By Lynn Lieu/Jamie Solis
CITIES OF ORIGIN: Redlands and Los Angeles
KINDRED SPIRITS: Neuharth: “Loud music, quiet music and everything in the middle.” Turian: “Glitter, dark beers, kittens, cigarettes, ‘Gangnam Style,’ water gardens.” Sarmiento: “At the moment, Charli XCX, Grimes, Azealia Banks . . . strong females.”
FREQUENTS: Back to the Grind, Mission Tobacco Lounge (both in Riverside) and The Vault (Redlands).
The Calicos bring a fresh perspective to the folk, indie and thrash genres that helped inspire their jam sessions at Turian’s ancient Victorian house—also known as the band’s favorite practice spot. Each melodious song from The Calicos is complete with lyrics you can relate to—whether it’s singing about love and romance or more conceptual experiences. Get your chance to appreciate the band’s sound on its new album, Two Year Diary, which is now available digitally or on cassette (for those of you that like to keep it real old school). The quirky tunes from these young cats will get you to purr with satisfaction.
How would you describe your music?
Neuharth: A combination of folk, rock and hip-hop influences.
Turian: Tangy pop, winding road country licks and sappy love mixed with grunge riffs and heavy beats.
Sarmiento: Jeff Tweedy marries Otis Jackson Jr. Otis Jackson Jr. has an affair with Chan Marshall. All the while, Chan Marshall is dating Zach Hill. It sort of sounds like that.
How did you get involved in music/how did your band form?
Turian: I never had a sibling to teach me what was cool with music or otherwise, so even though I enjoyed singing, I was trying out for talent shows in 3rd grade singing Lion King songs. I’m really lucky that I grew up and met people that got me into real music and playing instruments in high school, otherwise I would have been screwed. As for our band, we formed on a warm night in June when I saw Ry for the first time in months. I asked him to mess around with some drum stuff with us, and we were lucky enough that he said, “Yes.”
Can you tell us about Two Year Diary? When did you guys release it? What is your writing process? Inspirations? Who did the cover art?
We digitally released Two Year Diary on July 6th 2012, it was initially the name of our band, but we thought it sounded a little morose. It made a better album name and fit the theme better and somehow Shaina convinced us to give ourselves a cat themed name. Gary wrote most of the songs on acoustic and Ry and Shaina helped make them bigger and stronger. The inspirations run the gamut from plain old love, to the desert to abstract thought. Shaina did the cover art and it’s basically just that same Victorian house we wrote it in.