The Living End
Silent Uproar: First off, I want to ask some general questions for those who may not be familiar with The Living End. How did everyone in the band meet?
Scott: Well Chris, who is the guitar player, and myself went to high school together, so we have known each other since we were kids. We just started playing together while we were in high school. Travis came along about 3 or 3 and a half years down the track, and we just met him while he was working at a music store just around the corner from my house. We just met him through that.
SU: Cool, well I heard you started out as a cover band, what was that all about?
Scott: Yeah, we did a lot of 50's covers and 80s covers as well.
SU: I know you guys don't like to be labeled punk, so how would you describe your music?
Scott: Ahh you know, just rock n roll I guess. We try to mix it up as much as we can, and we all like so much different kind of stuff that our music is just kind of a melting pot you know.
SU: How does song writing go in the band, is it more of a collaborative effort, or is there one of you who writes most of the music?
Scott: Chris generally writes all the stuff. Travis and I do a bit of writing ourselves, but I guess we use all of Chris' stuff because he is just a lot more advanced at it, and he's got more skills in song writing. I don't know that he has any particular kind of formula or anything, he just usually comes in with songs and ideas that are pretty much completed, you know completed as ideas, maybe not full songs But as far as riffs and lyrics and melodies and stuff goes, he usually has got it all pretty much worked out by the time he brings it into the rehearsal room to show us. He doesn't like write bass parts for me or write drum parts for Travis.
I think we can just pretty much figure what he is imagining when he is writing the song. I guess because we have been playing together for so long. As far as arrangements go, we can always say, hey we can play it like this or give it this kind of rhythm or that kind of rhythm, and we all generally agree on how it should end up sounding. Then we all just put in our opinions for the arrangement and say whether we will put a verse in here or a chorus in here, but they are all generally Chris's ideas to start with.
SU: Do any of the band members have side projects that they work on?
Scott: No, actually its 24/7.
SU: How was your tour with AC/DC?
Scott: It was awesome, we just finished last night actually, we did the last gig in Sydney last night. It was great you know, it was just an awesome opportunity to be able to be on the road with those guys. It was quite a privilege for us, I guess it is a lot of bands dreams to be on tour with such a legendary band like that. Such a classic band. It was just a really good challenge for us because AC/DC fans are pretty die-hard AC/DC fans, and it was good for us.
I think you kind of lazy when you just do your own tours, as far as playing goes. When your just playing to your audience you can kind of get lazy and just expect the crowd to like it because they played the money to see you. When the pay their money to see AC/DC it is a bit of a challenge, you really have to go out there and try to put on a good show and put everything you've got into it because those people aren't there to see you, they are there to see AC/DC. So it is like, as long as they are there, we got to make sure we really kick ass to make them enjoy it. So it was good for us from a playing point as well, it was kind of a challenge for us.
SU: That's kind of a different crowd too.
Scott: Yeah, it is definitely not the kind of crowd that is use to seeing bands like us, so it is really kind of back to basics for us. We have to make sure we play well and get our message across.
SU: Are there any really memorable tours that you have had, like the Green Day tour or any others?
Scott: Yeah, lots of them. Definitely the Green Day tour in Australia because that was the first time we had ever really done a proper national tour. So for it to be big arenas like Green Day was doing, that was just a kind of total shock for us you know. We had never been up on a stage that big before, and all of a sudden we were doing a tour all over the country with a band like Green Day. So that was definitely memorable.
Umm, lots of them, you know coming over to the states for the first time and playing on the small stage at the Warped Tour was quite memorable as well. Also, doing our first gig in LA, and the tour we did of Europe where we did the festivals and stuff over there was memorable, like doing Reading and Leeds you know, big festivals that we had only ever heard of before and never been to or been able to fathom how big they are, you know. So just being there was quite memorable. Also, lots of stuff, the Offspring not last year but the year before was memorable. The Bosstones were on that tour for a while as well, and that was just a really really fun environment. Both bands are really good to get along with, and everyone is really friendly. The shows were really good too, they are all really big shows because the Offspring were in their prime then. Lots of them, I could go on for along time.
SU: How was the response on the tours over here in the US, did everyone seem to be into it or what?
Scott: Yeah, we seemed to do really well. You know, I guess we were just lucky to get on the Offspring tour and get on the Warped tour. I don't know, with our hybrid of music, you know with the punk factor to our music, and the energy to our music, I guess those audiences could really relate to it. So yeah, we seemed to get a good reception everywhere.
SU: That's cool. Well I was reading around online, and everyone was asking why Travis use a double bass petal while on tour, but not in the studio?
Scott: He just pulls out the two kick drums every now and then. I depends on what mood he is in I guess. I don't know, he is such a drummers drummer, he just loves drums from every angle. Sometimes he just goes on his...maybe it is a glam thing, I don't know, I can't make that call. Sometimes he does. But he doesn't use it in the studio. We are just a straight up kind of rock band, no double kicks in the studio or anything. But I guess now and then he just pulls it out.
