by Sarah A. Peterson
Visalia’s Call Me James includes lead vocalist/guitarist Brendon Reese, bassist/vocalist Joaquin Ruiz, and drummer Chris Ramirez. They kicked off 2016 with a bang at Barmageddon in Tulare, and on July 21, released their self-titled debut, the digital EP Call Me James. Kings River Life caught up with Reese to get the scoop on how it all began.
KRL: How long have you been making music as a band?
Brendon: We’ve been playing together for about seven months now. January 8 was our first show together.
KRL: What particular genre of music do you play?
Brendon: We like to label ourselves as an alternative indie rock trio.
KRL: Who are the group’s biggest musical influences?
Brendon: Definitely, Young the Giant and City and Colour. The mix of brooding lyrics and fun melodies and guitar riffs works for us.
KRL: Whose music did the band listen to while growing up?
Brendon: We all grew up liking similar artists like Radiohead, the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, John Mayer, and other artists. But Joaquin and Chris started out as jazz players. They were trained that way, and we all listen to jazz groups and things of that nature on the way to shows. It helps us get in the zone.
KRL: Did you always want to be musicians?
Brendon: We all knew it’s what we wanted, but it took this group to really show that we could go somewhere with it. We’re doing things that we didn’t think we were capable of a few months ago. Like going on tour and opening for bands that influenced us from a young age, like Hawthorne Heights, which is our favorite show that we’ve played thus far.
KRL: What’s your songwriting process?
KRL: Where have you played locally?
Brendon: In Visalia, we haven’t played much. We played at Adventure Park and the Garden Street Plaza, and we just played at the Cellar Door on August 13. We’ve played in many other cities across California, like Tulare, Kingsburg, Fresno, Merced, Modesto, and Los Angeles.
KRL: What is the best part about making and performing music?
Brendon: To us, making the music is just another part of the process. It is part of our workday. The real payoff is seeing people react to the music. It means the world to us to have people say that our music means something to them, and that they get it stuck in their heads.
For more information on Call Me James and their upcoming performances:
Check out more local band & musician profiles in KRL’s music section.