Rip It Up

The Living End

Author: Robert Dunstan

The Living End – who have had at least one song in every Triple J Hottest 100 since 1997 – are currently tearing around the country as part of the Big Day Out. The Melbourne-based trio are also about to release a new album, State Of Emergency, and we chatted over the telephone to Adelaide-raised drummer Andy Strachan. We began by asking if playing in his home town in front of some 30,000 people was in any way daunting.

“No, it’s always a complete blast,” he reckoned. “I love it. To come home to Adelaide is always a blast and having family and old friends around is great.
“Having said that, I’m not sure if mum and dad will come to the Big Day Out.” Andy then added with a laugh.

TLE’s double bass player, Scott Owen, has suggested to me that the recording of State Of Emergency had been a little stressful.
“Yeah, it was,” Andy quickly confirmed, “but stressful in a good way. And we can now sit back and listen to the new album and know that all that hard work has paid off. We all feel that way after being locked away in our own world making the album.”

Does the album feature any guest players?
“We got the horn players from Hunters & Collectors to play on a couple of songs and there’s about 15 kids, whose ages range from about 15 through to five, singing on our new single, Wake Up.” Andy revealed.

How many songs from the new album will feature during your Big Day Out set?
“We’ll do about two or three,” he said. “We’ll do What’s On Your Radio because that’s been out for a while now and we’ve been doing it in our live sets and we’ll also do Wake Up and perhaps one or two more. But we don’t want to stray too far from the pitch with new material.”

What bands are you looking forward to seeing?
“Gee, there’s so many,” Andy sighed. “I’m really keen to see Franz because I like their album and I’m told they are a really good live band. And you can’t go past Iggy. That’ll be a highlight for sure. Then there’s the stupidly good musician bands such as Cog, Shihad and The Mars Volta. So it’s going to be bloody good and I’m going to try my darnedest to get around and see everyone I possibly can.”

Andy is also looking forward to The Living End playing Loxton’s Jim Beam Hand-Picked festival in early April.
“I thought Hand-Picked might have been some kind of boogie festival until I realised they were talking about Oranges and stuff,” he said [with his joke being completely lost on me until I transcribed our taped interview].
“We love doing those types of shows and getting out to places we might not normally play,” the drummer concluded.