The Living End

Author: Unknown

Click to view…

When The Living End started out they were planning on an album, they did some recording of twenty songs, but felt “they just weren’t up to quality.” About to tour with Bodyjar, a band with a new product to sell, the guys from Living End felt they too should have something for their fans, hence the collection of B sides ‘Second Solution/Prisoner Of Society’ just released for the tour.

On the EP there’s one cover song, two live songs and two new original songs and so it has been ‘Prisoner Of Society’ that has turned out to be the single that has received airplay.

Travis admits that the tracks aren’t really “Great indications of technical proficiency, they’re just more what the band is live. It’s a bit rough, a bit all over the place, but the songs have a bit of energy, value for money.”

So is the band changing styles? “I think so to a small extent. The other two certainly still have rockabilly influences and that’s never going to leave, we don’t want it to leave. We’re trying to be a bit more dynamic, rather than volume to 11 from the very first song to the very end song. We want to be able to put our music across to a wide age group. We don’t want to be the band that caters for the fifteen to twenty five year old age group. Once everyone gets a bit older and the years start hurtling they can’t listen to us. Chris the man songwriter had about fifty completed songs and they’re all over the place. They’re Reggae, punks songs with no drums in it. For a band, you can’t keep doing the same thing. We still want to be as diverse as we want, but there is always going to be rockabilly as the basis to our style of music. We’re three guys that really like to play simple, catchy songs, but at the same time we like to challenge ourselves a little bit. We’ve all had schooling on the instruments and we’ve all gone beyond being good players.” At just twenty years of age, Living End guitarist Chris set the record college exam score with a 99/100 at the famed music course at Box Hill TAFE (very well known for its classical training.)

Faced with a lot of industry interest in their product, the first Living End album is expected next year though Chris admits that they will probably maintain their independence by financing their own release and banking it themselves. The guys are working on about twenty songs that they’re all happy with, “wanting every song to be good.”

Look to the album some time towards the middle of next year. “If we put out an album now and everyone goes ‘Oh, yeah, it’s alright but we expected better’, we’d be crushed. Whereas if we do the absolute hardest 100% work we can do and spend time in the rehearsal studios and we slave over it, if people say ‘well, it’s alright,’ we can say ‘we don’t care, we love it.’ That’s what you play music for. People don’t care about the time frame, as long as the products good I feel.”

Do you get tired of some media images of you with only the sideburns, brothel creepers, brylcream, rockabilly?

“I’m still into that look but can’t carry it off. I would like to have that image, but i’m only faking myself and people if i have a huge three foot high quiff. It’s just not me. I’m more than just the drummer in Living End. I have other interests. If people like your music that will accept you for however you look. The other two guys wear that stuff all the time. As far as clothing for them that’s all they have in their wardrobe. If we went to get to kick the footy, I have the proper Nike sneakers, Nike running shorts etc. The other two would turn up in jeans and brothel creepers. The interests are just clothing and their music. I like the image more of suits and stuff. I’m a bit of a Rolling Stone fan. I’m getting a couple of suits made up in cotton so I can drum and stuff. They’ll have leopard skin lapels and they’ll be in cool colours. That’s sort of my image. A lot of bands would say ‘we’re the band and this is our look.’ The Living End are so diverse as individuals that if you were to meet us as a band you’d wonder how do these guys get along? I like hot cars, I swear and I drink and I’m pretty outspoken, the other two don’t do any of that yet they’re the two that look like they’d do that. I buy the surf skate magazines, they hate that side of it. We’re so diverse, yet the best bands are those that don’t hang out together for the rest of their lives. Passion holds us together. We’ve toured with bands that are like brothers and because they’re like that they really do get hurt when the fighting starts. They take it to heart. We know that he’s just shitty because he’s tired type of thing.”

“When people see the band, they see three young looking guys, they say ‘rockabilly, oh yeah,’ but when they come to a gig we throw in cover songs like Tainted Love and many of these eighties songs they’ve grown up on. We don’t try to be too fancy, just a good beat to dance to. People then say ‘Oh, they’re a fun band,’ rather than a rockabilly band. That’s what we try to get across when we play. It’s about having fun.”

So what new bands does Trav recommend? “Dogboy from Sydney, Bzaark from Melbourne, Pre-shrunk, Reef and “a lot of Ben Harper.”

