When the members of Broadway Calls decided to stop making new music in 2013, there was no master plan. There was no determination on when or if they would ever make new Broadway Calls music. The members simply felt ready to take a few new paths and express their creativity in different ways.
“We put out Comfort/Distraction and we did some touring on it,” says vocalist Ty Vaughn. “I think by the time we got done with that record cycle, which was pretty short for us, we were just kind of ready to focus on other things. I wasn’t excited to go make another record.”
Vaughn explains that they were naturally ready to put other projects ahead of Broadway Calls.
“We never really broke up, we just stopped making new music,” he says. “We played shows whenever anybody asked us to, but the band wasn’t the priority like it used to be.”
The full return of Broadway Calls came without expectation. The members had moved on to other creative facets. Vaughn was playing with his hardcore band Dead Tropics while drummer Josh Baird and bassist Adam Willis formed the country project Wonderly Road, but a familiar itch came back that couldn’t be ignored.
“I never really thought that we were going to make another Broadway Calls record, honestly,” Vaughn relays. “I thought that the last one was going to be it and then we’d just go on with our lives and keep playing shows if we kept being asked to play shows, but then Josh [Baird] got motivated and that helped me to get motivated, and we started coming up with really good songs too.”
Those songs are what led the band’s latest album Sad in the City, released July 10 via Red Scare Industries. Initially the pressure was on to put out a worthy comeback record, but Vaughn says that worry was only holding them back from making their best record period.
“We were going to do our own record, produce it ourselves,” Vaughn explains. “I didn’t really know if we were going to be able to live up to people’s expectations, but once we were about halfway through the record, I realized that wasn’t what we should be worried about anyway. It’s really just about making our best record and we did. I think we’re all in agreement that this is our best record.”
Vaughn says it’s that self-assurance that relieves any fears they may have had about the album’s appeal to fans.
“I think that getting the music out now, I’m way less nervous about how it’s going to be responded to,” he says. “I guess I’m a lot more confident in the record now than I was a year ago.”
It’s no secret that just about everyone’s plans in 2020 have been royally obliterated by COVID-19. Broadway Calls are no exception. Releasing music during a global pandemic was probably not the band’s ideal situation, but their comeback was a force that wasn’t worth stopping.
“When the virus started to pop up, we had our tours booked and we had the single being pressed, so we had decided to keep going with it,” Vaughn says. “I’ve talked to Toby [Jeg] at Red Scare about this exact situation quite a bit and he really sold me on it, on releasing the record this July because he said the lyrics are so relevant to what’s going on right now in the world.”
“I didn’t really write the record with a pandemic in mind, but I did write the record with a lot of bad societal collapse coming in mind, so [Jeg] thinks it’s a good move to get this record out now, and I don’t want to sit on it any longer.”
The pandemic isn’t going to stop new Broadway Calls music from making its way into the world and the band doesn’t feel the need to let it. Music still has a place even when the world is at a standstill and Vaughn expresses confidence in this notion.
“People can still enjoy music, which is really important,” Vaughn expresses. “If the record’s done, it’s ready, there’s no point in just holding on to it just to try to make our business live better, you know? I’d rather get it out, let people sit with the record for a while, and then when we can go play shows again, that’ll be a really good test of who liked the record.”
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