Youthful grunge-lite band the Calling call their new album Two for two reasons. First, it’s the group’s second record. More important, singer Alex Band and guitarist Aaron Kamin want fans to know the Calling are now, and always have been, a two-man band.
That point was questioned in November, when former bassist Billy Mohler and drummer Nate Wood sued the group and its manager for fraud and mismanagement. The pair claimed they were owed significant song royalties and a merchandise percentage, and that they were only paid $26,000 each for two years’ touring, even though they’d been promised much more. The Calling contend that Mohler and Wood were hired guns and therefore not entitled to royalties.
“The whole thing was dirty, and there was no reason for [the suit],” Band said. “Those guys were always well taken care of in every way. They were our side guys and we paid them well, even before Aaron and I made a dollar. It’s a little sad. They were our friends and we spent a lot of time together.”
A longtime friend of Kamin, Justin Meyers, has replaced Wood. The band is still looking for a bassist. A variety of studio musicians helped record Two.
When the full touring lineup is in place, the Calling will emphasize their duo status more carefully than before. “[Mohler and Wood] were in press photos and videos for the last record, mostly because that’s what our label wanted,” Band explained. “This time around we’re not going to do that in order to avoid any confusion.”
“Our Lives,” the first single from Two, will address the dangers of dissatisfaction. “A lot of people go through every step of life wanting the next thing and never stop to appreciate the things they take for granted each day,” Band said.
He speaks from experience, which is one reason the Calling have been absent from the U.S. music scene for the past 18 months. “After the first record we said, ‘You know what? No matter what happens from now on, we’re so blessed,’ ” Band said. “We achieved all this stuff and it has been an amazing experience every step along the way.”