Must be working, recent Living End gigs in Melbourne have been crowded out with up to 800 people there to see the band. There’s a mailing list now over the 8,000 mark and demand for a web site, that hopefully will be online for Christmas.

Second Solution

Author: Mark Fraser

Click to view…

With their latest E.P. For Your Own Good, receiving plenty of deserved airplay, Melbourne’s rockabilly tinged scourgers Living End began to come into their own. Constant touring has brought them up to Sydney on the odd occasion, and they’re heading our way again this week with a brand new E.P. in tow.

Literally recorded last week and out the next, Second Solution / Prisoner Of Society sounds as fresh and as urgent as can be, and in short, it’s one killer E.P. Second Solution is as catchy as f–k and just bounces on down the highway, while Prisoner Of Society is typical Living End with its rockabilly dirge and anthemic stance. Snarling down its nose at mainstream society, it sings the agonies and isolation of teen suppression. The real coup de Grace, however, is the awesome version of Prisoner TV Theme. Beautifully scourged, we start out all soft and rosey, and then burst into that ratatat, chunk rockabilly drive. Magic. Throw in a couple of live tracks in the rabid, raw Misspent Youth and the party-punched Strange and you have the makings of something really special.

Literally having just hopped out of the van in Mount Gambier, the first leg of their present tour, vocalist and guitarist Chris Cheney explains that given the theme of the E.P. then the inclusion of the Prisoner theme was an obvious choice. “We thought that seeing as the songs were about prisons and that, that we’d make it almost a kind of concept E.P. But yeah, that’s a classic song, we all love it. It’s great.”

Recording Second Solution seemed an obvious move to, despite it being a rather old live number. “It’s a bit of an old one that one. We just sort of played it live, and never really got around to recording it. Everyone sort of asked for it, and it’s a pretty strong song, so we thought we’d do that one. We did it on Recovery a few weeks ago, and it went over really well.”

Touring pretty much constantly since the release of last year’s For Your Own Good E.P., the trio decided to have a month off prior to this tour and get down to some writing, and put some new demos down. Back on the road all fresh and revived, this present tour takes in Adelaide, then back home to Melbourne for a few days before hitting Coffs Harbour, Brisbane and The Gold Coast and Sydney. With no less than 22 gigs in 30 days or so, it’s obviously going to take its toll on the band’s health.
“Yeah, we’re not really worried about it,” says Chris. “It’s just a matter of the voices and all the equipment holding up. But, ah, it should be a good workout.”

September will see the band back in the studio to work on their forthcoming album, a collection of newies, which should be out early next year. In the meantime, Second Solution / Prisoner Of Society is out next week on TWA records.

The Living End hit town this week, playing Macquarie University Thursday September 4, Brookvale Hotel Friday September 5, and Manning Bar Saturday September 6, with an all ages show that afternoon. Bodyjar and Nervous Wreckage will be keeping the guys company on all dates.

The Living End

Author: Steve Tauschke

Click to view…

The Living End cap off a month of touring with a new EP Second Solution accompanied by a few shows. STEVE TAUSCHKE speaks with double bassist Scott, on line from Newcastle.

Beat: You always seem to be busy touring or am I just imagining it?
Scott: “We haven’t done a helluva lot. We’ve packed a fair bit in, in the last year, we’ve done a lot of km’s in the last twelve or eighteen months but before that we hadn’t done much touring. So, it’s still new to us, it’s still a novelty.”

Beat: Last year you toured around with Southern Culture On The Skids. That must have been whacky?
Scott: “Yeah, just for the Sydney and Melbourne shows. The one up in Sydney we got to spend a little bit of time with them, hanging around. They were really nice, the drummer’s a really funny guy, and they’re into the same sort of stuff as us, the rootsy rockabilly bands from the southern states (of America). They’re all bright, sparkly people to be around. And they rock too!”

Beat: What draws you to the whole rockabilly thing?
Scott: “I dunno. It started a long time ago. We were more drawn to it than we are now. When we first started playing, me and Chris, the singer, we were just playing rockabilly, we weren’t interested in anything else at the time. This is when we were just finishing high school. There was just something drawing us to it.”

Beat: Stray Cats was a starting point for the band wasn’t it?
Scott: “That was our big introduction but then we tried to figure out where they were coming from and getting all these weird licks, just how they made it sound a bit different you know, where the originators got their ideas from. I think Stray Cats went off on a few different tangents, especially Brian, he had some really crazy ideas in some of those old rockabilly songs. I think they were so big in the early 80’s cos they were kind of an on-the-edge punk band who played rockabilly style.”

