The Refrain Interview: Call In Dead

Call In Dead is made up of four veteran punk rockers, one from DC, one from NJ and the others two from FL. With the oldest at 45 and the youngest at 30, they bring their different music experiences and styles together to make a sound that should be familiar to fans of hardcore punk while also giving it the uniqueness that comes from blending their past together into the present.

We sat down with Mr.P, the drummer of Call In Dead, to discuss their latest release.

Refrain Music Blog: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. You have a new single out now. Tell us about it? What’s it called? 

Mr. P: “Fight of the Bumblebee Live” is our third single off our 7” released by DCxPC Live. The song was recorded live in the Danger Room in Orlando, FL. 

RMB: What’s the single about? 

Mr. P: It mixes our love for punk, hardcore and metal into an aggressive song with a positive message, “take the road less travelled” because doing what everyone else has already done is not how to live. It is the ethos that undergirds the essence of what punk rock is about.

RMB: What’s the story on how it was recorded?

Mr. P: The short version is the song was recorded live in the Danger Room in Orlando, FL during a livestream performance. It was recorded as a split with fellow Orlando band 2AMature.

The long version of the story is as follows: After a good couple of years playing in Call in Dead, all was going great, and I (Mr. P)  just wanted to focus on playing shows, and I didn’t want to get into booking shows again, but our bass player, Mike Hellbound, convinced me that we could help bring touring bands to FL (the Anti-Queens) while also helping new bands get their first shows (We booked 2AMature’s first show with Forsaken Profits who were on tour from GA).

I grew up playing in hardcore punk bands in DC from 1992-2008. During that time he toured the U.S., Canada and Europe, recorded several albums with multiple bands, and promoted shows throughout the DC/VA/MD area. Mike is a Port Charlotte native who has spent more than two decades playing in hardcore, punk, metal and psychobilly bands throughout FL, and he’s a veteran show promoter who put on ska, metal, hardcore, punk and psychobilly shows for years. Mike’s knowledge of the local scene both in terms of bands and venues has been invaluable as we worked to start booking shows under the name DCxPC Live (DC for Washington DC and PC for Port Charlotte).

When the pandemic hit, DCxPC Live had several shows get cancelled with dope bands like the Koffin Kats (playing with them this coming December at Will’s Pub in Orlando!) and Field Day (ex-Dag Nasty/ex-Descendents), and we were struggling with how to handle the shuttering of live music. To that end, we decided to try our first livestream on 5/29. We booked our own band and some friends of ours that happened to be old students of Mine. Our thought was that if it sucked, at least we’d be hanging with friends. Well it did not suck! With the help of Joshua Dobbs of Danger Room Recording Services, the show went off better than expected and the live tracks sounded sick!

This brings us to the record label. Now that we had these live tracks, Mike and I decided to turn DCxPC Live into a record label. Except this label would only release live albums. We designed our covers as an homage to the classic 1990’s VML Live Series that were core to Mr. P’s misspent youth.

RMB: Is it part of a larger album? If so, tell us about that

Mr. P: So the album was a split 7” between Call in Dead and 2AMature. We released it on 4/30, and we have been releasing a digital single about every 5-6 weeks.

It was the first release by DCxPC Live, and it was followed a month later by a split live 7” between Orlando’s TV Generation and The Sinema which was a benefit for Uncle Lou’s, Orlando’s CBGB, and place where any new or touring band can find a stage and family to play with. That 7” sold out and raised $600 for Uncle Lou’s. DCxPC Live has a 12” of from NYC’s Two-Man Advantage Live at CBGB and Punk Rock Bowling coming out in October as well as a 7” of California’s Year of the Fist Live at the Ivy Room coming out in time for them to have it a The Fest in Gainesville, FL on Halloween weekend. There are also releases in the works for DC’s The Goons, Baltimore’s Ratchet Boys and two splits of Orlando bands: Grave Return/The Hamiltons and Swift Knuckle Solution/Curtains.

So the song is more than part of a larger album, it is part of what will hopefully be a long remembered series of releases documenting the power of live punk, hardcore, ska and metal.

RMB: When is that album out?

Mr. P: It came out on 4/30. The single was released 7/23.

RMB: How many songs on the album?

Mr. P: There are four songs by us, and three songs by 2AMature. All of 2AMature’s songs have been released as singles on Spotify, and everyone should check them out. We have one more song to possibly release as a digital single or we may just combine the songs into a single album. It’s called Pepto Bismol, and our singer, Jaeh Peck, calls it his “swan song”. Which is odd since he hasn’t retired yet. I guess he means he loves it so much that he could retire now that the song exists, and he’d be a happy punk rocker.

RMB: Is this your first album? If not tell us about your previous work and how this differs from your previous work.

Mr. P: We did a 5 song EP on CD in 2018 with the great help of a local label, Violent Breed Records. Unfortunately the format was probably a poor choice since CD’s have gone the way of the 8-Track at this point, and are quite hard to sell.

We also did three digital singles with Gustova from our buddies 430 Steps who runs Red Lion Studios in Orlando. They were released in 2020 right before the pandemic hit. We also had our buddy Destin Dern make videos for each of the songs. Two of the songs have had over 20,000 streams on Spotify and the videos have done well especially when posted to FB. “Jaeh Wend Down the Hole” got over 250,000 views and nearly 500 shares which is really cool because I know I don’t share shit that I don’t actually like.

RMB: Tell us a little about the band. Who are the members and what do you each play?

Mr. P: The band is made up of four veteran punk rockers, one from DC, one from NJ and the others two from FL. With the oldest at 45 and the youngest at 30, they bring their different music experiences and styles together to make a sound that should be familiar to fans of hardcore punk while also giving it the uniqueness that comes from blending their past together into the present. Fitting on shows with pop punk bands, old school hardcore bands, psychobilly bands and metal bands is just one example of how it’s been difficult to pin down the answer to the perennial question: What band do you sound like? 

Mr. P: Drums

Chris Brookfield: Guitar and backing vocals.

Mike Hellbound: Bass and backing vocals.

Jaeh Peck: Vocals

RMB: How long have you been together? When and how did you form? 

Mr. P: I moved from DC to FL in 2008 and took a few years off of rockin’ to work on being there for my daughters born in 2008 and 2011 and getting my masters degree. But soon enough the itch to play became irresistible, so I would go to shows at Will’s Pub, the Social, Lou’s, etc. and randomly ask people if they needed a drummer. One night at Will’s I heard Jaeh mention to friends that he used to sing in a punk band, so I promptly introduced myself, and said we should form a band. He agreed. He was a co-worker of Chris’s, so Chris joined, and we took forever to find a bass player that fit with us, but eventually I broke down and placed a Craigslist ad that was answered by Mike. Unfortunately during that time Chris had left to handle family issues, but once he saw a video of us jamming with Mike, he came back with a vengeance and months later we were playing shows.

RMB: What’s the one thing you are most proud of in your career so far?

Mr. P: We love doing benefits that help good causes. For example, during the pandemic and during Mental Health Awareness Month, we did a fundraiser for the Mental Health Association of Central Florida, and we raised $2,000. This past spring we did a benefit show with Brewtal Booking co-run by Josh from The Sinema, and we raised $600 for the LGBTQ Center of Central Florida and $200 for the onePulse Foundation.

RMB: If you had to pitch your music to a potential fan in less than 10 seconds, what would you say?

Mr. P: Come see us play. We will play 15 songs nearly non-stop for 20 minutes and leave you tired and exhausted but also wanting more–but you’ll just have to come to another show.

RMB: What’s one piece of advice you’ve gotten that you think everyone needs to hear or that has meant the most to you?

Mr. P: Support the touring bands. When you play locally if the promoter or club tries to hand you a couple twenties, just give it to the touring band. They need it more, and you’ll want people to do the same to you when you tour.

RMB: If you could go back in time, what’s a piece of advice you would give to a younger you?

Mr. P: When you’re playing, if there is a mistake, someone drops a pick or stick or an amp comes unplugged, you just keep playing. Don’t ever stop. Finish the fucking song. And if there are only ten people there, you still play with all of your heart because those ten people paid to see you play not to see you put on a half-ass show because you’re disappointed in the crowd size.

RMB: What’s coming up next for your musical project?

Mr. P: We are 99.99999% done with our first full length currently entitled “Deepest Condolences” which we recorded with Joshua Dobbs and Danger Room Studios. We’ll be talking to labels and whatnot soon to see if anyone wants to put out the vinyl, so if you’re interested, give us a shout!  We are super stoked to put out our first full length!

RMB: Anything we haven’t thought of that you want to talk about? Now is the time!

Mr. P: I’m a middle school teacher, so I wear a mask when we play, and I don’t use my actual name to avoid students easily finding the band. Teachers are held to a high standard when it comes to social media and public persona, and while I think our band is actually positive despite the curse words and the occasional humorously offensive shirt, I’d rather hedge my bets. My students’ parents might actually like bands like Black Sabbath or The Stooges, but they don’t want Ozzy or Iggy teaching their kids. LOL.

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