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Interview: Walking On Cars – Touring, dealing with success and what’s next

Walking On Cars were back on Merseyside to play their biggest Liverpool show to date at the O2 Academy, so we had a chat with them before they went on stage.

Welcome back to Liverpool! How’s the tour been so far?

Paul Flannery – It’s been good! Got to have a few beers last night, while taking Sheffield to the top!

We saw that actually, you went to the game while you had time off?

Patrick Sheehy – Yeah, we were playing in Sheffield so we went to see Sheffield United, they played Shrewsbury Town, Sheffield won 2-1!

Ah right, so not a wasted trip to Sheffield then! But you have been pretty busy this year, you’ve more or less been non-stop touring across Europe. So when you get the time off, what do you like to get up to?

PF – Go for food!

Sorcha Durham – Yeah, that’s normally what our free time revolves around.

PS – FIFA and food!

PF – We went to the Christmas market today, down the road.

PS – I think it’s a nice time of year to get a couple of hours off to go and have a look.

Christmas Market outside St George’s Hall
So do you get to go and take in the cities you go and visit? Do you even have the time?

SD – This time around has probably been the best, any other time we’ve done gigs around the UK we’ve been in the spinner van, whereas now we’re on a tour bus, so we actually have time to travel overnight. So we’re getting to appreciate places a lot more than we did last time.

PF – We were just there in the morning on the bus in the centre of the city, so you can just go and have a look around. We don’t normally soundcheck till around five o’clock so we’re off basically till about half four.

Sounds perfect, like a free tour around the UK!

So with 2016 almost over, what would be the highlight for you from this year?

PF – I’m gonna jump in here and bags it before someone else does cos I know they’ll wanna use it but our gig at the 3 Arena [in Dublin]. We played our first arena show and it was pretty great.

SD – Number one album! for about four weeks in a row in Ireland!

PS – If it wasn’t for Adele, we’d still be there

You were in the singles charts for quite awhile too with ‘Speeding Cars‘ weren’t you?

PS – Speeding Cars kind of took us to the next level, like we were playing in Holland and it was a radio hit over there. So to go and play somewhere we’ve never been to and there’s 1,500 people singing every word of the album, it’s pretty insane.

So since you were last in Liverpool, back in March, what have you been up to?

 Dan Devane  – A lot of touring! Spent a lot of time in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, been to The States since.

SD – Festivals over the summer.

PF – Just generally being out and about!

PS  – We do get the odd week, here and there to go home for a bit and just chill.

Do you get time to chill?

PF – Yeah, like we get a couple of days here and there now, it’s fairly hickeldy pickeldy, it’s great when it happens, we get to go home and just sit on the couch…

So Everything This Way, your debut album, came out back in January, 10 months on, what’s the reaction been like for it over here?

PF – Really good but at the start, anything that happened outside of Ireland was a bonus to us, we wanted to focus on touring around Ireland and then pushing on afterwards. Then everything that came outside of Ireland was extra that we weren’t expecting and really happy about.

SD – Yeah, like it kind of shows when on this tour now, everyone’s singing not only just the singles back that have been on the radio but all the songs that haven’t been released as singles. That’s when you know that “ah they have been listening to the album!” Which is amazing!

You’ve got songs on the record that have a lot of passion, they’re very heartfelt, especially the likes of ‘Speeding Cars‘ and ‘Tick Tock‘. Are these songs based on personal experience or are you just really creative?

PS – A bit of both I suppose, Speeding Cars was the only one where we wrote 70 percent of it when we first wrote it. And I suppose we never realised that it was such a tune when we went to the studio with it four or five years later.

Like if you were to have told me back then that this was going to be our major song, I wouldn’t have believed you. So to see it as other people saw it as it got released, we couldn’t believe it!

So what’s the creative process like when it comes to writing these songs? Do you work together or individually, how do you got about it?

PS – We sit in a room together, with an instrument each and I have my notepad, sometimes the acousitc [guitar] but it gets overpowered by the amps. So that’s how we start off, looking for a beat and it comes together.

PF – And “it’s like “oh we’d love if you’d play that back… oh that’d be really cool if you did something like this…” and they’d say “oh yeah!” and then they’ll take it somewhere else.

SD – Totally, yeah. Sometimes you might be working on a progression and you bring it to the group and then Evan will play a groove that you’d never even thought of. Then you’d play that progression to it and think “oh, that’s completely different but it’s pretty good!”

Ireland has a fantastic track record of putting out great bands, such as yourselves, The Coronas and Two Door Cinema Club. So who’s up and coming that you can recommend for us to look out for next from our neighbours?

PF – Brian Deady, he’s very good.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kv_IAJnavM]

PS – Picture This are looking pretty hot as well right now.

What can you tell us about them?

PS – Brian Deady has a really soulful voice.

SD – He’s actually going to be supporting us for a few dates around Europe and will be with us for our show at the Roundhouse in London.

PS – Then Picture This kind of just came out of nowhere with these amazing, catchy songs and we can not get enough of them!

SD – Yeah, they’re similar to The Coronas.

PS – Things are looking good for them.

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T72qlb4SVeg]

After this tour, what’s next for Walking On Cars?

PF – A couple of days off on the couch! Then we’re off again to America and we’re playing in Germany as well, then we’ll have a few days off for Christmas. The Wednesday after Christmas then, we all get dressed up and go around our town in weird costumes!

On New Years Eve, we’re headlining the New Years Eve show in Ireland in Dublin, so we’ll be playing when the clock counts down.

So no rest for the wicked, as they say?

PF – We’re hoping in January to take some time off, write down some new tunes.

Walking On Cars @ O2 Academy 25/11/2016
The band played in the O2 Academy, for only their second appearance in Liverpool. We were there to catch their set, check out the review by clicking here

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