Dec 2011 Feature — Calibrate Me
Kyle, Where’s the Chorus?
By Jenn Cohen
There’s a new talent in town; a pop-punk band that is kicking ass and taking names, Colorado locals, Calibrate Me. I stumbled upon them at the Flobots Bowling Ball this year. A mutual friend gave me their EP, I checked it out, and loved it. Now I’m sharing the goodness with you.
Consisting of Kyle Hagele (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Andy Woodson (drums), Kyle Davis (bass), and Ryan Sorrell (guitar), this quartet has been a formidable force since catching the attention of Don Scott with 303 Records at the most recent Warped Tour Showcase. Within a matter of weeks, they had played with Unwritten Law, toured to California to play at Whiskey A Go-Go, and won [93.3 FM] KTCL’s annual Big Gig, where they earned a spot opening for blink-182. Oh yeah, and they’re opening for a little band called Rise Against at Not-So-Silent-Night on Dec. 6th at the 1st Bank Center.
Wait, what? Calibrate who?
“We entered [Big Gig] with our song “Take off your Shoes,” says Hagele. [KTCL DJ] Nerf, announced [their win] like, ‘A brand new act to us . . . Calibrate Me; came outta nowhere.’ We’ve been getting so much love from 93.3; they’ve been great. They booked us on the Dec. 6th Not-So-Silent Night show. “We couldn’t believe this was happening so fast, because when we first started talking about it, we were like, ‘Ok, this is going to take at least 3-5 years,’ and it was like a miracle. Overnight, we did 5 years of work.”
Hagele and Davis have been writing and playing music together for about 3 years. Goodson joined them about a year ago, and the newest addition to their now-complete band is Sorrell, whose first show with Calibrate Me was opening for blink- 182, (no pressure there).
“We wrote four songs, which is our EP, and we were like, ‘our songs are awesome, we should save up and go to the Blasting Room.’ We tried for about six months and, by a miracle, we met a person, and got money to go into the Blasting Room and record our 4-song EP. We knew going in there that if Andrew Berlin and Jason Livermore, who are two of the best producers, said, ‘Your music’s good, you can make it somewhere,’ then you can actually make it. Their input is invaluable, and going to the Blasting Room is like, the ultimate test. I remember Andrew Berlin, who produced a lot of our record was like, ‘you’re not going to be a one-hit wonder. Once you guys get signed, you will have many hits.’ That was a crazy experience. Going to the Blasting Room changed everything.
“We don’t want to record anywhere but the Blasting Room, because you’re only as good as your last recording. If someone is listening to you in another state and they’re listening online, they don’t take into consideration that maybe someone can’t afford an expensive recording, and maybe they’re better live; they don’t take that into account. If it sounds crappy on the recording, it sounds crappy on the recording.”
“We’ve been creating a lot of attention, both negative and positive, because it was our first year [submitting], and we won. One of the things we’ve always had an issue with, from day one, is our age . Nobody would take us seriously. And then they see us live, and people are like, ‘Wow, you’re a really good band.’”
(I’d like to personally address the ‘age thing’ because some people do associate age with talent, and it’s always been a pet peeve of mine. If all young bands were dismissed based solely on their age, we could’ve missed out on some very influential music–ever heard of Green Day? But, I digress . . .)
“We owe a lot of our success to Don [Scott]. Over and over, Don is one of the best people we’ve ever met in our lives. For him to put so much faith in us is really cool. I feel like if we got signed, I’d want to give him 75% of my income. We owe it all to him anyway, he does so much for us, and he only wants the best things for us. He’s changed our lives for sure; he’s backed us up in a lot of different ways.” And they’re favorite local venue? Moe’s BBQ South. Says Davis, “They’ve always been awesome–Danny Sax–they hooked us up with good shows when we were unknown; they treated us so awesome.”
Their live shows are engaging, energetic, and fun. They seem genuinely happy to be on stage together. I noticed they always thank the bands before and after them, as well as their family and friends who continue to support them.
The friendship between these four runs deep. Throughout the photo shoot, they were throwing innocent jabs back and forth, wrestling around; just having fun. Hagele made references to his grandma, and her concerns about his ‘punk rock and roll.’ He said their lyrics are clean because he knows she’d be upset if there was a lot of cussing.
So, next up for Calibrate Me? Playing the Not-So-Silent-Night show on Dec. 6th, and submitting what is sure to be another frontrunner for 93.3 Hometown for the Holidays. “We’ve got new stuff that’s going to be killer,” says Hagele. “It’s going to blow away the stuff we have now.”
They’re as shocked as anyone that they’ve made it this far in such a short amount of time, but also confident that they would’ve made it there someday. “The two biggest competitions all year in Colorado are KTCL’s Big Gig, and Hometown for the Holidays. As of today, there’s never been a band that has won both. We’re hoping to change that.”
Their EP, Clorox on the Carpet, is available at iTunes, Amazon.com., and PureVolume, and you can check them out on Facebook and MySpa