What’s On Your Radio?

Author: Unknown

What’s On Your Radio (EMI)

Consistency, anyone? Here’s yet another blast of The Living End action that showcases high energy, excellent songwriting from Chris Cheney and the intense musicianship of one of the tightest bands in the land Down Under. Produced by Nick Launay (Silverchair, Midnight Oil) and featuring one of the heaviest riffs on a Living End single, this song is guaranteed to lodge itself in your brain for some time. B-sides ‘Reborn’ and ‘Wrong Side Of The Tracks’ are easily single-worthy on their own.

The Living End

Author: Matt Vesely

In 2003 Australian punk-a-billy legends The Living End made a triumphant return to the live arena at the Big Day Out. On the eve of yet another BDO tour frontman Chris Cheney reflects that to have their first shows after an extended hiatus due to Cheney’s car accident and extensive recuperation was a little daunting.

“You either rise to the occasion or you don’t, and, as much as I shit myself before going out on stage, it’s such a rush. I like Australian audiences, ’cause you either prove yourself or you get bottled!” he laughs.

“We just go out there like we’re going to slay the audience. We’ve never known any other way, and then for some reason on that tour everyone was coming up kind of going, ‘oh yeah, you guys are a really good live band,’ like they didn’t know or they’d forgotten or something. But it was good, because it kind of proved to us, that, yeah, that’s what we are, we’re a live band.”

Despite the triumphant return, Cheney remains a little disappointed about the way the band followed it up. Shortly after the tour they released their third full-length, ‘Modern ARTillery’. “It wasn’t the album for me that it should’ve been. I just felt like it sort of… I don’t know, I just don’t think it had the songs in the end,” he ponders.

Not so this time: in February the band will release their fourth album, ‘State Of Emergency,’ which Cheney is clearly confident about. “It feels like only a couple of days ago. It went way over time, way over budget and way over everything else, but I think it’s worth it. I definitely think that it’s the best thing that we’ve done. I know you’re supposed to say that in promo, but it’s been worth the headaches and the long nights. The energy is there, but more importantly the songs are there. All the songs are really, really good, and it was a really hard task kind of narrowing it down to the fourteen that are on there – but it was a great problem to have. I wanted to release a double album, you know; just couldn’t convince anyone else!”

‘Modern ARTillery’ was frequently reported as a tough record for the band to make, especially due to creative differences with American producer Mark Trombino. But, despite being back in Melbourne to record and a far more amicable relationship with producer Nick Launay, Cheney remains adamant that it was still no cakewalk. He sighs “I’ve just resigned myself to the fact that for me, that’s what making records is. Every stone has to be turned and that just means a lot of second guessing and a lot of paranoia and stuff, and I really don’t enjoy that!” he laughs. “But, it’s just kind of the way it is. If you want to get results then you’ve gotta push yourself the extra yard. Some people enjoy recording, but for me it’s a hard slog from go to whoa. From the whole writing process right up to whatever it is, last month or something, when we finished it. That’s it. And it just feels like, man, I need a beer!”

Cheney notes that lead single What’s On Your Radio? is not much of an indication of the more melodic ‘State Of Emergency’. “There’s some really different stuff, but I guess ultimately [the songs have] got a pop element to them, but are quite dark in a way some of them. It’s really hard to describe, but I think every song sounds like us.”

Fans will be able to make their own judgements when the band previews new material at the Big Day Out shows this summer. Cheney is understandably eager to get out of the studio and try the new songs live, where he truly feels at home. “Any tour for us at this stage is good: so Big Day Out, that’ll do!” He’s not so tense this time and certainly isn’t worried about the reactions to unknown material. “I think people are really wanting to hear new songs from us. I don’t think that we’ll get in trouble for not getting up and playing all the so-called “hits”. So, yeah, we’ll throw em out there. Maybe we’ll just throw out score cards and get people to write on them and hold ’em up!”

Rollercoaster Festival

Author: Unknown

Someone should tell TLE that Boxing day is a time for rest. The rocking trio will be working on entertaining music lovers at Mandurah’s music festival Rollercoaster they day after Christmas and have a small job for fans. Chris Cheney wants everyone to do their best Todd Mckenney impersonation by taking score cards to rate material from the band’s forthcoming album, State Of Emergency.
“It would be good if we could get the audience to hold up a few scorecards so we could get a bit of feedback on the new stuff,” Cheney says.

