DANCING WITH SUCCESS
James Ing from CALLING ALL CARS has had a busy day when we finally get to have a chat. In between getting ready for their nationwide tour starting this month, the Melbourne trio have been juggling rehearsals, media commitments and recent obligations coming from their newly released second album Dancing With A Dead Man snaring the honour of triple j’s feature album of the week.
“It’s funny, I kept missing our songs on the radio. I’d be in the shower then get out and the radio presenter would say ‘that was Calling All Cars’!” laughs James. “They’ve been thrashing [the album] heaps, that really helps.”
Despite the high risk of ‘second album syndrome’, where a follow-up album to a successful debut bombs due to high expectations and time constraints, Dancing with a Dead Man is garnering a lot of positive feedback and praise.
“Everyone was always talking about ‘second album syndrome’, [so we chose to] combat that by getting into the studio and demoing and doing lots of preproduction whenever we could pretty much, in between shows.” says James. “We pretty much started writing straight after the release of the first album, so it was kind of 40 songs going into the studio and then culled it back and just picked the ones that made it into the album.”
In March, Calling All Cars got to play as the support band of American supergroup Queens of the Stone Age on their Australian tour.
“We are all massive fan-boys! [I’ve] grown up listening to those guys and have always been a huge fan so it was really humbling that we got chosen for it,” James remembers. “We had to step up our game, we kept thinking ‘there is no way we can fail in front of our favourite band’! It was surreal!”
It has been this can-do attitude that has taken the trio on an astounding number of tours, playing alongside some big names including Birds of Toyko, Grinspoon, The Butterfly Effect, AC/DC and Green Day.
James explains, “We’ve toured with so many bands over the last two years, it’s just a matter of watching and standing back and finding out what does and doesn’t work and just seeing the way they work.
“You definitely take influence from your peers and the people around you, [I think] we’ve become better musicians because of it.”
Hard-working doesn’t even begin to describe the work ethic of the boys. If they aren’t touring, they’re writing, or recording, or finding other things to do instead of taking a holiday.
“Now that the album is finished, we are all thinking about getting back into the rehearsal room and start demoing and stuff for the next album, the more ideas the better,” says James.
“You constantly need to be out there doing something in the public eye. The only way you are going to get any better is try and do as much as you possibly can. It’s kind of our lives so I think we’d get bored otherwise!”
Calling All Cars will be playing Transit Bar on Thursday September 1. Tickets are $20 through Oztix.