Northwest Herald

Three’s Company

Author: Eric Schelkopf

It might not be as big as the British invasion.

But three Australian bands – the Living End, the Vines and Jet – will take the stage at 7 p.m. today in a sold out show at the Vic Theatre in Chicago.

The Living End has been touring this month with their fellow country mates as part of the aptly named the Australian Invasion Tour, which will continue through April.

Scott Owen, who plays up- right bassist in the trio, has been enjoying the experience.

“We’ve never really done that before,” Owen said. “We’ve been on the Warped Tour where there have been one or two Australian bands, but never such a big gang of Australians in a foreign country. It is kind of cool. It’s working out well, three bands together.”

Despite the fact the three bands all hail from Australia, they each have their own unique sound and style.

“We all have different kinds of audiences,” Owen said. “We get to play in front of each other’s audiences, It’s interesting for the people in the crowd. They get to see three different styles of music and three different kinds of attitudes on stage.”

The Living End formed in the early ’90s as a punkabilly band. U.S. band the Stray Cats had a stronger influence on lead singer Chris Cheney, and he taught Owen how to play upright bass.

“When me and Chris starting playing together, we were into rockabilly music,” Owen said.

But the band’s musical style has matured since then, and more influences can be heard on the Living End’s latest release, “Modern ARTillery.”

“There are so many other different influences now. There’s definitely not just that,” Owen said.

Well-known producer Mark Trombino, who has worked with Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World, produced the album.

“Those records that he has produced are really heavily produced albums, really clean and really slick,” Trombino said. “We didn’t necessarily want exactly what we heard in his previous albums, but we wanted a sense of that. We like our sound to be a little dirty and a little bit rough around the edges. We thought with our attitude, and with his attitude, it might be a good marriage, a good happy medium.”

“Modern ARTillery” storms ahead in furious fashion, giving listeners a taste of the band’s energetic live shows.

Unlike many albums that are released, “Modern ARTillery” is far from a one-note album. And that’s just how The Living End makes music.

“We are definitely into switching styles,” Owen said. “I think all of the songs have our identity within them, but we don’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into playing one style of music. We kind of want to mix it up.”

Owen feels “Modern ARTillery” is the band’s best effort.

“It’s the next step for the band,” Owen said. “I feel like we’ve moved forward as we’ve recorded each album.”