Chris Cheney, guitar ace with Aussie rockers THE LIVING END, speaks to Vive Le Rock ahead of their dates with the STRAY CATS next month!
We last saw the Living End at Green Day’s Hyde Park concert in 2017. What have you been up to?
Lots! Since then we recorded and released our eighth album called Wunderbar. We recorded it in Berlin, Germany with a producer called Tobias Kuhn and it’s hands down our favourite album. We’ve toured Australia a couple of times and done a bunch of shows in Europe. Unfortunately we haven’t been back to the UK since the Hyde park gig. Apologies up front.
Haven’t you also been touring with Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes?
We did a tour over here called the ‘Red Hot Summer’ which Jimmy headlined. Joan Jett was also on the bill and killed it every day. Crowd size ranges between 10 and 15,000 people and it’s outdoors in the blaring Aussie heat, super fun though. Gotta keep hydrated if you know what I mean!
Do you still live in Los Angeles? How’s life out there?
Back and forth a bit at moment. LA is fantastic, always warm, the place is buzzing with energy and I’ve made some dear friends there. I find it a very inspiring place creatively, everyone’s on top of their game and it kind of brings the best out in you.
Supporting the Stray Cats in June must be quite a bit of a dream come true. Didn’t the Living End start out playing Stray Cats covers?
Yep. We were called The Runaway Boys when we were still at school and pretty much knew how to play every Stray Cats song there is. We came from the rockabilly scene where they were undoubtedly the most successful band from that genre. To me, they were the best band I’d ever heard or seen so to be playing with them in the town where they first broke is very surreal. We feel incredibly blessed to have had the career we have and they are partly responsible for that. Their influence on us made us stand out from every other band and they really inspired us to want to be the best musicians we could be.
Have you played with them before?
Yes, in Australia in 2009. I got to play a few songs onstage with them which was quite mental. 15-year-old me was kind of freaking out. They’re all really nice down-to=earth guys though.
Got any surprises lined up for fans on these shows?
Nope! And yep! Just to be playing these UK shows is super exciting. We don’t leave any fuel left in the tank, it’s all or nothing.
What do you like about coming to the U.K?
The pubs! The history! Not so much the weather, haha! No, I love it all. There’s an incredible energy there that I like. Probably for me the historical aspect is so interesting. From the 100 Club to Buckingham Palace to Camden Market, it’s so cool. I’m sounding like a tourist aren’t I? I can not wait!!!
The new Stray Cats special edition of Vive Le Rock is out now!!