Interview: Poor Calvin, Back in Action, “Get” Ready for a New Year

Credit: Maddie Bomher

Well, they’re back! November marked the one-year anniversary of Optimism Inc. by the soulful, modern indie rock band, Poor Calvin. Last Friday marked their newest single, “Get,” on all platforms and special announcement of their upcoming EP, Twine.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Poor Calvin, the band is a four-piece arrangement consisting of old soul singer-songwriter, Brian Doherty (vocals, rhythm guitar); indie rock electricity and backing vocals, Evan Optiz (guitar); the rumble from down under, Nick Soria (bass); and the groove stronghold, Jimmy Kowalczyk (drums). Once again, the guys took a few minutes to share their excitement about the new single and what’s in store for 2021.

Credit: Maddie Bomher

Theres a general impression of some serious growth and maturity since the first album. The new photography hints at it. How have you evolved as a band since the pandemic surfaced in March?

All: Our growth stems mostly from a change in our writing process. We had written and recorded “Get” and the rest of Twine days before the pandemic. In Optimism Inc., we reworked songs that Brian had already finished. This time around, we all worked together in the development of the EP. Adding Nick on bass was also a game changer.

Tell us a little bit aboutGet.”

Brian: “Get” is pretty personal for me, like a lot of tracks on Twine. It was a way to process some professional and personal baggage I was dealing with even before the pandemic. I think the way “Get” says fuck off for me, is the same way people will say fuck off to 2020.

Your Instagram story hinted at a collaboration inquiry. Are those starting to come through the vines? What does that mean to you when someone reaches out like that—is it a skeptical feeling or do you jump in head first?

All: We were extremely tongue in cheek in response to the bot comments we were receiving on our posts. Instead of removing them, we chose to poke fun at the situation with our friends. So, to answer the question, yes we were skeptical, but no we are not working on collaborations. With that said, the extremely talented Jess Brooks, Dave Hollis, and Jack Peterson make appearances on Twine.

What do you want this year to be for Poor Calvin?

All: Honestly, we are just happy to be working together again after being on break from the pandemic. We missed writing and playing together so much. It hurt. The goal is to find success doing what we love, and in this case we just love making music with each other.

Sometimes it’s a little hard to be “unbiased” when sharing music your friends make. I listened to “Get” on Spotify today. When the song started and finished, I never realized it was Poor Calvin. What I did do, is click on my phone to find out the artist. That’s what this song does—it captures you. Make sure to follow Poor Calvin on their Facebook and Instagram pages to stay updated on their new EP, Twine, as well as other story-telling content about the group.

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Michael Kocourek

Michael Kocourek is a Berwyn native, now living on the north side. He is a marketing professional, but beyond the corporate world, his passion involves sharing live concert experiences with the masses. If he isn’t curating a playlist or sharing a new song, he’s likely eating at a Chicago restaurant or cooking.

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