Tasmania Goes Into A State Of Emergency With The Living End
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.