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Rock Today


Cast Release Their Outstanding New Album Love Is The Call - Spring 2024

Love is all you need...

Love Is The Call is the wholly outstanding new album from one of the UK’s favourite bands, Cast, and you need to know how special this record really is. As you would expect, Love Is The Call is a hugely uplifting, high-energy record, full of infectious hooks and singalong choruses – but it’s so much more than that. The depth and authenticity of the songwriting is exquisite, constructed of social observations that present moments of reflection and acceptance balanced with a sense of empowerment. The band’s Merseyside routes come through beautifully, and as a body of work Love Is The Call transcends the suggestion that this may simply be a collection of 11 incredible songs. Overall we are treated to a wholly immersive experience presented in the most inspirational way. We catch up with frontman and songwriter John Power at his home in London to get the fully story on how Love Is The Call all came together. We are greeted by a man justifiably brimming with pride for what he and the band have created. With our guitars placed neatly on their stands, it’s time to go deep into the music…

Just before we get into the detail of some of the songs, I just want to focus on the overall approach you took to writing Love Is The Call. For example, I loved hearing about how Alan McGee was an inspiration when he said “John, you’ve got to go away and write a fantastic record, not just a good record” and you recently said that you knew what you meant by that. Did you feel enormous pressure or did you know exactly how you were then going to approach the writing of this Love Is The Call?

No, I didn’t feel pressure. To be honest with you, the conversation with Alan, all that did was confirm what it was I needed. I always knew that this record was a record that needed to be made, the band needed to make it and I needed to write it. I’d always kind of treated the end of The La’s and the beginning of Cast as two separate events but I had it in me to kind of write an album from the space between the two which is basically looking at it as a whole, without trying to parody or imitate anything else. I knew in my heart of hearts that this is the record I wanted to make. I just needed a bit of encouragement really and Alan just kind of said it straight and told it like it was. He just confirmed, or affirmed, what it was what I was already feeling, but I really needed to make this record. It’s got the jumping kind of beats and energy but it’s also got the experience and the wistfulness of a life led. We also just messed around with the idea of debut records, why they are so great and why they have all that energy and just plugging into it really. Once I had a vision or the idea, it was really just about being true to it. I also think the time is right. I don’t think I could have got the record the way it is without being where I am now. My acoustic rhythm playing and my understanding of the beats jumping and Keith’s (O’Neill) drumming has to fall in line with that, and me on the bass. All these things and all that long sort of musical journey all came to the fore and I was just like ‘Right, this is the record I want to make’. If I was a kid now making a record now I would still want to make something between Revolver (1966 album by The Beatles) and Hunky Dory (1971 album by David Bowie) as the polar extremes, you know. I just wanted to make something that expresses that vision really. I’ve never really enjoyed recording. It’s always been a bit of a drag but this was a really enjoyable experience, it really was. I’ve never enjoyed making a record as much as this. I think it’s just down to the fact that I can play, I can sing, I played bass. I let Youth (producer) in with the arrangements and he’s such a wonderful spirit and a wonderful guy. So there was just an energy about the whole process from accepting Alan’s wisdom, confirming what I already knew we had to do, to genuinely getting the songs in order and not making any kind of concessions and ensuring that they really did have this bouncing energy, and then kind of walking that thin wonderful line between All Change (Cast’s 1995 studio album) and The La’s. It’s very much a Cast record but it’s got a little bit of the energy I had when I was in that space. I don’t think the band were really aware of what I was talking about but then again I couldn’t expect them to until we started working on the songs properly and then they understood the vision I was on about. Otherwise would have just been John talking in the corner saying “I’ve got these ideas, we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that”. Once it started flowing, everything started to fall in place. I had all the songs demo’d like little sketchpads so there was no excuse for people veering off and going in different ways. They had a feel, they had an identity and then it was all about sticking to that vision. The whole process was exhilarating and inspiring. I’m really looking forward to people hearing the record because I couldn’t have made a better record at this moment in time.

Well, Love Is The Call is just a wholly outstanding record for so many reasons, and I’d like to talk about some of the songs. The first track I’d like to pick up on is the album’s opening track Bluebird. It’s a very simple, sedate, acoustic song which creates the most wonderful mood, but it’s specifically the lyrics I’d like to pick up on. With lines such as ‘put our differences aside, see ourselves in a different light, reaching out across the great divide’ and observations of a carefree Bluebird, this track, which is only 90 seconds long, is just the most profound and powerful piece of music. In short, this song appears to be about inviting everyone to come together and trying to show how easy it should be to do so. To what extent is that the essence of Bluebird?

