2016-9-18 Interview with Airbourne members David Roads (Guitar) and Justin Street (Bass) at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle, WA
YesterdazeNews: You guys just started your tour this week, first show was in San Diego. How are the crowds so far?
David Roads: For what we’ve done in America over the years, it’s been pretty positive. We’re doing a few small clubs and pubs at the moment. Seattle is our 4th show in. We played the Roxy in LA and had a great crowd. We haven’t played this market in so long so it’s been well so far.
YesterdazeNews: Your new album, “Breakin Outta Hell”, comes out on September 23. I’ve heard the first two tracks “Breakin Outta Hell” and “Rivalry”. The first one is just fast and furious heavy rock and the second one is more laid back good solid rock n roll. What was your inspiration for this album?
David Roads: Well we do our own thing and on this album I guess we wanted to sort of go back to “Runnin Wild” a little bit and that same vibe, hence why worked with Bob Marlett again. The same producer. Rivalry, the latest single, that was purely an on the spot song that got written in pre production before we went into the studio. Normally we have alot of demos in the works. Every album has it’s own sort of thing and it just creates itself in the studio. You have your rough plan but it just ends up slightly different.
YesterdazeNews: You guys are going to be touring a little bit of North America with some USA and Canadian dates then you’re heading overseas to do some dates in Scandinavia, Europe and the United Kingdom. Do you have any plans to come back and hit the other part of the USA at some point? There’s has been some social media chatter from fans across the states wondering if they will get a chance to see you.
David Roads: There is talk about next year, having some follow up dates in the USA and Canada again. This current tour we are doing is to build up the release of the album. Then we will finish the year off overseas on tour with Volbeat and then a headline tour. Then next year we will have a more substantial headline tour. Hopefully we will be back in the states to do more of this because it’s been too long.
YesterdazeNews: Are you looking at doing some of the European festivals next summer?
David Roads: Definitely. Those dates are getting locked in. We’ve done a few of those this year already. But some of the main festivals are locked in for next year already. I am not sure which ones for sure yet, but we do have some scheduled already.
YesterdazeNews: Well I am certainly hoping that Wacken is one of them.
David Roads: Yea I am not sure on that one yet. But yea, a lot of that.
Justin Street: Oh yea, we missed that one this year. Are you going to that one?
YesterdazeNews: Oh yes, tickets are already in hand, plus Sweden Rock Festival. So if you are at either that will be awesome to see you guys up on those stages. We just don’t have the same festival vibe here in the USA. We do have some, like Danny Wimmer Presents, they do a lot of festivals here in the USA. They are shorter than European festivals, I am glad we are starting to pick up on the festivals here, but still not like what I am used to overseas, but we are slowing getting some of that here in the USA. Then I have some friends who live in Australia too and they have said how the rock vibe has taken a hit and that the festival scene for rock music is just about gone.
David Roads: Yea, our big rock festivals have shut down. There’s still a rock scene there but the not the festivals. There is talk from Download Festival in the UK to go down south to Australia. It needs something and something will end up going there. They need rock as well down there.
YesterdazeNews: How hard is it for you guys as a band, with Australia being so far away from North America and Europe, when you are releasing your new albums to get picked up for tours in these markets?
David Roads: It’s not as hard for us, since we are an established band, but for a new band coming out of Australia they can’t just say they want to go to Europe. It’s very hard. You have to save up a lot of money. You can’t just throw yourself out there and say it’s all going to come together. It’s about building up. You have to get the right promoter, the right manager and having the right people in that territory to help you. We sort of went through America first in the early days because we got signed by Capitol and we recorded the first album in L.A. and we did a lot in America in the early days. It wasn’t until we went across the pond into the U.K. that we just grew and grew more for us until we were a bit more established and able to sustain on this side of the world. It’s hard for new bands today.
YesterdazeNews: It’s even hard for the established bands today. My friends in Windowpane, even after all their massive success have talked about how hard it is to sustain today.
David Roads: Unless you consider moving over to this part of the world, which at one point we did for a little while. We lived in New Jersey to have a home residence and to be able to establish ourselves. We spend hardly anytime in the house we had. We were always on the road.
Justin Street: Yea we rented it for six months and maybe stayed in the house ten nights.
