Gel Problems

Author: Unknown

On their visit to Brisbane last month, The Living End’s Chris Cheney had to go to hospital for an eye infection when his hair gel ran into his eyes. A lesson for all you ‘gellers’ out there. The pain was no doubt softened by winning a couple of Jack Awards: Best Band; Best male: Chris Cheney.

All States Of Emergency

Author: Unknown

It’s been three long years since The Living End have hit the road and they’re getting ready to roll with their All States Of Emergency Tour. The Living End are set to take on an all states tour – including a host of all-age, under-age and over-age concerts. They’re playing Friday, Sept. 15 at the Albert Hall in Launceston (all ages/lic), Sat. Sept 16: City Hall in Hobart (all ages/lic), Tues Sept 19: Civic Centre, Wodonga (all ages), Wed. Sept 20 and Thurs. 21: The Palace, Melbourne (U18), and Fri. Sept 22: The Palace (over 18). Tickets for the tour (wt. End Of Fashion supporting) go on sale on Thursday, July 13 from all the usual outlets (including Ticketek).

Tasmania Goes Into A State Of Emergency With The Living End

Author: Jones

They’re all over your TV, on your radio, and now in SAUCE. Bassist Scott Owen gave us a Tasmanian exclusive in the lead-up to their gigs down here.

It’s been noted that the recording process for “State Of Emergency” was quite stressful. Can you explain why that was and how the making of this album differed to its predecessor “Modern Artillery”? What pressures does a band experience when they commence work on a new album?
Recording is always stressful for many different reasons, the concurrent one being that we always stress that we are getting the best ideas down tape in the time we have and not leaving stones un-turned. This is a pressure we put on ourselves. Time is always a stress for us too. For some reason no matter how much time we allocate ourselves we always seem to be rushing at the end and having to go overtime which is not a good thing for a clear head when trying to assess what we have done and gather some perspective near the end of it.

Why did you choose to work with Nick Launay (Midnight Oil, Silverchair, Nick Cave) as producer this time around?
We used Nick on “Roll On” and he proved to be a big asset on that album, especially in the sounds he was able to get using pretty traditional recording techniques. In the studio he has a way, I think, of getting the most out of a band playing together rather than layering the rhythm tracks too much which I felt was a mistake we made on “Modern Artillery”. He also has a well of ideas when it comes to song arranging, which we need because we have millions of ideas on this and he was able to hear out and filter a lot of the ideas flying around the room when it becomes confusing. On top of that his experience making all styles of music is valuable and his energy and enthusiasm in the studio rarely slows.

The “All States Of Emergency” tour is your largest national tour to date and incorporates some towns you’ve never performed in before. What’s it like playing to a new regional audience and how do these shows differ from major city gigs?
I always find that regional audiences are much more enthusiastic than city audiences with the exception of our hometown, Melbourne. I think the fact that regional audiences aren’t spoilt with an option for many gigs and venues means that when gigs happen in those areas there is more excitement and it becomes more of an event. I love doing these long tours because you really fall into a habit of playing every night that builds up your own energy the longer it goes on and by playing every night we become more and more tuned.

You’re a band that seems to cater well for the all-ages market, how important is the all-ages audience to you?
Over the years we’ve continued to appeal to young people so it is very important that we do gigs for them too. I think it great for a young audience to get an affinity with live music in this day and age where it is easy to be entertained without going out and being social.

How do you keep the pace up? What do you guys do on the road to maintain the high energy levels required for your dynamic and demanding performances?
Nothing specific really. I guess our philosophy is that we really do want to put on a great show every night so that means whatever you during the day can’t be anything that will put the gig in jeopardy so we TRY and do whatever we can to look after ourselves.

What’s your fondest memory of Launceston?
I remember a long time ago when we did a tour supporting Jebediah and we played at the Saloon Bar. It was really packed to the brim and everyone was jumping up and down so much that they created a giant hole in the floor. The security put a giant wooden box over the hole so no one fell in it and everyone spent the rest of the gig stage diving off it. It was one of the wildest things I have ever seen.

The Living End play Launceston’s Albert Hall on the 15th September & Hobart’s City Hall on the 16th of September.

Heads Of The State

Author: Natalie Schmeiss

The Living End’s fourth full length release, State Of Emergency, is in stores now. The band will be embarking on a national tour later in the year.

In 2004, The Living End achieved something pretty special. The release of From Here On In: The Singles 1997-2004 was a loud and proud punctuation in the trio’s lengthy career, according to bass player Scott Owen. One, perhaps, he wasn’t ready for. To Owen, The Living End is an ongoing passion that’s yet to lose momentum, and while some will acknowledge the band’s achievements with something of a ‘greatest hits’, The Living End are far from throwing in the towel. In fact, they’re picking up a whole new swag of pre-teen fans along the way.

