An Interview with Charlie Calv of Angel

Header image credit: Joe Shaeffer Photography

Image credit: Joe Shaeffer Photography

Recently, we caught up with keyboardist Charlie Calv, of glam rock outfit, Angel. Among other things, we touch on how Angel is kicking off 2022, Charlie’s early years, his long and varied career in music, what’s next on the horizon for Angel in terms of new music, and a whole lot more.

If you would like to learn more about Charlie and Angel’s many musical endeavors, the link to the band’s webpage is here. Once you’ve checked that out, dig into this interview with Charlie. Cheers.

Andrew:
Charlie, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Charlie:
All things considered, I have been very well.  We have been working on the new Angel record, Once Upon A Time, that will be out later this year. Also, just finishing up the first installment of a trilogy called Maze Landing, sort of a sci-fi kind of story, where people communicate via cranial implants that allow them to function as holograms outside of their physical beings, it will be very cool. The first installment will hopefully be out in August, and it includes the first three songs, with narration, a comic book, and an over eighteen-minute short film. Looking forward to what people will think of it. 

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

Charlie:
My grandparents had an organ in their living room, so I gravitated toward that at a very young age. Mom always had music playing in the house, all the great pop artists of the 70s. Then my next-door neighbor turned me onto Led Zeppelin, Rush, Cheap Trick, and so many others. The first album I think I bought was Double Vision by Foreigner when it came out. Then one day we were listening to Physical Graffiti and “In the Light” comes on, and was like “Wow, I want to make those sounds,” and there you go.

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences?

As far as keyboardists, Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Jon Lord and Greg Giuffria. As well as listening to everything from Yes, Kansas, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Harry Chapin, and Neil Diamond.

Image credit Charlie Calv Facebook (official)

Andrew:
Take me through how you became a member of Angel.

Charlie:
I was playing keyboards in Punky Meadow’s live band, and also was on his comeback album, Fallen Angel. So, from there, it just kind of morphed into where we are at now. Originally, Chandler [Mogel] who was the singer in Punky’s band could not do a string of dates that were being booked, so we were kind of forced into maybe getting another singer to fill in. There were always talks about trying to do a joint tour with Punky’s band and Frank [DiMino’s] band being they had both put out solo albums, so that’s how it started. Because of budgets and accommodations and stuff like that, it was going to become too costly to have both bands out on the road, so they just kind of assembled one band that would play Punky and Franks songs, and then do a bunch of Angel songs. The shows went extremely well, and they kept adding more and more, including their first ever trip to the UK. So, the logical next step was for Punky and Frank to work on some new material, and I know all the original Angel members were approached, but for whatever reason, things did not work out, so, I was offered the keyboard spot after it did not seem Greg [Giuffria] was going to do it, and here we are on, album number two for the new line-up.

Andrew:
You mentioned that Angel has a new album set for release. Dig into it for us.

Charlie:
I can say that for fans that were a bit disappointed with the lack of keys, or them being too low in the mix on Risen will be pleasantly surprised with the new one. We are actually still remixing some tracks now to try and get it even sounding better. With that said, it has everything I think fans will expect, some new twists and turns, and of course, some classic Angel-sounding stuff. There will be eleven tracks on the vinyl version, with the CD having some bonus tracks, I think it will be fourteen total. Some of my favorites are “The Torch,” which I believe will open the album, as well as “Blood of my Blood.” I’m not sure if I am supposed to mention songs yet, so I will cap it at that, as we aren’t sure of some of the final song titles yet. [Laughs].

Andrew:
How about the touring side of things. What can you tell us regarding upcoming shows?

Charlie:
We have already started 2022 with some shows and will continue throughout the United States, as well as hitting the UK and Europe in August, and then coming back for another round here. We will not be adding any newer stuff until the album comes out, but we are still playing some stuff from Risen, as that tour got cut short because of the pandemic, so we are kind of still making the rounds promoting that as well as all the Angel classics. The band is sounding great, Punky and Frank are as amazing as always, and rounded out by some great guys and players. Of course, the resurrector of Angel, Danny Farrow, along with Billy Orrico and Steve Ojane.

Image credit Charlie Calv Facebook (official)

Andrew:
Being that you’re also one of the men behind Deko Entertainment, are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums, and why?

Charlie:
I still have my vinyl collection, and still have a CD player in my car. I probably rely a little more than I would like on digital these days, really just because of the convenience factor. As you mentioned, I am part owner, and run the day to day of Deko Entertainment (ADA/Warner), and we do our fair share of vinyl releases and everything on CD. People still need to experience the physical product, digital is just one dimension, real music enthusiasts want the full experience.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Charlie:
Between Angel and the label, I don’t really have much time for other things, but I do love working outside in the yard, and creating landscaping ideas, trails, and paths to enjoy. We live on just under forty acres, so there is always something to be done outside. And yes, that vibe does translate into the music, keyboards just like landscaping helps to paint that colorful picture, or create that mood. 

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days? Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Charlie:
Both. I think there is tremendous opportunity to put yourself out there and reach places that you never could before, but that also has created this world of 60,000+ songs being uploaded every day. How do you get heard through all that noise? That is the big question. The music business needs to reinvent itself.

Andrew:
Last one. What’s next on your docket, Charlie?

Charlie:
Getting back on the road, seeing the Angel fans, and playing some music!

Image credit Charlie Calv Facebook (official)

Interested in learning more about Angel? Hit the link below:

Be sure to check out the full catalog of VWMusic Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interviews

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found VWMusic in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Idle Chatter. Over time, the column grew into a website that now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process. Some of Andrew’s favorite artists include KISS, Oasis, ACϟDC, Elvis Presley, Ace Frehley, The Rolling Stones, Rush, The Pretenders, Led Zeppelin, The Gaslight Anthem, Iron Maiden, John Lennon, The Melvins, Noel Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Rory Gallagher, The Stone Roses, The Strokes, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, Neil Young, Blur, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, and many more.
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