POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE
POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE might be inspired by the likes of The Smiths, Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground, want to restore the mythos behind being a rockstar and have a burning desire to delete The Internet, but this mob aren’t interested in nostalgia.
Instead the group - formed by Frankie and Simon a little over a year ago and based in Liverpool - want to offer comfort to a generation being battered by social media anxiety and millennial growing pains with art that refuses to settle inside genre lines.
“Writing music is such a self-indulgent thing, ‘I feel like this so you should pay attention to me’ but hopefully people can listen to POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE and feel understood,” starts Frankie, who struggled with his mental health throughout High School. “It was only through music that I felt heard. You become more aware of yourself through other people’s observations and I want to be a vessel for others to express what they’re feeling.”
“Every band that defined a generation has been able to do that,” adds Simon, citing Nirvana, The Smiths and The 1975 as examples. “They’ve been able to help people express how they’re feeling, then pick them up and take them for the ride.”
It’s a lofty responsibility but the collective takes it seriously “If people are going to hear our music, we need to make sure what we’re saying is worth being heard,” explains Frankie.
POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE’s lush, dreamy debut EP started life after Frankie moved to Liverpool from Washington for university and a better local scene (“the days of Fugazi and Bad Brains are sadly long gone”). After being introduced to a load of classic English bands, he wanted to craft something similar but modern, asking himself “what would The Smiths sound like if they were a band in 2020”?
He didn’t want to do it alone though. On the flight over he’d watched BROCKHAMPTON’s ‘SATURATION’ documentary, which chronicles how the group made their first three records. “It was the most inspiring thing I’d ever seen in my life, just all these guys living in this one house, making music and art. It was so exciting to see them become more than just a band, creating fashion, visuals and getting as many people as possible involved. I wanted the same.”
However while BROCKHAMPTON recruited members via online forums, POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE started thanks to Tinder. Frankie and his girlfriend were asked by their mate to offer moral support on her first date with Simon. The four of them found themselves sitting in Frankie's flat, eating terrible pasta but it wasn’t love at first swipe. Instead it was Frankie and Simon who ended up bonding over music, trading DIY tour horror stories, disagreeing over The Sisters of Mercy and sharing various home demos. There was an instant spark between the pair and they knew they had to work together. After that, the Collective started to take shape.
With Frankie and Simon at the heart of things, POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE now includes videographer Nicoletta Kate, visual artist Adfail, as well as producers Joey Burcham (Frankie's hometown friend) and former Spring King leader Tarek Musa. With an inhouse creative team, the group have more control over everything they make. “We aren’t just a band. We’re trying to make merch that films like fashion and music videos that look like films. Everything is really curated and cared for,” starts Frankie as Simon adds “without the music, it’s still cool stuff.”
POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE is also a celebration of their contrasting personalities. “Everyone’s on the same page with the vision but they're not involved in every conversation. They’re able to bring in their own perspective to it,” Frankie explains. He could spend days in the studio with Tarek and Simon tinkering with snare sounds only for Joey to get rid of them completely when the song was sent his way. There’s always a new angle and this collaborative way of working gives POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE a unique view of things. “Being a part of The Internet Generation, the most exciting stuff is built around combining the weirdest stuff and making something new.”
The identity of POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE is “always evolving” according to Frankie. The group already has two finished EPs that pull from a wealth of contrasting inspiration. You can never quite tell what they were listening to when they were being made though thanks to their freewheeling vision - and things are only going to get more hectic from here on out. “We’ve got so much art ready to put out that we felt secure, so we've just been experimenting with stuff we never thought to try before,” explains Frankie, who was planning on taking a break but instead has been busy writing and ripping things from his vinyl collection.
That evolution doesn’t end with the music either. Their mantra of ‘Delete The Internet’ started as a joke, “I thought it’d be funny for people to go on our website, just to be told to get off it,” but as their ambitions grew, so did that saying. “You can go online and see what your favourite band ate for breakfast, which has ruined the mystique of artists,” starts Frankie who believes that rockstars don’t really exist anymore because of their constant presence on social media. “We wanted to rebel against that,” he continues, adamant that everything POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE share will mean something. “It’s quite sad when people live their whole lives online and are so affected by it all, “adds Simon. “The mental health implications that that has on younger people really sucks.”
This mob already knows POLICE CAR COLLECTIVE can take them anywhere because in under twelve months, it already has. From a lofty pipedream at 30,000 feet to a focused, brilliant reality, the group’s debut EP is vulnerable, hyperactive and to the point. First single ‘All The Time’ is an aching seven-minute epic that captures the “bittersweet, youthful romance of feeling like everything that’s happening is the most important thing that’s ever happened,” while other songs tackle teenage angst, wistful nostalgia and a fear of the future. You’d never know it was recorded with zero expectations but fortunately this gang don’t do anything by half measures. “I wanted to make sure that every single line was dramatic and that every lyric was really profound,” says Frankie, who has big plans for where this all goes.
When he was 13, Frankie discovered Green Day and spent the following years playing guitar, writing punk rock songs and basically trying to be Billie Joe Armstrong. After seeing Youtube videos of their headline performance at Reading Festival, he wanted the same. “My dream since I was a teenager was to headline Reading & Leeds and I stand by that dream. That’s the scope of it. I believe we have something to say, something people will feel understood by and something that’s worth hearing.”