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This Is How Calling All Captains Perfectly Captured The Trials And Tribulations Of Growing Older

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 3 November 2021 at 17.12

"I feel like you can feel how strongly we all feel about each of these songs and in different and personal ways"



Calling All Captains have just released their debut full-length 'Slowly Getting Better' via Rude Records/ Equal Vision.

A viciously rousing blend of guttural post-hardcore and slick pop-punk, the band batter you from all sides with a piercing combination of thoughts and feelings centred on what it's like facing off against everything that life can throw at you on a daily basis. It's an honest account of life, death, addiction and alteration that will stick with you as well as remind you that you're not alone in what you're going through.

To find out how it came to be, we jumped on the phone with vocalist Luc Gauthier and bassist Nick Malychuk to talk through it...

It's fascinating to be in a position where it feels like the themes and title of this record have taken on a completely different meaning throughout the time you've been making it...
Luc: "We had named the album ‘Slowly Getting Better’ before the pandemic even came about. But as time went on, the album started to take its real form and started to exist differently within this timeframe that we still find ourselves in. But we didn’t necessarily want the album to be anything more than it initially was. We titled it that because we as a band were slowly getting better at songwriting and playing shows and everything behind us. But then, when you take that and add it to where you are in life, that lens add so many more experiences and moments each passing day."

Nick: "There are songs on this record written way back at the start of 2019 when we did our first US tour. We started working and growing something that began to be based on what we were all going through, whether in our personal lives or something more of a group effort. We didn’t plan for it all to go in this direction, but when we sat down to see what we had, it all seemed to fit in this particular way."



The thing is that alongside the band stuff, you’re also going through different life experiences that then bleed into what you end up writing.  But when you realise you have the tools available to bring those things to life in your music, it must be incredibly satisfying...
Luc: "A band only gets one debut record. You can have dope records afterwards, but the debut is all about painting the picture of where the band is at that moment. I feel like you can feel how strongly we all feel about each of these songs and in different and personal ways. We all struggle daily with our things, and that’s where the whole concept for the visuals around this record comes from. We’re trying to lay to rest all of our vices and all of the things that have held us back in the past. It might not all be in the casket waiting to go down, but it’s all at least in one place."

It comes down to knowing that life isn’t always going to be straightforward and rosy, but there is a positivity to facing off against the complex parts head on…
Luc: "And this time, we were really able to dive into exactly how we wanted to present that. We got vulnerable in ways we hadn’t before. With our last record [2019's 'Nothing Grows Here'], I feel like we were going into relationships from person to person, whereas this one is the relationship with ourselves and how that affects other relationships. The vices and the eternal issues, the things we have to climb to create a positive environment for everybody else around us."

And it’s one thing to talk about those things, but to then put those feelings into something physical that will represent the band in years to come...
Luc: "Expression is a limitless thing. I listen to lots of music personally, and that influenced how we could write in terms of nothing being off-limits in any way. We’re not talking about leaving our home town or some girl making us feel a certain way. We’re talking about real twenty-something issues that we all went through and continue to go through. Those feelings of not wanting to get fucked up, but we do it anyway. Feeling the self-pity for yourself and the things you are going through. All things that happen."

Nick: "In pop-punk, there’s this association that if you’re sad, then you’re whiny. And then there’s the sad boi culture that surrounds all of that as well. We’re not doing that, but we are still expressing that you can feel down and upset and not have to whine about it. That’s part of growing up and becoming an adult, and it’s something that we have come across and realised more in the past few years. We’ve got a range of different ages in this band who have all been through their shit and have their own experiences and lessons from that, and we can have our conversations about them. We can talk about how shitty it is to lose something to addiction, have a family member pass away, or lose someone in a relationship. It’s about finding yourself within that and going and coping with it."



And there’s a big difference between understanding what you’re going through and being comfortable with what you’re going through. And you can talk about things as much as you want, but it’s what you actually gain from that which benefits you in the long run…
Nick: "I can literally look back to that feeling just last year. I had stepped away from the band, and I was in a horrible place mentally. I couldn’t be around this, and I knew that I wasn’t in a constructive space, and I didn’t want to give the rest of the band that energy when they were working on putting this record together. I was fortunate in the worst way that there was a pandemic, and I could take the time to go to therapy and work on those boundaries and fight those battles. Now I’m a completely different person from who I was then, but it was eye-opening to go through those realisations that I needed to sit down and talk to somebody about what I was going through."

And in the position that you’re all in now, how does it feel to have Calling All Captains play such a role within your lives, allowing you to deliver the thought and feelings that you do?
Luc: "This band is all I have left. We have jobs and other skills, but this is it. I’ve been playing in bands with Nick for nearly a decade now. He’s my OG. We wouldn’t be doing it for that long if it didn’t hold such significance in our lives. I have lost so many relationships because of this band and how much I have put into it, and I wouldn’t change any of it. I was drawing pictures of myself on stage when I was 12-years old, and I have manifested that into reality. So I’m not going to stop now."

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