Children Collide: Sword to a Gunfight

With a new album under their belts; a new tour underway and a new drummer on the cards, life for Children Collide is anything but boring. Pearl Davies spoke with vocalist and guitarist, Johnny McKay.​​​

I’ve read that you’ve thrown all genres out the window and that each of the 12 songs on the new album have their own sound. It’s even been described as a ‘theme park’ of songs? Yeah, I haven’t actually heard that first description of throwing genres out the window but it’s pretty accurate. We’ve got some more psychedelic type stuff and the 'theme park’ was just something I came out with at the time to describe the album.

You recorded Monument in a single Collingwood studio, whereas your previous album was recorded in five studios over four countries. Was this approach beneficial? It was definitely more of a family vibe because my manger was there. I recorded my demos with him — he’s someone we know and trust… enough to have one of those frank discussions [if] necessary. [But] for me, I could be a little distracted because there were a lot of people I knew that I could hangout with on the weekends.

Your last album Theory of Everything was nominated for an ARIA award — do you expect the same with Monument? I wouldn’t have a clue. I actually find it absurd that they have things like that. It’s a compliment — people thinking that we’re as good as other people, or better than other people, but I find it quite absurd. It’s like the Frank Zappa quote, ‘’dancing about architecture”.

So you don’t want to be compared to other artists? Well, not really. It’s like comparing a recording we made to a recording Guy Sebastian made — it’s quite absurd.

Your drummer Ryan Caesar will be calling it a day after this tour. He’s been with you guys since 2007. What happened? It’s typical. We shared a room for years on tour. I don’t know if you’ve had to sleep in the same room as your work mates but sometimes it doesn’t work. He’s one of the greatest drummers in this country and he’s a great guy. It was just a whole lot of little things, I guess, that just built up over time, that made it kind of awkward for everyone. I mean he’s got a lot of stuff going on in his life. I have to say, though, this tour has been awesome so far, so it’s all good. We’ll get someone else and they’ll be good as well.

Any ideas on who your next kit man or woman will be? Are you having auditions? I’d like to get a really old man, or an 80-year-old woman, or a really young kid. [But] we’re trying not to think about that. We’re going to get the tour out of the way and then concentrate on that afterwards.

At the Nick Cave Tribute show at Newcastle Panthers, you were going a little crazy for your first song. I saw a local techie chasing after the mic stand you kept throwing around. You were a bit of a jerk actually. Do you love your techies and roadies? [laughs]Yeah, I loved that techie! I remember him, he’s amazing. In fact, that tour, there were so many different singers and guitarists and changes in every different song, and he handled it so well. I don’t actually know too many techies that would have known how to handle that without getting stressed out. But he was always there with a smile on his face and had everything under control. I’m sorry if I was a jerk but hey, I think they kind of enjoy that stuff — they enjoy that stress. It gives them something to do, much better then standing side of stage tuning guitars. (laughs)

Like the security — they love it when artists jump into the crowd or when there’s crowd surfers. Yeah, totally. Why would they not love that? The security love it — they honestly do!

Monument is available April 20 through Universal Music.

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 Pearl Davies is an Australian based photography studio for fashion, glamour, boudoir, vintage, pinup, burlesque, music and commercial photography. Pearl Davies and her team have been helping restore confidence and self-esteem since 2008. We have an any shape, any colour and any size motto for our clients and are proud ambassadors of the #effyourbeautystandards motto. We are an all female studio and do studio, location and live photography.

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