Callus – Hogpocalypse

Hogpocalypse Cover

Callus – Hogpocalypse
Self-Released
Running Time: 49:00
Release Date: 27/01/2019
Review by Rick Tilley
9/10

If you have been following Ever Metal regularly for the last year, then there is a 96.7% chance you have heard us mention Lancaster based Metal band Callus, at least once. Having seen/met them, for the first time at Hammerfest 2018, and being utterly blown away by not only the quality of their music but by how awesome they are as people, Beth and I went on to watch their progress through the Mammothfest Battle Of the Bands competition, which culminated in them winning their regional final, interviewed them twice, managed to get them on the bill at Wrexfest, reviewed their debut EP, wrote multiple gig reviews, watched their joy as they were asked to play The Jägermeister Stage at Bloodstock 2018 (where they went down an absolute storm), did a ‘Callus Day’ on the Ever Metal pages (where we exclusively premiered a trailer for the debut album) and also attended Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke’s wedding, to the lovely Jennie, where Beth was asked to be official photographer. It’s fair to say we have, not only championed them as a superbly talented band that need to be on your radar, but have become firm and good friends with them!

Debut album “Hogpocalypse” has been a long time coming and with everything I’ve written above, whatever the outcome, this review was always going to be a tough one to write. On the one hand, if the album didn’t live up to expectations, how was I going to tell them how I felt and on the other, if it was good, how was I going to write it without you, dear readers, thinking I was just blowing smoke up their backsides? Well I’ve had a good long think and the only thing I can do is tell the truth, as I see it, and hope that everyone who reads this believes my integrity because “Hogpocalypse” is a triumph!

If you’ve not heard Callus before then the first thing you need to know is that they don’t sound like anyone else. They combine a whole host of genres together in a unique way so one minute you are listening to a down-tuned, Doom-laden, Sludge filled, Punky edged riff reminiscent of the Melvins and the next you’re listening to killer Thrash akin to Megadeth or Overkill. Round that out with snippets of Traditional Metal, all quite often in the same song, and their sound is a breath of fresh air. Next up is the fact that this all comes out of three people. Founding members, the aforementioned Vocalist/Guitarist Louis Clarke and Vocalist/Bassist Ben Wormwell plus Drummer Ryan Ormerod make unholy and thunderously heavy music (on album and live) that sounds more like six or seven people, however, everything is incredibly catchy and you cannot stop yourself from moving to the music…try keeping still, I guarantee you won’t be able to do it!

Callus don’t play particularly complicated music or fill it with blazing guitar solos but they hypnotise you with quality riffs and rhythmic playing. It’s all about how vocals, guitar, bass and drums work together to bring power, precision and HEAVY to the table. Every track from the opening, stonking, riff of ‘Boar’ to the closing refrains of ‘Zygote’ are mesmerising and will have your neck snapping in so many different directions that you better hope the local hospital has beds available!

Everything presented here is eerie and horror filled, it’s crusty, rat infested and thick with evil but it’s also beautiful to behold and proof that space in the music is sometimes just as important as filling that space. “Hogpocalypse” is the soundtrack to an H. P. Lovecraft Book/Film where you don’t know if you’ll ever come out on the other side with your sanity intact but you jump right in anyway because the journey is too good to miss. Once you’ve heard tracks such as ‘Leg Slice’, ‘Skunk’, ‘The Dunwich Horror’, ‘The Primordial’ or ‘Where Savage Things Grow’ you’ll want to do that too!

Louis, Ben and Ryan are all young, but very accomplished, musicians and kudos must also be given to Ryan’s beautiful production and mixing which was done at his home studio. This is a complete do-it-yourself album with everything being self-recorded and to have a product of this quality must make the three of them incredibly proud because it puts many ‘more expensive’ albums to shame!

“Hogpocalypse” is everything I wanted and so much more so all I can say is huge congratulations to Callus for their hard work and dedication to get to this point. If they have the guts to keep going then it will be a travesty if they aren’t justly rewarded! Miss them at your peril!

