Herald Sun

This Is The End

Author: Cameron Adams

Green Day have given Living End a ticket to ride, writes Cameron Adams

WHAT do you do when you have three tickets to a sold-out Green Day show? If you’re Melbourne trio the Living End, you give the tickets to your parents.

Despite queuing up for the tickets to see their favorite band as soon as they went on sale, the Living End suddenly had no need for them. Green Day had selected the band to support them around Australia on their recent tour.

“We sent a video and a T-shirt to their management in the States,” explains 19-year-old Living End frontman Chris Cheney. “Billie (Joe Armstrong. Green Day singer) said he liked it because we didn’t sound like NOFX; we were different.”

The sold-out Australian tour gave the Living End an instant profile. scoring not only the approval of thousands of Green Day fans but million-selling the punk rockers themselves.

“They approached us at the first sound check in Brisbane and introduced themselves,” says Cheney of Green Day. “They were really nice. They don’t understand why they’re so popular; they’re just doing what they’ve always done.”

The Living End began life as the Runaway Boys, a Stray Cats tribute band.

“It’s hard to start a band and start playing originals straightaway: everyone wants to hear covers, Cheney says. “The Stray Cats were a huge influence on us.”

While the Runaway Boys had a huge, diehard rockabilly following. Cheney says “as soon as we started putting in originals they (the diehards) started to drop off”.

Since going original they’ve battled against being pigeon-holed their striking image.

“We try not to put our- selves into that rockabilly genre.” Cheney says. “We’ve really pushed to attract different people to our shows. We’re influenced by so many styles of music and we’ve noticed that we appeal to a wide audience.”

Supports for local bands like the Fireballs and the Sharp – Cheney wrote a song with bassist Allan Catlin and recorded at his studio – have developed into stage-warming slots for Green Day, the Supersuckers and the upcoming tour by another Living End favorite, the Reverend Horton Heat. “Supports are good,” Cheney explains. “There’s not so much pressure. If it’s a bad night then it wasn’t our gig. If it’s a good night then we’ve won over a new crowd.”

The first Living End EP, Hellbound, an uncompromising mixture of punk pop and rockabilly, already is into its second pressing. Its success hasn’t gone unnoticed, with major record companies already starting to wooing them.

The Living End launch Hellbound on Friday, March 22, at the Evelyn with Incursion and H-Block. Hellbound is out now through Shock.