High-flying UK goth punks Calling All Astronauts, are set to drop their blistering new album, Resist, on June 5. Crafting together an electric sound that mixes goth and electro-punk, we spoke to David B (Vocals, Programming, Keys, Producing) from the group to find out more:
Of his choices, David said: “Choosing just 6 tracks was very difficult for me, as so many bands have influenced our sound, from Korn to Pop Will Eat Itself, Machine Head to Chase & Status, Sex Pistols to Skrillex , I think every song I ever listen to in some way inspires me.”
01. Billy Bragg – “Between The Wars”
– This song made me realise that it was ok to be political in your music and still have great appeal. The lyric “I would give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage” is just so emotive. I loved Crass with tunes like “Bloody Revolutions” but they didn’t say anything subtle, they just went full-on at the problem, but there is something very vulnerable about seeing Billy stood there, just him and his guitar pouring out these really emotive and thoughtful words.
02. Pendulum – “Propane Nightmares”
– On our first proper date my wife and I saw Pendulum, they opened with this track, the subs at the start even before the trumpet made the hairs on the back of my head stand up. I’d seen them a few times before but that day at V Festival was something special, it made me believe that you can happily mix rock with dance and, if you do it well, all but the purists will just accept it as the norm.
03. Mindless Self Indulgence – “Shut Me Up”
– Is it Dance? Is it Punk? Is it Metal? Is it Electronica? It’s all of them mashed up into a slab of madness. From the first guitar riff at the beginning you just know this track is going to be mayhem then the whip sample comes in. It’s repetitive, it’s probably one of the most staccato records ever, just listening it makes you want to be in a mosh pit. They pack so much into less than 3 minutes and, if it wasn’t for the expletives, it would probably be the perfect pop song. I wish I could pack so much into such a short space of time.
04. Fad Gadget – “Collapsing New People”
– A record that was way ahead of its time, but very much of its time simultaneously, it’s avant-garde. It’s cool but not pretentious. Frank Tovey was a performance artist. He performed every show like it was his last and was sadly taken from us far too early. This record typifies Mute Records – fantastic synth sounds, dance rhythms and cool samples. Fad Gadget inspired my love for the type of synths that are very much part of our music.
05. Nine Inch Nails – “Head Like A Hole”
– Without this record, there would be no Calling All Astronauts. It’s the record that put Industrial into the mainstream. No, it wasn’t the first Industrial record, but it added a whole new dimension to Industrial. Prior to this, it was mainly just synths and arps. This record with guitars and shouty vocals, it’s like an anthem for the youth to shout out “I’m not buying into the corporate shit anymore.” Why listen Technotronic when you can do stuff like this with electronics. I still haven’t tired of hearing this record and, if ever I’m stuck for ideas, I listen to this and think I want to make a record this perfect.
06. Sisters Of Mercy – “Dominion”
– Jim Steinman’s production on this track is just immense. I love the Sisters debut album First and Last and Always but production-wise Floodland is something else. There is nothing on this track that isn’t massive. How he managed to layer so many sounds and make them all cut through is beyond me. Every instrument, every vocal, every layered vocal, is just produced to perfection. I know this kind of production isn’t in vogue right now, it’s all about sub-harmonics and we embrace that, but I will always be aiming to produce something this big.
Calling All Astronauts release their new album, Resist, on June 5, and you can pre-order your copy here