Close to three decades after they received a well-deserved brush with fame, Sydney electro-rock outfit Caligula have unveiled their first new single since 1994, with “Broken” released today via the Sound As Ever label.
A track that feels much more evolved and matured than the Caligula of yesteryear (yet still maintains their trademark electronic sound and smooth vocals), founding members Ashley Rothschild and Jamie Fonti spearheaded the new single, which was conceived amidst the lockdowns of 2020.
“I started to really take notice of what was going on in the world,” Rothschild explains. “Social media and morning news were at the forefront for information and would leave me with less and less optimism. Everything appeared to be breaking down to the point that I wondered if we were too far gone. Are we broken?”
Having first formed in the early ’90s, Caligula quickly found fame around their native Sydney, with a handful of EPs peppering their early years together, before finding mainstream radio play thanks to their cover of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears of A Clown”, which hit #25 on the ARIA charts.
In 1994, group unveiled their debut album Rubenesque, which not only reached #13 on the charts, but also saw their track “Before” beat out the likes of The Lemonheads and Alice in Chains in the inaugural Hottest 100 countdown.
However, following Rothschild’s departure from the band that same year, Caligula disbanded, leaving its members to go on to begin other projects, while fans were left wondering about what could have been.
“I always felt that the band had so much more to give than the one album and handful of EP’s we released,” Rothschild says years later.
In 2018, Caligula reformed to support grebo icons Pop Will Eat Itself on their Australian tour, and later joined the Spring Loaded festival lineup in 2021. But now, more than 27 years after they last released new music, “Broken” is the start of a new beginning for the band, who are gearing up not only release a new album in 2022, but unveil some long-awaited east coast tour dates.
“When we put Caligula back together, it just felt right – almost as if we had never parted ways,” Rothschild explained. “When Jamie and I decided to write together, we found the spark was still there and we now have two albums worth of new material.”
“I’m stupidly excited to share our first new material with everyone, especially live.”
Caligula’s “Broken” is out now via Sound As Ever, with both a standard and instrumental version available via Bandcamp.