Recently on tour with Evergreen Terrace, Calico System has made their way across the country and into the minds of many a hardcore fan. Their album on Eulogy Recordings is entitled The Duplicated Memory and itís filled with heavy sounds and brilliant lyrical imagery. Here is an email interview we recently conducted with guitarist Shawn Keith.
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Calico System and how long the band has been together?
I am Shawn Keith, I play guitar for Calico System. The band has been together since Ď98, however this current lineup has been together for the past three years.
What is the music scene like in St Louis, MO and how does Calico System fit in?
Itís alright. Great bands have came out of St. Louis that are under appreciated... such as Not Waving but Drowning, Love Lost but Not Forgotten, The Urge to name a few. St. Louis isnít one of those cities where you think of a happening music scene. I think thatís why we started touring so early, we had to get out!
Where did you get the idea for the CD title The Duplicated Memory?
We came up with the title sitting at SteakíNíShake of all places. Our bass player was like this sounds good for this reason. Basically, you ever wonder about the same problems and choices that you are dealing with, that there is another person a 1000 miles away dealing with the exact same thing? Thatís where it came from.
Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for some of your lyrics?
Our singer writes all of them. All of the stuff he writes about are things that he has dealt with or is dealing with. He doesnít like to write about nonsense that he has never experienced. One may think that our lyrics are boring and that we have nothing to say. I donít agree with that, I think we have plenty to say, and I think a lot of people can relate to our stuff.
How did the tour with Evergreen Terrace and Glasseater go? What were your overall impressions of the West Coast and was this your first time here?
The tour was awesome. Anytime out with Evergreen Terrace is a blast! The west coast was amazing for us. We were selling a few hundred in merch before we even played, it was so rad!! We are coming back in Feb/March with Remembering Never. We hope we have the same reactions.
You guys were actually out on the road with Evergreen Terrace over Thanksgiving and played The Showcase in Corona the day after. What did you guys wind up doing to celebrate the holiday?
Actually, the promoter of our show that night ended up getting us a crap load of Taco Bell. So all of us ate Taco Bell for Thanksgiving. What a meal!
Do you have any road horror stories you could share with us?
One time, our transmission went out on us in Pennsylvania. We got stranded there for two days and had to literally camp in someoneís backyard. It sucked sooooo bad. We were happy to get back on the road.
How did you wind up on Eulogy Records?
Collin for the band This Day Forward had passed our demo along to them. After that, it just happened. We are so happy with that label, we have been very fortunate and lucky.
What is it you'd like a listener to get out of hearing The Duplicated Memory and going to a live show?
I just want people to have a good time. I mean kids go to shows and they either stand there or theyíre dancing; dancing is the popular thing to do these days. Who has the hardest mosh! I donít care about any of that. It used to be kids just going crazy and having a blast, thatís all we want, we want the people to have as much fun as we are.
What was it like being supporting Hatebreed? Did you get to meet them?
It was awesome. At first it was weird, we figured there would be a lot of heckling, but it was in our hometown so none of that went on. I met Jamey Jasta, that guy is the coolest dude. I mean thatís all I can say, heís the reason bands are doing what they are doing nowadays.
Ultimately, what do you think sets Calico System apart from other hardcore bands?
I think we just go out there and give it to you. Yes we end up playing with more harder bands than us, however we throw down harder than them live and I think kids notice that. I mean there is all these mosh bands that just stand there and the kids lose their heads. We are the ones losing our heads on that stage, and I think we do things differently. No formula with us.
If you were invited to appear on a Heavy Metal tribute, what song would you want your band to do and why?
Metallica - One (I mean dude, this is the shit)
What are the future plans for Calico System?
Writing a new record and touring our butts off. We have been on the road for the past five months; we plan to at least tour another six before planning on recording and what not. Maybe even longer, just depends on the current situation.
Any final words of wisdom?
Come see us in Feb!
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