Following an interview with Massive that didn’t happen due to a broken down van and other media hogging our slot, we found ourselves with an even better slot a few days later, interviewing the whole band inside the famous (or infamous depending upon your experience) The Crobar in London. Amid the sounds of the awesome jukebox and some young men on the adjacent table getting increasingly more merry as they knocked back the whiskeys, here’s what went down(under)!
Jarrod: It’s probably safe to say AC/DC would be one for all of us, but there’s heaps of new Aussie bands that we love to watch on a regular basis at home – Dead City Ruins who come ovr here a lot into Europe, they’re awesome. Airbourne, obviously they’re kicking ass. There’s heaps.
Brad: The 80’s were good for Aussie rock, The Rose Tattoo, The Angels and stuff like that. Electric Mary is a really respected band in Australia, we look up to those guys. There’s a band called The Living End that never gets recognistion anywhere else around the world, who have done great things around Australia.
Jarrod: One of the hardest working Aussie bands.
Brad: Yeah, definitely. There’s a list right there for ya!
PM: I absolutely love The Living End, I’ve seen them live a lot. Who are your heroes or influences away from music?
Ben: Hard question…..away from music I don’t really have any. There’s Butch Walker who’s still in music but is a great producer and I love what he does. He helps a lot of artists.
PM: With your merchandise collection slowly growing, I was wondering if you are interested in collecting merch or mementoes from your own days going to gigs or touring and if there is a favourite piece that you’ve got?
Ben: Yeah of course. We take a lot of photos of the places that we’ve been to and I collect all the wristbands and stuff and try and keep them, but sometimes I lose them.
Brad: I collect pics from bands, no-one knows that but I have lots of them. I have my fare shre of pics that I don’t use to play, I just keep in a little shoebox.
PM: Do you have a favourite?
Brad: No. We toured with Glen Hughes in Australia and I’ve got one of his, where is there. Joel O’Keefe threw me one from Airbourne, that was in a dirty pub in Australia before they were anything anywhere near as big it was at The Tote in Melbourne, which is about the size of The Crobar, so I’ve still got that and just a bunch of random bands…memories.
PM: Breaking down on the way to Cardiff you wrote ‘Broken Down Blues’ on the hard shoulder. Have you ever written a song about anything more bizarre?
Ben: We were in a place called Aubrey, just out of Melbourne and we had a jam playing the wrong instruments like trumpets and didgeridoos. I believe it’s online, there’s a little video. That’s probably the only thing that’s been more bizzare than that.
Brad: You don’t want to hear that, we don’t actually know how to play trumpets or didgeridoos, I think there was a keyboard and there was a banjo.
Jarrod: It was just a random bunch of noise it wasn’t actually anything!
Ben: But is was bizarre!
PM: Halloween is fast approaching, are you superstitious, or do you have any band rituals?
Jarrod: A pre-show ritual is to try to find each other, that’s always good bevause we’re always in four different places five minutes before we go on stage. That’s always good fun.
Brad: You can usually find us at the bar looking for a drink. There no real rituals we all like to have a pre-match drink before we go on stage.
Jarrod: He likes to run off!
Ben: I believe in a lot of that stuff, I don;t believe in Halloween as such, that doesn’t really scare me, but I believe in coincidences and fate and stuff and everything happens for a reason.
PM: Is there a particular song you like to play live. If yes what is it and why?
Brad: I really like to play ‘Full Throttle’ we don’t put it in enough in the set. Just ’cause it’s fast and furious and I like fast things. Other than that ‘Bring Down The City’ is a group favourite for us because it’s really about Melbourne and Australian rock, it’s about rock bands trying and pushing their hardest and the venues closing and rock’n’roll getting slapped in the face for politics and noise restrictions and shit like that, so that song’s about Melbourne fucking up it’s own rock’n’roll scene. Can I say fuck?
PM: Yes that’s fine!
Jarrod: ‘Bring Down The City”s a great song to play live to because it’s just a big heavy groove and it’ s a big chorus and it’s good fun.
Ben: My favourite song in the set is ‘Ghost’.
Aidan: Probably ‘Dancefloor’ or ‘Hollywood’ are my favourite to play.
PM: ‘Dancefloor’ was great on Thursday in Camden.
Brad: Yeah that one gets the girls moving, it gets the ladies dancing, so that’s always fun. If we could play it twice in a set we would.
PM: Who is the band or artist that you have most enjoyed seeing or been most impressed with live?
Ben: Electric Mary.
Jarrod: Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve heard much about them over here, but they’re coming over now, we’re playing Hard Rock Hell with them very soon.
Ben: They’ve been here four or five times though in Europe and stuff.
Jarrod: Yeah. They’re very much the musicians band in Australia every musician respects Electric Mary for what they’ve done. They don’t get the radio airplay they deserve but you go to a gig and it’s a sell out because everyone wants to see what they do.
PM: If you could play any instrument that you don’t already play what would it be?
Jarrod: I’ve always wanted to learn the saxophone, it’s just the sexiest sounding instrument and some of the sax lines in some of the famous songs are just the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.
Brad: I really like hitting things. I try but I’m no good. I’d love to be a drummer. I just like hitting things hard.
Aidan: Piano or sitar.
Ben: I wish I could play piano. I’ve had dreams that I was playing really big grand pianos and really beautiful songs. If not that ‘d definitely want to be a drummer.
PM: If you could be a part of any moment in musical history be it a certain concert, festival or era, what would it be and why?
Brad: Guns’n’Roses live at The Ritz, just ’cause that’s what a raw, high energy rock’n’roll band should sound like. Y’know it’s shit, like they make mistakes, they’re all drunk off their faces, they can’t even stand up, but you watch it and just go “Oh man look at that!” That would have been so much fun to be at and watch.
Jarrod: I’m going to go for Led Zeppelin, Madison Square Gardens 1973. I think they did four nights or something like that and there’s footage of it on DVD, but I reckon that would’ve been the greatest concert to be at. They were in their prime. They were just the best thing going around at the time and I think they still are.
Aidan: Just the 70’s scene in general, bands like Led Zepplin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd coming up and playing local gigs. That would have been brilliant to see.
Ben: I’d say The Ritz concert Guns’n’Roses as well.
Jarrod: Or also, Live Aid . To be at Live Aid in 1985 would have been fucking unbelievable. Just all the biggest bands in the world were there that day at those two concerts. That would’ve been cool.
PM: Final question. Whilst admittedly many of us got your album for free with Classic Rock Magazine, what was the last album in any format that you brought?
Brad: I haven’t brought an album for a little while, only ’cause I have no money. That’s what musicians don’t have is money.
PM: That’s ’cause you gave it away for free!
Brad: [Laughing] ‘Cause we gave our album away for free, damn you! I think probably The Winery Dogs was the last album I brought. I love it what an album. Richie Kotzen just rocks it and it’s apretty good modern rock album I think.
Aidan: I got Truckfighter’s latest album on vinyl not too long ago, which is fantastic stoner vibes. They sound a bit like Queens of the Stone Age on that album I found very much. It’s really good.
Ben: Last album I probably brought would have been Butch Walker ‘Sycamore Medows’ I think it’s called. I hope it’s called that! [PM: It is]
Jarrod: I’m pretty sure the last album I brought was Royal Blood, their debut, which is killer! They’re a two piece, I think Aidan introduced me to them and they’ve been getting some airplay on Melbourne radio and yeah they’re album’s killer, it’s awesome!
PM: We thank you very much for your time and wish you the very best for your forthcoming European tour with Blackberry Smoke it’s been great to see you over here and we look forward to seeing you back next year.