We Interviewed Caleb from 1997!

Today, James talked to Caleb of 1997! The contents of said conversation in which we discussed the band’s current situation, fall plans, and more can be found below! Check out their album On The Run as soon as you possibly can.

J: Hey Caleb, how are you doing today?

C: I’m doing pretty good. We’re in Philadelphia. It’s an amazing town.

J: Could you give us a short version of the history of 1997?

C: We started in late 2005. It was just me, Kevin, Carrie Mack, and our old bass player. Then we picked up Nick on drums. We just practiced for a long time and were focused on what we wanted to do as a band. We wanted to travel and play catchy music. We started playing shows and after like 3 shows we were talking to Victory and other labels. We signed to Victory and recorded an album of songs that were old. Then Carrie Mack left and was replaced by Alita. We did two tours on that first album and then recorded the new album in winter because we’d been writing so many new songs. Tony was added on guitar [he plays harmonica as well]. It came out in May and we’ve been on tour since then. About a month ago, Alita left the band and Allan, the bassist, left. Our friend Arthi is filling in one female vocals and keys. She’s great, but just filling in and our friend Matt is filling in on bass.

J: What are you guys up to currently? I heard you were on the road.

C: We’re touring with National Product. They’re really good musicians from California and really nice guys.

J: Now, I know you recently lost your female member and bassist, what exactly happened and how’s the band making it work currently?

C: You can’t really ease into her not being in the band, but we’re working it out just fine. Basically, we just never really clicked as friends. Which was fine because everyones different, but then Allen and her were in a relationship and it felt like we were separating. It kind of happened naturally. We always wanted our band to be composed of best friends and that’s what we’ve put first. We’re getting back to that now.

J: What other fall plans, if any, does 1997 have?

C: Basically, we’re going to be looking for tours and such. First off, we need to find a permanent girl vocalist. We did this tour to show everyone we’re still around and making music. It will probably take some time to get our feet on the ground and get new songs, but we’ll be back soon. There will be a bigger and better line up with tighter songs.

J: Ok, let’s step over to the album. We love it [got a 9/10 on UTG], but what do you think sets this record apart from the last one ?

C: The obvious difference is Carrie and Alita. I think it’s a more cohesive album where the songs all fit together and make sense within the context of the album. The first album was songs written by me in high school and afterwards, but this one was written within three months last year. It’s more about one broad yet specific subject.

J: Now the first single, “One Track Mind, Four Track Heart,” seems to have quite a story behind it, what exactly are you trying to say? Does it go with a theme on the album?

C: I picked that song to go first because it’s about being restless and being divided between heart and mind. Kinda like having two different people inside of you. The album is just about being unsatisfied anywhere you go.

J: The title track, “On The Run,” has a different feel from the rest of the record and even has a video out though I haven’t heard much about it on a national push scale. Are you planning on taking this song to radio or anything along those lines?

C: We shot the video the same day as the single’s video. It was just a creative thing he and we wanted to do. We’re not pushing it or anything. It’s different than the rest of the album especially in the music area. I think it ties everything together and gives the album closure.

J: It seems with a market so flooded with music, bands are going broke and breaking up every other day, how does 1997 keep it together?

C: We just love hardship and tests of strength. We thrive off of people who say we can’t do this. We’re fine not having money and living alternatively. If we need anything, we find it through people we know and support us. It’s a bit harder with gas prices and people not making it out to shows, but that’s the economy. We’re all about trying to find a way to be out of the whole system and surviving no matter what.

J: Let’s say you had to pitch your record to a complete stranger, how would you do it?

C: I’d tell them that it’s a like a classic rock record in the way that you have to listen from beginning to end. It’s all about growing up and being confused, but not lost and constantly moving.

J: We don’t believe in final questions at UTG. We simply ask that you make a closing statement of your own to go out on. Talk about anything/anyone/or anyplace. It’s all up to you:

C: There’s a lot I want to say. As far as albums that have affected me, the new Sigur Ros album is wonderful. It can make you happy no matter what. Everyone needs to check that out. Watch, Loose Change, a documentary on Youtube about 9/11. Don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters.

*Written By: James Shotwell*

James Shotwell
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