I have to agree with what you’re saying there! It’s you know “no children don’t be scared of all the dreaded stories that you have heard”. I mean, I’m trying to make sense of a complicated and vicious world that doesn’t need to be like that. There were ideals that I had as a young man, the so-called hippie ideals or whatever you want to call it, the humanist in us all, so that song is about that. It’s a longing for people to reassure. I mean, I’m scared, it’s a difficult place out there and I’m just trying to make sense of it in the song. This is not how it was meant to be! I know for a fact what the world can be. This is just one reality we’ve chosen to mark it and to build. It didn’t and it doesn’t need to be like this but I say it takes a change of people’s mindset. I guess that’s why capitalism keeps people in, that kind of ‘stressful, never enough’, ‘you’ve always got to pay the bill’. There’s always something, there’s always a threat of war, there’s always a threat of famine. So it is a song about a sort of wistful, idealistic dream. It’s a thought I’ve always kept with me and it’s been laughed at, thrown in the trash and ridiculed but it comes back to it every time and it’s a very simple thing. You know, like Love Is The Call. Love is the highest frequency, it’s the only word that contains everything that I aspire to and the best of mankind is contained in that one word. Bluebird is just a little capture, like you’re turning the dial across the airwaves and to just capture this little sort of sonnet or song and in a fragile way it just gives you a little message. I thought it was a beautiful way to open the album. I think you’ve got to listen to track 2 after listening to that because it’s just not a big bombastic track. I was going to open with something bigger but I just thought that it was such a beautiful song. As you said, they kind of just settles everything like the dappled lines of the album.


It’s a wonderful way to open the album! The next song that I’d like to talk about is Forever And A Day. I absolutely love this song and I think that people are going to connect very strongly with the lyrics. Words such as ‘Why some days do I feel worthless?’ and ‘What’s the use, you say it’s pointless and now I know just what you mean’ – people will relate to these words. But importantly I also felt empowered by the lyrics ‘Keep your eyes on the horizon in case a ship may pass your way’, and that sense of empowerment resides within so many tracks on this album, for example, in the latest track Far Away. It just made me wonder, how important it is for you that people perhaps do feel empowered by your music?

I will always come back to the fact that there has to be some sort of inner hope for ourselves, no matter what life has dealt to you. That song is really a social observation and I’d say it’s the most critical of today’s time in the sense of ‘take a look outside your window, tell me what you see, just the world that’s turned it back on you and me’ and ‘why some days do I feel worthless, I’m running round on empty dreams’. I think the verses are very kind of urban and very true to what a lot of people’s lives are at this present day. But obviously the chorus is the ‘John power gear change’, you know, ‘You walk out the door, it’s stays the same but not today’. It’s never too late to turn round or to take a step forward to what it is you want to be, whatever that is. I think it’s more about keeping in touch with your inner self, that little part of you that is true. If you listen hard enough, he or she, it’s a human kind of thing, it never really went away. It was always there, you had it when you were younger and if you listen to it it may just guide you and give you the strength you need to see through the bullshit of the day-to-day living, which is pretty much bread and circuses on every level. And that’s the song really. It’s about disillusion and feeling abandoned maybe in the verses, but here comes the change. If you dig deeply, it’s there for you. You’re not going to get any favours from a society that’s turned it’s back on you, so it’s kind of a social commentary really but without it being a militant folk song. You can’t help but listen to the verse and think ‘Well, yeah’, and there will be a lot of people who will connect to that in the cities and industrial towns all over the country. They’ll kind of know what I’m on about without me having to kind of actually explain it to them all. And it’s a great song as well. I really do like this song. I love the musicality of it, I like the slightly Velvet Underground Sugar of the guitars and the straightness of it. That was probably one of the last songs I wrote for the record to be honest with you.

Just picking up on what you said about Love Is The Call and the word ‘love’, one song I do need to pick up on is the title track. When you sing ‘Whatever you say, love is the call’, I think there’s that simple message that ‘if we have love, then everything else can be worked out’. To what extent is that the key message of the song? It really is that simple isn’t it?