Beat: The new EP seems to be full of themes of incarceration…
Scott: It’s just a coincidence. We only realised before we decided to do the cover of the Prisoner theme song. We thought ‘the first two songs are about death row and being a prisoner of society so lets do the theme song to Prisoner and make the album cover look like we’re in jail with the fingerprints and shit’ …we only recorded the theme song two days before we went into record at Birdland and when we played it in rehearsal we realised it was such a strong song. We just thought we’d chuck it on.”

Beat: You guys must have taken the Pentridge guided tour recently?
Scott: “Chris saw it, a couple of months ago. Yeah, he did it.”

Beat: Do you have a full album ready to go, say, before Christmas?
Scott: We did a big demo tape before we did this single with 14 new songs and we’ve even got a couple more new ones since then so we’ve definitely got enough for an album. We can even be a bit picky about the songs too. We’re looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will be a good debut, one we’re all happy with.”

Prisoner Of Society is available on MDS’s Rapido label. The Living End play the Annadale on Sat Oct 4 & support Millencolin at the Manly Youth Centre on Oc 6 for an all ages show.

Author: Marty

The full version of an article I wrote for Opus, my Uni’s Newspaper, on 30th August, 1997.

I am sure that these boys must be getting a bit tired by now. They are about to take their passionate rockabilly back out on the road for their fourth tour of the eastern states this year already and something about them is telling me that they will back again. But, as if that wouldn’t be enough to tire out all any regular person, they are also about to release their third EP. Despite the wonders of modern technology I managed to have a chat to the Living End’s Scott Owen, who plays double bass.

You guys have been on the road a fair bit this year. Are you guys like gluttons for punishment? 
We are at the moment. I’m sitting in the van at the moment on the way to Portland. We played Adelaide last night and…. yeah, we are on our way to Portland at the moment to start another of those east coast tours with Bodyjar. So yeah we are gluttons for punishment.

So when was the last time you had a break? 
Well, we haven’t done much for the last couple of months. We did a few gigs a couple of weeks ago, but before that we had a huge break, because we had a tour… well, to come up to Sydney but we had to blow out all the shows. Thats all we had planned so we’ve just done nothing except record.

Last year you got to support Green Day. What was that like? 
Yeah, it was excellent. Was that last year? (voices from the van – “Last February.”) Yeah it was pretty good.

I imagine it was a little different this year when you supported Blink 182? 
That was another good one as well. They were mostly all ages gigs, so they were all full…. they were basically all sold out, they got stacks of people.

What’s the rockabilly scene like down in Melbourne? 
There isn’t really one. Oh…. there is a bit. It started up, over about the last six months its started to fire up again. There’s a few more bands that have started touring and started playing together. There’s a couple of nights a week where you can go to see a couple of rockabilly bands play. But it seems to be coming back again, that’s another thing. They used to have a big gig on Sundays, hopefully that will start happening again. But for the last couple of years there’s just be nothing. But for some reason its seems to be starting up again.

“It’s For Your Own Good” spent six months in the charts. That must have surprised you a bit? 
Yeah, I know that was a huge surprise. We didn’t realise until it had been number 1 for about four weeks or something, and we just went “oh shit”, it’s unbelievable. And it just stayed there.

Do you think Triple J had anything to do with it? 
Oh yeah! Definitely. It had everything to do with it, go the J’s.

It was at this point that technology let us down and Scott’s mobile cut out. However all was not in vain as Chris Cheney, the guitarist and lead singer, kindly provided the encore.

How did you score the “Live at the Wireless” set earlier this year? 
Basically just through our publicist. We wanted to do one for ages and we used to like ring them and stuff. Eventually we sort of got through and just because of the success of ‘From here on in’, they just sort of went “yeah, cool” why not. That was pretty good fun.

It’s not like everyone gets to do one. 
No, thats right. We were pretty lucky actually to have that. Good exposure.

Well you got good exposure from Triple J anyway. They flogged ‘From Here On In’ to death. 
Yeah, I know…. total overkill. It’s good but it’s a bit of a one hit wonder type thing. Now everyone expects us to play just that song now. I mean it’s good but we have got other songs as well. Yeah, it would have been good to get some of the other songs off the EP out there.

