Hailing from Reno, NV, this female fronted band's provocative and energetic performances are captivating audiences all over the west coast. Their honest lyrics, infectious melodies and hard hitting beats have evoked comparisons to No Doubt, The New York Dolls, and Social Distortion, Courtesy Call is fresh while remaining familiar.
CC caught the ear of Grammy award winning recording engineer and multi-platinum producer Joe McGrath (AFI, Green Day, BB King) in early 2010 and are in the process of recording a self-released EP, due 2011. The first three songs; “Something Special”, “Let It Out”, and “Now I Won’t”, were finished in the end of October 2010 and are set for commercial release starting December 1, 2010.
This band has had crazy energy from the start. Within the first 6 months of forming, the band had written and recorded a 9 song demo, written 5 more songs, and independently sold 500+ copies of “Courtesy Call” a fully produced 4song teaser. Since then, CC has had the opportunity of playing with great acts such as Ming Ping, The Lovemakers, and punk rock legends, The Adicts. They’ve opened at multiple festivals and have played at venues like Knitting Factory, Reno; The Venue, Boise; and Fais Do Do, LA.
Part of the romance of being in a band is seeing the world and Courtesy Call hopes to do just that, with plans for an 8-state tour for the spring, and dreams of a nationwide tour for the summer, they just want to spread the love of live rock music again. Their 6 song EP is due out June 8, 2011.
Elyssa Lee - Lead Vocals
Ryan Giddings - Lead Guitar
Silkin Corson - Bass Guitar
Brooklyn Reiff - Drums
Something Special EP, January 2011
Courtesy Call EP, March 2010
Demo, August 2009
WWSU 106.9, Wright State U., Dayton, OH
KUGR radio Pullman, Washington,
Women of Substance Radio (Live 365), LA, CA
RadioUK International, London, UK
Radio Rock Cafe, Quebec, CA
Maximum Threshold, www.maximumthreshold.net
Wherewolf Radio, www.wherewolfradio.com
Pick Up the Clue Phone: Courtesy Call is Truckee's Next Big Band
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I’m not completely sure if it’s due to natural economic evolution, or the fact that pop music–making...I’m not completely sure if it’s due to natural economic evolution, or the fact that pop music–making machine Lou Perlman is behind bars, but it seems that Craigslist is the new way to make a band. That’s right — forget about Diddy; Craigslist can not only provide you with the hopes of meeting that missed connection or acquiring that Poseidon-shaped lamp, it can hook up a like-minded singer, bassist, guitarist, and drummer. Just ask fresh-faced Truckee/Reno-based Courtesy Call. Formed in June 2009, Elyssa Lee (vocals), Silkin Corson (bass), Adam Schwab (drums), and Nick Saxon (guitar) have melded their various musical backgrounds to give fans a sound harkening back to the days of good old fashioned, female fronted rock-n-roll. Over pizza and nachos at a venerable local watering hole known more for its brews than its friendly wait staff, I learned everything about the hurricane-sized impetus behind honing this baby band for greatness.
“I never wanted to be in a band,” Corson said. “Then Elyssa got up the guts to sing one of her songs for me and that was it.” Then Corson and Lee posted a Craigslist listing looking for a guitarist and drummer and first met Schwab. “I actually turned around halfway to the tryout,” Schwab said. When asked why he turned back around he answered, “Well, I had come halfway up the hill, why not go down the other side.” (Schwab and Saxon live in Reno, while Lee and Corson now live in Truckee.) The trio had been practicing together for a while before Saxon came on the scene, something he recognized right off the bat. “I could tell they were serious and I was impressed with Silkin. Bass should blend with the drums, and I could tell he was a great player,” Saxon said.
After that first meeting, the band fell into a groove, practicing three nights a week, and writing songs collaboratively. “What I think is unique about us is that 90 percent of our songs are written together,” Lee said. They have written 15 or 16 solid originals and just wrapped recording on a nine-song demo that they plan to push out not only at a CD release party on March 13 at Reno’s The Underground but also with a full press distribution targeting local and national media.
“So what is so great about Courtesy Call?” you may be asking yourself. In my humble opinion: they are unique. They’ve got a great rock sound in an age and location full of emo, jam, reggae, bluegrass, and metal. They write honest lyrics and are unabashed in their love for good music and supporting other local musicians. Lee has been toting around notebooks full of lyrics since she was five years old; Schwab played in a punk band for seven years while Saxon played in a metal group, and both have taken genre changes in style and stride. Corson truly believes that while synthesized indie rock is the “it” thing now, music is cyclical and it’s only a matter of time before rock rages back in full force.
Why shouldn’t it be time for a rock revival? The group agrees that the Truckee/Tahoe area is saturated with jam, bluegrass, and reggae sounds while Reno is superfluous with metal. Being a rock band in the area is “working both for and against us,” Lee said. “It’s so hard to book [a venue] because we aren’t jazz, reggae, or bluegrass, and it’s hard in the musical climate to find other bands like us to play with,” Corson said.
“It’s also more of a drive to do it,” Saxon said. “People just might not realize how sick of jam bands they are until they hear something different.” Despite the apparent lack of pop/rock around, Courtesy Call is united in what Lee calls “musicians building musicians.” Corson suggests using Seattle in the 1990s as a guide for “how musicians helped each other and created a whole musical style.” Saxon and Lee agree, noting that it’s “counterproductive to compete.” Saxon guarantees that at any given show one is sure to see Lee dancing wildly in front of the stage to the other bands sharing a Courtesy Call billing. “I just love to dance,” Lee shyly admits.
And boy, does she dance. During a recent show at Tahoe City’s Fat Cat Café, Lee is decked out in a little polka-dot dress. Her red lipstick shines as she alternately growls and purrs around the stage, dancing and pumping up the crowd. The guys all embody classic stances, Corson seems cool and aloof while still sounding warm and powerful, Saxon seems to unknowingly channel Buddy Holly, and Schwab keeps his head down while keeping the beat. The crowd is packed in, sweaty and inebriated. Catcalls abound as Lee switches gears and sings along to a Fleetwood Mac cover acoustic. Her voice is amazing whether breathing new life into Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,” or hitting it hard with one of their originals such as “Rung by Rung.” At the show the group also unveiled their new collaboration with local clothiers Acyl Clothing. The company is not only sponsoring the upcoming CD release party, but helping to create a Courtesy Call clothing line.
The best way to show your support for this hot little local rock band is by becoming a member of their street team. Don’t miss their upcoming CD release party, March 13 at The Underground in Reno. Supporting bands are Fighting the Villain, Full Count, Passports, and the Reagan Years. Get in touch and show your support at myspace.com/courtesycallband.
by Jackie Varriano
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Music Sass action Courtesy Call By Kelsey Bauder This article was published on 03.11...
By Kelsey Bauder
This article was published on 03.11.10.
Upon first listening to Courtesy Call’s soon-to-be-released, self-titled EP, I was surprised by the versatility. The first three songs are crisp, lively, and would fit right in on No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album. Track four on the EP, “Another Day,” comes as a stark buzz kill to the sassy disposition that vocalist Elyssa Lee’s angsty wail creates on the other songs. Eerily similar to Natalie Merchant’s later stuff—post-10,000 Maniacs and that uncanny feminist phase—“Another Day” left me convinced that these guys are more than just a band to jump up and down to. Their music is clever, refreshing, and still damn fun to sing along with.
Walking into Lee’s apartment on the outskirts of Truckee, I was struck by how different each member, and their taste in music, seemed to be. The drummer, Adam Schwab, was a former member of local punk band Penny Dreadfuls, while the guitarist Nick Saxon gave the impression of being a borderline metalhead. Lead singer Lee presented a bubbly personality and, dare I say it, listed Christina Aguilera as one of her major musical influences. Bassist Silkin Corson seemed to act as a middle ground for musical tastes.
Despite their differences, the four came together pleasantly in one of the most error-free band practices I’ve witnessed.
“I would definitely say we’re rock music,” says Lee. “It’s catchy.”
Members of Courtesy Call are adamant about savoring a “raw rock” sound in their music. “We started off thinking we were going to go in more of an indie direction, but as we started playing and developing songs, we liked more of the clear rock sound,” says Corson. Despite suggestions to add a keyboard or synthesizer, band members stuck to their guns about keeping their sound pure.
“I think part of the reason our music started taking a different direction is because they were filling in the space with bass line and guitar,” says Lee. “We didn’t need another instrument.”
The energy this band emits is something to envy. Even if Courtesy Call’s music doesn’t jibe with you, you’ve got to give these guys credit for their sharp performance skills.
“That’s one of our biggest goals, to get on stage and look like we belong there,” says Corson.
Courtesy Call first began taking shape last June after Lee placed an ad on Craigslist. The band’s name embodies how they came together—“by making courtesy calls to meet each other in person,” says Lee. “The name was catchy yet mysterious.”
Lee liked the name Courtesy Call because it has multiple meanings and possible interpretations.
Currently, the band members have been practicing hard and working on recording their EP. They hope to have a longer album out by the end of the year and have aspirations to tour nationally.
Courtesy Call will have their EP release party on March 13 at The Underground.
“We’re still trying to break into the local scene a little bit,” says Corson. Corson and other members seemed frustrated at Reno’s tight-knit local music scene, but they’re excited to see it evolve in the future.
“We want there to be a Reno scene,” say Saxon, “and we want to be part of it.”
Our set list consists of the following:
originals; Here We Go Again, Change, Trapped, Set Me Free, Another Day extended version, Rung by Rung, Let it Out, Attention!, The City, Blame, Karma, I'd Rather be Hunting Zombies, Now I wont, On Your Knees, Something Special, Cant Be Helped
Heartbreaker by Pat Benetar, Straight Up by Paula Abdul remix, Dr Feelgood and Kickstart my Heart by Motley Crue,
Hurt by NIN
There are no upcoming dates at this time.