Interview conducted August 08 2014
Interview published October 10 2014
Ahead of Airbourne's gig at Getaway
Rock Festival, Metal Covenant sat down with guitarist David Roads.
It was evident that the cheerful and sociable Australian loves his rock
'n' roll, and he and his bandmates certainly proved it as they went on
and do what they do best: entertaining audiences with high-adrenaline
rock 'n' roll and great tunes.
Mozzy: You played at the first Getaway Rock
as well, in 2010. Do you any special memories of that?
David: Yeah! Well, we had a good show and it's
a great festival, it's well run. I think Megadeth were headlining back
David: When we first got here today I wasn't
sure if we had played here but then it came back to me. It's just a
good little festie, you know.
That time you were sort of new stars, a really upcoming band and you had
just released your second record. If you compare it to coming back here
now, is the feeling different?
David: Yeah, I think it was around the second
album; did we have that one out?
David: OK, well the years are going quick really
and here we are on our third album and getting going on our fourth album
actually. So it definitely feels like we have more experience, and it's
good to have a few albums under the belt. You don't feel like you're
a young kid band anymore.
Mozzy: And you have more songs to play.
David: More songs to play, yeah. It's actually
hard to choose a setlist, you try to pick songs from all the albums.
Mozzy: It must be really hard for the older
David: Oh yeah, that's right (laughs).
Mozzy: So how do you like Sweden otherwise?
David: Sweden's really good. We had two days
off in Stockholm. I have some friends there so we went out to the archipelagos,
to the islands and had some good beer and good food. It's a really nice
Mozzy: Do you remember the gig at Sweden
Rock in 2008, then? That was the first time me and many other Swedes saw
David: That's getting a bit far back to remember
specifics as we've done so many shows. I remember coming to Sweden for
the first time then though. It was definitely an eye-opener as it was
our first time to Europe really, and coming to these countries for the
first time. That was a good experience. Now we know our way around a
bit more, but the first time was the best because it was the first time
we'd been here.
Mozzy: I really remember that gig at Sweden
Rock, as I was quite blown away, just like many others, by your energy
David: Oh! Well, you just got to keep the energy
levels up (laughs).
Mozzy: It's obvious when you're onstage
that you have a genuine passion for rock 'n' roll
Do you have any special routines before you go onstage, to get that energy
David: No, not really. It's just what we feel,
and we feed off the energy. You can be really tired before a show but
once you're up onstage you feed off the crowd, and all those Marshall
amplifiers behind us; the sound of it all. Once we get up there we just
kind of gel together and just get caught up in the atmosphere of it
all and feed off that.
Mozzy: You have played some big festivals
since the latest album. Like Download, which I went too actually.
David: Oh yeah?
Mozzy: How was Download for you?
David: Download was good! Mid last year. We
had a really good crowd, because we hadn't been on the road for nearly
two years before that. We spent a lot of time on Black Dog Barking and
things just took a while for us to get back out. So it was really great
to come out and do Download and have such a massive crowd watching us.
And this year, we did Knebworth (Sonisphere) because we couldn't do
Download two years in a row. And Iron Maiden were headlining that one
too which was cool. Bruce Dickinson got up and did the dogfight flying
so that was cool too.
Mozzy: Now that you have played with these
big guns; you've played with Metallica as well
Mozzy: How are those experiences; do you
get any tips from those guys or so?
David: Well, we did not really get a chance
to meet them. There were some moments when coming off stage. I think
Kirk Hammett was side stage watching a couple of songs and as we were
coming off he was like 'good show, guys', you know. But yeah, Metallica
has been a big influence on us. Great band, and it was good to share
the stage with them and just watch them play. I'd love to do a tour
with them, so hopefully (laughs)!
Mozzy: You do have a harder edge to your
sound as well, a bit of metal.
David: Yeah, it's not just AC/DC. They are a
big influence on us but that's not all. I think it's a mix of Motörhead
and AC/DC. Like AC/DC with a kick up the arse. But AC/DC is very bluesy
with blues riffs and licks, whereas we're more kind of like powerhouse
rock 'n' roll and down the line. If you mix Motörhead, Judas Priest,
Metallica and AC/DC together - that is kind of it.
