Best Of End No Accident
Author: David Nankervis
There must have been times when The Living End thought fate was against its recording a third album.
The three-piece punkabilly juggernaut, with huge record sales and support gigs with AC/DC and Green Day, came to a grinding halt three years ago. Now a lot of soul searching later, The Living End is bac with its latest album Modern Artillery, released tomorrow.
The lay-off was both unplanned but not unwelcome – at least in hindsight.
After non-stop touring and recording, singer/guitarist Chris Cheney was involved in a car smash on the Great Ocean Rd, Victoria, in September, 2001.
Recording sessions and promotional tours were put on hold as Cheney spent months in rehab. Songwriting, however, was going full steam ahead with Cheney writing 50 tunes from which to select for the new album.
“Then as soon as we finally got back in the studio, our drummer Travis (Dempsey) quit,” bassist Scott Owen said. “For me, that was a harder setback than the car accident.
“The enforced lay-ff with Chris’ accident was a bit of a blessing in disguise because we had been touring a long time and working really hard.
“To be able to get back into a normal routine helped us realise what we had achieved and helped us recharge the batteries. But when Travis left, I took it personally. I wondered why he had quit and if it was something I was doing wrong.
“But at the end of the day, I think he was just daunted by the prospect of more years on the road.”
That’s when Adelaide drummer Andy Strachan stepped into the breach.
“I was worried if we could get a drummer who would fit in as well and play as well as Travis,” Owen said.
“This is important for any band but even more so with a three-piece. But there has been no problem. Andy is such a solid drummer, I feel our music is stronger than ever.”
With the extra time under the group’s belt, there is no doubt Modern Artillery is the band’s best album.
The time spent concentrating just on songwriting has produced a more mature record with songs such as The Room a departure from the traditional Living End sound.