TRACKLIST:
01. Boar
02. Infinite Beef Machine
03. Under The Waste
04. Skunk
05. Leg Slice
06. The Primordial
07. The Dunwich Horror
08. Where Savage Things Grow
09. Dreameater
10. Zygote

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

Promo by Beth Jones

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Beth Jones and PhotograBee Images
https://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages/

Beth’s Top Ten Live Acts Of 2018

Beth’s Top Ten Live Acts Of 2018

Hi all, Rick here. As we reach Day One of 2019 here is a last thank you and final top ten list of 2018. Beth is not only turning into a great photographer (she has only been doing it for about 20 months) and has also written some excellent live and album reviews she is also, for her sins, my other half and I really couldn’t put as much time and effort as I do into Ever Metal if it wasn’t for her help, understanding and belief in me so a huge thanks goes out to her.

So, without further ado here are Beth’s top ten live bands/acts of 2018!

This year has been a pretty fine vintage, gig wise, for us. Here is a rundown of my favourite acts of the year.

01 No.10 Scars Of Remembrance10. Scars Of Remembrance.

Local to Wrexham, and new to the scene in their current line up, they really impressed me in the summer with their performance at the New Metal All Dayer at the Live Rooms, Wrexham. It was amazing to see how far they had come in such a short space of time and I can’t wait to see where they take their heavy, Metalcore sound to next.

https://www.facebook.com/scarsofremembrance/


02 No.09 Evil Invaders9.Evil Invaders.

Belgian Thrash at its very best. Their performance at this year’s Amplified festival was superb. I’m not usually big into thrash, but these guys really know how to put on a show. Frontman Joe has a majorly expressive face and a great voice, and the whole performance was buzzing with excitement, and much dry ice!

https://www.facebook.com/evilinvaders/


03 No.08 God Shaped Devil8. God Shaped Devil.

I happened upon this band almost by accident! I was doing photography at Badgerfest and looking forward to a good few of the bands on the line – up but had overlooked these guys. I won’t be making this mistake again! Their performance was electric and their stage presence huge. They all looked like they were having such an awesome time on stage, and their playing skills were totally on point.

https://www.facebook.com/godshapeddevil/


04 No.07 Psychostick7. Psychostick.

I love music. I love clever comedy. I love madcap, slapstick performances. Psychostick have all this, and they entertained us no end at Amplified in the summer. They would have appeared higher in my top ten, but for the sombrero incident, which kind of distracted me as I was worried I might die! But they are so worth a watch if you get the chance. It is like watching the Pythons with guitars!

https://www.facebook.com/Psychostick/


05 No.06 Cadence Noir6. Cadence Noir.

Who knew Gothic Folk ‘n’ Roll was a genre. I certainly didn’t until I saw Cadence Noir going through the heats for Bloodstock M2TM, and then winning a thoroughly deserved spot on the Bloodstock New Blood stage. Their meld of folk fiddle, upright bass, and some really heavy riffs is fantastically nuts and works so well. I am soon to review their long-awaited album “Physical Copy” which was released on 22nd December, and I can’t wait to see them perform again at Pentrefest in February 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/CadenceNoir/


06 No.05 Lullaby For a Unicorn5. Lullaby For A Unicorn.

If you want to party, these are your guys. Again, we have seen them a few times this year, but my personal favourite performance was on 22nd December at Mclean’s Pentre. They turned the fun up a notch, and had the whole place bouncing in Santa hats, covered in party poppers and toilet roll! They are four seasoned musicians who don’t like to take life too seriously, and this comes across so well in their music and their stage presence. Bass player, Anthony, plays in a unicorn onesie, which is hilarious in itself. Guitarist Dan has light up shoes, lead singer, Justin, has a slightly unhinged glint in his eye, and drummer Rageth, well, who knows – each performance is a surprise – for this one he was green and wearing lovely shorts with braces! They certainly have the funny factor!

https://www.facebook.com/rockmyunicorn/


07 No.04 Novacrow4. Novacrow.

These guys made me smile so much at Rockwich this year. They are crazy and funny, but also create some pretty awesome sounds. Their brand of sleazy, horror-inspired hard rock is quite unique, and they have something very special about them! Lead singer Kitty has one awesome set of pipes. They are quirky and interesting to watch live, and love a bit of interaction with the audience, breaking down the fourth wall on more than one occasion with trips out into the crowd which really draws you in to their world, and I will be seeking them out again in 2019.

