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Orlando calls Broadway Calls

By Ida V. Eskamani


It's the final day before Ty Vaughn, frontman of Oregon punks Broadway Calls, kicks off the beautiful chaos of the band's upcoming tour. It's a gloomy day in St. Helens, Oregon, and at this moment, Vaughn's main concern is his dog Desi interrupting our conversation. "He's 5, and he's an Australian shepherd. So he's just all about herding people. If I'm not in the same room as others, then it becomes a problem."



In standard DIY style, drummer Josh Baird spent all weekend printing merch, and in a ritual the band has followed since high school, they will gather at Baird's home before heading on tour.


Broadway Calls became a band in 2005; Vaughn and Baird, along with bandmate Adam Willis, have been making music together for a long time. Vaughn and Baird have been at it since high school.


"We're both 41 now and we've been playing together since we were like 15," he says, "and we're only getting better at communicating the older we get."


Almost two decades in, we can call Broadway Calls veteran musicians. They've toured the country several times over, as well as gigged abroad. In 2013 they took a much-needed hiatus as a result of that relentless lifestyle.


"We needed to stop touring as much as we had been, and kind of just get our lives in order," admits Vaughn.


And that they did, setting the stage, so to speak, for their eventual resurgence. The band found a new label home in Chicago's Red Scare Industries, and after seven years, they released their fourth record and accidental pandemic soundtrack Sad in the City. The record was embraced by old and new fans alike. The band have rolled out several singles since then, all compiled into the just-released EP Coming After You!


When you think of rural America, punk rock may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it's often these unlikely places where you'll find flourishing scenes. For Broadway Calls, small towns are the stomping grounds they know best. It was Longview, Washington, a small city nestled in Mount Coffin and land of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, where the young punks found a scene to cut their teeth. "Longview, that was the town that we would play shows in and go see shows," says Vaughn. "And even though we were only about an hour from Portland, Longview had its own scene, and bands would stop there on tour. And that's where we learned to be a band."

It's also where bandmate Baird learned how to be a promoter, and in a full circle moment for the band, Baird says, "Josh is about to start booking shows in Longview again ... which hasn't happened probably in about 15 years or so because there was no venue. And now there's a venue."


Vaughn is earnest in his support of creating a space for emerging acts to practice their craft. "It just inspires more people to start more bands or to get involved however they want to, which is great," he says.


The band has a fondness for Florida. They consistently play Gainesville's annual punk pilgrimage, Fest; but beyond that annual event, they haven't toured the South in over a decade. With four Florida stops in four days, they're making up for lost time, and fast.


As is the case for millions, Vaughn has conquered fears and learned countless life lessons here in Orlando. "I actually rode my first ever rollercoaster in Orlando," he says. And at a show at Will's Pub long ago, it was tourmates in the Menzingers and Flatliners causing the thrills: "I remember being crowd-surfed against my will by the people I was on tour with ... and it was very very scary. I don't usually do that shit," Vaughn shares with a lingering hint of trepidation.


When asked for any last words as we wrapped up our conversation, Vaughn keeps it concise but essential: "Ceasefire in Palestine." And, of course, "We'll see you in Orlando."


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Ida is an Iranian-American from Florida who grew up with the Beatles, and came of age in the pit. She will talk to you about music for as long as you will pretend to listen. She is founder of Bandifesto, a little blog with a big heart

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