Calumet-Hecla (CH) pronounced (cal-U-met HECK-lah)
Hailing from Michigan by way of Worcester (WUSS ter), MA, this four piece marries harmonic chords to feedback, straight fours to mayhem drumming, low-end melody to high-end noise and calculation to chaos. Together since 2001, two of the band's members started the CMAA, a non-profit arts organization in Central Massachusetts.
What does Calumet Hecla mean?
Hint: it has to do with the fact that 2/3rds of the band met in the frozen north of Michigan's Upper Peninsula
C-H puts "the focus more on dynamics and instrumental flash than on vocals or melody...I particularly enjoy the bassist's strutting rock attitude; with the guitar player hemmed in by pedals on three sides, it's nice to see a little bit of motion on (or, really, near) the stage. The first half of the set is either one really long, complicated song or makes use of a series of really inspired segues and bridging loops. The myriad effects mean that we get a custom-built guitar sound for every section of every song, but he's also a hell of a guitar player, and there's even a fantastic bit where he's captured a number of different loops and he plays a bizarre solo by switching back and forth among them in time with the rhythm section." - see Steve Gisselbrecht
The concept of CH began in the fall of 2001 after Jason Karby and Anne Baldridge relocated from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the Worcester, MA. They started the band with Kent Randell, but when he took a vacation to California they got a new guitarist and voted Kent out (two to one, Kent didn't get to vote). They put out a three song ep called “this mine…is not ours”. Eventually C-H aligned with Dan G as a permanent guitar player who has played with such local Boston bands as Ignatia Amara, the Monster Attacks King Noise Machine tour, the Bears and the Giraffes, the Wooly Mammoth Tour 2002 and the Metroliners. He joined us in July of 2003 dragging along with him three massive pedal boards and stereo dual-amp setup. Temporarily Kent rejoined the band before he moved to go to Graduate School. Fortunately his presence is in the newest release Alloy. In fall of 2007, Mike Ducott joined CH to make it a four piece again. With Mikes jazz guitar background and extensive knowledge of theory the experimental nature of CH continues to evolve.
We believe that music should not have an age discrimination. For all three of us going to shows as youngsters helped develop our passion for music now. We try to create that same experience for others whenever possible. Truth be told, kids are more apt to "freak out" and become ecstatic because they are more open to new music. We typically encounter this phenomenon in a DIY forum set in the suburbs, over your average city club scene. Even with idealism aside, often, these shows are just more fun!