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/


08 No.03 StOp sToP3. StOp sToP.

Glam rock is alive and well and lives wherever these guys are. There was makeup, there was spandex, there were tassels, there was big hair, and there was soooo much dry ice and shiny lighting! On performance skills these guys absolutely nail it, and musically they aren’t too shabby either! Their fast paced, pumped up performance at Rockwich was one of my highlights of the year! Anyone who watches them and doesn’t smile has a heart of stone! I so hope I get to see them again very soon. Nothing makes me happier than watching a band completely loving who they are and what they do, and this sums up the StOp sToP boys.

https://www.facebook.com/stopstopofficial/


09 No.02 Callus2. Callus.

It seems unbelievable to me that we only met these guys at Hammerfest in March 2018. We have now become great friends, and it seems like we have known them a lot longer. In the 9 months since we saw them originally, we have seen them again another 3 or 4 times, and they just keep getting better. This is a young band who really know how to work an audience and create a good show, and they are all brilliant musicians to boot. Their debut album is out in about a month and I highly recommend that everyone checks it and them out and gets to see them live at the earliest opportunity, as they do not disappoint.

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/


10 No.01 Twisted Illusion1. Twisted Illusion.

Just WOW! I TOTALLY LOVE THEM! I first saw these guys at Amplified and they knocked me off my feet with their brilliant prog metal style. We recently attended their Christmas gig in the Manchester Academy 3. It was an emotional night, as Bass player Mark, and Drummer Matt M had decided that they were stepping down from the band, and frontman Matt J had been plagued with a bad throat for the week before the gig, but despite this they were utterly, utterly stunning. I am still trying to write a review of it, but I can’t put my thoughts into a coherent piece, such was the brilliance of their performance. Not many bands make me want to just stand and let the music consume me, but Twisted Illusion are on that elite list. I am so glad that we found them, and I cannot wait to see them again as often as humanly possible.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTIband


This has been a mighty hard list to compile as I have seen so many great artists this year. A few that were very close to making my top ten were, Witch Tripper, Evil Scarecrow, Mason Hill, Jayce Lewis, Impavidus, Footprints In The Custard, Resin, Fahran and Frozen In Shadows, who all deserve a mention for their cracking performances this year.

Writing this has made me realise how lucky we are to have so many great bands floating around at the moment, many of them only small, unsigned and relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things. Music truly is the most wonderful, universal language and I am so thankful that in enriches my life daily. If next year is as good as this year for live music, it’s gonna be awesome!

Thanks for reading and a very happy new year to you all xx

Disclaimer: All photos are the property of Beth Jones, Photograbee and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

CALLUS: “Hogpocalypse” Debut Album Teaser Premiered On Ever Metal!

CALLUS: “Hogpocalypse” Debut Album Teaser
Premiered On Ever Metal
05/08/2018
Article by Rick Tilley

Ever Metal are extremely proud to premiere a short teaser from the forthcoming, debut, album from Lancaster based Metal band CALLUS. We now know it’s entitled “HOGPOCALYPSE”, believe me, that’s an awesome title that describes CALLUS and their music perfectly, but what we don’t know yet is when the release date will be. However, I’m going to put my neck on the line and say that it will be absolutely ‘Hogtastic’!

Check out the teaser here:

CALLUS describe themselves as “Down-tuned stoner metal fused with thrash and sludge elements for a truly obnoxious, quite furious and outright terrifying sound” and that’s about as good a description as you’ll get. They combine a huge range of influences that together should sound completely wrong but CALLUS do the impossible and turn it into one of the heaviest, tightest and most enjoyable things I’ve heard from a band in years.
Whilst we await the album go and listen to, or buy, a copy of their EP “Through Blood, Sweat, Piss And Pain” and see why Ever Metal adore them and also make sure to see them live if they turn up at a venue or festival near you, because they pride themselves on being a ‘live band’. After seeing them four times in recent months, there is no doubt they are absolutely thunderous in a live setting.

If you want to know why I love doing this job so much then listening to CALLUS will give you the answer!

