The Living End

Author: Steve Tauschke

The Living End cap off a month of touring with a new EP Second Solution accompanied by a few shows. STEVE TAUSCHKE speaks with double bassist Scott, on line from Newcastle.

Beat: You always seem to be busy touring or am I just imagining it?
Scott: “We haven’t done a helluva lot. We’ve packed a fair bit in, in the last year, we’ve done a lot of km’s in the last twelve or eighteen months but before that we hadn’t done much touring. So, it’s still new to us, it’s still a novelty.”

Beat: Last year you toured around with Southern Culture On The Skids. That must have been whacky?
Scott: “Yeah, just for the Sydney and Melbourne shows. The one up in Sydney we got to spend a little bit of time with them, hanging around. They were really nice, the drummer’s a really funny guy, and they’re into the same sort of stuff as us, the rootsy rockabilly bands from the southern states (of America). They’re all bright, sparkly people to be around. And they rock too!”

Beat: What draws you to the whole rockabilly thing?
Scott: “I dunno. It started a long time ago. We were more drawn to it than we are now. When we first started playing, me and Chris, the singer, we were just playing rockabilly, we weren’t interested in anything else at the time. This is when we were just finishing high school. There was just something drawing us to it.”

Beat: Stray Cats was a starting point for the band wasn’t it?
Scott: “That was our big introduction but then we tried to figure out where they were coming from and getting all these weird licks, just how they made it sound a bit different you know, where the originators got their ideas from. I think Stray Cats went off on a few different tangents, especially Brian, he had some really crazy ideas in some of those old rockabilly songs. I think they were so big in the early 80’s cos they were kind of an on-the-edge punk band who played rockabilly style.”

Beat: The new EP seems to be full of themes of incarceration…
Scott: It’s just a coincidence. We only realised before we decided to do the cover of the Prisoner theme song. We thought ‘the first two songs are about death row and being a prisoner of society so lets do the theme song to Prisoner and make the album cover look like we’re in jail with the fingerprints and shit’ …we only recorded the theme song two days before we went into record at Birdland and when we played it in rehearsal we realised it was such a strong song. We just thought we’d chuck it on.”

Beat: You guys must have taken the Pentridge guided tour recently?
Scott: “Chris saw it, a couple of months ago. Yeah, he did it.”

Beat: Do you have a full album ready to go, say, before Christmas?
Scott: We did a big demo tape before we did this single with 14 new songs and we’ve even got a couple more new ones since then so we’ve definitely got enough for an album. We can even be a bit picky about the songs too. We’re looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will be a good debut, one we’re all happy with.”

Prisoner Of Society is available on MDS’s Rapido label. The Living End play the Annadale on Sat Oct 4 & support Millencolin at the Manly Youth Centre on Oc 6 for an all ages show.