Music lovers believe that there can never be too much music, but Forever Came Calling frontman Joe Candelaria admits that sometimes he needs a break. Being an artist, he is surrounded at all times with music. Music is playing as he travels from venue to venue, there are live performances every night, plus he is tasked with creating new songs on a daily basis. It can be slightly overwhelming.
Brief moments of silence are often the most inspirational. Reading, driving with the radio off, even different guitars and environments can be a catalyst for the novel melodies and original lyrics seen in Contender, the first album by Forever Came Calling. Candelaria, together with John Swaba (bass), Issac Taylor (guitar) and Bryce Esquivel, combine a unique but classic punk sound, with intelligent lyrics that resonate with listeners. Many of their songs were influenced by the writings of American author and poet Charles Bukowski. If you listen, you will hear his name mentioned throughout the album.
Decisions are based on the value of the result. We choose clothes that are flattering, pick foods that taste good, and listen to music that pleases us. But what happens when your choices are at odds with someone else? Lyrics from the song “Ides” state, “Just make mistakes ‘cause you’ll never be the same again/And I’m not worth your while?/But what’s worth your while again?” In an attempt to place value on a relationship, the words challenge how we react when our own worth is diminished. We can relate, because there are countless times in everyone’s life when we just want to scream, “Really? What exactly is worth it?” “Ides” is one of those great songs that never gets old, because it hits home for everyone.
It is not always easy to find yourself. Forever Came Calling will release their second full-length album, What Matters Most, next month. Recently, the first single “Indebted” was premiered, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the new record. To Candelaria, the song is an epiphany of sorts, the moment when you see yourself clearly. In the lyrics, “The strongest man you ever met/But names like that always come with debt/So I start to believe almost violently/That I can do most anything” he describes how you can get so caught up in what people say that you begin to believe it yourself. However, the song also cautions that there is a certain responsibility, or ‘debt’, that goes along with the label. Simply put, it is only good to have your head in the clouds if your feet remain firmly on the ground, which also describes the members of Forever Came Calling perfectly.
Reality-based music is created by artists who are real people. The stage show, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, left me feeling like I had just hung out with my four best friends. Candelaria’s voice is tailor-made for punk/rock music with the right amount of angst and emotion. Their set was filled with honest lyrics by songwriters Candelaria and Taylor, set to remarkable melodies that had the crowd jumping from the first note. The new song may have just been released, but the audience sang every word without missing a beat. It is not surprising that the most frequently asked question on this tour is where to pre-order the new album. (It was my first question after the show.) Currently on the Common Vision Tour, Forever Came Calling will return to Cleveland in the Fall, making my next move to order tickets before they sell out.