows back in 6 to 8 months, they hadn't played shows in ages so they just got off the road and recorded the album and took some time off and stuff so it was one of the longest breaks they had ever taken. How hyped they were was so crazy, every single night it was all guns blazing so that was kinda cool, to be playing with people you used to listen to when growing up so that's always fun.

Andrew: Did Trevor by any chance take some time to listen to your music at all?

Michael: Yeah he's actually a freak with heavy music, he will listen to everything! Even before the tour started I had heard he listened to every single band on the tour, even the opening bands. He listened to a bunch of stuff that he didn't need to so that was really cool. He actually came and he knew a bunch of our stuff and checked out our set a bunch of times and it was strange, he was able to nail every single influence, it was really cool! He was able to pick all that stuff out and he just has this huge knowledge for heavy music which is really awesome to see. He has this column for I think Metal Injection and he just talks about heavy music in a really cool way so that was really awesome. Yeah he really liked it, he picked up that it was kind of that Cleveland style hardcore cross with black metal and death metal and this strange hybrid, nailed every single influence which was really cool.

Andrew: Yeah I remember talking to him a few months ago and he mentioned that he loves to check out the local bands and the support acts so it's pretty cool that someone like that is still in touch with his underground roots.

Michael: Yeah it's awesome, on the last night [of the tour] we talked quite a lot about a lot of the Australian bands and he was talking about how much he loves Disentomb and how big he is on them. He's actually on their record, he's on one of the later tracks on the album so he's on there so he's a huge supporter of the underground.

Andrew: Now you're next big tour is with Thy Art Is Murder and you're coming back here to Perth in October so it should be a pretty cool tour I think.

Michael: Yeah that's going to be awesome. That's in the bigger room at the same venue right?

Andrew: Yeah at Capitol which is the one next door.

Michael: When we did the King Parrot show, the backstage area goes underground and connects the two venues together [and] we walked up to the backstage of the other one and there was some crazy dance party going on so we ended up partying with this crazy dance party behind the King Parrot show that was going on. But yeah that Thy Art Is Murder tour will be crazy, their new album is incredible and they are doing some crazy stuff so to be able to do that tour is really awesome. Really looking forward to it, I wish there was more dates. There's 5 dates, one in each capital city but it's going to be awesome, really stoked on it.

Andrew: It seems like it's going really well for you guys. Looking back to when you first started out, are you amazed at how successful things have been going for the band at the moment?

Michael: A little bit definitely! The band has been going for 5 years now so it feels like it's been going a little slow, I feel we've been plugging away at this for a long time but it feels over the last year it's really kind of taken off in a much faster way than it had previously. I think that's kind of [because] we've knuckled down and finally got the album that we've been writing for so long and I think once we did that, it kind of changed things a little bit for us because it's a true representation of what the band sounds like and what we wanted to sound like all along. I think that's one of the biggest things and obviously having people that are much more...we've had quite a few lineup changes so having people who are incredibly interested in the music and really believe in the vision for the band and what we are doing has been definitely instrumental in pushing us to that next level. And having people who are that committed to it as well, that's been really awesome. This year has been crazy, January we did the Birds In Row tour, we did another South-East Asia tour, we did Malaysia and Hammersonic which is the biggest show to date. That was 20,000 people at it's peak I think and that was insane, we played with bands like Mayhem [which] I got to see on the side of the stage. Vader and Unearth and Lamb Of God headlining, it was psycho so it's been really cool, definitely a bit of a dream run. But honestly I'm kinda surprised when people just like the music that I play. When people just like the music, that's kind of a little mindblowing to me in the first place so anything more than that is just a bonus really.

Andrew: It's funny because when I saw you guys open for King Parrot, it was the first time I had seen you guys and to be honest, it was the first time that I had heard of you guys and I loved it, it was a great set. But I was trying to think of your influences because your music is kinda hard to pinpoint as far as what kind of genre you belong to.

Michael: It's a little bit wierd, I think the biggest thing is we all kind of come from metal and hardcore and it's kind of a mix of all the different stuff that we listen to. You can definitely pick up bands that are huge influences, you can kinda hear a lot of Behemoth stuff going on there, Satyricon, a bit of Deicide, a little bit of Florida death metal going on, Cleveland hardcore like Integrity. There's even some Converge vibe going on in there, it's really hard to pinpoint which I think is something that a lot of people say actually. Like Youngy from King Parrot, on the first show on the tour he was like, 'You can't describe your music, I don't even know what you guys are' haha!

Andrew: Haha!

Michael: So it's kind of hard to pinpoint but I think that's what draws people to it. You can't quite put your finger on what exactly it is because there is this kind of punky vibe going on sometimes, a little bit of black metal and it all kind of melds together pretty nicely. That's somthing that we really focus on, is writing songs that are very well structured and have really solid hooks so that we're able to take all the different influences and meld them together into something that makes sense.

Andrew: So in saying that, do you think it's less important these days especially with the amount of different sub-genres that are out there, for bands to be catagorized and labelled and all that kind of thing?

Michael: Yeah I mean there are bands that you listen to and go, 'OK that's black metal', or you listen to them and say that's death metal, they are a hardcore band that sounds like this. It's very easy sometimes to just pigeonhole bands to what they sound like and I can understand people wanting to do that, as humans we like to categorize things into different groups. I guess when it doesn't make sense to catagorize a band, like I think it's kind of a little bit hard to catagorize us, I just call us a metal band these days and I don't think it really requires much more than that especially for a genre that's has a bit of a tribal aspect to it anyway. Putting everything under metal makes a lot of sense for so many bands, or just calling it extreme music. So I don't really think genres hold too much weight over what many people do these days and I don't think they should either. If you're going for a certain style and you nail that, then it makes sense but with so many influences and I think a lot of that comes with people listening to so many different types of music. The influences for Collossvs really range very far from outside heavy music as well, none of us in the band listen exclusively to heavy music except maybe Lochlan (Watt, vocals) who is probably the only one. So there's definitely elements from other things that you really wouldn't pick up that would be an influence on Collossvs that kind of helped us jump inbetween all those different genres I guess.

Andrew: It's crazy when I think about how many different genres there are compared to what there was 20 years ago or whatever.

Michael: Yeah and even just how many different genres there are in metal, it's kind of mindblowing. At a certain point it's like, that's enough, I don't need to hear what this sounds like. I just listen to the music on some level and let that talk for what it is.

Andrew: Now you mentioned your first album had come out last year and the band has taken off since that release, so how has the reception been so far when you've been playing those songs live? What's the response been like to the new music?

Michael: Yeah it's been really awesome! So previously we did a demo 4 or 5 years ago and we had a 7 inch out a couple of years after that and the band went through a couple of transitional periods. And then when we released "Unholy", those songs we had been working on for a really long time. I actually thought about it the other day, there's a song on the album which was the third song we ever wrote as a band. So some of those songs we had been playing since we [started] as a band, it's gone through quite a lot of different permutations but the songs on there are very old which we had been holding onto. So we have been playing quite a few of them live for a while but the ones like Christburner", "Xeper", "Heosphoros", the Unholy trilogy, those songs that came later in the piece are definitely the ones we probably gravitate a lot more when we play live. I think the response has been really good, we're happy with how it's all been going. We really don't get too many people asking for older songs which I guess is a pretty good indictment of how much people like the new songs I guess. I definitely think we play to newer audiences as well so for a lot of people like you obviously, it's your first time hearing the band so that was actually the case for a lot of the tours that we are doing at the moment. We are playing to a lot more metal crowds than what we had previously which is definitely something that we wanted to do, it's kind of our vibe anyway. And especially more so when we were playing with Psycroptic and The Black Dahlia Murder, a lot of people coming to those shows have probably never heard of us before unless they had seen us at the King Parrot tour or some of the random shows that we have done here and there with bands like Psycroptic. So I think it's been pretty well received, I'm pretty excited to get some new material out there and get cracking on playing some of those new ones live.

Andrew: And how do you find the crowds here in Perth? How are the responses?

Michael: I love playing in Perth. Actually the first time we did it was in October last year when the album came out, it was the first time we had managed to be able to get over there. We had done Adelaide once or twice before that but it was the first time going to Perth just because it's pretty expensive for the flights getting out there. But anytime we can go there we do, we went down there for the Unholy tour and hung out with our friends in Earthrot, we wanted to play a show with them but they had to pull out at the last minute and we ended up playing with Cursed Earth which was awesome, they are a sick band. It was very cool, the first time we played there it was a little bit smaller and then we went out for the King Parrot tour and that was obviously massive because King Parrot are huge but there was quite a few people there to see us as well which is really awesome. We're really excited to get out there again, I'm really stoked. And there's some sick bands in Perth as well at the moment like Earthrot, Cursed Earth. Last time we played there with King Parrot, Malignant Monster played before us. That was horrifying playing after they went on, they were so fucking good that night, just mindblowingly good. They were amazing that night and I just watched them and then went backstage and I went to Ash our drummer 'You gotta go see that because I don't know how we're going to play after that'. It was crazy man, they are really good. And there's also Sanzu as well, there's quite a few really cool Perth bands coming out at the moment and I can't wait to play there with a bunch of them.

Andrew: Yeah it's funny you mention Malignant Monster because they are one of the top extreme bands and one of the heaviest bands that I have ever seen. I'm surprised they aren't bigger than they are actually.

Michael: Yeah and I've been told they've been around for ages, I've never realized that...I've heard of them and seen them on shows before but I didn't realize they had been around for as long as they have.

Andrew: I guess it's one of those things with the Perth metal scene where they find it difficult to crack outside of W.A.

Michael: Yeah man it may as well be another country when you really look at it. We have a tour booked to go to New Zealand next month and we just booked flights there and it cost us $200 return, that's the cost of just a one way flight to Perth. So it's tough for Perth bands, we would love to be playing shows with bands like Cursed Earth and Earthrot all the time and have them come over for shows but it's tough. Unless you really got the funds behind you or you're going to relocate, it's kinda hard to crack on a larger scale. Make Them Suffer are from Perth right?

Andrew: Yes they are.

Michael: Yeah and I'm not too familiar with them but I know they are doing pretty incredible things at the moment so there's gotta be a way because there's so many good bands there.

Andrew: Well hopefully you'll get to see more of them when you come over! Thanks for your time today and we will see you in October, thanks again.

Thy Art Is Murder Australian tour dates with Collossvs

Wednesday 14 October - Amplifier, Perth (18+)
Thursday 15 October - Fowlers Live, Adelaide (Lic/AA)
Friday 16 October - Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)
Saturday 17 October - The Factory, Sydney (Lic/AA)
Sunday 18 October - Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane (18+)

Tickets and info HERE

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on July 23rd 2015