by Adam Deane
Chances are, if you attended post-secondary on this continent, this Vancouver 4-piece’s moniker will ring a tiny bell in the back of the “file it under never” corner of your brain. Calpurnia, was not only the Finches’ housekeeper in Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird — she was also the woman who bridged the race-gap in their town, created a positive role-model for Scout and Jem and basically held sh*t down in a household that would have otherwise folded, leaving one to question what would have become of your required reading list?
For Vancouver teens, Finn Wolfhard (lead vocals), Malcolm Craig (drums), Ayla Tesler-Mabe (lead guitar) and Jack Anderson (bass), Calpurnia is the name of their rather successful Indie-band and Scout is the name of their smash EP produced by Cadien Lake James (Twin Peaks), released earlier this year on Royal Mountain Records. If the literary references are any indication that this band set out to lead by example, they’ve done just that thus far.
BeatRoute hooked the quartet in London at the height of their first headlining tour, wondering how a bunch of teens handle the success and positive world-wide reception while continuing to live out a normal adolescence. We asked what advice they have for a younger generation of budding musicians. Of course, they answered round-table, which was both adorable and efficient. Why can’t all bands be that way?
“I think the music industry is getting younger,” Wolfhard (of Stranger Things fame) says. “We’re glad that we are a part of that culture, of young people doing it themselves. You shouldn’t be afraid of putting yourself out there if you’re young and want to play music. It’s very easy for someone to put down a young band. There are other people out there that you’ll meet who will support you.”
Guitar prodigy Tesler-Mabe chimes in, “Try never to lose sight of why you love music in the first place. If you’re doing it out of genuine love and passion and you find yourself getting lost in other’s opinions, grounding yourself is important.”
Sound advice from a group that just sold out the Vogue Theatre in Vancouver for night one of their two-night hometown tour stop. They made it clear they want everyone at their shows.
“The way that we look, you’ll assume you’re just going to drop off your kid and leave. Even if you’re not a fan, come in and dance. We live in a weird world now and you can only have so many days where you can turn your brain off and have fun. We hope everyone comes.” Wolfhard says.
Teenagers or not, it’s evident these four have their heads on straight and they know exactly where they are heading. All of them took a few minutes to compliment their parents towards the end of their influence-musings. They’re proving one show at a time that age is certainly not a factor in the amount of change you can create in this world. Speaking with them certainly makes you question the choices you made as a teenager. Calipurnia are taking advantage of every opportunity, displaying their talents for whoever will listen with an open-mind and doing wonderful charitable work in the process. If you’re into beach-rock, alternative indie-rock, or you could use a few smiles supporting a group of teens you wish were your kids don’t miss this one.
Calipurnia perform at the Vogue Theatre (Vancouver) December 21 and 22.calpurnia, The Vogue Theatre