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Children Collide - When Children Collide With Faker

Author: Justin Levy
Monday, 19 November 2007
Johnny from Children Collide shares his knowledge of Oz’s rock scene, the obscure inspirations for his music…and when it’s appropriate to get shit-faced.  3D’s Justin Levy is impressed.

Johnny the frontman gets right down to business.

“Last Monday we did this secret show at a club called Pony at 2 or 3 in the morning – it was packed with drunk people and we got really drunk, and I think I broke my foot,” he remembers. “My foot’s been kinda fucked ever since. Everyday we’ve just been trying to write more songs. And there have been a lot of pain-killers.

“I guess some of the time it’s important to be on the ball. At other gigs it works better if you’re fucked up. So it just depends. That gig was about getting fucked up and playing songs we don’t normally play.”

But it’s not all piss and painkillers for the mid-20s rising rocker. Music is crucial, and life is all about music for the part-time graphic designer and his bar and call centre-working comrades, who end up pouring most of the money back into the band. Children Collide are about to jump into some big shoes with Faker’s Be The Twilight national tour, but listen to their music and you’ll see their feet are adequately proportioned.

Things are coming more into focus lyric-wise lately for Johnny and the band, with former allusions to David Attenborough’s Walk of Life, Greenland Vikings and some of Aldous Huxley’s more philosophical works leading to more private and intimate references.

“The lyrics have been getting more personal lately. I was quite detached the last couple of years and I’d been writing stuff that was quite outside myself. It’s been getting a bit personal – the last batch of songs – like very personal interactions,” he says.

Children Collide have been compared to classic artists like Nirvana, Fugazi, and Sonic Youth, but Johnny says their band crosses genres, and doesn’t care for style labeling.

“We tend to react against stuff like that, when we’re pigeonholed,” he says. “They’re all amazing bands – I think Fugazi’s probably the closest one. With the Nirvana one I think people were kinda listening with their eyes. That’s a fucking compliment – at least we’re not being compared to shit bands. We try and make music that isn’t like other music,” he declares. “And if we write a song that sounds like another band or another song we’ve already written, we shy away from it or try and change it.”  

If everything goes to plan after touring with Faker (spanning Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra, and much of the rest of the country throughout November), they’ll be releasing their very own album in May. Further touring is, of course, on the agenda - and maybe a documentary, says Johnny. And what does he have to say about the ever-changing rock music scene-

“Steer clear of gimmicks. But if you wanna make money and get a fast road to somewhere maybe you should indulge in a clever gimmick, and not be original. That sounds bitter – I’m not really bitter, but I think that to be satisfied in the long-run it’s best to be yourself and avoid grabbing whatever’s ‘now’ or gimmick,” he advises to young rockers. “And write good songs,” he adds.

WHO: Children Collide
WHAT: Support Faker at The Forum
WHEN: Friday 23 November