The Todmorden band Callis made an impression on us when their first single called Dramaskin came to our attention earlier this year. So it’s welcome news to hear the band reveal their second single, called Dream Sequence, today. The track will also feature on the band’s upcoming EP, set to be released in February 2024.
Callis is Dean Molyneux (lead vocals, guitar), Bryn Davies (backing vocals, bass) and Tyler Hanley (drums), the three members coming together from a series of alternative music projects based in and around the Calder Valley.
The band’s grunge-infused sound attracted the attention of legendary former Seattle-based musician and producer Gordon Raphael. Gordon, who has famously produced work by The Strokes amongst many other artists, caused quite a stir a few years ago by moving to Todmorden’s neighbouring town, Hebden Bridge, adding to the Calder Valley’s already notable music scene. He came on board to produce and guide Callis’s new EP, a relationship which worked well for both.
“Callis is going to go from Todmorden to the moon”Gordon Raphael
Dream Sequence is a textural and dramatic track, somewhat darker than Dramaskin, packing a lot into its four mins and 9 seconds as it shifts and builds in intensity, culminating in its emotional chorus (indeed the lyrics are about ‘life trauma’). The guitar opening notes set the scene with a stark Joy Division-esque feel, leading into Dean Molyneux’s dense, moody vocals. All the while, the rumbling bass propels the track forward. Raphael has remarked on Callis’s sound, on loving the grunge element and that quality is written into this track’s very DNA.
I asked Callis a few questions…
1 How did the three members of Callis get together?
We’ve all known each other for about half of our lives but have never ‘officially’ played together in a band. We were all in pursuit of a new creative outlet so it seemed like the most natural thing to do
2 Did you realise you all had an immediate music related chemistry?
I think it’s fair to say Bryn and Tyler (the Callis spine) already had chemistry, having played in Sage Hartley’s band together and currently, Bulbeater.
We’ve all jammed before at parties but it’s still at risk, you know? I remember having this idea (Dramaskin) and playing it at the first rehearsal, wondering how they’d respond.
It’s not like that as much anymore – we seem to have grown into a telepathic understanding so there isn’t as much need to ask those kinds of questions because we just know whether it will or won’t work.
3 You are living in an area which is supportive to musicians. Do you feel being in Todmorden has helped you and how?
I mean, the Valley’s just great isn’t it? The people, the music scene, the moorland and the fancy ales. There’s something else that I can’t put my finger on – maybe it’s the leylines?
We’re getting the odd helping hand here and there but we are still little baby lambs in this oversaturated industry. We don’t expect it but I’m pretty confident there will be more guidance down the road as Tod has this ‘mi casa, su casa’ ethos – which we adore.
4 How was working with Gordon Raphael?
Nuts. Would you have expected any other answer? We’re pretty sure the guy is a wizard. He’s the most naturally eccentric person I’ve ever met. Full to the brim with creativity, kindness and wisdom.
5 What inspired your new track Dream Sequence?
Bryn got this new chorus pedal and started playing the bassline to A Forest by The Cure. It sounded great so we tried to keep the same energy. We originally wanted to write this guitar driven, dance tune with a sludgy, ominous chorus (sounds bonkers, I know). So after two months of cannibalising this poor, poor foundation of a song, Dream Sequence was born.
Callis has a number of lives dates coming up.