I’m a Southern California girl, through and through. I grew up with my toes in the warm sands of Laguna Beach and spent the better parts of my college years cruising Pacific Coast Highway, blasting electric guitar tunes that let me sail the hot black pavement as if it were a cool ocean wave. When I relocated to Chicago in 2015, it seemed that nothing could smooth my ride over the endless city potholes, until I heard The Phone Calls. Their fresh, surf rock sound makes Lake Shore Drive feel as breezy as the highways of the left coast. This past April, The Phone Calls released Paint The Van: The Album. KLic Creative recently sat down with guitarist Dan Agosto to get a behind the scenes look at how this surf rock trio creates their signature sound:
Their fresh, surf rock sound makes Lake Shore Drive feel as breezy as the highways of the left coast.
KLic: What is your creative process like?
DA: I write and record demos for a lot of the songs in whole or in part. Sometimes it’s a multi-track demo I spend hours on, sometimes it’s just a phone recording of my guitar part. That helps me be organized when it comes to showing the band in a rehearsal what I’d like for them to play. I try to bring songs in a finished form but there is usually some tweaking or just plain improvement that occurs during the process of learning them.
KLic: How is it different from previous releases?
DG: Paint the Van: The Album is a collection of the first recordings realized completely for The Phone Calls as a band. Up until now it had been a solo project that I would bring people in to record on.
KLic: The best way to enjoy our music is…
A: …live in a basement, but this recording allows you to experience it elsewhere.
KLic: What/Who are the musical influences for this album, other inspirations?
A: We are all pretty eclectic consumers of music and art in general. Personally, I get a lot of inspiration listening to current wave black metal, video game soundtracks, and late-nineties underground rock. I learned to play guitar while listening to late-sixties and early-seventies rock so that will be a permanent influence on all my work more or less. A lot of inspiration comes from other forms of media but I also try to draw what I can from my natural surroundings.
KLic: The best way to enjoy our music is…A: …live in a basement, but this recording allows you to experience it elsewhere.