You also played Recovery a couple of months ago. What’s it like having to get up at nine in the morning? 
Not easy. It’s a bit of tricky one but once you’re up, you’re up.

I have just been having a listen to the new EP ‘Second Solution’. Sounds pretty good, especially the lead track. 
You like that one?

It’s sort of a blend of like….. ‘It’s For Your Own Good’ had a higher tempo than ‘Hellbound’. This ones just sort a blend of both of those so it sounds heaps good. 
Oh that’s good. Thanks! I hope it’s come across that way because the last EP came off sounding very sort of punky, you know. Everyone thought we were like this four piece band who were into the Offspring and stuff. Whereas ‘Hellbound’ was very sort of rockabilly, so, we just got to define that blend between our two favourite influences.

Certainly with the last one you started to draw comparisons with the Fireballs a fair bit. The first EP was more relaxed and it sounded more individual. 
We get compared to them all time, it’s a bit of a pain really. I mean we come from the same backgrounds but they’re just a lot more metal than we are. They’re a lot more into riffy type things, whereas were more into writing catchy songs I guess. More of a punk type influence.

Where did you guys write most of your songs? 
I just wrote them really in my bedroom. Yeah, that’s where they all come from.

Did you consider renaming ‘Prisoner of Society’ because of the similar title to ‘Prisoner (on the inside)’? 
No, I wrote ‘Prisoner of Society’ a little while ago now and then when we recorded them they came out really good. Then we thought lets try and make this almost like a concept EP thing, we wanted the whole type prisoner type theme. Someone just said “you should do a cover of the Prisoner theme” and we went no, no…… bit above our league, I don’t think we’re one for ballads. But we just had a bit of a muck around with it and it turned out good so we just recorded it.

The EP includes tracks from the ‘Live at the Wireless’ session. What was the motivation behind that? 
For a couple of reasons. I think a lot of people who bought the last one wouldn’t know about ‘Hellbound’, so its just a couple of songs off it that they wouldn’t have heard. We kind of like the way those songs came out for the ‘Live at the Wireless’, pretty rough round the edges, but there’s a lot of energy there. I just think it’s good to put as much variety on an EP as possible so what’s better than a couple of live songs.

Got any plans for an album? 
Hopefully recording in December, and we’ll have it out in January.

You guys were up here earlier this year to play some gigs with the Porkers. How was that? 
Yeah they were good. It’s good playing with Porkers because they get a mixed kind of crowd. Obviously they’re like ska influenced band but they get just a diverse kind of crowd, it’s really good. That’s what we’re sort of after.

Certainly when you were up here with Blink 182 the punk crowd didn’t take to you too well. 
No, I don’t think they know what too think really. I think it’s because as I said ‘From Here On In’… everyone was sort of thought we were trying to be this big punk band or something, but we weren’t really, it’s just a bloody rockabilly band sort of playing fast. So I think when people get it and understand what were on about they will like it a bit more. Just for what we do and who we are.

The current “Nervous Wreckage” tour with Bodyjar. Is it true you are playing 20 shows in about 30 days? 
Something like that. Yeah it’s pretty full on. We haven’t done a tour this big before, the most we have ever done is probably seven or eight gigs in a row. So this is our first sort of major tour type thing. I think it will be pretty hard, but it will be a good work out.

When you come to Newcastle on the 17th of September, you’re in support of Suicidal Tendencies. That seems like a bizarre match up. 
Yeah, it does a bit. But our drummer is like, it’s his favourite band, which is kind of weird. They’re his all time favourite, and he thinks it will go really well because we’ve just really want to appeal to Suicidal Tendencies fans and everyone right across the board. And they’re pretty diverse, so, it could work alright. We don’t like playing with any particular style.

You were originally distributed by Shock but are now with MDS. How did they notice you? 
They saw us at a Man or Astroman gig, ages ago, way before even ‘Hellbound’ or anything, they wanted to sign us then but we went with Shock. We spoke with MDS about the second one and they seemed the better option so we went with them on that one.

What are you plans for the rest of the year? 
Just to record in December basically, and get it out in January. All we have to do is a lot of touring obviously and just do this recording.

Another full on tour? 
I don’t know. Maybe…. it would be good to do a headline of our own.

You play a lot of all ages shows. Do you prefer them to the pub gigs? 
About the same really. The all ages are pretty good because they can get pretty crazy but then again so can the over 18 ones. There’s no real difference really. Whether you have got an underage crowd with no alcohol they still go off or an overage crowd with alcohol.