I heard you had an enormous number of songs to choose from for this album…
Yeah, I think it was probably around 40 or 50 songs that we had demoed over the first half of last year or something/ We just did tons and tons and tons of demoing stuff, because we just didn’t want any idea to get left by the wayside before it was fully explored. So we spent many, many hours in a rehearsal room working stuff out and doing demos and stuff. But we’ve basically done that for every album that we’ve made. We definitely never had a lack of material to choose from (laughs).

It must be a bit hard to let some of them go…
Yeah, that’s the main problem with having that many songs. Because there’s three of us having to choose which ones end up on the album, obviously you can’t have all the ones that you want, because, you know, the other guys might have ones that they prefer, or whatever. So, you know, you need to be diplomatic in the culling process, and it does get pretty tricky trying to figure out which ones to leave out.

What sorts of things stood out about the final selection for the album?
I dunno, I mean, we definitely wanted to make sure the album had variety – you know, not every song sounded the same, obviously – but not too much. Like we didn’t want to pick the songs that we’d been demoing that were really kind of out there. We still know that when people hear our album that… we know that people want to hear what they expect from The Living End to a certain degree. Even though when you think, like, our band is pretty diverse, you can tell from the singles and stuff that we’ve got all different kinds of songs. But we just didn’t want to put anything on that was gonna freak people out too much, you know. And we didn’t want our album to sound too kinda schizophrenic, you know, we wanted it to sound like a good solid album. And we just basically picked the songs that had the best identity, and that’s what we were looking for when we were demoing. We just wanted to make sure we got the most out of each song, just to make sure each song had a strong identity and wasn’t too confusing or any of that. But it was difficult to choose.

When it’s time for a new album, do you ever draw into the last album’s stockpile of songs that didn’t make it?
Yeah, we actually did this time. Because there were songs that we left off the last album that we’re still really attached to. And maybe some of them definitely weren’t complete enough to make it onto the last album, but we’d been working on them over the last year and trying out different ideas with them. And we did this time, yeah. We always say that we’re going to, when we record and album we go ‘Alright, we’re gonna have to leave that song off but we’ll think about it for the next album’. And then we never do, well, we never have done up until now. Because you kind of get more excited about the new songs that have the novel factor because they’re new songs (laughs). But, yeah, there are a couple of songs that are actually pretty old on this album, but then there’s also, like, one of the songs was only written a couple of weeks before we went into the studio to record. It’s a bit of both.

Do you think it’s important, for a band that’s been around as long as The Living End, to pay attention to what’s popular in music?
Well, yeah, to a certain degree. I’m really glad for what was happening last year with bands like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand and The Futureheads and The White Stripes and The Strokes. I was really glad for that kind of garage-y, pop rock kind of thing being popular last year. Because it felt like when all these bands were coming out, ‘Man, this kind of sounds like what we’re into’. And finally… because a lot of those bands sound like they could’ve been born in the early ’80s in the new wave scene or whatever. And it was great to hear all those bands, it was like ‘this is the kind of music we’ve been listening to’. But now it’s kind of current, you know. So, I think it’s only good to be tuned into what’s popular at the moment if you like it. I mean there’s a lot of stuff that’s popular at the moment and there’s been a lot of stuff that’s been popular over the years, that I just don’t really like. There’s no point even getting into it or even trying to understand it if you don’t like it because you don’t want to let it have an influence on you, you know.

Some musicians that have been around for awhile I guess are sometimes afraid of becoming irrelevant because they’re not paying attention to what’s new and ‘what the kids are into’…
Yeah. See, I just don’t think it’s just worth paying attention to what the kids like if it’s not something that you like as well. I mean, it’s one thing to say ‘I wanna be able to write a song that people are gonna like’ because that’s like an achievement, you know, to be able to write something that’s going to appeal to people. But there’s no point doing it if you’re not going to like it, you know (laughs). That’s the kind of fine line that you need to understand, I reckon, when you’rewriting songs. You’ve gotta write for yourself, otherwise you’re gonna get sick of it before anyone else does and that’s not a very good situation to be in.
And people will be able to see it, especially younger kids that get into music. They can see straight through that kind of thing I think, most of the time. So it’s more important to do it for yourself.

