Interview: Children Collide
It’s four in the afternoon and Children Collide are doing media interviews ahead of their slot on the all-ages Push Over festival. There's not a beer to be found, but the band are in good spirits.
Playing at an underage festival can sometimes be a pain: the early show times, the limited access to alcohol. Children Collide aren't fazed, they have their own survival technique.
“We’ve been stealing a lot of lollipops,” explains frontman Johnny Mackay. “And drinking water,” drummer Ryan Caesar chips in.
The all ages thing is a bit of change for the Melbourne group. The last festival they toured with was Big Day Out. “I had a fuckin’ ball [with BDO]," explains Mackay. "It was great playing to that many people, but we also played during the day; we’re not used to playing at quarter to 12 in the day. I actually had to change the whole way I live. I had to go to sleep at like nine or 10… I didn’t really do that."
Children Collide released their scintillating debut album, 'The Long Now', last year. The album was a mixture of their first two EPs, 'We Three, Brave And True' (which was recorded in a tin shed at the back of a house in Brunswick on a next-to-nothing budget) and 'Glass Mountain Liars' (which was done on a slightly larger budget).
Packed full of highlights ('Cannibal', 'Farewell Rocketship' and 'Social Currency' to name a few), the LP secured the indie-rock three-piece an even larger legion of fans. It was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in LA, which has hosted sessions for superstars like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Prince and Van Halen.
“Van Halen recorded 'Jump' in the studio, something I thought about every day,” Caesar laughs. “I used the keytar from 'Jump',” Mackay jokes.
The band may have also inadvertently written their second album. They had 50 songs when they went over and obviously had to cull the bulk of them. “We demoed before we went over and did the first album [in LA], so they’re [the songs] still kind of hanging around. We’re going to go and maybe demo some more songs and write some more stuff,” Caesar says. “It kicks arse over the first one.”
“Our second album is way better and we’re way into [it],” adds Heath Crawley. “We’re excited. We’ve got maybe like 18 songs; 12 of which will be on the album, but we’ll be happy as anything if any of them get on there. We’ve got another 40 going on the side and have an idea every time we play. The third (album) one might be a little bit sparse and vague.”
With all the friends from other bands dropping by during the interview and catching up with them during festival season, is there any chance for collaborations?
“I’m collaborating with Johnny and Heath,” Caesar laughs. “And Jason Mraz is actually coming in to do a couple of tunes with us,” Mackay jokes. “We’re big fans of Jason Mraz and have been for some time now.”
“I don’t think we’d be doing what we’re doing if Jason Mraz wasn’t around,” Crawley joins in. “Let’s be honest here, if there was no Jason Mraz there wouldn’t be any reason to make music,” Mackay says.
There are no definite decisions yet on this second record, but the trio are sure they’re not getting ahead of themselves. “We started off from 'The Long Now' and started spreading off in different directions,” Crawley says. “What’s going on for the next album is hard to describe, everything is like in completely different directions. We don’t know if we’re going to continue on with the exploration thing or if we’re going to go a certain way.”
Mackay’s quirky lyrics and sometimes far-fetched ideas (take 'Cannibal', for instance: “She is a cannibal and she likes me/ Kind of ironic cause I don’t eat meat”) beg the question, what is going on in his head? “I’m just really, really in touch with my spirituality,” he says. “And acid,” Crawley laughs. “Yeah, well, that’s a part of my religion actually,” Mackay adds.