Home / Interview: The Changes’ Rob Kallick – Roger Ebert is His Hero

Interview: The Changes’ Rob Kallick – Roger Ebert is His Hero

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The Changes are a quartet of talented musicians who hail from the windy city of Chicago. Darren (Singer/guitar), Dave (guitar / vocals / songwriter), Rob (bass), and Jonny (drums) all worked together to self-produce their recently released debut album, Today is Tonight. They have played with the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, The Futureheads, The Walkmen, and many more.

Jubilant, genuine, and romanti — these are the words bassist Rob Kallick uses to describe the musical style that drives The Changes. As soon as he started playing with his fellow bandmates, he knew it was the right situation for him. "There is something to be said for band chemistry and I felt it right away. That is not something you can prepare for. It's a combination of luck and being in the right place at the right time. Fortunately for the four of us, we all got very lucky finding each other!"

Growing up, Kallick loved all of the big time pop music playing on the radio. "I loved whatever was huge on the radio — be it Phil Collins, Wham!, or MC Hammer. Then grunge was huge for me — Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins. Songs with big hooks, big choruses, and strong melodies were what I was attracted to. Today, it's a little different as I don't listen to the radio nearly as much, but I definitely have a number of 'guilty' pleasures that are right in line with how I was at ten-years-old."

Music isn't his only inspiration. "Roger Ebert, the movie critic, has been a huge influence on me. He has a huge heart and loves movies so much, it's infectious. I try to bring that (love) to music as much as possible."

His love of music outlasted the worst experience he ever had on stage, which only included a two-member audience… who just happened to be his parents. We won't even talk about the guitar Dave accidentally left behind in the parking lot that night! Even with a few bad shots here and there, the best shows are more than enough to make up for the less-than-perfect show. "New Year's Eve at Schubas last year, we went on at 11:59 p.m. and the energy in the room was out of control. As soon as we started playing, I knew it would be my favorite show ever."

Speaking of the best and worst, Kallick recalls what it was like to produce their debut album. "It was both good and bad. Good because we pretty much got to follow any crazy idea that came into our heads. Bad because sometimes you need someone to tell you when enough is enough! We went on plenty of tangents that led us to sitting in a room, staring at each other at five in the morning, wondering what to do next. On the flip side, we had plenty of musical moments that I believe only could have happened by the four of us being left alone."

Kallick's favorite song on the album is "When I Sleep". He says, "After months of working on how it should sound, Darren and Dave remixed it while Jonny and I were out of town and the result was something I never would have imagined. It was an awesome surprise."

When not on stage, you may find Kallick planted in front of the tele, watching a baseball game (he loves the Cubs), or you may see him and Darren out and about eating everything in sight at some of Chicago's great food joints (he loves to sample all kinds of good food). One thing is for sure, though, Kallick definitely looks forward to getting the band known to the public, whether they like The Changes or not. "I want as many people to hear the music as possible. Whether they like it or not is up to them, but hearing it is step one."

For more information about The Changes, or to find out if they might be touring in a town or city near you, please visit their Official Site.

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