“Second Solution” was out on September 8 on Rapido thru MDS.

Author: Mark Fraser

It must have been about early to mid last year that i came across a nifty little mini-album from a bunch of fringe dwellers from down Melbourne way. The band was of course The Living End, and the album, Hellbound ran from Brylcream cranked end of the scale through some quiff-curdling classic popabilly, some jangly sweet bobby-sox cuteness and on to straight-edged full-certified V8 primal rock…double bass style. 

In the interim, they’ve gone on to support the likes of Green Day and Soundgarden to name but a few, and on the way, honed their no-holds barred edgey sound to a fine nylon comb. Straight rockabilly they ain’t, but the flavour is still evident in The Living End sound. 
More recently they released a six-track EP on the Rapido label (home to the mighty Fireballs) through MDS. The opener From Here On In has been getting a fair airing on the Jays, and after hearing the rest of its varnish-peeling offerings, it probably won’t be long before they follow suit. From the pyschobilly crazed edge of the opener, it’s straight into the thumping roadhouse guitarnage and military incision of English Army, the precision dinge of One More Cell, the rabid, semi ska-tinged onslaught of Stay Away From Me, the runaway winged cadillac that is Problem and onto the final surprise ode of the diabolically disarming, railroad rendition of The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night. In all a ripper of a follow up that’s head over heals ahead in the production stakes. 
I caught up with the End-ish lads soon after their Soundgarden support and they seemed like a happy bunch in light of the air-time attention that From Here On In has been receiving. 
“Triple J had it on high rotation,” explains guitarist, vocalist and chief songwriter Chris Cheney. “It’s still being played now, it’s been a month now that they’ve been playing it. They’ve been playing that to death, and we’ve sold quite a few copies which is good.” 
After doing a bit of touring for the current EP there is the likelihood of an album in the offing around mid year or so. Meanwhile it’s virtually the weekly grind in home-town Melbourne, where the band manages to pull plenty of live work. The ensuing tour will see them take in Sydney, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Brisbane and Noosa….”We’ll be spending a lot of time in the van I think,” says Chris. 
And how is the rockabilly scene in Melbourne at the moment? “Ah, not real strong,” laments Chris. “There’s a couple of bands playing now and then, but it’s pretty much finished I think. We’ve got a pretty diverse crowd though, not just a rockabilly crowd… we’ve never wanted to appeal to just that audience. We’ve always wanted to appeal to a wider audience, which is sort of happening now. It’s a shame there’s not more of a rockabilly scene happening but…”.

The Living End

Author: Yvette Chegwidden

Click to view…

Sideburns, bowling shirts, brothel creepers and Brill cream. If you thought rockabilly was dead, you thought wrong. Taking their name from the line at the end of the Bill Hayley movie, Rock Around The Clock, Living End are a three piece rockabilly/pop rock outfit from Melbourne who have just released their second CD, It’s For Your Own Good, featuring a real rockin’ guitar version of the Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night.

For some strange reason, Melbourne has always had a larger rockabilly scene than any other Australian city, but unfortunately over the last few years, even this has diminished. “It’s not really that existent any more,” bass player Scott Owen lamented. “When we first started playing it was pretty strong, but even then it wasn’t as huge as it was before. We didn’t even really know about the scene until a few years ago.” To what then does he attribute this demise, what has taken over? “Confusion and anarchy.” he laughs.

Owen did not grow up with fantasies of being in a band, he actually wanted to be a truck driver and fell into music quite by accident, when high school chum, singer/guitarist Chris needed a bass player for his band.

“Chris and I were huge rockabilly fans,” Scott recalled. “We just listened really narrow mindedly to rockabilly, you know Stray Cats, and then the more traditional stuff from the 50’s like Carl Perkins and Johnny Bernette, the guys who wrote a lot of Elvis’ songs. That’s what we started off playing and that’s why I bought a double bass because all the bands I was listening to had double basses, so I thought if you’re going to be a bass player, you have to get a double bass. When we first started we were just a straight rockabilly covers band just doing 50’s music, and then we started getting into like modern, alternative bands.”

These alternative bands included the Cure, hence their hardcore version of 10:15 Saturday Night. “We liked the Cure years ago,” Scott said. “Boys Don’t Cry was the first album I got, and 10:15 was the first song on the album, and I liked it the most and I just said ‘I think we should do it.’ It’s easy to work out, it’s only got two chords in it.”

