Call of All have yet to release its full-length album or tour nationally, but the buzz alone on the band’s single, “War and Illusion,” has created a solid and faithful fan base.
This two-man band, comprised of vocalist Hunter Watson and guitarist Cody Webb, originally met in their home state of Alabama around 2008. Webb – a sound engineer and producer in his own right who is also a member of the equally-popular Alternative Rock band Ages Apart – contacted Watson about the possibility of working together shortly after the latter’s band dissolved.
Many years of experience went into the formation of Call of All.
“I knew Cody through the music scene in Muscle Shoals,” Watson recalled, “and he eventually worked with my old band in the production process. We developed a mutual respect for each other over time.”
Watson stated that he and Webb knew what they did and didn’t want when forming Call of All….which was more musicians. Both decided remaining a duo would keep Call of All faithful to its message and musical interpretation.
“It’s good to work with different types of musicians,” Watson noted diplomatically. “But just adding anyone else into Call of All wouldn’t work. Cody and I both defined what we wanted to say and how to say it – both musically and lyrically – and we decided right from the beginning that anyone else would complicate our vision.”
Musically, the Muscle Shoals area encompasses everything you could imagine in the Southern state – soul, R&B, country and rock ‘n roll. Muscle Shoals is known for recording many hit songs from the 1960’s to today at two studios: FAME Studios, founded by Rick Hall, where Arthur Alexander, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding laid down their chops; and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, founded by the musicians known as The Swampers, which developed work for Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones and others.
Call of All labels itself as an Alternative Rock band. The vocalist, however, said that the band’s intention was to not only draw from the legendary “Shoals Sound,” but to go beyond that musical description with a modern element.
“It’s a unique sound,” Watson said. “We definitely have a Southern soul sound, whether in our music or vocals. We honor the past while putting our own musical style on it that reflects today’s music, our era.”
Watson confessed that the highly-anticipated album took on the aspect of having fun while trying to garner a live performance feel.
“We had a very relaxed approach to recording,” Watson laughed, “meaning, it doesn’t have to be perfect. When you are onstage, it is never perfect! Cody will say to me, you like this? And I’ll reply, it’s okay, there might be a mistake but it doesn’t kill me, leave it in. Sounds good. Wasn’t expecting that. And somehow it comes out sounding perfect after all, like what we kind of imagined how it would sound like all along.”
Watson held high praise for his bandmate, who, with Ages Apart, recently wrapped up the summer months touring the States with Hinder.
“I’ve learned a lot this past year alone, and so has Cody,” Watson said. “We’ve been fortunate to have seen each other mature as musicians.”
Watson had nothing but praise for his bandmate, citing Webb’s talent and overall musicianship.
“Cody is all about musical discipline,” Watson enthused. “He’s very clinical in his techniques but he’s definitely a club player as well…so am I. He just goes out there and plays. It works out really well between us and we’re really tuned in to each other in that respect.”
Gone are the days when a band could showcase before multiple recording companies which, in turn, signed said musicians to a lucrative recording deal. The rise of the Internet and social media in itself is the rule. Self-promotion is where it’s at.
Call of All knows the ins and outs of the music industry and has used the knowledge wisely. Meaning, walking, talking and doing the whole deal with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, YouTube, to name only a few, plus act as a manager, tour manager, booking agent, and whatever else is thrown in the mix.
“Yeah, these days you have to be educated full circle,” Watson acknowledged. “You have to be versed in management, publicity, accounting, merchandising, you name it. There’s always someone out there waiting to take advantage of naivety. It would be nice if I could just show up and sing and not have to worry about anything else,” he laughed, “but that’s not going to happen, nor would I really want it to.”
While acknowledging that he and Webb would be thrilled to be signed to a major label, Watson said that would have to come with a few concessions…on the label’s part.
“Having the backing of a major label would be a dream come true,” Watson stated. “But, I’ve seen too many bands throw away their creative control and integrity once they have been signed. For us to sign with a major label would mean that Cody and I had full artistic say in our music and little interference from outside sources that may not know what Call of All is about.”
“That’s the beauty and curse of being on an independent label,” he added. “Full artistic control, yes, but coming up with the financial backing to do everything that goes into promoting your music is a challenge.”
While Webb divides his time between the Call of All and Ages Apart, Watson has explored other avenues as well – most notably in the modeling arena. Watson, who was signed earlier this year to Click Management based out of Atlanta, Ga., was named one of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week’s Breakout Models of 2015 by Examiner.com and recently made a cameo appearance on USA Network’s series Satisfaction.
Success with the Call of All, however, is not going to be measured by money, but by a different kind of wealth.
“My life’s philosophy is to use everything I have and have been given by God,” Watson opined. “My brain, my heart, my whole self. The Call of All is exactly that – giving our all, to the best of Cody’s and my abilities.”
According to a recent press release, Webb and Watson are putting the finishing touches on Call of All’s latest, which is expected to be released via Octavate Records.