SERENITY CAME CALLING (from l-r): Tyler Simpson (drums), Jason Kelly (bass), Gregor MacMillan (vocals), Ross Dickson-McKnight (guitar/vocals), Pete Dodd (guitar)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
From the city of Stirling in central Scotland, five-piece Serenity Came Calling have made waves on their native metal scene in the last year with a post-hardcore sound that mixes heaviness with ambiance, clean vocals with heavy screaming, and robust breakdowns with melodic choruses.
The band’s recently released single ‘Tenebris’, following on from their successful debut EP ‘By Any Means’, has already received much positive feedback, and they have just completed a tour, with more live dates, supporting the likes of Our Hollow, Our Home, planned for later this year.
I spoke to the band recently, prior to yesterday’s announcement of vocalist Gregor MacMillan’s departure, and this is what they had to say:
How did the band form originally?
We were all a bunch of lads who knew of one another. Pete and I had been good friends at high school. I knew Ross through a music club that was put on in the city. We got to know Jason and Tyler through friends down town and we all had a common interest in heavy music. We had a couple of jamming sessions, saw something in it we loved, and we pushed forward from there.
How did you come up with the name Serenity Came Calling?
We never know how to answer this question! We’re partly named after the ship in the TV show Firefly, that’s where the word ‘serenity’ came in. When we gave the meaning some deeper thought, we recognised that we always wanted to be a band with a message, we liked this whole idea of sending a good and serious message out of dark circumstances. Serenity Came Calling embodied that idea.
What are the band’s main musical influences?
Bands like Northlane and Architects definitely influence our instrumental sound. Lyrically, bands like Stick To Your Guns and The Plot In You have led the way. Live, we do our best to create our own signature show with our use of poetic speeches throughout a flowing set, but we take influences from Architects and Stick To Your Guns, for sure.
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
We’re all pretty hands on! We always want to be firing around new ideas for songs. If they’re not created in the practice space, then they’re created in Pete’s bedroom.
When it comes to lyrics, I like to always be writing, if an idea comes into my head, then it goes straight into my phone’s notes for me to lie awake and build songs around later.
We love making music, songwriting is a massive part of that obviously, so we enjoy getting in about it.
What are the inspirations behind the band’s lyrics?
Our lyrics all flow around personal stories, be it my own or stories I know and have been trusted to write about. Like I said earlier, it’s all about this light in the darkness. We take negative and dark situations and find a glimpse of light to find power in.
Take ‘Tenebris’, our new single, for example, it’s about the absence of God. The song isn’t intended to just all out deny God’s existence. It’s explaining the story of why a young man has lost his faith, but yet, he doesn’t feel all is lost. He recognises that in himself, he has the strength to make change even though he’s scared. To me, that’s empowering. That’s what we’re all about.
Will the release of ‘Tenebris’ potentially lead to an EP or album in the near future at all?
It will! ‘Tenebris’ is the first taste of what is yet to come. At the moment, we’re in the studio. Some new material is finished and we’re working hard to get it all done. Expect to see more on all this soon!
Having recently completed a tour and doing more live shows later this year with the likes of Our Hollow, Our Home, how is the experience for you all playing live and touring?
Playing shows is amazing. Touring is amazing. We love being on the stage and doing what we do. Tours present hardships and learning experiences, but it’s all things we aim to take in our stride. We first did a Scottish tour, now we’ve been down south. Next, we wanna see the whole UK and then go even further after that.
In regards to playing with the likes of Our Hollow, Our Home, it’s madness. We love meeting new bands, and we love playing with them. We recently played with our friends Loathe in London and the show was incredible. It’s all just a massive experience that we wanna keep going with.
What is the band’s long-term aim?
We wanna play everywhere we can and we wanna meet as many people as we can whilst we do it. We wanna continue to make music, release songs that people enjoy, and write lyrics that people can relate to and feel something with.
Our aim is to be a band that stands for something. No matter where we play, or who we play with, we aim to be the band you remember seeing, the band that you walk away from the venue thinking “Fuck, I really felt that!”
‘TENEBRIS’, THE NEW SINGLE FROM SERENITY CAME CALLING, IS NOW AVAILABLE ON ALL MAJOR DIGITAL PLATFORMS.
FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND BY CHECKING OUT THESE SITES: