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Thursday 18 January 2018

Questions and Answers: Walking On Cars

Patrick Sheehy
Patrick Sheehy

Walking On Cars frontman Patrick Sheehy on overnight buzz, record label love and the joys of growing up in one of Ireland's most

remote towns


Hi Patrick. I have to ask: have you ever, in fact, walked on a car? If so, is there a model of car you especially like walking on? Speaking personally, I'd love to walk on a Mercedes.

Actually, no. Our drummer came up with 'Walking On Cars'. We were looking for a band name and he just said it out loud. There is no meaning to it. You don't have to print anything about our name.

Well, we might. Anyway, you're based in Dingle. Given the geographic remoteness, travelling to shows must be a pain.

We've lived here all our lives. Yes, we have thought about moving to Dublin. Of course, you've got to factor in the rent and the general cost of living. Plus, the view around here and the peace of mind it brings, are hard to beat. We don't play much in Dingle. We usually go away at weekends. During the week, we get ourselves together and work on material. It's a good place to be creative. Bands such as Snow Patrol and The Cranberries have come down here to work on songs.

Twitter says you recently treated yourself to a new van. So this is what the big-time looks like.

Our old van packed in about a year ago. We've finally got a new one. Usually we do all the driving and setting up ourselves. We have to lug our own stuff around. At least we don't have to drive back to Dingle each night. Most of the time. we get put up after a gig which is pretty handy.

You've sold out two gigs at The Academy in Dublin and have announced a third date. By anyone's standards,that's impressive.

We were very surprised. About five months ago we sold out [Dublin indie institution] Whelan's, which was a big deal. The next step from there is The Academy, I suppose. We put on one date and it sold out in a few weeks. We put on another and it sold out too.

Do you get nervous before big gigs?

You'd be freaking out one second and on a different planet the next. It's a funny one -- a strange feeling.

You're unsigned.With all the buzz you must be attracting interest from record labels.

I'm not allowed to say. There has been a bit of 'lurking' -- nothing concrete. A lot of it will come down to the Academy shows. There will be a few industry heads there.

More and more Irish rock bands are doing well internationally. Do you see the success of, say, Kodaline as as example of what you can achieve?

I think so. The success Kodaline have had in the last year is phenomenal. If we get anywhere close to that we'd be over the moon. That would be dreamland. We're all big fans.

The Other Voices festival is, of course, held in Dingle. Growing up, was the event an influence on you?

Oh yeah, it was a very big deal. Even if you didn't have tickets, you might sneak in at half time. The first band I saw was Bell X1. I'd never heard of them and I snuck in to watch and fell in love on the spot. I went out and bought all their albums.

Any other unlikely encounters during Other Voices week?

So many musicians have passed through -- Elbow, Amy Winehouse. I didn't meet her but if she was lurking around the town, I can't have been too far away. Last year James Vincent McMorrow and Ben Howard were around too. Those guys are just legends.

Be honest -- as an adolescent did you find a small town on the fringes of the Atlantic coast the most boring place in the universe?

When we were teenagers we thought, 'oh wow, this place is brutal'. I grew up a little and learned to appreciate what we have here.

You're giving it the full Chris Martin in the video to your new single, Tick Tock. Do you enjoy emoting for the camera?

I actually hated it. I'm not even going to be in our next video, that's how much I disliked doing that. I'm sure I'll have to appear in another one some time in the future. That's the way it goes.

For an unsigned band, it's a pretty slick promo. Did you spend a wedge on it?

Actually, I reckon we spent about 12 or 13 euro on it. Everyone who was involved in the video was someone we knew. Thankfully, the guy who shot it for us found a way to make it look really expensive.

Walking On Cars play Academy Dublin December 7 and 8 with an extra matinee show December 8

Irish Independent

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