It’s For Your Own Good was produced by Lindsay Gravina, and fellow band members Chris Cheney and Joe Piripitsi at Birdland studios in Melbourne. “We just listened to all the CDs that we really liked from local bands and thought he would be the best. He was great because he has an understanding of the music and knew what we were on about.” Scott said.

The high point of a year which has seen the Living End gain an increasing amount of exposure, was touring with Green Day. “They were great, they were really friendly.” Scott remembers. “We didn’t know what to expect because we’d thought about it so much. We had no idea whether they’d talk to us or not, but we went out with them a few times. They were great, but their road crew were just all stuck up Americans, they were all pigs. The band said we could have all the perks they got, but the crew didn’t want us to, they were like ‘leave us alone you little shits.'”

Despite the ups and downs of trying to make a living out of music, and going through a succession of drummers, the band have resisted all the pressure thrown in their face and are determined that one day they will be able to play any gig on any day of the week and pack it out. “There seems to be something that keeps us going,” Scott said. “I mean there’s been so many times when we could have been driven to the point of saying ‘bugger it, let’s chuck it in, I’m fed up.’ Even at the worst of times though, there’s still something there and it seems like a good thing to do with our lives, even when we are stuck in a shitty bus for hours on our way to a shitful gig. There’s so many bad ones, like twenty first parties for yobbo, blokish type people that we just don’t get along with. We used to go up to Mildura every couple of months and play at this pub and there’d always be people yelling out ‘play some Pink Floyd, play some Barnesy’, and I’d be like ‘Look at us, we’re a three piece band with a double bass, how do you expect us to play Pink Floyd.”

The band have just done the Pushover Festival in Melbourne, and are currently waiting to hear if they are on the bill for 97’s final Big Day Out, and are looking forward to playing the Rock Above The Falls Festival at Lorne in Victoria on New Year’s Eve. Stretching over three days, the festival features some of the cream of Australia’s music scene including Custard, Regurgitator, The Fauves and Pennywise.

The Living End will be playing in Sydney on Thurs 19th at the Annadale, and Friday 20th at Feedback. It’s For Your Own Good is out now on MDS.

Gig Review

Author: Dan Oakes

It's For Your Own Good

Last Friday night at the Esplanade saw the launch of the new Living End EP, It’s For Your Own Good. I expected a big crowd, and wasn’t disappointed. 
By the time the Living End came on the place was heaving. 
The Living End launched into their set with unbridled energy and enthusiasm, and within minutes were sweating buckets. 
The drumming was short sharp and in bursts, in the style of Keith Moon (before his bloated, dead in bed phase), and seeing the double bass in action made you realise that, visually, the more conventional bass has nothing on its older brother. As on the EP, the band mixed up punk and ska influences with a predominately rockabilly background, creating what is, in my mind, a pretty unique sound. The crowd was big and responded well to the effort the band were obviously putting into the set. It was interesting as well, to see the mixing of subcultures evident. There were punks, goths, rockabilly fans, indie kids, ska freaks, all getting into the music. The Living End are obviously a band that have a wide appeal, and it is good to see.

Fertile Imagination

Author: Teresa Bolster

The Living End and the Fireballs – they’re a genre of two, a very tight knit group battling it out for supremacy amongst the rockabilly/punk fans, competing against each other with the highest hairdos, the slappiest bass, the fastest drumming, the catchiest tunes. Then again, maybe not. It’s probably true to say that, in most people’s undisciplined minds the Fireballs and The Living End are interchangeable and most would likely perceive some kind of competition between the two Melbourne-base trios. But the reality, as revealed by the End’s upright bassist Scott Owen is far less sordid. 
Both bands emerged when there was a small but active rockabilly scene in Melbourne, although the Fireballs were years ahead of the younger Living End. The latter began as the Runaway Boys, a straight ahead rockabilly band specialising in traditional 50’s numbers and Stray Cats covers. 
“The Stray Cats totally inspired us,” Owen says, then adds “before they got old and fat.” 

