Sometimes a phone call can change your life. Caleb Cornett was spending his weekends driving around his native Kentucky in a knackered old car, playing DJ sets in dive bars when he got a fortuitous call. “A friend of mine called and said he’d played my music to someone who wanted to sign me,” he recalls. “That turned out to be Derek, who now manages me. He called and said he wanted to start a record label. And he asked if I’d go and play a show with Steve Aoki in Florida that he was putting on!”
While breaks like that don’t come around every day, it’s hard to argue that the now 29-year-old Amtrac hadn’t already paid his dues. After starting out in an emo band in the mid-noughties (we were called Phlegmatic – it means unemotional,” he laughs), Cornett gravitated towards tinkering around with sound engineering and learning production skills, inspired by the expansive sounds of post-rock bands like Explosions In The Sky and Sigur Rós.