Thu, 16 May 2013 15:50:37
Airbourne play rock 'n' roll the way it should be played. It's dirty, devilish, and dynamic. With a penchant for AC/DC hooks, these Australian upstarts wave the flag harder than anybody for real rock music on their latest album Black Dog Barking. It's so goddamn good it might just make you bark for more…Either way it’s one of the year’s most raw, real, and rambunctious rock records!
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Airbourne talks Black Dog Barking, and so much more.
It seems like Black Dog Barking really amps up your sound.
I'm glad you say that. With the second album, No Guts. No Glory., we might've rushed a few things here and there because we had two world tours back-to-back up against each other. We recorded the music just in the middle of all that. We even had some shows between recording. This time, we spaced it out, and got our sound back to tape again.
Were you really in the moment?
Yeah, we got to do that because we had the time. We worked with producer Brian Howes. He loves the same kind of music that we do like Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Judas Priest, and Elvis Presley. He always wanted to make a rock 'n' roll record, but he never got the chance to. When we recorded with him, that was our goal. It was very comfortable. We got to do this right.
What's the story behind "Black Dog Barking"?
When we started this band, the music scene had a lot of new stuff going on in the late nineties and early two-thousands. Metallica were still as big as they are. However, when we'd play shows, people would be like, "What do you need all of those amps for?" We were like, "What? This is rock 'n' roll". They played this fucking indie shit or whatever-the-fuck it is. Our mindset was, "Fuck you and your indie shit. We're going to play rock 'n' roll!" The venues started closing down because of noise pollution. We weren't going to let rock 'n' roll die though. That's what "Black Dog Barking" is about. It's a call-to-arms. If you're with us, you're on our side. If you're not, then we're coming for you.
Where did "No One Fits Me (Better Than You)" come from?
It's about sex and good times [Laughs]. It's about a chick who's perfect. She's just right. It's got that groove going and that riff.
That good time is missing from rock 'n' roll.
That's what we do! When we were growing up, we didn't listen to the radio. We had a bunch of old records our uncles had left behind. We'd listen to them. It was Black Sabbath and AC/DC. We'd go to school and ask our class mates, "Have you heard of Black Sabbath?" They'd be like, "No, have you heard of blink-182?" We'd say, "No, who the fuck is that? That's shit. I don't want to listen to that". They'd say, "Wow, I've never heard that before". Well, there's fucking sixteen albums of it! Sometimes, we feel like we grew up in the wrong era. Then, we feel like we grew up in the right era because we do what we do and we believe in rock 'n' roll. There's a lot of red tape rock 'n' roll has to get through. We've played in venues that said, "No headbanging, no crowd surfing, and no moshing". Can you believe that shit?
It's crazy isn't it? We're out here on the front lines playing rock 'n' roll and doing what we do. When we play places like that, we tear those signs down. The promoter or venue owner can come out and ask, "Why'd you tear those signs down?" People didn't pay money to not have fun. Then, they end up selling more alcohol [Laughs]. That's what rock 'n' roll is.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Oh yeah! "Hungry" is a story about being in a band on the road. We may be in a tour bus, but we still have that passion a band in a van and drive. We're still hungry.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I reckon it'd be like Die Hard. It's got multiple stories. It's like one band versus the world. There are lots of explosions [Laughs]. If they had a sex scene in Die Hard, it'd really be that [Laughs]. I'm sure that would've happened with Mrs. McClane. After you see the final pan out shot, he must go home and slam her under the Christmas tree [Laughs]. That would be Airbourne's part of that.
Catch Airbourne on the Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour this summer!