Interview date

Mars 2010




Interview David Roads

Hi David, thanks a lot for accepting this interview for the french metal webzine You play tonight in Le Zénith in Paris. At the beginning of the year, 3500 tickets were already sold for the tonight show even before your second record's release. How do explain this incredible success ? All this buzz around Airbourne on the Internet, in the press... You've released only 2 albums and you already play in le Zénith !

It's great ! Things definitively moved quickly with Internet. I guess that's due to what we did in 2009, we played in festivals, we played a lot of support shows. We've been a band for a long time as well, we did many tours, we came back to Australia, we got to the opportunity to come overseas. Tonight is definitively the biggest show of this tour. I'm looking forward to tonight !

Do you have the same success in the other countries ?

Canada is pretty strong for us, UK, Japan, New Zealand. Australia also but it was a slow start, last time we played there was 2 years ago and there were around 1300-1400 people. America is a little bit slower because that's such a massive country, we're big in some states and not so big in other states. There are some other various countries where we haven't been to yet but where there's a great market as well like India, Brasil, part of Mexico... There're also some parts in Europe we haven't done as well. A lot of work !

Is your audience a young audience who didn't have the opportunity to know AC/DC or 40 years old people who are nostalgic of the old AC/DC Bon Scott era ?

A lot of AC/DC fans come, the guys who are in the 50s who were growing up with that stuff. Kids also come along because they probably discovered us in some video games, we've got a few songs on "Guitar Hero". Kids who just want rock n'roll come to see the show. If you haven't seen our show and if you've heard the album, it's completely different when you come to the show.

You recorded "No Guts No Glory" in Chicago. Can you please relate us this recording : the ambiance, the environment ... ? I read that you slept in the studio.

That's right. We went to Chicago because the studio of our producer Johnny K is there. Chicago is an awesome city, we went there at the summer times, there was a beautiful weather but we were in the studio most of the time. We slept in the studio because we didn't want to drive from the hotel every day. Johnny proposed us to stay here because the studio got all the facilities, that was a pretty big studio.

"No Way But The Hard Way" deal with the difficulties you met before reaching the success. Am I right ?

Yes. Joel wrote this song, that's inspired by our experience when we went to Melbourne, before we had a manager. We were ready to give some show in pubs even if we didn't get paid for that because we were happy to be on the bill. We lived on welfare, that's what we call "the doll". "No Way But A Hard Way" get used to it.

Your video clip shows the band exploding the offices of a record company.

Like smashing it up ? The original concept was to smash it up an hotel but no, that's too rock star. Let's might take a record label. I guess it's probably more in the vein of record labels in the ideas, labels are big powerful monsters. Thousands of bands who send their demos and they put it in a box. Fuck you, let's smash it up & rock n' roll !

We can hear a lot of AC/DC influences on this album, especially the introduction riff of "Blonde, Bad And Beautiful" that sounds like Powerage era. Where does this song come from ? Who is the blonde bad ?

That's probably a question for Joel. He loves blonde women I guess. Blonde woman & rock n' roll, that's "Blonde, Bad & Beautiful".

I read that the latest Kiss album was in the Joel's playlist last month. Some solos, especially on "Bottom To The Well", seem to be influences by Paul Stanley. Is Kiss one of your major influence ?

Kiss has been another influence on our music I guess. Joel has been a big Kiss fan. Some of their stuff is fairly similar to what we do. Kiss always played some great shows. I agree, there are some similarities like soloing and some of the riffs.

On the CD artwork, each element represents one song. Who got the idea of this artwork ? Does Joel like to play the chippendale on the artwork ?

The mean his pecs (laughs) ? The idea of the artwork was in the vein of the action films like Indiana Jones where the front cover has all the main characters. In the movie cover idea, we put every picture in reference to one song of the album : "Steel Town", "Raise The Flag", even Lemmy driving a truck, what's a reference to "Runnin' Wild"...

In my CD review, I wrote "With this new album, Airbourne succeeded to do what AC/DC is no more able since "The Razor's Edge". What do you think of this ?

 That's a compliment because "Razor's Edge" is my favorite album ! It's one of my favorite album in terms of balls and powerful guitars, big drums. We've got a lot of AC/DC in our sound but AC/DC is very bluesy in their old stuff, we're more in Motorhead influence with bigger hard riffs and with more speed. "Razor's Edge" got this power with "Fire Your Guns". That's a compliment !

How do explain the success and the particularity of australian hard-rock ? AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Koritni, Airbourne ? All these bands play a kind of hard-rock really different than bands elsewhere in the world. Why ?

They're more raw. The AC/DC sound, that is the australian sound, it's hard rock n' roll, the Angels are another band as well. We're still considering ourselves as a pub rock band because in Australia, that's how you come up with a band, you play in pubs for a long time. The sound come from the australian pubs. It's like in UK, the UK sound is Led Zeppelin, the Who. The USA got their sound : the Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue... Beer and hot weather maybe explain our songs also (laughs).

I read on a live report about your show in Bordeaux that you played 1h20. The journalist said that you spent so much energy on stage that you wouldn't have been physically able to play a longer set. How will you manage this tonight ?

Just pure endurance ! We played a show in Cologne the other day, the show was shot for german TV, we played 1h40.

Will you shoot a live DVD during this tour ?

We did a film in Cologne but that was for german TV. We've got some stuff over the years. The labels and we will probably do it. We had the live in Wacken but we've to do our DVD, that's for sure !

You'll play in June at the Hellfest festival in France. A lot of prestigious bands like Alice Cooper, Kiss ... will play there. Which band/artist do you look forward to meeting and to having a beer with ?

It would be a chance to meet Alice Cooper ! Billy Idol will be in the Download festival, that will be great to see his show. In Hellfest, I'd like to meet Twisted Sister...That'll be awesome to play the show and then to have a beer with these people !

2 french politicians are against this festival : the first one asked the region to stop the grants because he presents the festival as a "satanic" one. The second one (a lady who's not blonde, bad and not beautiful) wrote a letter to the CEO of Kronenbourg to ask him to stop being a sponsor because this festival would influence the young people to make them violent. What do you think of this ?

Really ? What is this ? The 5st century or something (laughs) ? That's funny. I didn't think that this kind of thing got protested at these times. Festivals exist since the 60s, since Woodstock festival. I think that rock and metal festival are good things.