Nowadays, Calf in my humblest opinion is the hottest name in the Greek post rock scene. Not only they have proven as long-lasting, but also they manage to make collaborations with so many respected artists whilst keeping the vibrancy in their live sets. They are truly a band that should gain worldwide acknowledgment, so I hope they will soon.
Calf, don’t be shy. Tell us everything about yourselves. How did your music journey begin? Who are your members and what musical currents are you in?
We begun in 1999 in Kozani and 2 of our members are from Dear Serotonin. We are Christos Koutroulis (guitar and effects), Thodoris Kakoulantonakis (guitar and effects), Kostas Paraschis (bass) and Sakis Spiropoulos (drums).
Back in 1999, what were you thinking about the future? Did your dreams meet reality?
I don’t think we had any specific dream which we wanted to fulfil. Reality just became harder than we expected.
I feel that you are the perfect example of decentralization. Even though your base is far away from the country’s capital, you do tours all around and gain fans all over Greece and even further. How did you manage that?
Well, it is a fact that we are far from the capital, but we are very close to other cities, where bands from Athens cannot access easily. In these cities there are people who enjoy our music. Moreover, the Internet is a great tool, specifically when you want to book live performances abroad.
I met you while you were working with Noteale, a small record label that was following a diy approach in producing and distributing music. Your last work ‘Bastards Anatomy Use A Unicorn Go To Apathy‘ was also self-released in your bandcamp page. First, should we say that Noteale is over? Is there any future for small labels and diy entrepreneurs?
Well, the guys from Noteale are very good friends of ours and they have helped us a lot, but due to other commitments of theirs, they have left Noteale behind. The truth is we are not sure that it is over, time will tell. For sure, we have a lot of future plans and for us it is very important to struggle to establish DIY philosophy, because in such an environment speculators will not be able to do many things.
What was the model that you followed in your last release? Did that new approach help your music go “outside the Greek borders”?
Actually, we do not follow any particular model. We just do what pleases us and if it pleases other people too, then we will be very satisfied in ourselves.
Let’s talk about discography. How did you grow during your albums? How did your sound change?
Well, our path was more improvisational and noisy. I can’t tell that it occurred because we were supposed to grow up. I think that it happened because we were somehow bored with our music‘s previous lyricism.
In your music you play with tension, deepness and patterns. It is kind of imposing. It sounds like the listeners need to leave their bodies and minds in your hands. Do you feel the same? What do you want to state with your music?
We would be glad if anyone can see it that way. It is something (we really don’t know what) that gives us energy while playing. If this is recipient by the audience, then we can say that we have achieved something.
I believe that you have done tours all around Greece in big venues, but also in small festivals and live in public social places. Describe to us more about your choices regarding venues.
We have played live in many places. We like meeting new people and making new friendships, plus good things happen as many times we meet good contacts. Mainly in DIY events, what attracts us, is the contact with people who do their best to keep all this effort alive.
You have also organized a music fest in Karditsa. Correct?
Yes, it is called “Tera Troera” and it means “look around yourself” in our local folk speech. We would like to bring to our city bands that play music we like and bands that do not play blues, rock and metal-music genes that county people used to listen to. So, 3 days each summer there are bands influenced by post rock, noise, rock math, rock drone, doom, sludge, post punk, no wave. I would like to say that we have a great help from the guys from a local squat.
What do you think about the underground noise scene in Greece?
I think that we are not specialised to answer, because, if it really exists, we are not part of it.
Even if you have a post-ish sound, how do you feel about punk? I could guess that that’s how you got into the music world.
(Christos):When I was 14 years old I used to play in a band which had punk influences. Since I was the youngest member, the drummer used to hand me music from punk scene or music which was based on punk, like Fugazi, Ramones, Big Black, The Cure, Joy Division and even Greek punk bands, like Antidrasi, Olethrio Rigma etc. So, as you can see, punk was very important to me. I think the rest of the band were more into metal, at the age of 18.
In your ideal music event what would be the perfect line up to play with?
Every time we play with different bands we try to give and get something beautiful. That’s why we can’t say a specific line up.
How important is the stage performance for you? What is the last thing you have tried in a live show? Relatively in the music sense or in performance.
It is not really that important for us. We do not rehearse any movements, we just perform and we go with the flow.
You are getting ready for a new tour. Where do you plan to go?
7 live performances in May 2016 in Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria. And more to follow…
And how about making music for moving images? I believe that you love making soundtracks.
Yes, making music for movies would be a great challenge for us, but we still have way to go.
Photo credit: Déé X Géé (first one)