The Living End @ BDO
Author: P. Sutton
Andy Strachan (drummer) from The Living End was at home with his pal a Golden Retriever named Jaden, who was busy poking her nose around the garden, while her master did the usual series of interviews on the shady verandah. It was ‘Big Day Out Interview Day.’
‘She’s almost human, I think,’ he explains about his furry kid in the garden.
You felt Andy would have been just as comfortable talking about the nosey pooch as much as The Living End.
Quiet on the touring scene at present, The Living End have been hard at work recording their new fourteen track (as yet unnamed) album, due for release late January, early February and Big Day Out punters can look forward to some new tracks.
Recorded over a three and a half week period at Byron Bay, an environment that Andy says was chosen for the ability to ‘psyche out from every day life,’ plus an excellent recording studio on site in Studio 301, meant that the band spent a good deal of time in the Byron sunshine in a Studio that had great sound, good views ‘birds that swooped you if you went outside,’ and happy vibes.
So no tie-dye shirts, freshly squeezed guava juice and early morning surfacings around 10am?
‘Not so much these days.’
So what about tartan tie-dyes?
‘It’s all wrong,’ he mutters.
The guys had just come off ‘Splendour In The Grass’ two days before they went in, so were all pretty charged. Nick their new Producer is all about ‘happy vibes’ in the studio and set about hanging lots of posters and ‘funny looking things’ around the rooms. The ‘Splendour’ charge did not diminish with the fourteen and fifteen hour days the guys put in to get their album ready.
Why such long days?
‘You have a room of such creative people that there are almost endless choices and ideas flowing around and we are the sort of band that listens to every idea so… We would do a take, go into the booth to have a listen, work our that we could improve this part of the song or that part of the song, drop that part… one hour turns into three, three into ten and before you know it, it is two in the morning and everyone is knackered. There were just the four of us in a bubble encasing us from the real world.’
‘We just wanted to get this new album right and if that meant twenty takes of a song, that’s what we did.’
Did you guys loose weight in the process?
‘Probably not because we were drinking a hell of a lot of beer in the process.’
No guest artists?
‘We did have The Hunters And Collectors horn section come in and lay down some stuff on a two or three songs.’
Andy speaks of the forthcoming release as being a very broad album, some slower moments that will surprise a few people. He talks of an improvement in their song writing over previous releases. ‘These are the best songs the band has ever had and this is the strongest album to date. We’re very proud of it.’
No thirty-one, with the rest of the band also around the same age, is there a sense of maturity and reflection that comes with such a long time in the music industry?
‘Definitely, Chris has been writing songs since he was a teenager. He is constantly refining his song writing and as a collective, our input into the songs is a bit more mature.’
Do you guys hang out together when not performing or rehearsing?
‘We drink a lot of beer together. A rehearsal never lasts more than a couple of hours before we are down at the pub having a couple of jugs. I really believe that you can’t play to the best of your ability if you don’t like the other people.’
See the guys on stage at The Big Day Out. 2006 will see them tour at home and in Japan and the U.S.A.
Any final comments?
‘We want to achieve, we want to have the best album of the year, we want people to enjoy our music. It’s all good, I’m very happy.’