The album is not due for release until Fed 6, but the band has been providing a sneak peek of things to come at recent live shows.
“We’ve been throwing a few new songs around into our live set and they have gone down really really well,” Cheney says. “We really wanted to test them out and i think that is the best way to do it, just by throwing ourselves in the deep end.”

Despite having only finished the album “About 48 hours ago” Cheney says he is confident that album No.4 is the band’s best.
“I feel so much better about this album then any of our others,” he says. “It is the album we had to make.”
“Even from the intial writing stage, I just pushed myself to outdo everything we have ever done and after that it was a matter of fine tuning. We have laboured over it with long hours and many headaches, but i feel that we’ve done it.
“There is some different stuff on the album. We just felt if we were going to have a live outside the fast 3 chord punk-rock sort of stuff, then we had to prove it to the audience. So we are up for it.”

The new album is not the only project Cheney will unveil in the new year. He is about to become a first time father early next month.
“I am very excited about it,” He says “But i’m also a bit apprehensive.”

Does he worry that having a youngster around will force him to tame his wild rock and roll ways?
“I have spoken to a few people and they have said ‘Oh yeah when we had kids everything changed’ and I was like ‘Nooooooo’. But other people have said it doesn’t have to change. If anything, I think it will just make me feel a bit more comfortable as a person.”

The Living End

Author: Mike Waffer

Having finished recording their forthcoming album recently, The Living End are gearing up for the near constant touring that will surely follow it’s release. In the immediate future, they will be playing Rollercoaster festival in Mandurah on Boxing Day. Mike Waffer spoke with bassist Scott Owen recently about the new record and life on the road.

The self taught bassist is no stranger to festival crowds and even though they wouldn’t be his preference as a punter, playing festivals has become a TLE tradition.
“Yeah we’ve played quite alot of them haven’t we” Owen laughs, “I guess that’s part of being in a band in Australia… the summer festivals. I love playing them, but I definitely prefer playing earlier on, because then you can play your set , go get pissed and enjoy the other bands (laughs). Before you play it’s a little bit nerve-wracking, so it’s good to get on early and get it out of the way.”

Owen hazards a guess at the best way to see TLE is in a more intimate club show (he’s guessing because he’s never actually seens TLE play) but he’s also quick to praise his bandmate and friend Chris Cheney on his ability to get a festival crowd in the vibe.
“Chris is a great performer.. a great entertainer. You know just listen to the guy play guitar,” he laughs.

A guitarist as well. Owen prefers to keep his six string playing to himself, feeling a little overwhelmed by hi virtuoso mate.
“Yeah I play guitar when I’m sitting around at home and stuff, and I’ll show Chris ideas that I have, or ask him to show me how to do certain things, but I wouldn’t really bother playing guitar live or on the record.”

It was a stupid question, but it never hurts to ask just in case… why not?
“Have you heard Chris play guitar??? Why would anyone try to take over his spot? he cackles.”

Scott’s sense of humour is one of his most immediately striking characteristics. In fact, between himself and Cheney you’d be hard pressed to find 2 more polite and chirpy guys to talk to. Not known for being overly light-hearted musically, TLE are somewhat of a throwback to the ’77 punk ideology of social commentary from an everyman perspective. With the new album Owen explains , the idea was to steer away from the ‘anthem’ style songs a bit, while still trying to reach a middle ground between those type of songs and the more complex style the band showed on Roll On.
“Roll On was very textured, very layered,” he says. “and the new record has elements of that but it feels a lot more live. We didn’t want to just go for didn’t want to just go of an album of anthem album or anthem songs though, we still wanted there to be interesting changed and structure to play with, but we haven’t taken it as far as we did with Roll On.”
“We probably had about 40 songs written to choose from, he says with a chuckle that masks whether or not he’s exaggerating, “and from there we cut it back to probably about 15 songs that we all felt really strongly about. I think we’re definitely picked the best ones for the album. Some of the ones we demoed were definitely not going to make it on there, and some of the ones that different people liked may not have gotten on there either, but it’s got to be agreed on by everyone. We’re all totally happy with the songs that made it and, you know maybe some day down that track we’ll release like a massive box set of all the TLE demos of songs that never made it onto albums. (laughs).”

Big Day Out

Author: Eva Roberts

One of the country’s most popular live acts, The Living End, is all set to play Big Day Out. Bassist Scott Owen chats to Eva Roberts about big crowds.

