Aussie Rockers in MASSIVE were in the UK on the Aussie Wrecking Crew tour a few weeks back and we caught up with Jarrod (drums), Brad (vocals and guitar), Brendan (lead guitar) and Aidan (bass) to talk about their new album ‘Destination Somewhere’ and life on the road.
HBI: The new album! You’ve already started to do some touring and played some new songs, how have people responded to the new material?
Brad: It’s been really good actually. From the first show people knew the words, and it was pretty sick!
Jarrod: It feels old for us since we recorded it a while ago. We’ve done about 3 months of touring Australia for the album. Its only 4 gigs old over here, so it’s a little bit weird seeing people so excited for these songs that we’ve written so long ago.
HBI: So you’ve seen a lot of England already, how are the crowds here compared to back home?
Brad: Not bad! Well in Australia you wouldn’t play on a Monday or Tuesday, because theres no audience, so coming over here to have a crowd of people on a Monday is just mind-blowing for us. It’s not a thing usually. Audience has been pretty good, and as I said this is the 4th show already, so full steam ahead!
HBI: You mentioned you wrote the songs a while ago. How has the songwriting process changed from the first album, Full Throttle? Were you guys recording a lot on the road?
Brendan: I was new in the band, and they already recorded half the album, but I came in and showed them a bunch of riffs. Not sure how it was different from the first album.
Brad: He talks it down, but the first album was me and Jarrod writing in an attic, and it was the first 11 songs we ever wrote. We weren’t a band really, some of the songs the band hadn’t heard before we recoded them. This is the first proper Massive album where everyone had some input. As Brendan said, he joined in halfway through the writing process, and he came and ripped 50 riffs and half of those riffs made the album. It was such a crazy kind of ‘join the band and write half the album’ thing, but it was a natural thing as well.
HBI: You guys must gel really well together, since you are on tour quite a bit. What’s your favorite part of being on the road?
Aidan: Not being at home.
Aidan: Nah we normally get heaps of food and beer.
Brad: It’s the little things isn’t it? Probably one of our strengths is the fact that we could probably spend a day in a van, stuck together and drive for 20 hours straight and not kill each other. It’s a big strength for a band because it is hard to stay and sleep in a van, or in a park, or on the floor. We’re not known for booking hotel rooms, that’s for sure. How many hotels have we booked on this tour? Probably 1? Wherever is free. The first night in Nottingham I slept in the van because I didn’t want to go out and be an idiot, and these guys went out to the casino and they got free food and drinks. So I missed out that night.
HBI: You could play the penny slots!
Brendan: Yeah, but you need pennies for that.
Brad: The point being is that we can rough it out and not kill each other so that’s a real strength for us.
HBI: How do you prevent burnout? I wouldn’t be able to hack it to be honest… How do you guys keep that fire going?
Jarrod: We just burn out 24/7 so it’s just a constant state of burnout.
Brad: You just get numb and you don’t feel it. We haven’t slept very much for a very long time; we’re used to not sleeping. As you can see we’re a bit… This is a good night too, we slept on couches last night so we’re doing well!
HBI: Tell me about the local scene in Australia, and what’s it’s like for bands there? Is there a lot of support there?
Brendan: Everyone gets along, Melbourne has a very strong scene at the moment, which is really good. It has the most venues and is the most free. There’s law and restriction laws in other cities.
Brad: The Black Aces and Tequila Mockingbird are both Melbourne bands. We all get along and all play together in Australia plenty of times and this tour came along because we scored Hard Rock Hell together, and it’s just a cool way to bring a bit of Melbourne to the UK.
HBI: Your newest video Blood Money Blues, was that filmed in Australia? I feel like that had a very Australian feel, it was hilarious.
Aidan: That was the Bendigo hotel.
HBI: So you guys DO go to hotels!
Aidan: It’s more of a hostel. With a pub. [laughs] Brendan: It’s a good venue, they do a lot of good heavy metal shows and it’s run by a beautiful Frenchman called Nick Dumont, of The Ugly Kings.
HBI: How did the idea for the video come about?
Brad: Many beers and not much thought.
Aidan: We wanted a bit of a Verve Bittersweet Symphony vibe, with one shot. Except of a walking down the street we wanted to go to the pub.
Brendan: Then we had the fast forward thing.
Brad: We realized we’re not very good actors and we thought we would do a video clip. Basically, everyone else in the video had the be in half speed, and we would just act normally, so when we sped it up it looked like we were going super fast. All the extras are the stars in that because they’re all moving in slow motion. And it was only done in one take and we only did it twice. How’s that?
HBI: Pretty impressive actually. How has it been working with Earache?
Brad: They’re a great label, really cool dudes. One of them is here right now. I love the fact that they’re all rock fans that go to gigs and rock out in the front row. It’s good to have that kind of support, it’s good to see worrying less about the figures and more about the music.
HBI: Who is active on the music scene right now who is influential to you guys?
Brad: Good question!
Aiden: Graveyard… but just broke up. There’s a lot of good new bands though.
Brendan: Should have asked that question 3 days ago. [laughs] Jarrod: Winery Dogs are cool… Well the first album is cool.
Brad: I like The Answer, they’re a great band. I found them randomly in Australia.
Jarrod: Seasick Steve!
HBI: Good choice. And I guess Guns N’ Roses is an active band now…
Brad: That’s a good question man, because everyone thinks of the classics: Zeppelin, Gunners, AC/DC, and all that. It’s hard to think of influencers now, but really they’re probably the biggest, because what you’re listening to now is what will influence you day to day. The bands we see tonight, tomorrow, or whenever, are the ones that will be fresh in my mind when I pick up the guitar next.
HBI: So you guys love roadtripping, would you do a road trip in India?
Band: Yeah! If there’s a road, or even if there’s not a road.
Jarrod: We’ll do a road trip to Mars. Fuck it.
Jarrod: Me and Aidan thought we did one time at the reservoir.
Aiden: Yeah, we took one too many tabs that day.
Brad: Yeah, we’ll go anywhere, we’re happy to play. We’ll play for a deaf man and his dog. If he’ll buy the beers anyway. I’ve seen Iron Maiden’s Flight 666, there’s a lot of great metal fans in India!
HBI: Any place we can find you online?
Brad: We’re on all the social stuff, /massiveoz for everything. Find us, follow us, like us. And as I said, we’ll go anywhere to play a gig!
Thanks a lot, Stefan for doing the interview for Headbangers India!