Playing amongst the limited rockabilly circle, the two bands became friends and shared gigs. When the traditional rockabilly scene dwindled and both bands began discovering other influences, the Fireballs and The Living End developed in different directions. These days Owen sees little similarity between the bands. 
“They’re are so much heavier than us,” he says, “and the way we write songs, it’s so obvious how different our styles have changed.” 
Being older the Fireballs emerged on the wider scene first and the obvious comment that The Living End have ‘copied’ them has been made. Is it annoying to be compared to the Fireballs now? 
“It is when people don’t realise that we have both gone off in different directions. It annoys me when people say ‘You guys are the same as the Fireballs’ because that’s so naive. We’ve got the same roots, but lots of bands have the same roots. People think ‘double bass, same hairdos and clothes, it must be the same music’.”

If the Fireballs have developed a more metal edge in their rockabilly basics, The Living End are reveling in the joys of modern pop. When playing the support slot for Soundgarden last month (their encouragement award from Vivien Lees after missing out on the Big Day Out), Owen says the Living End were far more excited about playing with You Am I, the other support act. 
“We spoke to Tim Rogers and Rusty after the show, and they know where we are coming from, what we used to be into.” He perceives a parallel between You Am I and the Living End. “They’ve gone back to the old 60’s pop sound and put a new sign on it, and we have a done a similar thing with 50’s rockabilly. I love going back to an old style of music and making it contemporary.”

The Living End have now broken through to a whole new audience via the high rotation of From Here On In, lifted from their Lindsay Gravina produced second EP It’s For Your Own Good. For Owen and vocalist/guitarist Chris Cheney, hearing their song played frequently on Triple J is the highest peak of a collaboration which began five years ago, when they were both seventeen. 
“When we were getting played on local radio it was a thrill to be able to hear our music without having to put the tape on. We listen to Triple J all the time – everyone listens to Triple J all the time, so hearing it on that station nationwide was a huge kick. We still spin out whenever we hear it.” 
But by far the ultimate thrill for Owen, Cheney and new drummer Travis Dempsey is the prospect of playing with living rock and roll legend Carl Perkins. The old line up of The Living End have played an annual four day traditional rock and roll festival in Tweed Heads for the last few years as the Runaway Boys. Dempsey in unfamiliar with the old material so this year it’s The Living End who are heading north to play with Perkins. 
“That’s so much more exciting than playing with Soundgarden. People have been saying ‘Who’s Charles Perkins?’ and I’m saying ‘fuck off! What about Blue Suede Shoes?”

It’s For Your Own Good

Author: Avalon Sperring

It's For Your Own Good

Following the release earlier this year of their debut CD EP, Melbourne trio The Living End have moved away from relatively straightforward rockabilly punch with this tasty little six track EP. Although doffing collective caps to influences such as The Clash, Stray Cats and even a quick check to Duanne Eddy (check the glorious guitar solo on Problem). The Living End are beginning to define themselves by their own sound.

A feisty mix of tunes means it’s difficult to pin these guys down, which is never a bad thing. They are becoming conversant with melody within grunt, and plaintive qualities seeping through punchy rhythms, particularly on One More Cell, which is a pop/punk tune dependent on its neatly pumped out chord progression and cheesy chorus for effect. From Here On In and Stay Away From Me reflect the rockabilly aspect of The Living End, with the latter jumping straight into a thrash out with gorgeous accents and atypical bassline.

Bass player Scott Owen and singer/guitarist Chris Cheney belt out vocals with more enthusiasm than finesse, but this works within the context of the songs. English Army is a little too obvious in its debt to The Clash, however The Living End have stamped their mark on the groove if not the melody.

Closing with an inventive cover of The Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night, It’s For Your Own Good is an immediately infectious slice of this band’s energetic approach to a musical meld that can only be described as a rockabilly/ska cross, however they aren’t afraid to throw in a touch of the pop hook, but nevertheless harness power from the urgency of rockabilly more than anything else. Good stuff for a bit of a dance, if you’re that way inclined.

It’s For Your Own Good

Author: Sandro Olivo

It's For Your Own Good

This has been a frantic year for this three piece punk outfit from Melbourne. It released it’s first EP, Hellbound, at the start of the year and then earned the support slot for green haired trendsetters Green Day. So it is no surprise that this CD’s first track, From Here On In, has a distinct similarity to the American band. But that is where all similarities end.
On this second EP, English Army, One More Cell, Stay Away From Me, Problem and 10:15 Saturday Night set themselves apart with the sound embracing all that is punk. Ska and rockabilly are interspersed through the songs which set the head rocking and the feet stomping. The guitars have a harsh resonating sound and Chris Cheney’s vocals are brilliant.

Perhaps Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong could listen and learn. This album is true punkerama.