That is a good combination!
David: It is (laughs).
Mozzy: Have you started the writing for
the next album?
David: Yeah, we're always writing on the road.
We're putting riffs down at soundchecks, so sometimes on days off
Joel is carrying a little Protools rig around so sometimes on days we're
putting ideas and demos down so when we go off the road we can just
go straight in there and get everything we've worked on and start putting
things together. So we've always got stuff in the works.
Mozzy: Cool. Can you say anything about
the style, will it be the same?
David: Oh you know, it's just
'n' roll, it does not need to be changed to much. We just do what we
do. There's not going to be massive changes with keyboards and things
like that, you know.
Mozzy: Good to hear.
David: (laughs). It will be a bit different,
and exciting, but still rock 'n' roll, you know.
Mozzy: How about your ambitions for the
future? I don't know if you plan far ahead, but I guess you want to grow
David: Yeah! I think the course we've been going
on now has been pretty good. We've been growing healthily and getting
good fans, hardcore fans, over the years. Fans that will stay true and
stick by us throughout our career if we stay loyal to them and don't
change our music, and just keep doing what we do. So we'll just stay
strong and hopefully come over to Europe and do these big festivals
and having great crowds to play to. What more can you want?
Mozzy: True. That's the way to do it, to
play live, now that there are less record sales.
David: Yeah, absolutely.
Mozzy: You will be touring with Black Stone
Cherry later this year. That could be a good tour since they have a large
David: That's going to be a great tour, yeah.
We're only doing like six or seven shows, but that will be great, touring
the UK. Yeah, Black Stone Cherry have grown quite successfully over
the years so it will be good to share the stage with them.
Mozzy: They are a bit more accessible, it's
more radio rock.
David: Yeah, it's a bit different, but it's
in the same vein.
I've noticed that you're quite into social media too, you put out some
video clips and so on. Do you find that is a good way to connect to fans?
David: Yeah. We've just started doing the Airbourne
TV thing. We felt we weren't doing enough so on social media, so we
started doing this thing on days off. We just did our third episode,
in Stockholm. We set it up in the hotel. We invite our crew and we'll
talk to our fans about the gear and the stage. The footage from the
last two weeks have been edited, so we try to do one every two weeks,
to show what the tour has been like. And then fans can ask questions
to us online so we interact with the fans that way. You know, in the
old days band just used to play live and there was never that real connection
with the fans. It was more mysterious, wasn't it? Like with Kiss that
were never seen without their make-up. Times are different now and the
world is more social now. For a band you really need to interact more
with the fans as opposed to just playing live. So we thought that Airbourne
TV would be a good thing.
Mozzy: I have to get an account then!
David: Yeah! It's just some idiots drinking
beer and talking to the fans and having a bit of fun, you know (laughs).
Mozzy: Do you have any plans for a live
that's something that has
been asked for. I don't know, there has been talk. We have a lot of
footage from over the years, like Wacken, and from lots of other shows.
And there's a lot of film clips we could put in there as well. So we
will probably do one down the track. I mean, at the moment, this Airbourne
TV thing is giving the fans a bit of that anyway. It's showing some
live footage and behind-the-scenes, and what we do on days off. But
we probably should do one down the track, yeah.
Mozzy: I got the special edition of the
first album with the live DVD from Wacken as a bonus. That one's great.
David: Yeah! That was the first time we played
Wacken, that was a good one.
Mozzy: Me and my mates have watched that
one a lot when partying, it very good for that (laughs).
David: Yeah (Laughs). And then we did Wacken
in 2010, with Judas Priest. It was night time then, so we had pyro and
the light were much better as it was night time.
Mozzy: Speaking about pyro and stuff, do
you have ambitions for your stage show as well, to make it bigger?
David: Oh yeah! We'd love to go to the level
where we have our own stage and pyro. Because obviously we're all about
the show, and it will be great to make it bigger and bigger. But you
know, it costs so much money to bring pyro and all that. But down the
track, if we can afford it and it grows bigger we'll put it into the
show, for sure.
also: review of the
gig the same night