Calling All Astronauts are David B (vocals/programming), Paul McCrudden (bass) and JJ Browning (guitars), a London based, politically-charged band who blur the boundaries between electro, rock, post-punk and dubstep. Their new single ‘Living the Dream’ is the latest single from released on Friday, August 25th. We caught up with David to find out more.
It’s our art: if people like it, great, but if they don’t it’s just not right for them
First up, tell us bit about yourself - what led you all to forming Calling All Astronauts?
It’s quite convoluted. The three of us used to be in seminal rap metal band US:UK together, opening for the likes of Faith No More, Pop Will Eat Itself and Neds Atomic Dustbin. We sold out out The Marquee and Camden Palace, and headlined The Astoria. The band split up and J (guitar) went off form pop punkers Caffeine while Paul (bass) joined goth stalwarts The Marionettes. I (vocals/programming) managed Caffeine.
While The Marionettes toured with the likes of The Offspring, AFI, New Found Glory and The Dickies, Caffeine split after seven years of touring the UK, US and Europe. J and I bumped into each other one day and just decided there and then we would go to a rehearsal studio and have a jam, recruiting ex-Caffeine drummer Andy and Kristi on bass.
Shortly after, Andy left to teach in Cambodia, so I decided I would learn to program drums and the Calling All Astronauts sound was born. Following the completion of the debut album Post Modern Conspiracy, Kristi left to have a baby, so we rang Paul and asked him if he was available, and the rest is history.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from to form your musical and thematic style?
Our influences are wide ranging, from people like Ministry and Sisters Of Mercy, to contemporary acts like Pendulum and Chase & Status.
Why the name ‘Calling All Astronauts’?
We compiled a long list of band names and none of them really stood out, though most of them had us in hysterics. One day I picked up a newspaper, and NASA was recruiting, the headline was ‘Calling All Astronauts’.
What’s been your best moments of 2017 so far?
Getting our seventh consecutive number one on the Hype Machine Twitter Chart was really cool. The type of band we are, we just take everything in our stride, if good stuff happens, it’s nice, but if shit happens, it’s just one of the things. We never really get high or low about anything, at the end of the day it’s our art: if people like it, great, but if they don’t it’s just not right for them.
Tell us about your new single ‘Living the Dream’. What’s it about?
We are all about the message in our music, ‘Living the Dream’ is about how if you are happy and content in your life, it really should be enough. Ambition is fine, but just set a series of achievable goals. Take life step by step and don’t envy what others have.
When did you write it and where did record it?
We wrote it some time last year, in my lounge - half my lounge is our studio - we write and record everything here. That way we can take as long on each recording as we want, the last album Anti-Social Network took us around 2,000 hours.
How does the song develop your style?
I don’t know if our style does develop, I think my production techniques improve every day. As a band we never set out to write one type of music, hence we’ve had drum & bass and dubstep influenced singles, as well as goth and punk singles.
What are your hopes for ‘Living The Dream’?
It’s getting a lot of radio play. I’m happy.
When and where can we expect to see you on tour next?
Touring is really tricky for us right now, J has a one-year-old and my wife is about to give birth to our first child. We are currently recording the next album and hope to be able to do some dates towards the end of the year.
Any surprises in store?
We are also in the process of recording a very interesting EP, I can’t say anything more about it right now, but its going to raise a few eyebrows 😊
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
That’s a tricky one, because I think I’d be in awe of my heroes and I’m not sure that would be very productive on my part. If pushed I’d probably say: Trent Reznor, John Lydon, Martin Gore, with Adrian Sherwood or Flood producing.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
Don’t sell your synths, you’ll need them again one day.
Watch the video for ‘Living the Dream’ on YouTube below. For news and tour dates go to callingallastronauts.com.