Is there such a thing as feeling secure in your position in the Australian music industry?
Yes and no. We’re lucky to be where we are as far as security goes and we’ve worked very, very hard to be where we are as far as security goes as well. You know, we’ve worked our arses off for many, many years (laughs) touring and making records and playing shows and stuff. So in a sense there is a little bit of security because I kind of feel like we’ve earned our place, to be where we are, and I don’t feel like we could lose it that quickly, that tomorrow we could just be back in our day jobs again. But also, then again, on the other hand, that’s the music industry. People do just kind of drop off the scene so quickly, you never know when it’s going to happen, it’s such an unpredictable industry. So I guess you can never feel completely and utterly secure unless you’re The Rolling Stones or something, or Paul McCartney (laughs). But, I don’t have any great feeling of insecurity. I guess I do sometimes, but I think that’s only human. I think everybody probably does, no matter what they do. And, yeah, I feel like we’ve worked hard enough to be where we are and we kind of understand why we’re here pretty well. So, yeah, so I feel pretty comfortable, you know.

Having worked hard for so long, is it easy to say ‘OK we can sort of pull back a bit on that now and relax’?
Well, I thought I would be. But I think… I dunno. The band defines who we are so much as people, as individuals. People probably say ‘Oh, you’d be nothing without The Living End’ and it’s like, ‘Yeah, exactly! You’re exactly right!’. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I’ve given so much of my life to this band, it’s what I am. So, I can’t really say, ‘Alright now, it’s time to put the breaks on’, because when we’re sitting around at home doing nothing – if we’ve got like a month or something where we can’t do anything – it’s really frustrating, and it kind of makes me feel like you have no purpose in life if you’re not out there and working and doing stuff. It’s just like anyone’s job, if you love your job and all of a sudden you get sent home for four weeks and it’s like, don’t worry you’ll be back in another four weeks. For that four weeks you’re just sitting there going, ‘Well, I’d rather b at work, I’d rather be doing something’. I have nothing else that I feel this passionately about; I just want to keep doing it (laughs).

Has that passion grown with the band’s popularity?
Yeah, I reckon it’s always gonna grow. I don’t think it’ll ever get to the stage where I think, ‘Right, we’ve done everything now, I’m happy and I don’t want to be any bigger or any better than I am now’. I reckon the day that happens is the day that I need to go and check into a mental hospital. Because, seriously, that’s the good thing about having music as a trade, there’s always something else you can do with music. No matter how much you know, or how much you’ve done, you never know when you’re gonna pick up a guitar or pick up a bass or whatever, or be in a rehearsal room and you’re gonna play something that you’ve never, ever played before, never heard before. So, you know, I think that can never disappear, it’s just a matter of being interested in finding that. I don’t know if the interest will ever die, but I doubt it.

How does it feel when people are just as excited about hearing songs like Prisoner Of Society and West End Riot as they were when you first wrote them?
See, that’s amazing. After we released our singles album last year, that was kind of like (laughs) I hate to say this, but I will… Releasing the singles album was like, shit, we’ve got like a best of album now, this is 10 years in he making, this album. It was kind of like a punctuation mark at the end of a pretty long career. Not the end of it, but just kind of punctuating what we’ve done up until then. And it’s like, ‘OK, now we’re gonna go out…’ like we were still just as keen to keep going as we ever were… And now we’re gonna go out, and now that we’ve done a best of album it’s like it’s phase two now. And it was a really, really excellent surprise, because that was a bit of a shock, realising that that’s what the best of album kind of meant to me (laughs), singles collection or whatever you want to call it… that’s what it meant to me. And then going out there afterwards with the new material, like the gigs we’ve been doing lately, and seeing all these really young people getting into the band and people treating us with as much excitement and enthusiasm as they did at the beginning of phase one is an excellent feeling. It’s been a real boost of energy for us and it’s really refreshed our enthusiasm as well, it’s good. I don’t know why it happened or how it happened but it did (laughs) and that’s a good thing.

Living End Star On Warped Tour

Author: Unknown

The Living End were the stars of the US punk/alt-rock Warped tour. All the other bands would come out to catch their shows. At the last Warped date, they played in the car park with the BBQ sausages sizzling, doing covers by the Stray Cats, AC/DC and Chuck Berry. They then got Herbie from Valient Thorr to sing with them, while James from Against Me and Roger from Less Than Jake did air guitar. After their Australian tour, The Living End will shoot off to Japan for a few shows and they’ve just been confirmed to tour the UK with Less Than Jake & Dropkick Murphys in November.

Stating Their Case

Author: JJ Hepburn

The Living End is showing no signs of slowing down. If anything Australia’s kings of punk rock are just hitting their stride. Equipped with a new, pulsating album and a never-ending supply of bristling energy, the band has just finished the Warped Tour of the States, and following a headlining US tour of their own, they’re headed back to their sunburnt continent home for what promises to be a blistering All States Of Emergency Tour.