CALLUS ARE:
Louis Clarke – Guitar and Vocals
Ben Wormwell – Bass and Vocals
Ryan Ormerod – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

Callus – Through Blood,Sweat, Piss And Pain EP

Through Blood, Sweat, Piss And Pain EP Cover

Callus – Through Blood,Sweat, Piss And Pain EP
Independent
Release Date: 26/03/2017
Running Time: 15:44
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

When I hear the words ‘Thrash’, ‘Stoner’ or ‘Doom’, I can be known to pull a face of overwhelming underwhelmedness. Its not usually my bag, but then you don’t usually get the whole lot in one fell swoop! Until now!

The debut EP from our tip for the top, Lancashire based CALLUS, is a weird and whacky meld of all of the above, with added classic heavy metal, and even a bit of punk to boot! It is 3 tracks of fast paced, grove laden, bass driven, riff loveliness, with an interesting concept intro and outro to book end the main tacks.

With obvious influences of Metallica and Megadeth, the first track, ‘Chimp Militia’, kicks off big time from the outset, in classic thrash style, with over driven guitar at a pace, being joined by bass and drums after a few bars. You think you are safe in the knowledge this is a solid thrash tune, then all of a sudden, the chorus comes and slaps you with some punk, with Louis Clarke and Ben Wormwell delivering ‘call and response’ style vocals. Then, as quickly as it started, it stops! If you weren’t listen at the beginning, you will certainly be giving it your full attention now!

‘Cycloid’ is up next – this is much more classic, very early Metallica, but with an added twist of Doom with Louis’ versatile vocal style; low growls to high screams, yet again ripping up the rules in favour of something new! One thing that Callus don’t seem to fuss about is intricate solos – there is no need for them in their music – but this one does have an extra little dash of guitar noodling half way through, as the tune cycles in a repetitive loop before speeding up, as the name would suggest! The rhythms really are the back bone of their music, not just in the percussive sense, but across the whole band, and that couldn’t be truer than in this song, which has very hypnotic qualities deep within its repetitiveness.

Then just as you were getting comfortable with thrash-doom, up pops a jaunty stoner-doom-thrash-sic piece, ‘The Root Of All Evil’, to really break your mind. A full on mix of the elements with some very slow, heavy stoner doom sections that give you an eerie sense of an impending apocalypse, combined with classic and thrash metal progressions, and Ben’s ridiculously heavy vocals, again backed up by insane rhythms, making the whole thing feel like you are going down a steep hill a bit faster than you probably should be, and suddenly have no control over your legs anymore. It is sublimely mental! I AM A HUGE FAN OF IT!!!

These three tracks, coupled with the soundbites from public information broadcasts of the cold war era, really take you on a journey into some odd, hallucinogenic, nuclear armageddon of the mind in a way that I am not sure I have seen a band of their young years do before. They are certainly musically very wise and create pieces to a standard way beyond that which the relative infancy of their band would suggest. I have to remind myself sometimes when I listen to Callus that they are a very new band, with this EP only being released last year, and them having been basically Louis and Ben with a succession of drummers for pretty much the entire of their five year old career. The percussion on this self-produced EP, as well as the mixing, was provided by Mark Johnson, however he has since left the line-up and new drummer, Ryan Ormerod, has more than filled his shoes.

Personally, I am pretty much convinced that they are all wizards, as none of the above should work at all, let alone as brilliantly as they have made it work on this EP, and in the live performances we have seen of them. As a debut EP, this is stunning. They have really set the bar. Their song writing is superb, their musicianship sublime and complete, and their production values intelligent and thoughtful, making them the full package; the real deal. They are a breath of fresh air in a saturated market and I really hope that their hard work and individuality pays off, and they carve out a brilliant career for themselves, as they thoroughly deserve it!
TRACKLIST:
01 Intro
02 The Chimp Militia
03 Cycloid
04 The Root Of All Evil
05 Outro

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

Promo by Beth Jones

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

 

Callus, Live at Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018

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Callus
Wrexfest, Atomic, Wrexham 28/07/2018
Review by Beth Jones

I love it when an idea goes to plan! When Brendan (head honcho at Wrexfest) contacted me and said they wanted to do a metal night at Wrexfest this year and who would I suggest to try and get for the line-up, one band immediately came to mind – CALLUS!

