Where there is smoke there is fire, and with the amount of praise that one Sheffield based band is getting, you have to be sure there are some flames where that music comes from. Exit Calm is a four piece band comprised of Nicky Smith on vocals, Rob Marshall on guitars, Simon Lindley on bass and Scott Pemberton on drums. They’ve had great appraisal from the music crowd, with Stone Roses’ bassist Mani, quoted to have labelled them as ‘proper fuckin’ music’. I shot out a few questions for them to talk about their music and where the band is headed in the future.
Describe the overall sound aesthetic for Exit Calm. What qualities do you tend to bring out in your music?
Well, there are four of us. We all play one instrument. It’s always been the minimal approach for us that gets the biggest sounding output, we’ve always gone for an instinctive, up-lifting feel with our music – I think that’s natural to us as people anyway.
Where does your band name Exit Calm come from?
It’s from a book I was reading when we formed called ‘Silent Rebels’, ‘Exit’ and ‘Calm’ just popped up in a sentence about chaos changing lives – we liked the sentiment. I also thought it would look smart on a t-shirt, which it does. I always thought it sounded like a dance band name – Scott and me loved the name ‘Lunatic Calm’, who were a big beat band, that maybe helped it along.
Music is a creative vessel. What is the message behind your music? Is there one? Can you tell us what you hope to put across?
The main reason we’re in this band is still the same reason we got into it in the first place, -we love bands that take you somewhere else, give you something to believe in, that’s what we try to do.
You’ve released a video, ‘Fiction’, would you like to tell us more about this? Is there a story behind the video?
It was boiling hot and 2 of us had leather jackets on – we were covered in industrial sawdust by the end of it, we were all sober as well. The video is a simple performance video, it’s just about conveying the song, and the visuals seem to be about movement, we just wanted to get the beat across and not do the moody northern thing, so it’s about the visual movement – the girl dancing against us, so just movement, whether its dancing in a group, dancing on your own. Dancing on ice.
You’ve been really fast off the start line. Tell us a bit about your experience going from a newly formed band to one with sold out gigs across the country and an International presence.
We’ve worked pretty hard! I think it’s in you or it’s not. We could have let it go after our first album and been one of those influential cult bands that hope to get cited as important. So yeah, we’ve got that album under out belts, but we just keep pushing forward and working hard. Doing sold out gigs is amazing, but I think if you show you’re honest and the music has depth, people see something in you, and the gigs are happenings, not just 4 people stood there playing well. On the last tour we had people saying the gigs had more in common with Massive Attack gigs or early Bunnymen – the intensity. Which means a lot. We’d hope that people still need bands like us.
Where do you think all of this will take you in the future? What is your ultimate goal as musicians?
With this album we want to take it up to the next level, whatever that may be. I believe we’ve got an album that can do that. It’d be great to exist in our own space, like The National, Elbow, Super Furry Animals style bands. They’re always still standing and relevant, no matter what synth bands with pajamas on, come and go.
Thanks for answering all of our questions! Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be of interest? Got a funny story to tell from a tour or maybe just a cheesy joke?
No. Thanks for having us. Here’s one for the pop kids – I was washing my hair in a sink a couple of years ago when we played V Festival, some lad asked me if I wanted help rinsing – I had shampoo in my face so I said “yes please”. After the rinse had done I looked up and it was Danny from Mcfly. Lovely lad. Very smooth skills. Deserves his success.
With such inspiring people at the forefront of this band it’s sure to go far. Take a moment to listen to their music and like their facebook page for regular updates!