Well it is! It’s so simple that people think it can’t be true. We all live colourful lives and you get to a certain phase and it comes down to the fact that I can’t find anything, any stronger word or any stronger sentiment or emotion. This is where it’s like a bit of a cliche, it’s like ‘Oh, not that word again!’, but I can’t find anything purer or truer as a description. Give me a word that describes the true potential that we crave in our relationships and ourselves… So it is that sort of simple ‘love is the call’. It’s as fresh as the day, it’s as old as time but is the freshest word on my lips. We were working on that song and we were working on the album tracks, me and Youth and then the band, and I had a few titles I was working with but Youth just suggested Love Is The Call. I was a little bit wary at first because I thought yes, love is the call but is it the right title? Will it sit pretty with the songs? But the more they became slightly psychedelic pop and the more I tried to find another title – and I came up with all sorts of words - nothing topped it. So ultimately it just came right back to everything I’ve just said. I’ve got nothing more to say to anyone apart from that title at this moment, in this world, at this time. Call me an idealist, call me whenever you want to call me, but there is nothing more that this world could do with other than a little bit of love for each other.

Tomorrow Calls My Name is the most wonderful song to close the album, and it’s one that really made me reflect on the whole album and the profound journey that I’d been on as the listener. The opening track, as you mentioned earlier, references being scared. Throughout the album we get to understand and recognise life’s challenges but at the same time we are building strength, and with the last song we still talk about being scared but we are left with that true message of love that ‘everything’s gonna be alright’ and ‘I’ll be back tomorrow’. The authenticity and genuine heartfelt messages within this song and the album as a whole creates a hugely emotive experience and importantly I’m left believing every word you said and feeling ready to take the next thing that life throws at me. To what extent was this something you were specifically trying to achieve?

Obviously my idea for the album was to make the best record that we’ve made. Some people are saying is the best record we’ve made and that’s a very high call because of All Change and things like that, but I do believe some people are going to really get this record. When people listen to it themselves and they dissect it and hear the lyrics and all the songs, it becomes a personal journey. I can’t say that I had all these pointers. I followed my instincts and I said what I believe to be important to me knowing or hoping that that would also be important to others. A lot of times with a song I don’t quite know where I’m going. I’m calling and pulling in the primary colour emotions and I’m trying to say something about them whilst making an interesting song as well. The outro to Tomorrow Calls My Name, which is really quite emotional, that came very late in the day. We were recording the song and working on it and I was still working on some lyrics. The chorus was beautiful and quite Bowie-esque, and Youth was like ‘we need a change here’, and I’m playing with some chords. The lyrics came about an hour before I sang them, but as we were singing them there was something very emotional about the lyrics, and I was trying to match the emotion in the words with the emotion of my voice. We’re just passing through to be honest and I think it’s a recognition that we’re just passing through. It’s just a short journey (life) in the scale of everything: we’ve loved and we’ve lost, we’re losing people and people are being born, things you thought were yours you hold them but you don’t really hold anything. The songs just keep rolling by and everything that you thought was real standing in front of you, all of that in heaven and in hell, you know it’s going to be alright because what else could it be? I think that’s the sort of thing that empowers us to a degree as human beings. Also, it is a great song. A couple of people said that when I first played them the recorded version that they got quite emotional. It’s everybody’s lives remember. Everybody thinks we’re all so separated, and we are, but also we’ve got real common primary colour emotions. For the album, it’s a brilliant way of ending. The beginning and the ending of the album are both very interesting – from Bluebird to Tomorrow Calls My Name – they are the wide spectrum of vision, the ultraviolet and the infrared, and the whole spectrum is inbetween. There is an authenticity and honesty to this record and also an energy coupled with great songs - and probably the best performances of the band I would definitely say on a musical level as well. There’s nothing there that needs to be cut. It’s lean. It’s 10 songs and Bluebird. Tomorrow Calls My Name is an epic song and I love it dearly.

Cast Spring UK Tour 2024

Cast Spring UK Tour 2024

What the world needs now...

Cast Supporting On Liam Gallagher’s Arena Tour

Cast Supporting On Liam Gallagher’s Arena Tour

I’d like to move onto some of the massively exciting shows and events that the band have coming up. First of all you have, beginning on album release day, 16 record store signing sessions which is just such an amazing opportunity for fans. How important is it for you to connect with fans in such a direct way?

Even stepping aside from the band I do a lot of acoustic shows and they’re very grassroots. It’s just me and a guitar or me and a stripped down version of the band. It’s great because obviously it’s encouraging people to listen to the record, we’re going to do a little performance and a little meet and greet. People have the chance to say hello to us. I don’t know whether they will have heard the album, they will probably have only heard a few songs. I’ll be telling them to go away and listen to it and then next time they see me we can have a discussion about it! It’s all promotion but obviously it doesn’t really get tiring to meet people who are fans of the band and I don’t mean that in a ‘fan’-tastic way or an ego way. Some of us have travelled together for a long time. There will be people who are buying this record who were there 30 years ago buying All Change or The Las, and we’ve journeyed together. I just feel thankful and I genuinely feel that we’ve got a record now that I think they’re gonna love. If they get half the feelings that I’ve got about it it’s all gonna be worth it. That’s a good place to be: to be writing and recording and performing some of your best music at this stage. So it’s important! We’ll be there saying hello, doing our thing, promoting the record as well. We’re trying to create a little moment for everyone involved and there is no better way than the ceremony and the interaction between ourselves. I’ll be tired like, because I’ve got three shows a day on some of the days! (Laughs!)

Yes! I have seen that you are at least ‘doubling-up’ on quite a few other dates! We then have the full headline tour beginning in Glasgow on the 1st of March where you will be playing 6 dates followed by 10 arena dates a special guest to Liam Gallagher. How much are you looking forward to getting out there and playing the new songs live?

I can’t wait really because we did a rehearsal and it was genuinely just so easy! The songs just feel – I don’t know what it is – but it was kind of like the most rewarding rehearsal I’ve ever done! I just couldn’t believe it. We just played the songs a few times, got the arrangements, and they were just sounding great! And the whole band could feel that so it’s not just me picking it up because I know this was the record I wanted to make. The band are on it now. Skin and Keith are genuinely excited and it just feels great. I’m really looking forward to getting out and playing Love Is The Call, Bluebird, Tomorrow Calls My Name – they’re great songs and the whole album is full of great songs. They transpose wonderfully live and it’s going to be really great. So we’re looking forward to getting out and doing a big tour in March where we will be playing a lot of the new stuff. We will play the whole album probably and we will intermingle it with some classic Cast. And then as you said, we’ve got the Liam Gallagher tour. It’s amazing. Liam is going to be singing Definitely Maybe (Oasis’ 1994 debut album) which is an amazing album. All Change was out around that time as well so we will be playing songs from All Change but we will be dropping a couple of new songs in there. But it’s just great to be part of that amazing tour. It could be 20,000 people a night and it’s a massive opportunity for the band to reconnect with an audience who may have forgotten who we are and maybe a younger audience who are yet to discover us. So it’s very exciting to be part of it!

As we look ahead, with an incredible new album and so many events and shows coming up over the coming months, it feels like you’re on the edge of a cliff ready to jump. In the best possible way, is that how it feels?

There’s a lot going on but the one thing that this record has given me is which I don’t think I have had in the past is a detachment. I feel liberated from it all. I’m kind of at this point in my life where I’m not that needy and I don’t really want to be a star. When you start off as a young lad in a band, that’s all exciting that sort of thing. I’ve had the ego, I’ve had the fall, I’ve had the adulation and I’ve had the criticism. I’ve had all these things and ultimately I’m left sitting here talking to you about maybe a fantastic record. So yes, there’s a lot going on but what I’ve realised is that if somebody loves the record, that’s brilliant! If somebody doesn’t love the record, well none of these things really have an effect on the piece of art and the work that we’ve done. So I just have to stay detached. I’m genuinely excited because I genuinely believe the band have made an amazing record. The rest is up to you and all the other people who are going to hear it. I can’t get caught up in the drama because that will hurt, it will break and it will upset me, it will make me anxious. So the one thing I’ve learned, especially in this business, and it’s only coming to the fore right now, is that I’m just gonna stay in the eye of the hurricane and stay calm and let it go where it’s got to go. People are talking about the record and so far it’s all been very positive. I could let that go to my head but I have to stay kind of chilled and detached from it and I think it’s only because I know I’ve made the best record I could have made at this present moment. There’s no use me getting hung up about somebody who doesn’t dig it and it’s no use me getting a big head if someone does. I’ve just got to stay who I am and I think I’ll be alright!

Our closing thoughts...

As our conversation draws to a close, we reflect on what a wholly outstanding album Love Is The Call really is. This record represents the strongest of songwriting, hugely uplifting tracks but with an observation and a social commentary that prove there is nothing superficial about this release. The flow of Love Is The Call from start to finish is a journey and a cathartic experience, collectively this makes for perhaps the most important album music fans need to hear this year. To find out more head over to and in the meantime enjoy the video to Far Away below.

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