Forte Magazine, 1995, with Chris Cheney & Joe
Article by: Jason Cole
Living in the Fast Lane
Three piece Melbourne rockers the Living End experienced a dream run of late,
coming off a highly successful with those snotty nosed brats of rock, Green Day.
On the horizon, the Living End is a confirmed support nationally for the
Reverend Horton Heat touring later this year, plus a show with the Supersuckers.
the band has also just released an eight track rockabilly punk treat with
Hellbound. I had a chat with lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Cheney and drummer
Joey Piripitzi about their experiences on the tour with Green Day, amongst other
bits and pieces.
The Living End's career has not been an overnight success. People seem to think
that the band has just received a lucky break with the Green Day tour, but Chris
told me this
is hardly the case.
"We have been playing together for about four and a half years and have
definately paid our dues. We have done heaps of residencies at crappy bars
playing shitty cover versions so it hasn't be all luck." Hardly the jump from
relative obscurity to major venues as people thought. To describe the sound of
the Living End isn't an easy task, "We're something of a mixed bag when it comes
to our sound," says Chris. The phrase that has been passed around the traps of
late is 'punkabilly' a term the band isn't too sure about, but which I think is
pretty close to the mark. There is the sound fusion between fifties rockabilly
and a definite punk influence.
Asking the guys about their influences I was provided with a vast array of
"We dig the fifties rockabilly style of Eddie Cochran, Stray Cats and of course
the 'Rev' Horton Heat but get into earlier punk stuff like the Clash, Dead
Kennedys and the likes of Green Day."
Now that's an interesting mix. It's no secret that the boys are huge fans off
Green Day. They had already bought their tickets, they had sent a tape of their
work to Green Day's management hoping to score a support slot. As it worked out
the Green Day lads liked Living End so much they got them on board! (I hope they
got a refund on the tickets!) The tour took the bands across the whole of
Australia playing to 9000 capacity at the Horden Pavillion - bit of change from
the Tote, eh?
"Yeah, it was a complete buzz, a real adrenalin rush to play those venues and
see masses of people looking at you, it was freaky."
How was the response from the crowd?
"Unbelievable, they really got into us and were jumping all around and going
off! We were a bit freaked out that the crowd would all be die-hard Green Day
fans and wouldn't give a shit about us but it was cool."
And what were the Green Day fellas like?
"Really cool guys who were just so down to earth, and easy going, we just hung
out in bars after the shows and played pool and took part in some room smashing
on the last date of the tour with the drummer Tre Cool."
Now the boys of the Living End are back in Melbourne. They will be playing a few
shows locally and are looking forward to the national tour with their idol, the
Reverend Horton Heat which should be huge. The guys are chuffed to win these
great support slots, partly due to the fact that they are now in the care of the
Cheersquad touring group run by Wally Meanie who takes care of the likes of the
Meanies, Snout, etc. The Living End also has a mini-CD out called Hellbound.
Produced off the band's own bat and on the strength of the Green Day tour, the
CD also got them a distribution deal with Shock. Currently the CD is doing well
and already they are being courted by major record companies. At present the
band is just enjoying the ride and certainly looks destined for even bigger and
better things in the future.