As the time draws nearer for Australia’s biggest music festival, the guys from The Living End are counting down the days until the release of their new, as yet untitled, studio album. With the first single of the album, What’s On Your Radio, released in November, the guys are gearing up to wow Big Day Out audiences nationally with their new material. TLE’s bassist, Scott Owen, says the songs on the bands new release are better and more thought out.
“We spent months and months working on these tunes,” he says. “I think we are just getting the craft more ‘honed'”
“Some of the songs on this album have been around for a couple of years and they only now feel like they are complete”
“But some of them were written, basically, a week or two before we went into the studio”

As one of the Australian headline acts for the Auckland to Perth BDO concerts, the band who made it big with hits like Prisoner of Society, All Torn Down, and Roll On are not at all daunted by their upcoming shows as now they are BDO veterans, having performed as one of the headlining acts in previous years. Scott says the thing he likes best about the BDO festival is he is able to see so many different bands perform.
“it’s a good opportunity for us as punters as well” he says, “To just get out and see a whole lot of different bands…you are walking from one stage to another and stumbling across a whole lot of different bands that you’ve never heard of, that you might like,”
“For us it’s just great to be able to play in front of such a huge crowd as well.
“It is not like we can play gigs that big on our own. It’s good exposure for us being on a massive stage in front of an enormous crowd”

With a new album on the horizon, TLE crew will be playing some new material which includes the “fast and energetic” first single. However, not to disappoint fans of their well-established hits, Scott says they will still perform some class TLE tunes.
“We’ve done the BDO a few times and we’ve been around for a while so people can definitely expect to hear some new stuff from us,” he says
“It won’t be exactly the same as we’ve been doing for years but also the BDO has a really varied kind of crowd so there will still be people who haven’t seen us before so we will pull out the old favourites.
“As far as us playing live, I think we are still pretty eager to please.
“We are still keen on trying to put on the best show we possibly can so I don’t know exactly. All I can say is old stuff and some new stuff and we’ll give it our best”

Obviously with the release of the new album, the boys will be gearing up to tour the country, which includes a stop in Cairns.

Chris Cheney, The Living End

As an audience member, my favourite show at the Corner, and one of the highlights of my life, was seeing Joe Strummer there in 2002. It was the kind of electric show that gave me goose bumps. It was a pretty special moment being in the presence of one of the all-time greats playing his heart out in such an intimate environment. Whether playing a gig, seeing a gig or just having a couple of pots at the front bar, the Corner is hard to beat.

Here’s to 10 more years of cold beer and hot gigs. In this age of the disappearing venue we should just celebrate it for existing.

The Living End

Author: Unknown

One of Australia’s great bands to play the Big Day Out and announce details of a new album out February 5th. The official title of the album has been confirmed to be ‘State Of Emergency’ and judging by the audience, it’s a fitting title! Be sure to catch the Living End as they play the BDO.



Long Necks (AKA The Living End)

Author: Unknown

The Corner has employed the services of an MC for their series of celebratory gigs who was neither funny nor interesting with her sexual innuendo banter. Thankfully she didn’t go on for too long, we really just wanted her announce the bands and piss off!

I don’t confess to be too familiar with Even’s catalogue nor their live show but they graced the corner stage with a confidence and spirit that you know they have played there before. Casual and content, Even belted tunes from their entire catalogue, the voice and guitar of Even, Ash, playing with gusto and passion. Rock N Roll Saved My Life was the stand-out for me, it’s just a damn fine tune and it sums up what Even are all about, rock ‘n’ roll.

The Living Ed treated us with a great selection of tracks from their ever growing catalogue. From the older tracks, Second Solution, West End Riot and their new tunes like Tabloid Magazine and What’s On Your Radio, the lads ripped through them with energy and precision. The guys also proved to us once again their skills as musicians with spontaneous jams (Psycho Hillbilly Thrash) and extended brekadowns and intros.

You don’t get to see a bands of this caliber in an intimate venue too often, the energy that is expelled by The Living End is sometimes lost in larger venues. Thank you for an awesome night guys and Happy 10th Birthday, The Corner.

The Living End

What do you want for Christmas?
Andy Strachan: “Peace, love and understanding.”

What’s your favourite Christmas song?
“The Little Drummer Boy.”

What would you give John Howard for Christmas?
“An eyebrow trimmer.”

What’s your favourite Christmas memory?
“Backyard cricket after a few too many…”

Complete this sentence: ‘Christmas comes but once a year…’
“…So eat lots of turkey and drink lots of beer.”