By Nicholas Jason Lopez
With a mission in mind to create an album that strayed from their synthy sound on their LP prior and focused more on their folk roots and punk/emo influences, The Small Calamities sought out Vince Ratti (The Front Bottoms, The Wonder Years, Spanish Love Songs) and Kyle Black (Paramore, State Champs) to hone in on something unique and timeless.
This album – appropriately dubbed ‘MOMENTS OF IMPACT’ – was put out this past April and highly praised for its handful of hearty singles like “Funeral Hymn #4,” “Waste My Time,” “Mission Street,” “Violin Concerto In The Key Of Crippling Regret,” “Tabs (I Hope You Get The Plague)” and “Fairy Lights.”
The Small Calamities are lead vocalist/songwriter/producer Charlie Wolf, bassist Christian Kalafut and drummer Hayden Parker.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with Wolf about ‘MOMENTS OF IMPACT’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Charlie Wolf – Especially when we first formed, a lot of our songs were more about everyday life than about anything grand or epic or political. We liked the name “The Small Calamities” because it touches on this concept of little disasters that are meaningful to you, but maybe meaningless in the grand scheme of things. If we had to start over again, we’d choose something easier to spell.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Charlie Wolf – I really like Olivia Rodrigo’s album. Other than that, I’ve been on a bit of a folk and alt-country kick the last few months.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before?
Charlie Wolf – Hmm. Great music, great weather and I hope you like driving.
Music Bugle – What is the biggest challenge in being a band nowadays?
Charlie Wolf – Music is easier than ever to create, but harder than ever to sell. I think the revenue streams for musicians right now are the biggest challenge and it will be interesting to see if and how that changes in a post-COVID world.
Music Bugle – What made you want to release songs like “Waste My Time” and “Fairy Lights” as singles?
Charlie Wolf – They’re faster and a bit more poppy than some of the other songs on the album.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your album ‘MOMENTS OF IMPACT’?
Charlie Wolf – It was interesting. We started it before the pandemic, but I think that working on it over that past year, it really morphed into something different than what we had began with. We had a lot of logistical constraints due to COVID, but I think we made the most of a difficult situation.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Charlie Wolf – One of our fans commented on some post and pointed out that every review of our music lists a different genre. There definitely is a lot of truth to that. I think it’s exciting that we are able to blend and crossover into so many genres, while still keeping enough of a consistent voice sonically and thematically where people will go, “Oh, that’s a Small Calamities song.”
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Charlie Wolf – It definitely helps in terms of the ability to connect with fans, especially right now, when physical concerts are still somewhat limited.
Music Bugle – How else have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Charlie Wolf – We had to cancel a string of local shows, as well as our first Midwest tour and it led to our album being significantly delayed. I wish I could be one of those people emerging from this pandemic better than they went into it, but that definitely is not the case for anyone in the band, but we’re excited to move forward and cautiously optimistic about getting back in the studio.