After seeing these guys at Hammerfest earlier this year and being totally blown away by them, and subsequently following them through social media and in the flesh as they progressed through the heats at Mammothfest, Battle Of The Bands, Chester, it was a complete no brainer that our favourite three piece from the North should be part of it. When we found out that they were on the bill, we were a touch happy!

The evening had a diverse billing, ranging from slightly softer rock, to Metalcore, to …erm… a band called Glove who I am not sure how to classify! But we are all for diverse here at Ever Metal! It is what keeps music alive.

Wrexfest is an event which has been plagued by the weather and other factors since it started in 2013, but it battles on. This year, due to various issues, two of the bands on the Atomic bill had pulled out by the time we arrived, however this did mean that CALLUS got a longer set time – two thumbs good in our book!!

After conducting a very funny interview with the boys down a side alley two minutes from the venue, we headed back to watch them do their thing. They had told us that, because of their extended set time, they were able to chuck in some new stuff and we were super pumped to hear it! They did not disappoint!

The dictionary definition of CALLUS currently reads: ‘A thickened and hardened part of the skin or soft tissue, especially in an area that has been subjected to friction’. This however will soon have the addendum…’subjected to friction from epic moshing to an amazing three piece who take you to a new level of awesome’.

O.M.G… I seriously cannot put into words how good CALLUS are! They are a weird mix of Thrash, Stoner, Doom, Progressive and Classic Metal, that should never work, but somehow it does, and brilliantly at that! They have a mix of chunky riffs, down tuned grooves, growly, shouty vocals, and insane drumming that gives you no choice but to move!

When they started their set the room was semi full, and it isn’t a big room, but as they played, the crowd grew and grew until it was packed to the rafters with people drawn to their sound. It was awesome!

I have stages of mosh – level 0 – ‘yeah they are ok – I will nod my head a bit’, level 1 – ‘I will take my hair out of my pony tail, because even though it is weird and wispy, I may want the hair effect as I nod my head to show that I am really in to this’, then level 2 – I will also now remove my glasses for I can feel my body going and I have no control over it, and if I don’t remove them they will end up in someone’s pint’! I was at level 2 mosh by the second song! I haven’t done that since my Tivoli days in the late nineties (and my body still knows it today!) but I seriously could not help myself!

These guys are so slick, so professional, so tight that you would swear they were a huge band of seasoned professionals, not a widely unknown one in the infancy of their career. I guarantee that they will not be unknown for long – they are too good not to get noticed! They kept the crowd thoroughly entertained throughout the 45 minute set and didn’t at any point lose anyone’s interest. Every single song was a smasher, and they performed the new stuff like it had been part of a great set for years. The audience were in the palm of their hands, even the breaks between songs, where guitarist/vocalist Louis Clarke switched guitars or retuned, were covered by an interesting sound effect which lead beautifully into the next song. Their set was not only jam packed with catchy, riffy grooviness, but was cleverly thought out and meticulously planned to keep the pace and momentum going from start to finish. We had not heard much of bassist/vocalist Ben Wormwell on vocals before now, but tonight we got to hear his vicious growl in some of the new material and it was growly and excellent! All of this brilliance was kept in check and time, and backed up by some of the most intricate tub-thumping I have ever seen, from drummer (and ego) Ryan Ormerod – the speed at which he moves his feet on the pedals, without triggers, is astounding!

I literally do not have enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe how good these guys are, how they have completely won us over and have our utmost support here at Ever Metal, not only for the absolute amazing talent they all have, both individually and as a group, but also because they are three great, down to earth, genuine guys who deserve to be truly recognised for their hard work and dedication to their art. We are nearly old enough to be their parents, but I genuinely don’t think I could have been prouder of their performance here, if they were my own kids. #proud.

