By Bailey Hosfelt
Private Caller is a rock band comprised of five Fordham students — Roger King Jr., lead vocalist, FCRH ’18; Jeremiah Hyslip, lead guitarist, FCRH ’18; Aaron Laub, drummer, FCRH ’18; Johnny Spadaro, bassist, FCRH ’19 and Tyler Jurewicz, rhythm guitarist, FCRH ’18. The band got its start on campus last year.
Most recently, they competed in Battle of the Bands, an audience vote-based competition held outside of Rodrigue’s Coffee House. Private Caller came in second place. They will open for PWR BTTN, the main act at Rodrigue’s Spring Show on April 28 at 8 p.m.
The Fordham Ram: Every band has a story of how it came to be, what is Private Caller’s?
Roger King Jr.: Private Caller was the brainchild of Jeremiah and I in room 116 of Martyr’s Court Jogues. We were always jamming in our dorm. People would walk by and hear music playing at any time of the day. After a while, we wanted something with a bit more substance than just acoustic sets, so we decided to take on Aaron as our drummer.
Then we realized that we needed more sound and added Johnny as the band’s bassist through a chance encounter at Subconnection. Jeremiah commented on Johnny’s Rage Against the Machine shirt and the rest is history. I used to play guitar for the band, but wanted to concentrate solely on vocals. That’s when we added Tyler to the group.
TFR: How would you describe your sound to those who have never heard Private Caller play?
Private Caller: One word: rock. We are experimenting with our sound right now with an album that includes many different genres of rock. We tend to lean toward rock with a grunge undertone or just classic rock. We also have songs that are based on the blues and funk, some that are more coffee house and acoustic.
TFR: What does the creative process look like?
PC: When it comes to song writing, it’s all Roger and Jeremiah. Roger’s form of songwriting tends to be more melodic, simple and voice-oriented, while Jeremiah’s sound goes towards progressive, technical and instrument-oriented roots. When we get together and write, we gain a fusion of the two.This can be seen in songs like “People Change,” “The Call” and “Anastasia.” With hectic college schedules, it can be hard to find the time to practice. Whenever we can get together, we stay in a Keating practice room for hours on end until we have somewhere to be or are too tired to keep playing.
TFR: What is your favorite song to perform?
PC: Our favorite cover to play is “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand because the song has a lot of energy and it really shows our strength as a band. Our favorite original to play is “Which Way Wicked Women Work.”
TFR: You described the band’s sound as being primarily rock with some blues, funk and acoustic elements on a few tracks. What musical groups have influenced Private Caller?
PC: Seeing that we listen to all different types of music from classical to metal, we have a lot of outside influence in our music. Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Nirvana, Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, Queen and Van Halen are some of our shared influences.
RK: I get my vocal influence from Paul McCartney and Robert Plant. My uncle, Tim Borer, is also one of my musical inspirations.
Jeremiah Hyslip: I get my playing influence from John Petrucci and David Gilmour.
Aaron Laub: I look to Sublime for my drumming.
Johnny Spadaro: I find the greatest inspiration from hardcore punk bands, especially radical leftist bands. Rage Against the Machine is definitely my favorite. Political music has always been appealing to me and plays a core role in my musical essence.
Tyler Jurewicz: Led Zeppelin is a huge influence for me.
TFR: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
RK: I have to drink a cup of tea before a gig.
JH: I like to make a video log to document our process before we perform.
JS: I get quite nervous pre-show and wind up tuning my bass 10-12 times, which is wildly unnecessary.
AL: I quickly go over the song order one more time before we go on stage.
TS: And I’m the only normal one.
TFR: How was the Battle of the Bands experience?
PC: Overall, we enjoyed our Battle of the Bands experience. Everyone was very supportive of the bands playing and the setup went smoothly. We played with a lot of energy. It was disappointing to find out that we didn’t win, especially because we came in second by only a four vote margin. But, we were just happy to get to jam out and do something we all love.
TFR: How can people listen to your music and learn about upcoming gigs?
PC: We have one song uploaded to our SoundCloud under the name Private Caller, and our Facebook page (Private Caller) is constantly updated with upcoming gigs and original songs. We are always looking to play new gigs and love when people reach out to us.