2016.09.25 - Herald Sun

Herald Sun

Date: 25th September 2016
Author: Cameron Adams
Featuring: Chris Cheney


Archived from: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/...

The Living End’s Chris Cheney to release solo album, with the band home to rock the AFL Grand Final

Cameron Adams, National music writer, News Corp Australia Network
September 25, 2016 4:52am

ONCE Chris Cheney finished his long-threatened solo album he had two crucial people to play it for — his Living End band mates Scott Owen and Andy Strachan.

“They loved it,” Cheney says of their reaction to the album he recorded in Nashville earlier this year.

“And they loved the fact it doesn’t sound anything like The Living End. It’s different to what anyone will expect.

“There’s six songs that are acoustic, another five or six with a full band. It’s country-influenced but there’s really Beatle-y pop moments on there, some very stripped back, almost ballad-y tender moments. It’s a long way from The Living End.”

Cheney has been knee-deep in The Living End for the last 12 months — his incoming solo album won’t alter the future of the band.

Their seventh release Shift became their seventh Top 10 album in Australia in May, with the single Keep on Running getting them back on US radio for the first time since the heady days of Prisoner of Society and Roll On.

The Melbourne trio embarked on their first American tour in eight years in August, including a sold out show at the Roxy in Los Angeles — where Cheney has been based for half a decade to further his music career in and out of the Living End.

“The whole place was pumping,” Cheney says. “I had all my friends there I’ve known for five years but they don’t really know what I do for a living. They kind of know I’m in this band in Australia, but they got to see it first-hand, which was pretty special for me. People were so enthusiastic to see us play live over there again, we want to try and get back there before the end of the year to capitalise on the momentum.”

There’s one major gig before that — The Living End are playing the AFL Grand Final next Saturday, along with Sting and Vance Joy.

“It’s not really a regular gig, it’s not really a show, it’s an event,” Cheney says. “It’s huge. I can’t think of a more prestigious gig. It goes above and beyond any other gig we’ve done. It doesn’t really get any bigger.”

The Living End have played the NRL Grand Final in the past, and have never even been to an AFL Grand Final.

“Tickets are pretty scarce, aren’t they,” Cheney points out. “People have said to us for about five years ‘When are you going to play the AFL Grand Final?’ Obviously we said we’d like to but it’s not up to us.”

Not that there’s not football in their collective veins.

“We were all into football before we discovered rock and roll,” Cheney says. “I grew up on the same street as VFL Park when that was around, I’d go there a lot. I was an avid football buff. As a kid I used to collect footy cards, I had my autograph book, I was an Essendon fanatic.

“Where I grew up in Wheelers Hill I played for the Brandon Park Panthers, their colours were black and red also. We won a premiership one year. I was really into footy pre discovering rock and roll. Then it fell by the wayside, I was more into playing music than playing footy. If you’re a Melburnian it’s in the blood, footy is ingrained.”

The trio arrive in Melbourne this week to rehearse for the event — they’ll play before the game and also at the free concert after the game, which is open to anyone, not just ticket holders.

Their back-catalogue includes a selection of anthems — White Noise, Prisoner of Society, Roll On, Second Solution, All Torn Down — which would be perfect for a footy audience.

“I don’t know if we thought of ourselves as a footy band but I think we’ve become that,” Cheney says. “We were the band that didn’t really appeal to the footy crowd when we first started. But we’ve kind of become that somehow, I’m not sure exactly how that has happened, but I guess rock and roll and Aussie rules go hand-in-hand.

“We’re not really a ballad band. We’ve got a number of songs we can draw from that will hopefully do the job on the day. We’re a live band, we’ll be all right, we’ll get up there and slay it.”

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