An exciting new band will release its third album, “Heavy Sugar,” on May 17th. The members of Calhoun almost never made this album but later decided to before anything bad happened to them. Thankfully they did. It’s one of the best albums ever made. I recently sat down with Tim Locke and Jordan Roberts to talk about the band and album.
Real quick, where did the name Calhoun come from?
Jordan ‘” I have no clue about this one; I joined the band about a year after it was born when it was just Tim’s moniker for his solo work. So I guess Tim would be the one to field this question.
Tim – It literally came from coming home from a trip in our neighboring state, Louisiana. It was a street exit and I liked the name and it meant nothing, which I liked. Band names that have too much meaning become dumber and dumber with time or just overbearing.
The band has been around since 2004. How did the five of you meet and why did you decide to put a band together?
Tim – It was just a side project at first. We were all in other bands. Everyone likes hanging out and playing and having drinks, so it became waaaaaaay more fun than all the other crap we’d been doing (or crap I’d been doing).
The band’s sound is different from what’s out there today. How would you describe the band’s sound?
Tim – We made a record (“falter.waver.cultivate”) that sounded EXACTLY like what’s out there today. Very lo-fi, very self indulgent with songs that meander and don’t resolve. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we just kinda wanted to get back to the meat and trim the fat. We also wanted to make a record that was sonically sophisticated – hiding things under a blanket on purpose is played.
The new album, “Heavy Sugar,” comes out May 17th. Describe the recording process.
Tim – Jordan and I had basically quit. We got bored. I had a kid. I went insane. We called each other and said let’s make a record before something bad happens to both of us. A large obstacle was being that asshole band that quits and comes back.
Jordan ‘” A few months after having quit due to exhaustion from the entire process of being in a band and the fact that Tim and his wife were due to have a baby I think we got bored. I started recording demo ideas at my apartment and sharing them with Tim and then Tim would share ideas with me. Finally we decided to start tracking whatever we had in my apartment and about a year later we had over 20 songs. We seriously never intended to ever make another record but we felt good about what we had and kinda said ‘˜what the hell,’ let’s do it.
I love the album. Top to bottom it’s solid. Which songs on the album are your favorite and why?
Tim – Thank you for that. We worked extremely hard to make it focused and I think that shows. “Knife Fight” is catchy and cool and dark – great opener. I love “Thrown In the Universe because I agree with the message that I ripped off (it’s biblical). “Indian Melody” is cool because it just builds into a great payoff and also because Jim (Barber) pushed us so hard on that song and it is what it is because of him telling us the demo was a shit pile.
Jordan – “Don’t Let Go” is a favorite of mine due to the insane synth line that our good friend Jeremy Hull actually wrote on a bass guitar. Its a deceptive song in that it sounds very fun, surfy, 80’s and carefree but when you dig a little deeper there is a very personal story there. “Indian Melody” is another favorite because it’s one that came together literally the day we got into the studio. We were going to cut it because the original demo version is around eight minutes long and super drone-y. We decided to speed it up, cut a verse and then speed it up again at the end so that it crescendos. It just worked out and turned out as one of the best tracks on the record (in my opinion) and it almost never even got tracked.
What has been the fan reaction to the new album?
Jordan – So far, very positive. We are hearing a lot of people say it’s the best thing we have done, which could mean very little. Kinda like the best smelling turd in the outhouse.
Tim – Friends reactions have been very gratifying. Many loyalists weren’t exactly thrilled with the last one so it’s been nice to be back on their good side.
Will there be a tour with the album?
Jordan – With these gas prices?! We hope to for sure.
Tim ‘” Yeah, we’ll do some touring. That makes sense.
Thanks again for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?
Tim – Thanks for giving it a listen. Glad it’s giving you pleasure ‘˜cause that’s why we made it.
Jordan – Thank you so much for your kind words about our record. We put a lot of hard work into it and it’s rewarding when you feel you’ve made a connection with someone when that was the goal all along.