I implore anyone who has not heard them or seen them yet, to check them out and go and see them, you will not be disappointed. We eagerly await their debut album and will be first in the queue to buy our copy. A huge well done and a massive thank you to you guys for ripping it up in our little town!
CALLUS LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

02

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of all parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

Interview with Callus at Wrexfest

Callus Video Interview
Wrexfest, Wrexham
28/07/2018
Interview by Beth Jones
Intro by Rick Tilley

Ever Metal is very proud to present its first ever video interview…yes, this is so much easier than transcribing everything, and what better way to kick off than Beth’s interview with the awesome Callus when they visited our home town of Wrexham last week to play Wrexfest!

I was there but was desperately trying to keep a straight face as there had been quite a bit of silliness leading up to the recording, anyway, enjoy (we know we have to make a couple of adjustments with the microphone for next time) and listen out for the title announcement of the debut Callus album which is slipped in about half way through. You heard it here first!!

Huge thanks to Louis, Ben and Ryan for the interview!

CALLUS Interview:

CALLUS LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/
https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/
https://callus117.bandcamp.com/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Beth Jones, Richard Tilley and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Interview with Louis Clarke from Callus

Callus At Hammerfest by Jennie Clarke

Interview with Louis Clarke from Callus
01/04/2018

This weekend, on Easter Sunday to be precise, we here at Ever Metal HQ had the great pleasure of catching up, via Skype, with Louis Clarke, lead singer / guitarist with up and coming Northern Metallers, Callus. We were really excited to speak to him about all things Callus, after being totally blown away by them at Hammerfest X in March. We all settled down with a brew (Louis had a particularly metal mug!!!) and probed Louis on life, the universe and everything (to do with the band that is!) …

So, for people who haven’t heard of Callus, give us a brief history of the band – where did you all meet, and what brought you together?

Well it started in high school. I was in high school and I was a loser, so in my break, I would go and sit in the IT room. I was hanging in there with a few friends, and this kid comes in, he’s called Ben Wormwell, and he sits down at the computer next to me and I say, ‘hey Ben, look at this internet game I am on – it’s called Boobah Zone! So, I showed him that and we were playing that together and he said ‘hey, I like System Of A Down’, and I said ‘yeah I like Metallica’, and we started sharing music and stuff. Then there were many misadventures between then and now!!! We started jamming outside of school, and we enjoyed the same kind of music, so we started writing riffs. A few drummers came and went, but I knew that I wanted to join a serious band. I had been in a band prior – it was like a hard rock band, but it wasn’t serious at all, and I knew I wanted to push it further. So, me and Ben had been jamming for a while, and we named ourselves Callus, and got a gig. That first gig was in Preston in November 2013, and we have been working on it since then. That gig was an absolute disaster!! It was SOO bad!! Like I say, we have had numerous drummers come and go over the years, but Ryan joined us about half a year ago now and we have picked up the material again and it is solid now. Obviously, we have the three people, and there are three separate lives to take into account, you know, everyone has got different things going on, but we have settled with Ryan, and he’s very happy and that makes us very happy.

He is a great drummer.

Thank you – yeah honestly, he floored us when we started jamming – we were like ‘he actually wants to join our band?!’ We couldn’t believe it!! He is very professional, and it doesn’t even stop with his drumming – obviously we are working on the album and he’s got a home studio set up and he is just as good behind the desk as he is behind the drums! He’s just a crazy talented dedicated guy, and he has got a place in Callus now and it is very good!

So where did the name ‘Callus’ come from?

I had a few big sheets of band names, or song name ideas, and a few lyrics, and we were just jamming one time in our bedrooms, and we thought, ‘lets have a look at the names’, and it was Ben who picked it – it was on the sheet of many ideas, and he went down the list and saw it and went ‘We’re calling it Callus! It’s called Callus!’ and I was like ‘Sick! Sounds good!’! We knew that we wanted a one-word name. I think some of the best band names are just one word, you know, it’s clear – Pantera, Metallica, Megadeth – it’s just straight to the point, and I think that is what our music represents. It’s fairly straight to the point – it’s pretty simple stuff really! It’s not majorly complex, so we’re not going to have seven or eight words in our band name.

How about song writing – who takes charge there, or is it more of a whole group thing?

