The Lying End
Author: Rob Moran
The Living End’s Andy Strachan just can’t let the cool cats out of the bag.
Andy Strachan, drummer of Australia’s premier poppin’-punkin’-rockabillyin’ trio The Living End, is one lying motherf00ker. Like all lying motherf00kers, he doesn’t even know that he’s a lying motherf00ker, answering questions politely like he’s Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. However, unlike Dorothy, Strachan doesnt’t spend his time chasing around a metaphorical penis named Toto, but rather forcing inexperienced music journalists to read between his falsified statements.
Did you know that if you took all the letters in “The Living End” and mixed them around, you’d come up with the anagram “Devil Night”? Granted, you’d have the letters E and N left over, but that’s not important. You know where I learned that? In my dream while I was trying to figure out why Andy Strachan is such a lying motherf00ker.Nevertheless, like a jackrabbit out of a tempest, the truth slowly reveals itself.
After the departure of previous drummer Travis Demsey in 2001. Strachan entered The Living End fray well after the band had already established itself as one of Australia’s premier acts. So how did he take to being thrusted into the national spotlight, replacing a key member of one of the country’s most popular bands?
“Well it’s coming up to three years now”, Strachan replies, “I’ve been there for a little while but I’ll always be the new guy. But that’s okay, I can deal with that.”
Now, anyone who’s remotely followed the band in the past few years will have heard rumours of Strachan’s constant abuse at the hands of the The Living End’s tsar and tsarina, Chris Cheney and Scott Owen. Cheney wing-tipping all over Strachan’s hands whenever he made a drumming mistake, Owen beating him over the side of the head with his upright bass while he was sleeping as a “joke”, and both members forcing him to match the endurance of an electronic drum machine for days on end whilst they sat on a nearby couch eating Pringles, watching and re-watching the ‘Johnny B. Goode’ scene from Back To The Future Pt. I – each of these acts were committed against the drummer under the guide of an “initiation of process.”
Besides being subjected to such acts of abuse, Strachan spent the earlier part of the ear touring the world with The Living End, and most excitingly the US as part of the Aussie Invasion tour with compatriots and international assholes Jet and The Vines. “We did Japan, the US and London as well – it’s been a busy time but very enjoyable.”
“The Aussie Invasion tour was fantastic – but was a stack of fun. Every show sold out. Aussie bands are making a big impact over there. We got to watch both bands every night. To see Jet doing so well over there, its great for Australian music…”, he pauses, possibly sensing my next question. “…And they were very very nice people.” Despite his brave facade, all the talk about Jet and The Vines’ rapid success in the US seems to unsettle Strachan. The resentment is literally written all over his face and eyes, and its surprising that I can tell this since we spoke on the phone . It’s as if he’s thinking, “I’m touring The States with a bunch of drunken bastards and a psychotic frontman-child, who overtly rip off Iggy & The Stooges, The Jam, AC/DC, The Beatles and Nirvana respectively, and we’re the least popular? This is ######!.”
But I don’t want to put words into Strachan’s mouth; I just want to pull the thoughts he should be having out of his head.
So What’s on the near horizon for Strachan and The Living End?
“We have a DVD out at the end of this month – it’s choc-a-bloc full. There’s a singles compilation with all the older songs plus two new singles that are going straight to radio.We’re gearing up for the Australian tour; we’re doing some big venues. There are also a lot of singles floating around for the new album. We’re gonna try to get into the studio early next year and bring out the album fairly quickly.”
Once again, he just can’t help himself. Andy, there’s no need to lie – it’s obvious that The Living End are launching a campaign to take over Australia, if not the world, so just say it. I promise, you’ll feel a lot better…