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Living End Fired Up For New Beginning

Author: David Nankervis

Few bands have exploded on the music scene as three-piece punk/modsters Living End did in the late 1990s.

A swag of awards and huge record sales greeted the Melbourne outfit’s first forays into the music world.

Support tours for Australian icons AC/DC as well as US rockers Green Day and Offspring had the trio in the box seat for a mega-career.

So it is surprising that singer/guitarist Chris Cheney says his serious car accident in September 2001 – which has put the band’s stellar success on hold since – may have been a blessing in disguise.

Not that Cheney would ever wish to endure a repeat of the terrifying accident on the Great Ocean Rd in Victoria 14 months ago when his car was hit almost head on at 100km/h and spun off the bitumen and down the embankment before being stopped by a tree.

Cheney and his girlfriend were lucky to be alive, with the vocalist having a pin inserted into his shattered leg.

An upcoming appearance at the 2001 ARIA awards was cancelled and the band had an enforced lay-off for most of 2002 before undergoing a change of drummers with Andy Strachan replacing Travis Demsey.

However, the time off from a busy recording/touring schedule may have been a silver lining following the accident, Cheney said in hindsight.

“it was almost a blessing in disguise,” he said.

“At the time we had planned to come straight home from the UK, got straight into recording the third album and take off on tour again to support the new release.

“Even then we knew it would be hard going but accidents happen and the plans all changed.

“We were grounded for a year and people probably thought we were finished.

“But the break has given us time to write new songs and the feel of the band is better than it has ever been.”

Cheney will soon find out if the sometimes fickle music market agrees when the band’s first single since November 2000 hits the record stores on January 20.

The single, One Said To The Other, has already received some airplay and listener feedback will soon show how fondly the band, which achieved quadruple platinum sales with it’s self-titled debut album, is embraced the second time around.

Living End, however, won’t be sitting idly by when the single is released as the trio will join the national Big Day Out music festival next month.

It’s a gig the new line-up is looking forward to, Cheney said.

“We did the Big Day Out in 1999 and had a great time,” the 27-year-old said.

“When you play early in the day’s line-up it gives you a chance to sit back later in the show, relax and enjoy things.

“You also get to play to a crowd that doesn’t necessarily know who you are and you have the challenge to win them over.

“We’ve played lots of festivals in Europe and Japan but there is something about playing at home.

“There is something about Aussie bands, they are laid back and naturally bond together.

“Maybe the international acts don’t have as much time to mingle but the Aussie bands know how to have a good time.”