Well, the primary bulk of the material has been from stuff that I have written. Most of the lyrics have been from myself, because I do most of the vocals, but Ben has been doing lyrics on a bunch of songs that are his and writing the songs as well. He comes to me sometimes with an idea and we jam it on acoustics and then it morphs into a live element, you know with amps and electric! He’s coming up with stuff that I don’t even think of! So, it’s me and Ben primarily, but the great thing with Ryan coming in now is he’s actually been writing as well, which is really good. He’s got a quite a different taste of music – obviously he is in to his metal – but he likes a lot of bands that me an Ben aren’t necessarily big fans of, and it is great because he is bringing in another element, and there are going to be a few highlights of that on the album, because the songs are a mix of the songs that we have already got that aren’t committed to studio and some new ones as well!

Do you tend to write the lyrics first then add the music, or does the music come first and you put lyrics to it?

For us it always starts with a riff. We have a catalogue of hundreds of riffs that aren’t committed to songs – just little bits that sound good. Then, we sit down and kind of start linking the riffs together, and we build a song that way, musically, first. Then lyrics always come last in our process. A lot of it is working of syllables – how the riff and the rhythm feel, because we’re not the most complex song writers – it’s like Sabbath – a lot of the vocals follow the riff, and that’s a dynamic that we really like. They are one of our favourite bands. So yeah – lyrics come last. I do write a lot of the lyrics – Ben’s done a few, and I have written a few for Ben to perform – like the last song we did at Hammerfest was called ‘The Root Of All Evil’, and I wrote the lyrics to that but Ben’s got such a rough gnarly voice, I was just like ‘Ben, you’ve got to sing it!’ It suits his voice!

Where do you get your inspiration for lyrics?

I do a lot of reading. I like a lot of Stephen King, but I love old literature – H G Wells and stuff – anything really imaginative. So, it is a combination of stuff like that, just for that mentality and way of thinking, quite outside the box stuff. But then it is primarily life experience and all from deep within my mind!! From some deep dark recess under the hat!! Yeah so, a combination of life experiences – stuff that maybe Ben has told me that has upset him or made him happy – but it is quite open to interpretation though. One thing we want to do is get the lyrics printed for the album and we want people to read the lyrics and interpret it themselves. I would never go to someone and say, ‘this Callus song is about this!’ – We don’t want to be like that at all I have my own interpretation, but we want people to apply their own life experience to it. I think it is open to interpretation in that way. We are doing it from the heart and hopefully that resonates with people who listen to it, and it makes a connection with them and they get something out of it too.

So, the first time you popped onto our radar was, indeed, at Hammerfest X earlier this month. Was this your breakthrough gig?

I think so yes. As I said, we have been plugging away at it for a good few years now, but Hammerfest was next level! I definitely think that was our big shot. It’s just a case now of sticking at it and hoping to get more slots like that and play in different places, and the same place (!) and just keep trucking on.

We, I think, echoed everyone else in the room in thinking ‘wow, these guys are great’. How did you find the reception there?

We were astounded! We felt good about it anyway. Naturally there were some nerves because it was a big gig. But I think the likes of yourselves being there, and the general reception we got; we were blown away by it! And we are still in awe of it because everyone was so great about it and everyone seemed to enjoy it – we haven’t heard anything bad about it. We had people coming up to us around the festival saying, ‘argh we really enjoyed it’ and that was fantastic, just to see people so happy – it made our weekend! It made our career!! So far!

When we watched you perform at Hammerfest, one thing that we noticed was how tight you were together and, considering there are only three of you in the band, how much stage presence you had – you seemed to fill the stage. Has it been difficult, with the number of drummers going through, to get that tightness?

Yeah with drummers coming and going over the years, that’s been very detrimental to the progress of the band. In the past it has been like one step forward, two steps back, which has been really unfortunate. But, me and Ben are resolute in the knowledge that we are going to be doing this for years, and luckily we have found a third guy now who has the same vision as us, so now it is three guys going forwards, and I think that is why it has come up to the next level, because finally we have reached that point where we’re all on the same page, we all want the same thing, and we’re all going for it together. It comes in to what we said before about Ryan – he is a very skilled player and he just boosted us. It has been inspiring to play with him.

Have you ever toyed with the idea of adding any more members, or are you just happy with three?