SU: That's cool, so what are you guys listening to right now?
Scott: Well all kinds of stuff, we listen to AC/DC every night because we have been on the road with them, but uh, we listen to all kinds of stuff, we all have different taste. Like I think, Chris has probably got the most broad kind of taste, he will listen to anything, I mean we all listen to different stuff, but especially him. He will listen to anything from Iron Maiden to ???. But I think I may have more of the pop taste than the other guys. But we all have pretty broad taste, I don't know where to start.
SU: Are there any releases you are looking forward to in 2000?
Scott: Umm, I don't know, I am looking forward to the new Radiohead album. I think they recorded two albums worth of stuff when hey recorded Kid A. Again, I don't know where to start, I could go on forever.
SU: What drew you to the upright bass as opposed to a regular electric bass?
Scott: Well, I have always been a fan of the rockabilly sound. My mom and dad would always play these old records, and then I got into Elvis and Buddy Holly, and that stuff just rocked. Then later I got into the Stray Cats, and that was really the only way to play that kind of stuff. So when me an Chris first started playing music, we decided that that was the kind of music we wanted to play, and I just went with the double bass. I just like the way you can pluck it and slap it, and you know. Plus, it is not like we are playing some kind of funky stuff. Then I guess I would have to get some five string big ass bass with phasers and all kinds of things. But I don't really see myself doing that any time.
SU: I know you have had a lot of success in Australia, and have major media outlets like Triple J behind you over there, do you think you will achieve that kind of success in the US?
Scott: Yeah, I don't want it to sound too conceited, but I think the music we are doing is valid, and we have always been experimental and tried to mix things up. So I just think why not? We mix a lot of things in our music, and the punk sound and the rockabilly stuff people seem to be into. So yeah, I hope this doesn't sound too self-centered, but I think we will be successful. I see a lot of bands that just don't push the envelope any, and I think we do that. So yeah.
SU: What is your opinion on why bands like Regurgitator that are so huge in Australia, yet have a hard time getting picked up here in the states?
Scott: Well I think Regurgitator is great, and they definitely have originality, and take stuff in a new direction. You know, they push the envelope in their own way and I think its great. But I just don't think they want to tour all over the country. You know they have been Japan and the US before, I but I just don't think they care about spending months on the road. I think it would be great if Regurgitator got big in the US because they are a great representation of Australian music. I just don't think they care about that.
SU: Since there are only 3 of you in the band, do you ever feel like that places some limitations on your music?
Scott: Well I guess in the grand scheme of things it does, because you are limited. We would like to have keyboards or horns(?) in there. But really, we feel that you can experiment by putting a lot of stuff in a song, but you can also experiment by leaving stuff out.
SU: What can we expect from the new album?
Scott: Well I can't really say its in a new direction. We have always liked experimenting, and we still like to rock and have the punk sound in there. So for me to say it more of the same, means that it could really be in any direction.
SU: How did you get hooked up with Andy Wallace, he is known for being one of the best?
Scott: Well Andy is pretty much the best at what he does, so everyone making an album would like to work with him. We kinda just put our hand up and sent him the album when we got done recording it, and he said he would do it.
SU: Yeah, everything he does sounds awesome.
Scott: Yeah, he definitely seems to have the golden touch whenever he mixes. We would just give him all our stuff and then go into the studio everyday and hear what he had done. And we would be like that's fucking great. Its kinda hard though when a band has an idea for how they want the album to sound, and then the mixer has his idea of how he wants it to sound. But he did great.
SU: What would you be doing if you weren't making music?
Scott: Probably, living at the beach surfing. I just got a new board, and have been going, so maybe I'd do that.
SU: There are rumors that you guys are going to be on Conan O' Brien on March 20th, is that true?
Scott: Yeah, I think. We are suppose to be doing that. What is the date you had?
SU: March 20th.
Scott: Well maybe that's it. I know we are suppose to be doing it when we go to the states.
SU: Which is a better cartoon, GI-JOE or Transformers?
Scott: I didn't watch either of those.
SU: OK, well which was a better movie then, The Goonies or Back to the Future.
Scott: Definitely Goonies. I like slapstick humor. I am good at bad jokes. We're all good at bad jokes.
SU: It was your birthday yesterday wasn't it? Happy Birthday!
Scott: Thanks man, thanks a lot.
SU: Are there any shoutouts or thank you's you would like to give?
Scott: As far as America goes, I couldn't even start. Well, do you have a tape recorder?
SU: Yeah, go ahead.
Scott: Offspring, The Bosstones, Blink, Dropkick Murphy's, Pennywise, The Vandals, 311, Silverchair, We were in the US on tour for 10 months, and all those bands were really great. Let’s see, anyone else...the Royal Crown Review. I hope I didn't forget anybody.