Pictures of Then's Casey Call talks about Saturday's 'Rock for Socks' event
|Photo by Erik Hess|
We wanted to know a little more about the reasons behind this particular holiday season drive, so we got in touch with Pictures of Then frontman Casey Call for a few questions about Rock for Socks and what his band's up to these days.
Why socks? Tell me a little bit about how the "Rock for Socks" show came together and how you decided on a charity.
When we first started working on putting this show together we decided it could be a great opportunity to take advantage of the holiday season and do something to help give back a little, so we came up with Rock For Socks. The idea is pretty simple, bring a new, yes NEW, pair of socks to donate at the show and get in for half price ($3). We figured that toys and canned food were pretty well covered and that frigid toes all too often get the shaft, so we decided to try and kick cold feet in the ass...also, I have a penchant for things that rhyme, hence rock and sock. I'll do almost anything to rhyme a word, often to the point of sounding absurd.
Putting all the pieces together has definitely been a team effort, our manager Shanti Grossman made the connection with Every Family Matters, all socks will go to Every Family Matters and they will get them to the people who need them the most. We also had a lot of help from Erica Rivera (PofT street team) and Cody Hughes (manager of the Goondas), they took care of handling all the details with the Turf Club, while our gracious sponsors Gimme Noise and Rock the Cause have been instrumental in helping to get the word out about the event. I should also mention that local artist Jenn Mundy illustrated the rad show posters and that body artist Emily Svec (DesMoines, IA) will be in town to bring the subject matter of said posters to life.
What's on Pictures of Then's wishlist from Santa this year?
Well aside from the obvious things like an opening slot on the next Jonas Brothers world tour and our own reality tv show called Pictures Of Men...I'd have to say the biggest item on the list is that we can keep doing what we love to do most, creating music...oh and an Apple TV, those look pretty sweet.
Your last album, And the Wicked Sea, came out in 2009. What have you been working on since then? Any releases in the works for 2011?
We've spent as much time as possible on the road, we love playing shows and having the opportunity to make new friends wherever we go -- we've managed to beg, steal, cheat and borrow our way through well over 150 shows this past year, our tour van is not a pretty sight but it's definitely become our home. Since the release of And The Wicked Sea, we've gone pretty much everywhere you can think of in the U.S. and have had the opportunity to perform at SXSW, Summerfest, CMJ, Red Gorilla and the Billboard Music Conference.
We're continually writing new songs, I've got an archive of well over 500 unreleased song ideas, many of which we've been playing at our shows for more than a year now. We're constantly changing the songs in our set -- not only for fans but also to make sure that we don't get bored with the same songs day after day. Our problem has never been a shortage of songs, more a shortage of resources. When you're an "up and coming" band such as ourselves (which is just a nice way of saying poor), it costs a lot to stay on the road and to keep paying all the people that are helping us out along the way. We could have easily put out another two albums since the last one but we chose to stay on the road for awhile to promote And The Wicked Sea, so most of our income this past year has gone towards surviving on the highway. With the new year around the corner we have decided to take a short break from touring and have been polishing up some new material with plans to go back into the studio early in 2011.
As the lead singer, do you handle most of the songwriting in the band? Do you find that winter is a fertile time for songwriting? What else inspires you to create?
Yes, I do write most of the songs to start, some ideas are more complete than others. But no matter what we always work on ideas together to see what it can become. Being on the road as much as we have the past couple years has also given us the opportunity to put a lot of our new songs to the test before we ever take them into the studio. We get to live with the songs for awhile, it's always interesting to see what can happen to a song when it's introduced in a live setting, the energy is so much different from the rehearsal space or studio. It's been a great way for us to see a song in a completely different light or to realize that maybe certain songs weren't as good as we thought.
Maybe it's the cold or the lack of vitamin D, but winter always seems to cause me to dabble in the past, I tend to think a lot about people I've lost along the way, places I used to know that are now gone, distant memories that feel more like a scene in a movie than a moment in my own life. I think frustration inspires a lot of what I write about, trying to "make it" in the music industry seems to be an endless source these days, there's also so much that seems wrong and "unfixable" in the world and I go back and forth between letting it piss me off and trying to care. For me writing music is definitely a drug, it's like wading through a ton of shit all for that one moment where you might catch a brief glimpse of something beautiful and then once you do you spend the rest of the time trying to find it again. Basically, I just try to write songs that I can stand for more than a month.
What has it been like to be in a band with your brother, Joe? Do you feel like being siblings makes it easier or harder to resolve creative differences?
We're the best of friends and the worst of enemies all rolled into one complex little package, I know that we drive David and Joe (yes there's two), crazy most of the time, but God bless em' there're still putting up with us. As strange as it may sound, the conflict that exists from our mutual, highly competitive, stubborn nature, often fuels our creativity -- it's a lot easier to rock out when your pissed off. We've been playing music together since we were fetuses so it's hard for me to imagine things any other way, it is difficult at times but we make it work. So far we've managed not to kill each other, but then again, there's always next week.
PICTURES OF THEN play with THE GOONDAS, CANBY, and ME & MY ARROW at "ROCK FOR SOCKS" this SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, at the TURF CLUB. 21+. $6 ($3 with donation of socks). 9 p.m.