By: Starr Brown
We are excited for Crimson Calamity's release of Gypsy Heart tomorrow! Starr caught up with Mallory and Lauren to talk about their songwriting, influences, and what we can expect from them throughout the year.
What was it like meeting at that song writing challenge and now seeing the incredible music you’re releasing together?
Mallory: We actually met in college and starting hanging out a couple years after graduating. A bunch of us from school were playing our own solo shows on the local LA circuit, and we’d sing harmonies on each others’ sets, and write together all the time. Then we were both in the same group who did this monthly songwriting challenge that always had a theme, and THAT’s kinda where the idea for the music we release now was spawned. It’s really satisfying to see how far we’ve come from one songwriting challenge.
Lauren: We wrote our song "Line ‘Em Up and Shoot ‘Em Down" together to fulfill that months’ challenge. The theme was to write about a historical person/event and we randomly picked Calamity Jane. As we were looking into her story we were inspired to also write our song “Dead Man’s Hand,” and from there the concept for Crimson Calamity sort of revealed itself to us. We are so excited to release this new record. It’s the organic evolution of where it all started.
Each song on the Gypsy Heart EP has an individual sound that really shows both of your strengths! How does the song writing process work from start to finish for you two? How do you figure out the central sound for each track?
Mallory: It really depends. There’s definitely inspiration rooted in reality and life experience. As far as the process goes, it usually starts with a concept and then we try to shape it out into either a story or some kind of narrative. Occasionally the sonic element might be there first in the form of a melody or chord progression.
Lauren: I think one of the reasons we complement one another as songwriters is that Mal’s definitely more of a sonic weaver and I am someone who pays more attention to the lyrics, so we are constantly challenging one another and ourselves to be better. Our process is usually really smooth though because we trust each other and we are usually in sync to the point of saying the same thing at the same time.
“Fools Gold” reminds me of old school Rockabilly, how did rock sound come in for this track? Any artists inspire this?
Lauren: We had a writing session with fellow Nashville artist and brilliant friend, Kris Bradley, and I had this idea to write a song based around that concept of “Fool’s Gold” being a metaphor for chasing many of the things people think are important, money, fame, lust but realizing that none of it is what it’s cracked up to be when you end up alone and empty.
Mallory: I was noodling around on my acoustic with a weird riff, then Kris started humming a melody to it and one at a time we all started chiming in. It took a couple sessions to round it out but it was a blast to write. As far as the rock sound showing up, I think I can speak for both of us and say that we want our sound to be very rock-forward. We want to play high energy shows where people can let loose and have a good time. We’re super inspired by bands like Fleetwood Mac, Grace Potter, the Civil Wars, Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, Elle King, Jamestown Revival and so on, so a little bit of each of those influences show up organically on the record.
What was it like shooting the music video for that track? It looked like a ton of fun.
Lauren: It was so much fun! We shot it at The Bowery Vault in East Nashville. The badass ladies who own the shop have some amazing rock n roll vintage pieces in the store. Vero (one of the owners) actually styled us for the video. The venue was the perfect set up for what we were trying to capture and I mean how often do you come across a vintage clothing shop with a great stage and a bar?!
Mallory: Totally, and Mike Darling, who’s been our video guy since we lived in LA, was our director, and we just can’t say enough good things about him and his team at Evalation Media. They’re the best. Also it was great to have Jobek, a really talented local Nashville artist playing the Devil who dangles the metaphoric Fool’s Gold in front of everyone who will fall for it. We really all just had a good time and got a ton of footage, and then Mike made it into the visual eye candy that it is.
What’s one of the new tracks you’re most excited for people to hear?
Lauren: We’re really proud of the record top to bottom. It kind of takes the listener on a journey. We recorded most of it at The Sound Emporium here in Nashville, produced by Jeff Zacharski, who’s also been with us from the beginning. We also had Gena Johnson engineering and Rachel Moore assisting… There aren’t a ton of women on the production side of things, so working with these two super talented ladies was such a dream. I don’t know if I have one song I’m the most excited about, but I think “Let You Go” is one people will definitely resonate with. Our song "Horses to Holy Water" is definitely exciting as well. Mallory: I agree with Lauren I think that all of the songs fit together well and that they’re meant to be listened to all together as an experience. I think I’m most excited for people to hear “Horses to Holy Water” as well not only cause it’s SO rock forward, which I love, but also cause we were lucky enough to have Zane Carney produce it out in LA. He literally created a symphony out of guitars and it blows my mind how attentive to all the details he was. There’s just layers of sound and tiny little intricacies that capture the vision we had for it perfectly.
If you could listen to this EP for the first time again, what’s the best way to listen to it. (ex. Headphones, vinyl, with a cup of coffee while it’s raining, etc.)
Lauren: Probably Vinyl, which we will be releasing later this year so stay tuned!
Mallory: I say in your car. Just turn it up and have fun.
What should fans know about you two and your music?
Lauren: That we love creating authentic, organic music that we hope resonates with others.
Mallory: Yeah we’re just two girls who love singing harmonies together that want to make quality tunes and play them for as many people that wanna hear them.
What is next to come for Crimson Calamity? Any big plans for the rest of 2018?
Lauren: We are doing lots of touring so follow us on socials to find out if we are coming your way! We have a bunch of new merchandise we are excited about! You can find some of it on our website, and some of it exclusively at shows. That special vinyl project I mentioned earlier will be coming out this fall, and of course making more music!
Mallory: Touring is definitely taking up the bulk of the year which we are so stoked about. We’re writing new songs always, and will be back in the studio later on in the year for the next incarnation but we’ve got a lot going on in 2018, and we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon!
UPCOMING SHOW DATES:
MAR 23 FRI Preservation Pub Knoxville, TN
MAR 28 WED The Five Spot Nashville, TN
APR 8 SUN Melody Inn The Failers Nate Raab Indianapolis, IN
MAY 3 THU Smith's Olde Bar - ATL Room Atlanta, GA
Have a listen to "Fools Gold" by Crimson Calamity, and check back for the full EP!