Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
KC King: Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, Composer
Zach Braidwood: Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Sound Engineer, Writer
Chris “Keylee” Wojan: Drums, Backing Vocals, Writer
Cliff Hurd: Keyboards, Piano
Meredith “Chuck” Mallory: Saxaphone, Trombone, Backing Vocals, Writer
Mike “Maddog” Williams: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone, Flute, Bongos/Percussion, Backing Vocals, Manager
Chris “Ducky” Matthews: Trombone, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Tech & Internet Guru
James “Sugar Cookie” Tuttle: Harmonica
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Calling For Eden? How long has the band been around?
KC and Maddog played around with various heavy metal bands in the early 2000’s such as Threadbayr and Depth Charge. Zach was associated with FFTN around the same time. KC and Zach formed a band in the Punk’a’billy Rock genre called The Last Call in the mid 2000’s. Chuck, Ducky, and Maddog played horns in school band. Keylee was in a band called Free For All in the early 2000’s and various no-name projects that never got off the ground between then and CFE. Technically the IDEA of Calling For Eden has been in the back of KC’s brain since some time in the mid 90’s. Officially though, this band started to take form in 2013 and was formally established with all the members (except for JT) in the beginning of 2014. We played our first show, a demo CD release, on June 28th, 2014 and our first ticket sales gig at The Curtain Club in Deep Ellum on September 13th, 2014.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
We get this one a lot. It just came about during a brainstorming, or should I say a NAMEstorming, session. Zach threw it out and it just sounded cool. We always get asked if we’re a Christian band because of the “Eden” part, but we are neither religious nor anti-religious, “To each their own” we say. We just hope that people of all walks of life will enjoy our music! The name hasn’t changed, but the band has. There was a period in the late 2000’s where KC and Zach played acoustic guitars and Maddog played the Cajon and bongos. We just played a bunch of cover songs under the CFE name.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
KC is the primary writer/composer. He will write a guitar riff, and then Keylee and Zach write drum and bass parts to compliment the guitar. Chuck writes most of the horn parts with a few exceptions written by Maddog. Cliff writes his parts with guidance from KC and Keylee. JT writes his harmonica parts but isn’t always able to perform with us so it’s like extra sweet icing on top when he is there! As we begin working on a new song and the parts begin to come together, we record them in practice and listen back to them to weed out bad parts and fine tune the arrangement. In the end KC has the job of the composer to make sure all the parts work well together and don’t step on or take away from each other.
Our song themes vary, we try not to stay in a rut or peg ourselves in too narrow of a theme. I guess you could sum that up with “Everyday life and its multitude of complexities.” Most of our songs fall somewhere in the middle of the road, they focus on just having a good time and enjoying life, but we can reach out to extremes also. We have a song that is simply about a blue jay that lives in KC’s backyard called My Friend Pete. Then we have a song called The Comet which talks about the Heaven’s Gate group which committed mass suicide to reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft following the comet Hale–Bopp.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
There’s so many, especially with so many writing members in the band. Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Winwood, Bruce Hornsby, Dave Matthews, The Rolling Stones, Phoenix Horns, Memphis Horns, Chicago, Tower of Power, Michael Jackson, The White Stripes, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, Boomtown Rats, John Cougar Mellencamp, John Cafferty, Elvis, Trombone Shorty, Hank Williams (1, 2, and 3), The Blues Brothers, Blues Traveler, George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Stevie Wonder, Erez Eisen, Chris Botti, Chuck Mangione, Tom Petty, Radiohead, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Queen, The Beatles, Faith No More, Dream Theatre, Fightstar, Jane’s Addiction, Jackson Brown, Van Halen, AC/DC, Rat, Marshal Tucker Band, ELO, BB King, Muddy Waters, Waylon Jennings, Howlin’ Wolfe, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Sugar Blue, Elmore James, Yes, Traffic, KC and the Sunshine Band, Barenaked Ladies, Foo Fighters, George Thorogood, Simple Minds, Tenacious D, Phish, Reel Big Fish, Aerosmith, Journey, Deathcab for Cutie, Oingo Boingo, Nirvana, Bootsy Collins, John Denver, Jaco Sklar, Stephen Lynch, Krist Novoselic, Les Claypool, Cliff Burton, Stevie Ray Vaughn…. just to name a few. We have a very wide, eclectic taste for music and try to bring it all into something unique called Calling For Eden.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Pretty much just take your pick from the list above. KC was inspired in his teens by the likes of Phil Collins and Steve Winwood to form a big band with a horn section. We take a lot of inspiration from Dave Matthews Band, The Blues Brothers, and Trombone Shorty.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
That varies somewhat by band member. We all do finger exercises to make them more limber. Most of us sing so we do some vocal fries and breathing exercises to expand the lungs and strengthen the diaphragm. We run scales and rudiments to warm up. KC has a special honey tea that he drinks. The most notable is probably that we don’t drink alcohol prior to a show. You won’t get any drunken performances from us.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We just had a very successful night last Saturday at Trees Dallas. However, I’d say that our biggest highlight so far was earlier this year when we played the Dallas Stars pregame show in Victory Plaza at The American Airlines Center.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Again, refer to the list above; any of those would be awesome! #1 the friggin Stones MAN! Of course! Why not? We get compared a lot to Dave Matthews Band so that would be a natural choice because we believe his fan base would also be fans of our music. However, the most realistic choice at this stage of our career would probably be with Trombone Shorty.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Give social media, Netflix, Hulu, etc. a break and go out and support your local music scene. There are so many good artists out there just trying to be heard! Go hang out at the various local music venues in your area and socialize the old school way! You never know what might happen. You might be one of the first fans of an up and coming superstar. You might discover music that personally speaks to you even if the artist never makes it to huge success. You might find new friends or run into old friends that you haven’t seen in years. It takes fans to make good music move forward. We enjoy playing together in general, but it is so much more fun when other people enjoy your music too. Our deepest thanks goes out to all our fans. We can’t do this without you!