The Place We Call Home: Caligula’s Horse

Since forming in 2011, Caligula’s Horse have crafted a colourful brand of progressive alt rock that has seen them share stages with Opeth, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest The Hero and more. This week sees them release their fourth full-length album, ‘In Contact’.

Split across four chapters, ‘In Contact’ is an ambitious and well-detailed album with a concept rooted in human connection. Throughout, the Aussie quintet explore the nature of art and creativity and the shared space across our many differences with stories of hope and tragedy scattered throughout. Undoubtedly ‘In Contact’ sees Caligula’s Horse craft a broad and compelling palate of songs.

While they may have ventured out to the UK and Europe in recent years, they call the Queensland capital city, Brisbane, their home. With a population of 2.4 million, it is one of the oldest cities in Australia and is a popular tourist destination.

It’s easy to see why you’d want to visit Brisbane; they had 283 days of sunshine in 2013. While it is a culturally thriving city with a substantial live theatre and music scene.

To find out more about Brisbane and its impact on Caligula’s Horse, we spoke to new guitarist (and former fan) Adrian Goleby.

The City:

Adrian: I’m from Brisbane, in the state of Queensland, Australia. It’s a sunny (very sunny) place that I moved away from as a kid and moved back to in my early teens. To me, it’s always represented a fantastic sense of community. It’s not so heavily populated that we become anonymous to each other, and it’s not so small that you get involved with the gossip of others (like in the country towns I’ve spent a lot of time in). But it’s safe, and it’s friendly.

Its People and Culture:

Adrian: It depends on who you talk to! I actually learned recently when I was working with some wonderfully eccentric TV presenters that the delicious spongy delight known as the Lamington (read: a mess of coconut on a tiny sponge cake) was invented in Brisbane. So instead, I want to spread the news that this is something it should be famous for. As far as the people go, I’d say we’re laid back and generally carefree – until someone tries to raise prices on our public transport – and then we’re outraged.

The Music It Inspires:

Adrian: Heralding back to the first question, since I derailed myself a bit just before. I think, because of our population density, we tend to have heard of each other before we even meet. I knew all about the prog scene, and the people in it from one of my close friends well before I ever saw any shows. We know the guys you’ll want to work with, the sound guys that are reliable, the lighting guys that know not to hold down the strobes for half an hour, and the venues that look after you as musicians.

The Local Music Scene:

Adrian: I’d say just rock. But, it’s really more a product of what I’ve experienced here. I can’t really step back and say I can see a trend outside of that! I’ve worked with some hip-hop and rap artists, but I haven’t noticed an abundance of their presence here. I think we’re suckers for distorted guitars.

Its Most Famous Musical Sons and Daughters:

Adrian: We’ve had a few famous acts such as Powderfinger, Regurgitator, Violent Soho and The Grates rise up during the last few decades, and they’ve all had a rock edge to their sound. But, truth be told – the one that I’ve been the most excited about is Savage Garden. I pretended I didn’t like them for far too long. They’re the most played band on my ipod.

Its Unsung Heroes:

Adrian: I think the instrumental bands are the unsung heroes here. It’s difficult to progress without a vocalist in the structure we tend to follow in what makes a profitable band. I often hear people talking with surprise that they saw a band without a vocalist. There’s been a very, very small amount of bands get on the radio as an instrumental band. Our friends in sleepmakeswaves are absolutely killing it right now though! I couldn’t be any happier to see their progress. Honourable mentions to Echotide, Hazards of Swimming Naked and Balloons Kill Babies.

The Bands To Watch Out For:

Adrian: I get to work with bands in a very different capacity since my job is making music videos. So I see some of the work ethic that might not be as apparent to someone just going to see their shows. Lately, I’ve really been enjoying Jim’s (Grey) brother’s band Rise Overrun, they construct a wonderful sonic landscape full of intricate layers and thought-provoking lyrics that you can’t help but engage with. I worked with them on a one shot clip recently, and their attention to detail and the hours put into learning their song at ¼ of the speed was remarkable. Also, He Danced Ivy moved to Brisbane last year and I got to do a very bizarre clip with them, it took us 17 hours to film it, and they didn’t let up at all.

The Venues We Visited:

Adrian: I actually started putting on shows when I was 15. It came from wanting somewhere to play and wanting to get everyone involved in what I was in love with doing. So the majority of the shows I went to, were ones that I’d organized. At 17, I might have done something naughty and needed to pay a fine that I didn’t want to let my parents know about. So I hired a scout hall and PA. We had 5 bands on the bill and were expecting maybe 30 or so people to come through and their admission price to just bump me over what I had to pay. It got out of hand very quickly, we had 200 kids come through that night. It was the biggest party I’d ever seen. But the sense of community was there, we all wanted to watch our friends play our already distinct music. Those people influenced me more than any idols I had in metal bands at the time.

The Venues We Played:

Adrian: As far as being a fan of Caligula’s Horse goes, I watched them play at The Zoo quite a few times. I filmed the clip for ‘Rust’ there if you’re curious about it. But it’s a very precious venue to many people from Brisbane. It’s sweaty. Very sweaty. My cameras have over heated, people have been escorted from exhaustion and all sorts of other dramas have happened there. It’s got great facilities though, and excellent staff. It’s central enough that you could get some people taking a chance on what they hear from the street – which you can hear from very far away. That being said, my favourite venue right now is the Triffid. It’s beautiful, professional and aesthetic! The lighting rig there is always a highlight for being behind a camera. We’re playing there on our final show of the tour, and it’ll be a first for me. I can’t wait.

If I Wrote A Song About My Hometown:

Adrian: I’m not a naturally poetic person, so if I was going to write a song about it, it’d just be about how excited I am that our winter is barely 4 weeks long and how I can’t wait to be smashing far too many Cold Brew coffees in the morning. That being said, I have a passion for flying my drone at sunset. My area (called Redland City, but we know it’s Brisbane) is right on the water. It’s beautiful, relaxed, aromatic and serene. I’ve collected hours of footage and I love improvising gentle piano parts and cutting my favourite shots to it and putting it on YouTube. I love it here, it may not be my home forever. But it’s without a doubt a core element of who I am.

‘In Contact’ by Caligula’s Horse is released on 15th September on Inside Out Music.

Caligula’s Horse links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram


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