Calling All Cars

Calling All Cars

Kris Peters chats with Calling All Cars Adam Montgomery ahead of their gig this Friday at the jack..

In a little under four years Melbourne’s Calling All Cars have built an impressive musical resume. They have had the Triple J album of the week, been nominated for APRA’s song of the year as well as its best rock/punk record, supported bands of the calibre of Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters and played at the Big Day Out festival.

So when it came time to plan album number three the natural thing to do would be to stay on the same path of guaranteed success. Not so for this band, who made a conscious effort from the get go to make something more accessible, and dare we say it, dance friendly. “Not in the way of dance music dance friendly,” bassist Adam Montgomery laughed, “more so we wanted the music to inspire more hip shaking and movement as opposed to straight four on the floor rock.” The result is the recently released ‘Raise the People’ an album that had the potential to divide their fan base but actually ended up galvanising it. “The response has been really great,” Adam enthused. “It’s a fairly different record for us from the previous two we’ve done. I guess we’re a little bit…… not nervous, maybe hesitant to see how it was gonna go because it’s not our normal heavier sort of record, but the reaction to it has been better than we could have hoped for. Everyone so far has gotten behind it and there has been so much warmth for it, which has been an amazing feeling. We were interested to see how the fans would react because we obviously made it and we love it and are proud of it but that doesn’t always translate.” “We’ve noticed at the shows there’s a lot more dancing and movement going on in the crowd which is really cool because it was definitely a conscious decision when we were writing to think about tempo’s and grooves instead of just thrashing it out.”

The title of the album is also inspiring, hinting at something a little deeper. “It’s a call to arms more than anything,” Adam agreed. “We liked the title and what it represented. There’s a lot of indifference with rock music at the moment – it’s not really in a healthy state in Australia – but it is starting to pick up again. There seems to be a lot of beige, vanilla tunes out there at the moment – not only from rock bands – but a lot of stuff on radio is soft and boring so we just wanted something to get people to feel the whole vibe again for rock and roll.”

The album cover, as well as promotional tour posters, is plain white with a large rhinoceros and an even larger horn prominent. It is kind of imposing and ambiguous at the same time. “I guess while the album title is a powerful call to arms, the rhino is also a powerful animal,” Adam mused. “We wanted a powerful image and we came across that and it was perfect. So perfect in fact that we actually bought it on line! I think the manager has it in his office as we speak.”

In the lead up to the release of ‘Raise the People’ Calling all Cars decided on an effective strategy to both get them ready for touring again after a nearly twelve month hiatus as well as get a feel for people’s reaction to the new music. Playing under the name of ‘Werewolves’ – which is also the name of one of the albums lead singles – the band hit the local circuit playing only new songs to audiences in relative anonymity.

“Everything we had just done was so different to what we had done in the past,” Adam explained. “Normally our music is more straight out rock and roll but some of the new songs are quite different so that was exactly the reason. We wanted to gauge how the songs would go live. We didn’t tell anyone about the shows specifically but we wanted to get the songs out there and see how they went. It was a good way of getting back into the swing of things and get on stage and play the new tracks.”

Having achieved success and acclaim in their own country, Calling all Cars will soon be leaving our shores in pursuit of further riches overseas so this will definately be your last chance in some time to catch the boys perform. “We finish the tour on May 4 and we are off to the U.K the next day,” Adam confirmed. “We’re basing ourselves there for a little while which is something we’ve always wanted to do. We’ve signed a record deal over there for this record which is really exciting. Its just time for the band to do the international thing. We haven’t been overseas or made it our focus in the last four years so we just feel ready to take that next step. You have to be confident and back yourself. We’re proud of our band and our songs. It’s nerve wracking and exciting but it’s one of those things where we live in such a small country and it’s easy to get wrapped up in Australia but there’s also a big, huge musical world out there.”

– Kris Peters

Calling All Cars play the Union Jack Hotel on Friday April 4 Supported by Sworf and Shnexpean. Tix $20 + B.F Through Oztix or $25 on the door. Doors open at 6 P.M
Approximate set times SWORF 7.00 – 7.45
Shnexpean 8.00 – 8.45
Calling All Cars 9.00 – 10.00