Past to present
Laurence Davey (drummer), Craig Macintosh (singer and guitarist), Gary Smith (singer and guitarist) and Lee Worrall (bassist and glockenspielist) all met at Madras College, St. Andrews (secondary school also of KT Tunstall, Beta Band and many from the Fence Collective) and began playing together in 1993 when they were 14 years old.
At 18, they went their separate ways to attend college and university but a weekly residency in nearby hometown of Dundee insured the band kept going. After a two year tug of war between studies and the band, the band won out and the four boys decided to move together to Glasgow (Scotland’s capital for live music,and arguably the UK’s) for the sole purpose of making the band a success. To pay the rent for their new shared abode, they got menial jobs but to the detriment of their initial intentions their first taste of a disposable income proved a distraction, taking them away from the rehearsal rooms and into more common pleasures, and during the proceeding two years they played only a small handful of gigs.
Things began to change, however, when Gary met Ruth Quigley (Pianist, Singer and Hornist) whilst attending a music production course. Inviting her to join in a band practice, it was clear to the boys that with her talents they would be able to properly realise the songs they had been writing. Within little time she was a part of the band. With this and with innocently taking advantage of getting the collective sack and signing up to Tony Blair’s New Deal For Musicians, things finally got moving; they bought themselves a bus and paid a local grafitti artist to make it an eyesore, they bought themselves a P.A., and with a completely self sufficient set up, over the ensuing couple of years they played in as many venues in the city as they could, as often as they could, dividing shows between playing covers and original songs, depending on the venue, with demand for the latter winning out as their fan base within the city steadily grew.
Something bit when a TV producer for Scottish Television emailed the band after having passed the bus, thinking it would make a fun news article for her programme. Following the broadcast, Craig’s father sent out a number of emails to record labels saying that he’d “seen this amazing band on TV the other day and I was wondering, are they signed to you“? One London based label, Mushroom Records, replied with - No, but I’m sure you knew that. Good name though. If you have any recordings, send them down. So the band did and the A&R guy liked what he heard. And that was the foot in the industry’s door – A few months later, playing a celebratory tenth and sold out gig at Glasgow’s famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, they met who was to become their manager, and a few months after that they signed a one off Single deal to Radiate Records.
Serving as a calling card, the single included the tracks I Love You Cause I Have To, Celebrity Sanctum and Somewhat Off The Way – Three rather different styles to showcase the band’s range. Upon its release and positive reception from the press, they embarked on an extensive UK tour. Attention grew and over the following months the band met with a number of labels and publishers, eventually settling with V2 Records and Chrysalis Publishing, with the idea of staying with the independents, but the strongest. Back on the road again, they began meeting with potential producers to record the album. During a co-headline UK tour with The Zutons around late summer 2003 they met producer, Clive Langer, in a venue in Islington and got on instantly. A few days later they all met again, Clive bringing with him lots of notes he’d made on the songs he had heard live and off the Radiate single. The ideas they all had were along the same lines. So to test the water they went into the studio along with Clive’s recording partner, Alan Winstanley, and produced the song Man Bites Man. Pleased with the results and the working relationships, the album was a goer. A couple of months later in December, after having completed another UK tour, they all met back in the studio and over the next two months made the debut album, Please Describe Yourself, spending two weeks pre-production in Glasgow’s Berkeley rehearsal rooms, then five weeks in Parkgate residential studio in Catsfield, Battle, East Sussex, and two weeks mixing in Westfield, Notting Hill, London.
Immediately after mixing the record, the band began a 23 date university tour of the UK to coincide with the release of the Man Bites Man EP - which included, among the title track, a pre album production of Pastimes and Lifestyles, The Queen Of Pumpkin Plukes, (both of which produced by Paul Tipler) and Nobody Teaches Life Anything (self produced by Craig Macintosh and later used in Boots the Chemist advertising between the years of 2005 and 2008). After this tour, they filmed the Godhopping music video, directed by Caswell Cogins. The following month or so was spent doing various press, television and radio, including BBC Scotland’s Live Floor Show and a BBC Radio One Maida Vale Session. In April, to coincide with their next release, Godhopping, the first single off the album, the band began a 28 date UK tour, incorporating various radio and television shows into the schedule, including sessions on XFM, Q96, various BBC local and national, MFR Radio, Smash Hits, Tyne Tees TV, Metro Radio, Northsound FM and Virgin Radio.