We are happy with three at the moment, but all I would say is that we are never going to be set in our ways, you know, we’re open to any ideas. If ever the three of us thought, ‘Yes, we want to bring an extra element in to the band’, then we would do that, because its our band! And I think we are free to do that! There won’t be any didgeridoo players or bagpipes or anything like that though!!

Now, you have a couple of big gigs coming up in the next week – the ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ semi-final and ‘Mammothfest: The Best Band’ before that – are you nervous about those and what they could lead to? (CHECK OUT THE EVENT LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE INTERVIEW)

We naturally get nervous when there a fair few people turn up, like anyone else – it can be like ‘woah there’s a fair crowd here tonight!!’, but we enjoy what we do so much and we are just excited for them – any opportunity, whether it be in the big festivals like Hammerfest, or Metal 2 The Masses in Carlisle – cos that’s at ‘Club Rock’ and we’ve never played there before so it is a new adventure, and we know the majority of the bands that are already on it, so it’s a good night in itself and that is always the aim for us. We want each individual night to be the best it can be all the time. Obviously Metal 2 The Masses and the Mammothfest one gives us the potential of playing these big festivals, which would be amazing, but for us we focus on the gig at hand, and then we move on to the next gig and see what comes our way and push for what we can. So, yeah, a little bit of nerves because it is the semi final for Metal 2 The Masses, but we are looking forward to it – we are going to get in there and do our thing, as we always do!

So, you have mentioned the album a couple of times – when’s it coming out?!

Well, we’ve done all the guide tracks! So, we’ve got all the material recorded in demo format, so it is just a case now of getting in and doing all the final instruments and stuff, which is going to take a while, because we are busy people outside of band, but we are hoping for a release towards the end of this year. We have had one or two labels who have potentially been interested, so it might be January. But, it will be ready when it’s ready. We want to take our time so that it is ready – we’re not going to rush anything. We want it to be proper so that we can stand by it, because it is our debut full length release and we want to be able to stand by it until the end of time and that is the goal! But we have got a name for it and the art work for it! So, we’re getting there! Progress is happening!!

Excellent! Can’t wait to hear it! Looking forward, what is your ‘next step’ career goal with the band – where do you want to take it to now?

Well we have talked about touring for a while now. I think we are trying to get something together for the end of the year. Sort of like a bit of a mini tour – try and get up and down the country a bit – that would be nice. I think that the next step for us is really getting out on the road and doing that, because we do gigs everywhere we can – we kind of have them dotted around and stuff, so we would like to push it a bit more. There is that and obviously the album. Once that is released, if we do a tour, we want to be really pushing that. We want to support that as much as we can and get it out there. So yeah – more things, bigger and better things, and just more gigs in general I think, and more releases!

The ultimate goal I supposed is to make this your career rather than anything else your career isn’t it!

Yeah of course!

To wrap up our chat today, we would like to ask you a question, that whilst unrelated to metal, is a question that we always like to ask, and is very important – Jaffa Cake – cake or biscuit?!

It is 100% a cake definitely! The clue is in the name! No basically I think a biscuit is hard, or it has to have a certain amount of crunch to it, but a Jaffa Cake is soft, it’s squidgy, you know – like a cake! So that is what I would say!!

It was our absolute pleasure to chat to Louis today, and we are very grateful that he took time out of his schedule to answer our questions. These guys are three really genuinely great guys with a superb passion and drive that will take them a long way. We are going to be eagerly awaiting the album and highly recommend that you all check them out too. To make that a little easier, all the links you need are below – happy listening folks!

MAMMOTHFEST: THE BEST BAND HEAT 4, APRIL 5th LIVE ROOMS, CHESTER

https://www.facebook.com/events/1168157936649441/

METAL 2 THE MASSES SEMI-FINAL2, APRIL 7th CLUB ROCK, CARLISLE

https://www.facebook.com/events/686866531704126/

BAND LINKS:

https://www.facebook.com/Callus.band/

https://callus117.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZOSaYdZBmL8DhLMPjLWggQ?pbjreload=10

https://www.instagram.com/callus_uk/

BAND PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIE CLARKE

https://www.facebook.com/Jennie-Clarke-Photography-404649823289763/

 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Richard Tilley, Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities