Call rate are the powerhouse duo of Rae Cole and Oscar Bugarin who make tunes that blend genres like rock, country and southern soul. Their name pays homage to Oscar’s time in the military. They both got their start in California where Oscar met Rae. Oscar grew up with old school rock music and was introduced to country music while serving in the US Army in Kansas. Rae grew up on stage in theatrical productions before furthering her interests in classic rock, folk and modern pop. As a band, the two blend their own influences into one and so Call rate was born. They are set to release their debut album on May 3, which was made entirely on analog tape. We had the pleasure of chatting with Oscar and Rae about the new album and the inspiration behind it, plus a few other things we wanted to know, check them out below!
- Hi! Thanks for taking the time to discuss. For those who may not know who you are, give us a little history about yourself.
Rae: My name is Rae and I’m from Huntington Beach, California. I’ve been singing since I can remember – high school, college, everything. After college I moved to Los Angeles to continue singing professionally, which is how Oscar and I met.
Oscar: Well hello! My name is Oscar, I play guitar and I sing in Calling Cadence. I’m from southern California. I grew up in a very musical family and I always remember that music was a big part of my upbringing. I started playing in church and with my grandfather and at family gatherings, then in blues jams as a teenager, and eventually started playing in different high school bands. After the majority of my bandmates left for college, I decided to enlist in the military where I spent 6 years on active duty. I wrote a few songs, but didn’t take music too seriously until I ended up entering a singing contest while in the military called “Operation Rising Star,” a sort of military version of american idol.
- What are the things that have kept you sane during these unprecedented times of the pandemic?
Rae: Making our album has definitely helped keep me grounded during the pandemic. I feel lucky to have had a community of incredibly talented musicians to hide with, isolate and play music with during the shutdown. I liked to vibrate with the freedom and creativity that surrounded me.
Oscar: Playing guitar and writing music is always what keeps me connected. Working on our LP helped me keep meaning and direction…and hope, and I had a great time keeping the music alive with my friends around me.
- Your new self-titled album is due out this spring, how exhilarating is it to finally have a full body of work like this?
Rae: It’s amazing! I am so grateful to Oscar, our team and the high resolution recordings. It was certainly an unforgettable experience.
Oscar: Exhilarating is absolutely the word. It has been a dream come true to see our songs grow from simple ideas to a full album of produced tracks. I/we can’t wait to share it with the world!
- What were the inspirations behind writing your first album?
Rae: We definitely drew inspiration from the realm of the Eagles and Crosby, Stills and Nash, the music that we love. Personally, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and The Civil Wars. I think that between my past as a singer/performer and Oscar’s past in the blues, we got along well to produce a brilliant project.
Oscar: I grew up listening to Elvis, MJ, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beatles, Motown, Stevie Wonder, to name a few, who are like prophets to me. Everything I write tends to go through this filter. We wanted to make music that made us feel the same way those great albums made us feel.
- Do you have a favorite track on the album? If yes which ?
Rae: I love “Wasn’t it good?”. He has always been one of my favourites. Another favorite is “California Bartender”.
Oscar: “So Far” is one of my favorites. The whole band really delivered an amazing performance on that one… not to mention I love the classic rock vibes on it!
- You both decided to record the album on analog tape, without any computer, what made you decide? Do you think more musicians should consider this route?
Rae: Our music is so inspired by artists and producers who could only work in the analog realm. Digital, at that time, was far in the future. We were so lucky to be able to work with producers who not only knew how, but had a studio capable of capturing our music in this format.
It’s harder, but in the end, analog brought something to the end product that digital couldn’t.
Oscar: Absolutely. Having worked only digitally, but being such a dedicated fan of music from the past, I couldn’t understand how different analog sounded the first time I heard tape recordings in an engineering class. . I knew I wanted to make an album that sounded and felt like that if I ever could. Should more musicians think about it? Yes, if it serves the music.
- How would you describe your music in three words?
Rae: southern blues rock
Oscar: Red Dirt Indigo.
- What song or project are you most proud of?
Rae: I’m really proud of what we were able to accomplish with Calling Cadence’s debut album.
Oscar: I completely agree.
- Musically speaking, is there a moment or a memory in your life that you still want to hold on to? Or a moment that taught you a lot?
Rae: Right before the pandemic, we had a show that was by far the best and most well-received show I’ve ever been on in my life. The feeling was incredible. We absolutely killed it on stage, and by the time we came down we were surrounded by people who were genuinely thrilled to have experienced our music. To have that kind of impact on others, through music, is the best feeling I can imagine. It made me realize how much I love to sing and perform. How proud music makes me and how much I feel like I belong on stage. It’s a moment I will always remember.
Oscar: Yeah, back to my military days, I’ll never forget the feeling I had playing a song I wrote, in front of a huge crowd, for the first time and their response. It was amazing. It is a moment that I will remember for a long time.
- What music have you been listening to lately? Favorite artists?
Rae: I discovered some other new bluesy/country/folk singer-songwriters! Suzanne Santo from Honeyhoney is awesome, as well as Caamp and the Weepies. I also like going back to the old dudes, The Traveling Wilburys and Pure Prairie League. I also love The Civil Wars, they always end up on my regular playlist.
Oscar: I listen to blues…a lot. I listen to everything, all genres. Warren Zevon is a recent inspiration. A true poet of a songwriter. I’m soaking up as much of his catalog as I can right now.
- Finally, what message do you hope fans who listen to your music take away?
(Thanks again for your time!)
Rae: I hope people can feel it the way we feel it, that our emotion and our soul shines through. Hopefully this album can help inspire.
Oscar: For me, music has such an important place in my life and a lot of what I listen to is considered the soundtrack of my life. I hope our music can be the soundtrack to other people’s lives. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far! I look forward to seeing you all on the road.
Watch the beautiful video for “Just As It Happens” below and post it here. The band is also hosting a special giveaway to celebrate the release of their debut album, offering the chance to win exclusive merchandise like signed vinyl and limited-edition t-shirts. You can find more information on how to enter here!
To follow Calling Cadence // Website // Instagram // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Twitter //