Call Me Diva have got it all: diva demands, costumes and more importantly an upcoming EP. They spoke to Red Rose Music Lancs about gigs, sharks and food.
Be sure to read the interview and then go on see them on one of their many, many live dates.
So tell us a little bit about the band, who does what? That kind of thing.
Janie: We are a 4 piece Pop Rock band from Rossendale in Lancashire. Erm, we are all over thirty which is slightly different to most other bands. We got together initially in 2001 as a duo and then added drums and bass. That’s how us two actually got together.
Your new EP is called “Crazy As Me” what is the craziest thing either of you has ever done?
Janie/Paul: A good question!
Janie: I went to Cyprus and there was loads of clubs giving free shots away and we decided to try stage diving and we got surfed around it was really cool.
Paul: Joining Call Me Diva is about as crazy as it’s got for me.
Could you tell us a little bit about the track?
Paul: It’s a song about being crazy – crazy in love, crazy, erm, dictator crazy, stalker crazy, having that switch that you just click..
Janie: I think it’s actually quite relevant now with everything that is happening in the Middle East. That’s certainly what I’m thinking about when I sing it, all the things like Stalin and Hitler and the way they tried to monopolise.
Paul: You can also read it at different levels, it’s also about jilted lover crazy and that kind of thing.
It’s a new EP but the song was written in 1995. Why the wait and why release it now?
Paul: The wait is because it has taken a while to catch it. It’s hard to describe sometimes, when you have a song it doesn’t always sound as you want it. It’s only when Janie was playing keyboards and synth we hit on what we thought fits.
Janie: We played it a few times when we were a duo just playing acoustic and vocals and its was fine but it just never had that edge. Our drummer uses electric drums so she finds all these weird sounds. And our bassist plays in a way I’ve never really seen because he plays more like he’s playing lead guitar at times.
The band is called ‘Call Me Diva’ who is the biggest diva in the band?
Janie: Apparently it’s me! I don’t know why.
Paul: You don’t know?!
Janie: I think I can be quite demanding. I think it’s because I ask for cups of tea and apparently that’s diva behaviour, but I don’t think so!
If you could both have your dream diva demand, what would it be?
(Laughs) Janie: Oh I know exactly! Paul might not like this. I would like Jonny Depp and Superman to come backstage and serve me nibbles and drinks. Not fully dressed because then what’s the point?
Paul: I would like a fully functioning F1 car in the dressing room, just so I could rev it. (Laughs)
One internet definition of the word ‘Diva’ is: delightful, invasive, vivacious and attitude. Would you say this sums up the band?
Janie: Yes, I think so with our old name, Ice, people thought we were heavy metal and quite cold. And with Call Me Diva we can have more attitude, more dressing up and put a lot more into our performances. It’s strange how a name can change things but it seems to do.
Janie: We like snow, that’s it! We were actually driving around one day and saw that freezer shop (Iceland) and I think I saw that and thought: “yeah, let’s go with Ice”.
Janie you are in the top ten of the Rossendale female faces competition, what’s all that about?
Paul: I’m not!
Janie: It’s the face of Rossendale, to promote the area and stuff for the tourism and stuff. And I used to model years and years ago and I was asked to do some modelling for an Evans focus group so I got coerced into sending a picture and got into the top ten! What’s that all about?!
What do you win?
Janie: You win some professional photographs and access to a modelling agency.
Nothing for your face then, strange for a face competition.
What can people expect from a typical Call Me Diva gig?
Paul: Music, lots of music. Certainly dancing.
Janie: We wear outfits. We try not to scare people because we have in the past, but yeah it’s all about fun and engaging the audience as much as we can.
So what comes first song writing wise the music or the lyrics?
Paul: Lyrics first then music.
Janie: Not necessarily.
Paul: Yes it is! Because I’ll have loads of lyrics and then think oh I’ll do something with that!
Janie: I’m terrible at writing lyrics, I come up with the cheesiest stuff! I’m better at the melody side of thing.
Janie: He also has an annoying habit of coming up with the idea for a song in the middle of the night and be tapping away with his foot and I’ll have to get up and write the melody for it.
On the EP there is a Dub mix and a DJ mix were they done by the band?
Janie: Yeah we did it all together, just to mix it up and let everybody have a play really.
Do you do mixes of all your songs or just this one?
Janie: Not really, we just fancied having a go this time.
Paul: Well there have been a few where we have had a listen back and have sort of thought that would work really well as a dance mix. We have a few on the back burner that we will do the same with.
Janie: I think you just have to hear the song and decide what’s best for it?
Paul: The mixes come later because we gear everything towards being played live and we obviously can’t do the mixes live.
Is there a lyric by either your band or another band that inspire you or could be used as a piece of inspiration?
Paul: No.(Laughs) My problem is that when I am writing I don’t really think about what I am writing, it just happens. It is only later when I look through it I think about what I am supposed to be talking about it.
Janie: Not a lyric but there are bands out there that I really, really like and I would love to replicate the way they write songs but it never, ever happens. I like Hope and Social, an unsigned band from Leeds who sound like Elbow. In fact Elbow’s new song sounds like them! I also love Madness which is a bit different.
You live in Rossendale, according to Wikipedia this is the home of Ken Barlow in real life. Met him? Seen him?
Janie: Not a clue if he lives there but I’ve met him a few times because I was an extra on Coronation Street. Chesney still lives there, he waits at the bus stop with his brother to go to school.
What was the most memorable Coronation Street scene you were an extra in?
Janie: Do you remember when Ashley the butcher was in a boxing ring? Well I was in a crowd scene when they were throwing things and I got my head cut and had to go and see a backstage nurse. Memorable because it hurt!
Would you rather be a turtle or a shark?
Janie: Turtle. Sharks can get nasty and you meet them in everyday life anyway. At work there are plenty of people with a shark-like personality.
Paul: Turtle, not a shark. Water is too cold!
Janie: As long as I don’t end up in turtle soup it’s okay.
Finally, if you could be any food what would you be and why?
Janie: Trifle because I really like it, it’s creamy and expensive.
Paul: Hmm, such interesting questions! Spring roll. Spicy and crispy.
Janie: And quite mysterious, never knew you wanted to be a spring roll. They put prawns in sometimes..
Paul: Oh, god I don’t want to be a prawn. Ugly, horrible things.
You can check Call Me Diva out at: