Performing at Nibe Festival 2009, in Denmark.
Recently The Aussie Undergrounds Jon Burgundy had a discussion with the one and only multi-instrumentalist and master musician / singer / songwriter, Aussie born and bred Chris Cheney of staple Australian original punk rock band The Living End. We discussed his bands upcoming Australian tour, and their stop by our home town of Adelaide for the Superloop 500 (Formerly known as the Clipsal 500).
J: I heard that you’ve been living over in the United States most recently?
I was, but I’ve been back in Australia for quite a few months now. I was over in America for seven years, but I thought I’d come back and get my fix of Australia again. I missed my family and friends, and it was time to come home. Adelaide is a really fun place to live, and I’ve been doing some different projects and writing recently. It’s been good to do some musical stuff outside of The Living End for once, it’s quite refreshing.
J: So what’s going to be next for The Living End after touring?
Well, we’re on this Red Hot Summer tour at the moment, which is travelling all over the place. We’re even heading to New Zealand in a couple of days for that, and then we’ll be heading back here to Australia for the Superloop 500. After that we’ll be heading to Europe in June and July to do some festivals over there. Beyond that, I don’t really know, I’m waiting to find out what’s on my calendar, but it’s looking pretty flat out until then…
J: Do you and the rest of the band get any say in choosing the local support acts for your shows?
I’m not sure about the Superloop 500 in particular, there’s some sort of competition happening with that one and I’m not sure who actually judges that. We do like to know who’s supporting us at different venues and towns, and we always check the bands out beforehand. That’s how we started out, we had to get our foot in the door with bigger bands somehow, and we like to give back wherever we possibly can. We’ve been there, and we know how hard it is to get your name out there.
J: What advice would you give to young rock bands who are just starting out and trying to get heard?
Well, it’s a completely different climate in the music industry from when we first began, but I think some of the same rules still apply. The main thing is being able to play live and play well while you’re doing that. Winning over an audience is the key, that’s the greatest asset that any band can have. Also, writing songs is so important. You need to write as many as you can and find the good ones, it takes a lot of practice. I think a lot of people out there rely too much on gimmicks and trying to be the new ‘flavour of the month’. If you’ve got good quality tunes, people can always rely on that. Above all else, learn to play your instrument and learn how to put a good song together, and then you’ll be half way there. Oh, and don’t go on Australian Idol or the likes. Just don’t do that.