APB To Rock

2 May 2012 | 7:00 am | Chris Yates

“I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and I was like ‘Oh shit’ and it all came back to me," remembers Hayden Ing of being knocked out on stage. "I was like, ‘quick, turn around, turn around! I’ve gotta go back’,"

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While getting prepared for the tour to launch their first album Hold, Hold, Fire, Calling All Cars got a call in the car that it's pretty safe to say they weren't expecting. “Well we got a call from our manager,” Ing starts, “just saying, 'you're not going to believe what's happened, we're gonna have to cancel your tour'. I was like, “Oh no, what's happened?'”

It was at this point the band discovered they would be supporting AC/DC for their 2010 Black Ice tour. But the good supports didn't stop there. The band have since gone on to warm up crowds for Queens Of The Stone Age and Foo Fighters, to name just the heaviest hitters. All of this is fact; you can Google it for yourself to see the evidence.

There is, however, a lot of information floating around about the Melbourne band that is, well, dubious to say the least. Let's try and shine a truth torch and see what comes up. “Well that may or not be true,” Ing laughs when asked about the contested story that, when Shihad drummer Tom Larkin was recording the band's debut, he imposed Bikram yoga-style torture on the singer in the studio to get the best possible performance from him. Whether he is refusing to answer this for legal or hilarious reasons is impossible to ascertain. “He has been known for his unorthodox recording techniques, that's for sure,” he hints. Hmmm.

Next – Haydn's brother James, the band's drummer, is reportedly a skilled and passionate actor who was in strong contention for a role in Lord Of The Rings. “That may or may not be true as well…” he trails off before debunking that one completely. “Well, he went for some things a long time ago but he never get any callbacks. It's just 'cause he sucks I think [laughs]. He should just stick to the drums.”

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The last one isn't really a myth at all, there's video evidence and everything, but the circumstances still seem a little strange. Ing was knocked unconscious after some over-zealous crowd engagement at the Sydney Big Day Out this year, and his band were unable to complete their set. It was ironically during a cover of Mclusky's To Hell With Good Intentions, somewhat of a pisstake of this sort of 'my band is tougher than your band' tomfoolery.

“When you're in the moment you feel indestructible, but I went for it and copped an elbow in the jaw,” he recalls sheepishly. “I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital and I was like 'Oh shit' and it all came back to me. I was like, 'quick, turn around, turn around! I've gotta go back', but they said they had to take me to get some scans done and stuff. I was a bit bummed about that but we got a lot of press out of it and it could have been a lot worse, so I can't complain really.”

While the band are doing this 'victory lap' tour around the country celebrating the success of their second album Dancing With A Deadman, Ing says preparations for their next record are underway. “It's still early days, we're still demoing as much as possible,” he says. “We're at about fifteen songs at this stage, but we wanna try and get to about fifty and cut back all the fat and hopefully have something good in the end.”