David Roads: But we did those hard yards of living together and giving up absolutely everything in our lives to move over here and do that. That’s what it took for us to break into this side and be able to come here from Australia. I think it would be easier for a band living in America or the U.K. because this is the busiest part of the world for music in general.
YesterdazeNews: Yea and I hear that from a lot of bands from around the world too. It’s been very hard for them to get that connection to get anyone to pick them up for a tour in the USA. Some are number one in their own country for rock, but they just can’t get a tour.
David Roads: Another hard working band from Australia is King Parrot, they are very hard metal and they are doing well in the states. They seem to be over here working really hard and are doing a lot of touring and are doing really well as well.
YesterdazeNews: You guys are out of Melbourne and I always like to ask bands from out of the area, about their local bands. When I am traveling I find bands I would never have heard of here and I am always seeking them out. Who back home in the Melbourne area are bands that you know of that you feel need to be heard of around the world?
David Roads: There’s a lot of bands in Melbourne. I gotta couple mates bands that are actually starting to come over to Europe. A band called King of the North. They are a duo band that sort of play that cool sort of stoner rock sound and they are really good. There’s other bands like Palace of the King, Dead City Ruins.
Justin Street: Immigrant Union, check them out.
YesterdazeNews: I ask because I will be checking all of these bands out and talking about them through my site. That’s how we keep music alive and how people get heard of and I think it’s really important to give them a voice.
David Roads: The Black Aces is another one. These are all dudes with drink with in the pubs and we all know each other. Some of these bands are slowly trying to get out overseas. It’s hard for them too. They are working other jobs and saving their money up from gigs and what not and they try to do the whole move over and they’re succeeding but it’s hard.
YesterdazeNews: What are you looking forward to most on this tour?
David Roads: The album release because we are out now touring and building up for the release of the album. It’s out in one more week and we’re really looking forward to that moment so we can say, right the albums out and we’re playing some new songs.
Justin Street: Playing some new songs, yea.
David Roads: We are playing two of the new songs, “Breakin Outta Hell” and “Rivalry” of course. We just played them for the first time the other night.
YesterdazeNews: How was the reaction to that from the fans?
David Roads: It seems good. I guess people might not go as crazy as say “Runnin Wild”, “Live It Up” or songs they know but it’s because they are brand new songs and they don’t know the lyrics quite as well. They will be some going harder than others and people standing back sort of rocking but they don’t know the song well enough yet but that always builds. The reception has been pretty good straight away.
YesterdazeNews: So my last question is one I like to ask all the artists I talk with. Is there anything you would like to tell you fans that maybe you’ve never been asked or something that you’ve wanted to say but have never been given the opportunity to do so?
Justin Street: Ummmmm
David Roads: Don’t be derogative now…. (group laughter)
YesterdazeNews: LOL you can be as bad as you want to be, it’s totally ok (group laughter)
David Roads: I guess to people who also play in bands, don’t get into this thinking it’s like the 80’s or even the 70’s and you’re going to make a lot of money and it’s gonna be rock n roll.
Justin Street: Get a day job?
YesterdazeNews: LOL I think a lot of us working around the industry have day jobs. I have one too.
David Roads: The music industry is very different today. It’s hard work. We work very hard for what we do for very little reward.
YesterdazeNews: How much of the background business side of the work do you guys do for your band that’s not the music part?
David Roads: You have to do a lot. We all work on the social media, our management also works on it as well. Joel gets on there as much as he can and posts to our fans. Things have evolved a lot in the industry with technology and all of that some good, some bad. Downloading music, you don’t sell as many albums anymore.
YesterdazeNews: That drives me crazy too. I am a collector of cd’s. I want the physical copy. Occasionally there are vinyls that I want too. People always tell me I have a lot of cds and tell me I can download them and I do that too, but I want to hold the cd, I want to look at the sleeve and the artwork and also read\ what you guys took time to put on your sleeves. Whether its lyrics, or notes, or thank you’s. That’s always been part of getting a new release for me. People who don’t get the physical copy in my opnion are missing part of the album.
David Roads: Yea, me too. Exactly. We’re the same. A lot of people out there still want that physical product and to look at the booklet and the artwork. We still release on vinyl too because some of our fans still want that format but it’s a niche market for that.
YesterdazeNews: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me. Looking forward to the show tonight.