Eleven months after first gracing the pages (pixels?) of Music Vice, Perth‚Äôs resident blues-rockers Cal Peck and the Tramps are set to launch their second EP, Kill For You which comes out on Peck‚Äôs own label, Hurricane Records this week. Sitting outside his rehearsal space, looking as sharp as one can on a cold Tuesday evening, front-man Callum Peck expounds upon his band‚Äôs recent successes. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been playing a shitload of shows, and obviously recording our second EP which was started in August of last year; last time we spoke‚ÄĚ ‚Äď a complex process indeed.
The band has also had some high-profile shows in the past few months, playing with New York legend Jon Spencer‚Äôs Heavy Trash and performing at the Hope From Ashes ‚Äď Toodyay Benefit Concert with the likes of Adam Harvey and Angry Anderson in January, as well as securing a Friday night residency at Perth dance-hop, Deville‚Äôs Pad.
Peck has balanced all this activity with a newfound family life, having become a father for the first time. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm really enjoying it. Huge lifestyle change. My wife‚Äôs pretty understanding, and if I didn‚Äôt play music I‚Äôd be fucking crazy, so, she knows that.‚ÄĚ
As to the process of recording the new EP with renowned Perth engineer Andy Lawson, Peck describes the process as much more polished than the band‚Äôs debut effort, Cinnamon which came out last year; having to learn how to play to a click track and record separate tracks for each instrument. ‚ÄúWe had the songs ready but I think really he tweaked it. Cinnamon we recorded completely live, this time we thought we‚Äôll do it properly. ‚ÄėProperly!‚Äô so we did Andy‚Äôs way, which is a lot more of a pop way of doing it; so: click track, drums were done, bass was done, so everything‚Äôs perfectly in time and the tempo stays good. It came out really well because it just put a different feel to it, but it still sounds like us.‚ÄĚ
In describing the title of the EP (which is also the lead single, ‚ÄúKill For You‚ÄĚ), Peck tells a tale of love turned sour and going from being willing to do absolutely anything for a person, ‚ÄúI‚Äôd kill for you‚ÄĚ, to just plain wanting to kill you.
Retracting slightly, Callum assures us that he‚Äôs not actually homicidal, and goes on to talk about the band‚Äôs recent nomination for Best Blues/Roots band in the 2010 Western Australian Music Industry (WAMI) Awards. While not winning, the band was held in high esteem given their relatively short time on the scene, ‚ÄúIt was great! I made a joke last year at the WAMIs, said to my wife ‚Äėwe‚Äôll be nominated next year‚Äô ‚Äď just taking the piss, and it happened!‚ÄĚ. At this point, the Tramps‚Äô harp player, Dave Benck interjects to trumpet the accomplishments of the other nominees, Abbe May and the Kill Devil Hills; both highly established and well regarded artists.
Speaking of the band‚Äôs touring ambitions, Peck mentions some tentative plans to hit Australia‚Äôs east coast towards the end of this year, with an eye to play shows in Melbourne and Brisbane; though doesn‚Äôt stop short on promoting any band‚Äôs most important gig ‚Äď the next one, which happens to be the Kill For You launch this Friday, 23 July, at Deville‚Äôs Pad. In comparing their expectations to that of the last launch, bass player Byron McLeod Robertson acknowledges the pressure the band is under to top that performance. Supporting the band will be another fine Perth blues/rock act, the Painkillers, which Benck stresses will feature Perth‚Äôs most in-demand guitarist, Luke Dux (Floors, Will Stoker and the Embers). When asked if Dux might take a turn at leading the Tramps, Peck replies ‚Äúhe‚Äôs trying.‚ÄĚ
In speaking about his plans for the band‚Äôs future, Peck says they are hoping to have a full-length album out by next spring, as well as promoting the EP through more shows and radio play. ‚ÄúThe big goal is to get national airplay, isn‚Äôt it? That‚Äôs the plan with this EP. Hopefully we‚Äôll get some interest from Triple J and some of the east coast stations‚ÄĚ.
Given that last time he sat down with Music Vice, Peck mentioned his vices as booze and cigarettes, and that his band has practically lived at Deville‚Äôs Pad (famous for its many cocktails) for the better part of a year; Peck pondered over the question of what would be in a Cal Peck Cocktail. Cigarette and beer in hand, he went for something simple, ‚Äúa bourbon and Coke, I reckon‚ÄĚ. Benck, having slightly more adventurous tastes, suggests a mix of peyote and tequila, but Peck‚Äôs suggestion is perhaps best expressed by Robertson, who provides some fitting nomenclature; ‚ÄúA Tramps and Coke.‚ÄĚ
¬© Steve Pass, Music Vice