Brisbane’s Calgula’s horse have just put out their latest album and are about to tour round Europe. Tomatrax caught up with Sam, the band’s lead guitarist, to ask a few questions.

You received a lot of acclaim for your first two albums, did this make you feel any pressure in making your latest release?

To a degree yes, but it’s a kind of pressure that I would personally feel regardless of the response our previous albums received in that I need to feel that what we are doing now is the best artistic statement I can create at this point in time. The truth is that if I didn’t feel that there was some form of progression album to album, I’d probably lose enthusiasm quickly.

What made you pick ‘Bloom’ as the title track?

Actually, the title came first. We decided the album would be called Bloom, and carry with it all of the connotations that the word suggests, and then wrote the song Bloom with that in mind.

What was the inspiration behind the album’s cover?

My brief for our incredible artist Chris Stevenson-Mangos was extremely minimal since I trust his judgement and artistic temperament entirely. I told him I wanted something colourful and vibrant, somewhat circular in design (no hard edges) but perhaps suggesting stained-glass (which soon became a theme of the artwork), and showing lots of nature imagery, which I wanted to be extremely detailed and ornate. He hit it out of the park. I couldn’t be happier with it!


Where was the video for ‘Firelight’ filmed?

A property in northern New South Wales. A lovely place that may have been a farm at some stage, but had a sense of overgrowth that was beautiful and perfect for our concept and the album as a whole.

You’ve just been touring around Australia in support of your album, how did that go?

The tour with Tesseract was enormous. We’ve toured Australia many times and the response has only grown. The new material is going across great too!

You’re also about to tour Europe, is there anywhere you are looking forward to plying at the most?

I’m looking forward to seeing Prague and Budapest especially, but really, just connecting with fans that are literally as far from our home as they can possibly be is incredible.

What it like playing alongside Opeth?

Frightening, but massively inspiring. Few bands have influenced me as Opeth have.

You’ve been described as the next Karnivool/Dead Letter Circus, do you think that’s a fair call?

They’re both amazing bands, so it’s an honour! Stylistically I can see comparisons, but our approach is probably a touch heavier, and also a little stranger….

Do you ever listen to your own music?

More than anything else. It might sound strange to some, but I write this music in the shape of what I want to hear. Also, I need constant affirmation that it sounds okay!

What other music do you listen to?

Far too much for a brief answer. Currently: Agent Fresco, Steven Wilson, Steely Dan, and Gentle Giant.

What do you have planned after your world tour?

We have three Victorian shows with Dead Letter Circus in December. After that, holidaying with my wife! It’s been a big year!

Where did the name Caligula’s Horse come from?

I’ve always loved Roman history, and the story of Caligula is a particularly interesting one. Idiomatically “Caligula’s Horse” refers to a phoney, which also carries with it some funny connotations. Finally, it’s a name we probably don’t have to worry about anyone else using!


Check out Caligula’s Horse’s website to find out more!