Liquid Signal is one of the more overlooked bands in the Indiana doom scene. While their placement up north in Kouts, Indiana puts them a little far from the hubbub here in Indianapolis, they’ve been forging their own path with a fair number of shows and a solid debut EP to their name. I emailed their drummer Christian McCall to ask him about their history, ambitions, and all other things Liquid Signal.
Indy Metal Vault: For those unfamiliar with Liquid Signal, could you give a brief history and describe your style?
Christian McCall: Sam and I started jamming in my garage I want to say the summer of 2013 with him on bass, and 2 different guitarists with varying degrees of reliability. The 2 guitarists kind of fell off the face of the Earth, Sam felt more comfortable singing and playing guitar than bass anyways, so he made the switch to guitar. We found our now former bassist Kenadi, and we were a 3 piece for a while. Adam contacted me about playing drums in a band he was in at the time, I went and played with them for a while. That band ended, but my drums were at his house, and I asked if I could have practice with Liquid Signal there. He heard us, dug us, asked if he could join, and we were all down with it.
Our style has changed a lot since we first started playing together, but it has always stayed somewhere in the doom/sludge/stoner spectrum, with I guess a little pinch of post-rock/metal. I would definitely say more towards the doomy end of things, but there’s definitely influences from other genres present.
IMV: You’re based in Northwest Indiana and have opened for some big names in that area, but have played shows in Lafayette and Indianapolis. How do you think the different scenes compare?
CM: Up here we definitely stick out. People either like us a lot, or they think our set is a good time to go have a cig. Local shows are usually mixed genre, which is cool because it gives us an opportunity to reach people who would never even know we existed, but can also be lame if the crowd isn’t receptive to different music. It definitely works out in our favor to stick out when bands like Goatwhore/Crowbar/Eyehategod come through, we don’t have much “competition” when it comes to getting opening local slots on those shows.
Down in central Indiana we definitely mesh well with the scene. There’s a dedicated doom/sludge/stoner rock scene, with dedicated shows to those genres, so by default we have zero problems fitting in. I don’t think I’ve seen a single person get bored and leave while we’re playing yet down there.
IMV: You guys released your debut EP last year. How do you feel about it now and how do you think future releases will compare to it?
CM: If we could go back, I think we would’ve definitely taken more time with it gotten better packaging. We recorded the drums live without a click and I did full takes, which for the most part worked out well, but I’m well aware there’s a few goofs.
Future releases will definitely be cleaner, I’d like to have more than 25 minutes of material, and will for sure come in real packaging.
IMV: How would you describe your writing process?
CM: Someone has a riff or two, they pitch that riff, and we jam on it for a while. The riff will get backlogged for a bit, someone will end up working on it themselves, show up to the next practice and pitch what they came up with to continue the song, we’ll jam on it again. That process repeats until we’re all satisfied with what we’ve made. Aside from a couple exceptions, our songs are very much a group collaborative effort.
IMV: Is there a particular song that you’re most proud of or one you think best represents the band?
CM: For me personally, I think “Black Masses” is one of our best works. It’s evolved so much from its very basic beginnings as we’ve all become more proficient at our instruments and gotten better at playing together.
IMV: What are your goals for 2017 and for the band in general?
CM: The current goal is to keep writing new songs and play more shows than we did last year. Details are tentative at the moment, but we’re looking at recording a split with our boys in Chainsmoker, and we’d love to do a short weekend run of shows sometime in the spring.
IMV: Is there anything else that people should know about Liquid Signal?
CM: We smell good and want to be your friends.
I went to Ball State University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing. Currently specializing in writing album reviews when I should be working at my day job.
My Grading Scale
A: An essential classic regardless of genre preference
B: A good album recommended to fans of a given genre
C: A flawed album with elements that are still enjoyable
D: A dull album that may only be redeemable for fans
F: It is a goal of mine to never review an album like this
I also play in a couple different bands and take it as much as I dish it out. Feel free to check them out!