The Calling are an American rock band from Los Angeles, California, best known for its hit single, "Wherever You Will Go". The group formed in 1999 and released two albums, Camino Palmero and Two, before going on an indefinite "hiatus" since 2005. They reformed in August 2013 with a new lineup.
The band was formed by Alex Band (vocals) and Aaron Kamin (guitar) when Kamin was dating Band's sister. Kamin and Band initially began jamming and writing songs as far back as 1996, and began gigging under the band name "Generation Gap" with a drummer that was twice their age. At this stage, the band also had saxophonist, Benny Golbin, giving the songs a more jazzy Dave Matthews-ish sound. Eventually, Band and Kamin ditched the "Gap" lineup, and briefly switched their name to "Next Door", which itself was a nod to veteran music business executive and Band's neighbor on Camino Palmero, Ron Fair.
Alex Band's biggest musical influenced were Pearl Jam, which was made clear in his vocal style, that is somewhat similar to Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder, as well as several songs from The Calling's debut album, Camino Palmero, carrying grunge influence sounds, Bon Jovi (Band's fashion sense was quite possibly inspired by frontman Jon Bon Jovi) and U2. Their instrumentation and the atmosphere of their music on their second album Two was similar to U2. Elements of each band's sound, lyrical style, and even appearance were crucial in fine tuning his musical direction for the band.
Kamin and Band began focusing on songwriting more, and as Band's signature baritone voice began to mature, the duo began leaving demo tapes of new songs and ideas for Fair in his mailbox. They quickly found a similar sound amongst such ready-for-radio rock acts of the early 21st century as Matchbox Twenty, Third Eye Blind, Train, and Fastball. By 1999, Fair was impressed enough by the demos to sign them to a record deal with RCA. They changed their name to "The Calling", which reflected the band's renewed sense of purpose. Music videos directed by Jethro Rothe-Kushel helped solidify the image and direction for their new calling.
Camino Palmero (2001)
While the RCA deal was a huge boost, it also created a new problem for Band and Kamin: they had no solid band and, thus, had hardly toured and built a fanbase. Rather than putting them out on the road and building regional support, Fair worked intensely with Band and Kamin for over two years perfecting the debut album. The Calling's first album was recorded from 1999–2001, largely with studio musicians. As the band advanced, Sean Woolstenhulme (formerly with Lifehouse) (guitars), Billy Mohler (bass), and Nate Wood (drums) were added in 2001 as extra musicians/touring musicians, and a few of the songs were re-recorded. The Calling's first album, Camino Palmero, was issued in July 2001 and quickly became a hit due to the strength of its single, "Wherever You Will Go." The song was featured prominently in the television series Smallville's first season episode "Metamorphosis". It was also featured in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly with the group performing in the background in the first club scene, and in early trailers in 2001 for the Star Trek prequel series Enterprise. In an episode of the CBS television drama Cold Case, "Frank's Best", the song is played at the end of the episode. Camino Palmero ultimately sold more than five million copies worldwide and was certified gold in the United States.
Departures of Woolstenhulme, Mohler, and Wood (2002)
In June 2002, Woolstenhulme left The Calling; he was later replaced by Dino Meneghin. Mohler and Wood left in October 2002. In November 2003, former members Wood and Mohler sued Band, Kamin, and the group's management accusing each of mismanagement, fraud, and asking for an audit of the money that was spent during their tenures in The Calling. They claim they were promised a share of the royalties and profits from touring and merchandise in 2001-02. Band and Kamin claimed the two were hired musicians and not entitled to royalties.
The band's signature song, "Wherever You Will Go," was named the No. 1 Adult Pop song of the decade by Billboard magazine.
In June 2004, the group returned with Two. The album had three singles and accompanying videos: "Our Lives", "Things Will Go My Way", and "Anything". With new touring musicians, the band toured for most of 2004. However, Two faced disappointing sales compared to their first album.
After a lengthy world tour in support of the album, Kamin and Band decided to put The Calling on indefinite hiatus after playing a farewell show in Temecula, California. Alex then began pursuing a solo career and has played occasional gigs since 2008 together with Erick John, at times being mislabeled and mispromoted as "The Calling."
Reforming of The Calling (2013)
On August 15, 2013, Alex Band together with Sean Kipe (Guitars and backing vocals) his co-writer of the new songs of The Calling announced that The Calling would be reforming with new members and performing their comeback gig at Bally's Atlantic City on August 17. Bassist Jake Fehres was formerly a member of Astral Aliens, a two-time champion of KROQ-FM's Battle for Los Angeles.
- Alex Band - lead vocals
- Sean Kipe - guitar
- Jake Fehres - bass guitar
- Art Pacheco - drums, percussion
- Aaron Kamin - lead guitar, backing vocals
- Sean Woolstenhulme - guitar, backing vocals
- Billy Mohler - bass guitar
- Nate Wood - drums, percussion, backing vocals
- Dino Meneghin - guitar
Touring musicians: 2003-2004
- Kaveh Rastegar - bass (2003)
- "V" - bass (early 2004)
- Justin Derrico - lead guitar
- Daniel Damico - guitar, backing vocals, keyboard
- Corey Britz - bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboard, now in Bush
- Justin Meyer - drums, percussion
- Camino Palmero (2001)
- Two (2004)
- The Very Best of The Calling (2011)
Songs in popular culture
- "Wherever You Will Go" is covered by Filipino actor and singer Sam Milby
- "Wherever You Will Go" is covered by the Korean rock band CNBLUE.
- "Wherever You Will Go" is heard in the movie Coyote Ugly, but does not appear on the soundtrack.
- The band appeared in the film Coyote Ugly, performing "Wherever You Will Go" when Violet goes to the club looking for the manager and sees Kevin for the first time.
- "Wherever You Will Go" was heavily used by UPN in 2001 in advertisements to promote the debut of Star Trek: Enterprise.
- The CW hit show Smallville used "Wherever You Will Go" in the second episode of season 1 ("Metamorphosis"), but it was never included on any of the soundtracks. The song "Unstoppable" was also featured in the pilot.
- In 2001, The Calling contributed a live performance version of their song "Wherever You Will Go" to the charity album Live in the X Lounge IV.
- "Wherever You Will Go" was used in soundtrack of Love Actually.
- Popular sketch comedy TV show Mad TV parodied the video for "Wherever You Will Go," parodying how The Calling, Creed, Pearl Jam, and Ray Charles all sound similar.
- "For You" was used in the soundtrack of Daredevil.
- The Calling appeared on the TV show American Dreams as protestors and sang a cover of The Beatles song "Nowhere Man."
- The song "Our Lives" was played in the closing of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
- The song "Could It Be Any Harder" was featured on the spin off series "Brooke Knows Best" in 2008.
- "Wherever You Will Go" was used in the final scene of the series finale of Saving Grace, which aired on Monday, June 21, 2010.
- "Wherever You Will Go" was covered by the band Boyce Avenue in December, 2011.
- "Wherever You Will Go" was covered by UK singer/songwriter Charlene Soraia in September, 2011. Soraia's version was used in a UK TV advert for Twining's Tea and reached no. 3 in the UK's official singles chart.
- "Thank You" was used in Season 05, Episode 13 (Something Wilder) of Dawson's Creek.
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