On the 26th of April, Godhopping was released and the following week charted at number 24. In May, the band did a photo shoot with esteemed UK fashion and music photographer, Perou, and towards the end of that month they embarked on another UK tour of 12 dates. During this time they also played their first concert on foreign soil, at a festival in Holland called Music In My Head. At the end of June they played Glastonbury, their first major festival, and the following week the band released their second single, I Love You ‘Cause I Have To, and accompanying music video (directed by Ben Sherman) as promotion for their debut album, Please Describe Yourself, which was released the week after on the 12th of July, immediately following the band’s performances at T In the Park and Oxygen festival.
In August, the band travelled to New York to do shows at the Mercury Lounge and Rothko, and to meet a few industry folk – Despite having signed a worldwide deal with V2, there was interest from Columbia and Warners to buy out the US side of the deal, and following a surprise takeover by bank, Morgan Stanley, of V2 a couple of months after signing, V2 were initially open to hear offers. After meetings both with the director of Columbia and vice president of Warners, Seymour Stein, a number of times, both in New York and in the UK, at the last minute V2 made a u-turn and decided not to sell the US side of the deal. Back to business, the band continued with shows and press, later that month performing in Stockholm and at a festival called Goteborgskalaset in Gothenburg, before playing Leeds, Reading and London’s Kings Cross Festival.
After a European promo tour in Septermber, the band flew to Australia to do a nationwide tour supporting Eskimo Joe. Two days after returning to the UK they began another UK tour for ten days before reuniting with The Zutons to perform together on a programme for SKY One TV. A few days after that they flew back to New York to play at the Bowery Ballroom as part of CMJ. In October, the band toured Europe, playing a number of shows in Belgium, Holland, Germany and France before immediately setting out again across the pond for their first US tour. Their first show was in L.A. at the Troubadour , and after that they went on to play in San Fransisco, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Long Branch, New York and Toronto, Canada. The band finished out the year with a few UK shows before taking a Christmas break.
At the beginning of 2005, Dogs Die In Hot Cars spent the first couple of months writing songs for the second album and performing some one off shows, including the two date Sonic Mania Festival in Tokyo and Osaka. In March, the band left for their second US tour; a joint headline with french band, Phoenix - beginning first at SWSX (having supposed to have played there the year previous, but were it not for the loss of one band member’s passport). The six week tour took them to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Nashville, Louisville, Columbus, Cincinnati, Wahington D.C., Philadelphia, Norfolk, Boston, New York, Toronto (Canada), Chicago, Minneapolis, Lawrence, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, San Fransisco and L.A.. A week after returning home, the band flew out do to their first headline tour of Australia, before doing one final tour of the UK, Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona and a festival in Tokyo. By this time it was almost a year after the release of Please Describe Yourself and time for the band to move from stage to the studio to focus on making the second album.
As this happened, however, Gary, having openly expressed his intentions the months previous, finally left the band to study Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow University. The remaining four got to work on the songs but over the following months their focus on the band waned, with Laurence, Ruth and Craig all enthusiastic about doing other things with their lives. In 2006 they did just that, and put the band on haitus.
2 years later and having still not reformed, V2 Records released the band from their contract. The following month the band released 17 demos that they’d written for the second album, for people to remix and rewrite how they liked, with the intention being, that of the best mixes for each song they would compile a final record and share any potential royalties from it 50-50 with those who contributed. However, despite enjoying many versions sent in, the band felt the mixes weren’t sufficient enough to warrant a release as just conclusion to the project and, ultimately, the band. Realising then that the outcome wasn’t what would make the second album, but rather the project in itself was the essence of their second release, the band left all the songs online to be available indefinitely to download for free, for people to remix and rewrite how they want, with the continuing of the 50-50 sharing of potential licensing fees for all who make their own versions.
Over the past few years the band have frequently discussed performing again. They continue to write and record and possibly some of the results may end up being be part of what becomes a third album.