Welcome Calpurnia, the teen band that has more musical knowledge than most 25-year-olds. Featuring Stranger Things favourite Finn Wolfhard on vocals, Ayla Tesler-Mabe as the lead guitarist, Jack Anderson on bass and Malcolm Craig on drums… be prepared to absolutely fall in love with these up and coming rock stars.
After the band dropped their first single “City Boy”, the music industry was officially saved.
Quickly, the song became number 23 on the US Billboard charts, in the Alternative Digital Song Sales. It also topped Spotify’s Global Viral 50 chart. It’s been streamed over 2 million times. That is HUGE.
Lucky for us, I got to catch up with the band and get absolutely #schooled.
First up, we were waiting for Finn because he went M.I.A.
Finn: “Sorry I was making myself a grilled cheese sandwich… Hi!”. Lol. Hi.
How did you guys form the band?
Ayla: “Last year Finn was hosting an event, and he realised he needed a band to play there. He’d been jamming with Malcolm and I for a few years now… but he didn’t know a bass player. Jack is someone I’ve been jamming with for a long time now. We go to school together and we’re childhood friends.
“Jack and Finn met each other in my basement, so Finn just called up Jack and everyone just got along really well and it worked out.”
Ayla, I heard you didn’t actually like Jack when you first met him? What made you guys become friends?
Ayla: “The fact that I didn’t like him wasn’t based on any logic at all”
Finn: “He’s a scumbag!”
Ayla: “In grade 3 we ended up sitting next to each other in class and I had this Beatles book, and from there we just became really fast friends. I realised that he loved the Beatles as much as I did, and we both loved music. We would always draw in the book together. From there I realised that he was a really nice person and we became good friends.”
How do you get inspiration for your songs?
Jack: “For me, it’s kind of a combination of everything I’ve ever listened to in my life.”
Finn: “I sit down and sometimes it just comes naturally. But it can come at any time, so I’ll just write it. Whatever I think sounds cool as a song… I just write it down.”
Ayla: “Sometimes you’re just going about your day you get an image in your head or a feeling… for me when that happens. From there I play around with the ideas in my head until something sticks. It’s finding inspiration in everything that happens in my life. Even little day-to-day things. It’s very therapeutic in away to be able to write music about the thoughts and feelings that you have.”
You’re all teenagers, but you have a bit of an older sound. What makes you listen to older music at your age?
Jack: “Because it’s better than what’s coming out today.”
Jack: “Nah not to say that there’s not good music coming out. I just think back then music was focused on just being good, and not commercial. That’s just what I enjoy listening to and it comes through with everything I play and write.”
Finn: “We’re not those kind of kids that are like ‘Oh I hate my generation I wish I was born in the 70s!’ You know, a lot of our favourite artists are from now. We just feel that back then was a simpler time for song writing. I just can’t see the Beatles when they first started being like, ‘WE NEED TO WRITE A HIT’. They were just passionate about it.”
”Ayla: “Music before more so than now, didn’t lose that desire to express and evoke emotion in the listener. There’s something very raw in music like that. That’s a sound that we want to have in our music. But it’s also just what we listen to and we emulate that, and that’s probably why we sound a little different to some of the modern music coming out now.”
Finn, do you prefer acting or being in the band?
“I love both of them. I have a lot of interests and I try to put a lot of myself in different things. I put as much passion in acting as I do music. Nothing is less important, nothing is more important. I kind of love all art.”
Malcolm, you’ve been in Bates Motel for acting too?
“That was great. I went to a lot of auditions and I just got the role… it was really cool. It was really nice being on set there.”
Did you guys expect the band to blow up as much as it has?
“Absolutely not. Never in our wildest dreams.”
Is “City Boy” about anyone in particular?
Ayla: “It’s not a song that is about anyone in particular. When Finn first wrote the lyrics he said that he put some words together that sounded good. Which they do. As times gone on they’ve definitely taken on more meaning.”
Finn: “I was thinking about a lot of topics and just mixed and mashed all my thoughts on the paper. It’s very abstract… while I was writing it I had about ten different thoughts in my brain. I’m always thinking about ten things at once. So I was just like ‘Ahh write it all down!’”
Do you guys have a favourite song off the new EP?
Ayla: “There are certain parts of each song that I love so much. I couldn’t choose one favourite.”
Finn: “The last song is great. I didn’t have anything to do with writing that song. But I play electric keyboard on that!’
Any tour plans coming up?
Finn: “We’re playing hundreds of shows in the summer and a couple in the fall but they’re all scattered. We’re playing a lot of shows.”
Malcolm: “It’s really hard to coordinate a tour because we have so many schedule issues. Finn’s always off acting and we’re all stuck in school… If we could we would though.”
Ayla: “We’re just going to keep playing as many shows as we can and maybe one day we can find a way to do a tour. But we’re definitely going to keep performing as much as our schedules allow.”
Watch this space for June 15!