Having somehow made it through a grueling 22 date Warped Tour The Living End have barely drawn breath before striking out alone and making their punkabilly rock way across the States to continue their onslaught of the American market with their own headlining shows.

July is something of a blur for one of the hardest working bands in the business, but the Warped Tour has been something else according to drummer Andy Strachan.

“The Warped Tour is known for being grueling,” he says.
“It’s pretty much shows every day in stinking hot weather for about eight weeks or so, you live on a bus, no hotels and the few days off are spent on the bus driving to the next gig. Very glamorous. Whereas a tour like The Big Day Out is only six shows over two to three weeks – no wonder the Yanks call it the Big Day Off!”

As only an Aussie band could, The Living End garnered the respect of the Warped bands and workers alike with one of the highlights of the tour – their nightly barbecue’s in the event parking lots.

In Chicago it was somewhat more special as The Living End snagged a few more fans with an intimate performance to celebrate the end of the festival tour.

Warped worker and fellow Australian Scotty Nicholson was a clearly stoked witness to the impromptu gig.

“The band played to thank the Warped Tour… and basically just have fun with all of the Warped Tour personnel,” Nicholson says, “in what turned out to be an epic Trailer Trash Party!

“The camera’s flashes clicked from the beginning of the set until the end as The Living End whaled out some of their favourite tunes – from Chuck Berry, The Stray Cats through to AC/DC. When Chris [Cheney] called up Herbie from Valient Thorr to sing with them, the crowd was in for a treat.

“Chris could have picked any singer from the Tour because every band was there to watch The Living End – they are musician’s musicians.

“I was standing next to James from Against Me and Roger from Less Than Jake and I can tell you, there was a bit of air guitar going on with them keeping up with Cheney magic. Chris’ fingers moved along the strings like a spider running across it’s web, it was awesome.”

The band has steadily built a following Stateside, and their American fans have a few subtle differences to local maddies.

“They talk differently,” Strachan says, laughing. “…but seriously, we’re lucky to have very passionate fans in both countries.

“The only real difference would be the size of the venue. At the moment, I guess due to the success of State Of Emergency, we’re playing to bigger crowds than every before in Australia, so hopefully, it will be received in the same way over there [post Warped] and with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work we’ll be playing stadiums by the end of the year!”

The band has also been going the hard yards building an internet profile.

The Arctic Monkeys. Lily Allen and Sandi Thom are just three forward-thinking entities who’ve successfully harnessed the amazing reaching power of the web.

The Living End has in excess of 70,000 friends on its’my space’ page, and the on line revolution has helped build the band’s relationship with it’s audience.

“The My Space thing is incredible! I can’t believe how huge it is,” Strachan says. “It enabled us to communicate with fans from every corner of the world instantly, so we can let them know personally what’s going on and when we’re coming to town.

“We sold out an LA club show earlier this year solely through advertising on My Space, before the gig was even announced publicly!

“Now if that isn’t connecting with your fans, I don’t know what is. Pole posters are yesterday’s news.”

It’s not long now until the band returns home to Australian fans for it’s 34 date All States Of Emergency tour, held during the school holidays in most states.

It’s a break-neck tortuous time in terms of scheduling that surely requires a strict exercise and diet program in order for band members Cheney, Strachan and bass player Scott Owen to maintain the high energy levels required for their dynamic and demanding performances.

“I know, it’s crazy, isn’t it?” Strachan says. “But we love it. We don’t do much in terms of exercise outside of playing shows really. If you come and see us you’ll know why.

“We do try and eat as well as we can which is sometime a bit of a challenge. I think that’s the most important thing as well as sleep, which is also a challenge!

“At the end of the day though you just get through it. That hour onstage is what it’s all about and the rush you get out of that is stronger than anything and always gets you over the line.”

As ever, Aussie fans are in for a treat.
“For us it’s all about playing live and we try and give it 110 per cent at every show.
“People can expect three well dressed blokes, sweating their a#*es off and making the crowd dance like they’ve never danced before.”

The Channel [V] will join the band with their infamous Confessional Van on site at two shows – The Palace Under 18 show in Melbourne on Thursday, September 21 and Shelley’s, Wollongong under 18 show on Saturday, October 14.

Stay alert. The Living End may well be lurking around to hear a few confessions when the Channel [V] Confessional Van rolls into town.

At the end of the forthcoming Australian tour, the boys will shoot off to Japan for a few shows and they’ve just been confirmed to tour the UK with Less Than Jake and Dropkick Murphys in November.

Whoever it was that came up with the old adage ‘There’s no rest for the wicked’ was obviously thinking of these three mad-for-it units.