The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world





It's a sad state of affairs when Australia's Rock scene is in such dissaray that the very best bands we have need to go overseas to get the recognition they deserve. That's not to say that at a local level we don't have some of the most passionate fans anywhere in the world, it's just when you travel to Europe, the UK or even the US you an see a Rock scene that looks and feels like a real revival. Rock and Roll is coming back around the World and sadly we are lagging behind downunder, mired in swathes of mass produced pop and insipid mid-tempo dreary Indie Rock. TRACER might just be one of the saviours of Rock and Roll - a real band playing real music and making a big noise overseas...







Mark: Hi, Dre, its Mark from The Rockpit, how are you?



Dre: Yeah, good man, how are you?



Mark: Not too bad! How’s things been going since you got back?



Dre: Busy! Been adjusting to everyday life, not having anyone to tell me when I can eat, sleep, wake up!!








Mark: Congratulations on the album, “El Pistelero” it’s fantastic, one of the best Aussie albums I’ve heard for a long while! You have a huge sound for a three piece band, and on the album I think Kevin Shirley has done a great job, getting that across. What was he like to work with?



Dre: He’s super quick! He definitely knows what he wants, and what he likes and doesn’t like! There’s no mucking about with him, and he makes decisions really fast, which is good. That’s such a good attribute in music, in an art form where you have to try new things. If I tell him something’s not working for me, he’ll encourage me to come up with a solution, which is good, and we end up with a record that is an actual reflection of what the artist sounds like.



Mark: I think he’s managed to capture that live sound which is always the hardest thing to get, are you happy with the way it turned out?



Dre: Yeah, definitely! The tracks and art took six days, and then another five to dub it, and tidy it up, and that was it, it’s an incredible work ethic.



Mark: For an Australian band, you are getting a lot of great coverage and accolades from overseas, is that a sign of the times from the Australian rock scene, do you think?



Dre: Yeah, I think so. Five years ago we made the decision to concentrate on the European market, as at that time there was really no rock stuff happening in Australia.



Mark: I was just over in the UK, but just missed your show! How the tour and what was the Isle of Wight Festival like?



Dre: The tour just got better, and the people were a pretty amazing thing, because here we were across the other side of the world with people yelling your lyrics back at you! It’s an amazing thing! The Isle of Wight was great; we were at the festival for a total of 6 hours, because we had to be in Paris the next day.



Mark: It seems to be going great over there, it seems funny from someone going back to the UK from Australia, everyone talking about music,  seemed to be talking about Tracer. They were expecting me to know everything about you guys, and I said to be honest, I don’t know a lot about you! I had heard the new album, but that was about as far as it goes! What’s it like to be back in Adelaide?



Dre: Quiet!! (laughs) At the end of the day, it’s somewhere good, and I’m always happy to come home. People don’t really have an idea of what we’re doing, especially over the last eighteen months or so. But over the last six to eight months people are a little bit more aware, and are asking where they can get the album. And at least now we are getting the chance to release the album over here, originally there was to be no release here which was always a little hard to deal with, even though I can understand the reasons behind that. But now we’ve got the chance to release it and go and play some shows it’s a bloody good feeling.







Mark: Your album was out in the UK, back in May, wasn’t it? Everyone over there seems to have taken to you, everything from the Best New Band award in Classic Rock magazine, to lots of good press reviews. Do you think all that will change once the cricket starts!?



Dre: Well, depends on the results, I guess! (Laughs)! I do love that banter, I have enjoyed being in the UK, we are so similar, and a lot of the conversations do end up talking about sport. I think that helps, there’s the Aussie appeal which is obviously good, and there’s connections between Aussie bands and Pommie bands. It’s all good. When ‘Spaces In Between’ came out we got some good coverage, Planet Rock Radio was great to us giving us some decent coverage and now everyone over there seems to have got behind us.



Mark: Tell us about the recurring theme on the album, there’s a real Western theme that you hear in a few of the songs on there. When did that concept come together?



Dre: We’ve always been fans of those crazy Mexican and Western movies  whether its Tarrantino or stuff that’s stupidly over the top, and Mike had written , essentially the ‘Saint Cecilia’ intro when we were mucking around on a flamenco guitar one day, and as we get songs together, that song was one we had from start to finish, already done. So, we said wouldn’t it be nice just to tie that in a little bit more, and expand and explore, Desperado was always in the back of the mind.



Mark: I think it works really well, in that you haven’t washed it across the whole album, but there’s just the recurring theme coming through. There’s some great stuff on there, how did “Dirty Little Secret” come about?



Dre: We’ve had that kicking about for at least five or six years, I reckon! It kepy getting knocked back, then we found the demo and Mike came up with the lyrics and it finally got there.







Mark: You and Michael have been together for a long time now, how’s Jett fitting in, as you’ve had a change of personnel recently?



Dre: Jett’s doing really well, he’s slotted in like he’s always been part of the group. We’ve known him since before our first tour when we went to Europe, he was one of the greatest resources for us before then. We’ve always had that relationship anyway and it’s nice that he’s been able to slip in there.



Mark: You’ve also got a massive tour coming up in Europe with The Answer, from October to November, what are you plans after that, are you going to return home and possibly do an Australian tour, maybe take in Western Australia?







Dre: We’ll probably close out the year in Europe but we’ll we’ll try and get down to Pemberton if we can organise something there! But the plan is try for the States early on then back to Europe by March!



Mark: Are you looking at the festivals over there?



Dre: Definitely, definitely. We wanted to get over there this year we were booked to go but it didn’t happen.



Mark: It’s an exciting time for you. Finally a couple of questions we ask everyone. If you could have been a fly on the wall for the making of any album, what would it have been for you and why?



Dre: Man!! I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for the first Black Sabbath album, because there would have been so much chaos, as it seems like at the time they really had no idea what they were doing!!  But what a massive inspiration to people it ended up being, creating a whole new type of music. Just to see the looks on people’s faces when they actually started playing, and recording…



Mark: That’s right, it would have been crazy! The amount of influence that, that album has had on so many bands over the years is incredible, just to see where it all came from would be amazing!



Dre: Absoutely, was it all really contained? How did it all pull together? It would have been awesome.



Mark: Now for the easy one, what is the meaning of life??



Dre: (pause) The meaning of life is Beer!!



Mark: Beer! Yes, I’m with you on that one, mate!! Definitely!!



Dre: (laughs) Without beer there is no life!



Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, thanks for taking the time to talk to The Rockpit, and hope that one day, you guys will get over to Perth, otherwise we’ll have to track you down in the UK. I was over there a month ago and there’s some great small clubs over there that love their rock music still.



Dre: Yeah, I think that’s the difference between the UK and Australia, there are so many places where people just turn up and take a punt on a new band as well.



Mark: Yeah, it’s a fantastic place to go and see live music.



Dre: where in the UK you were you?



 Mark: Over in Nottingham, you guys would have played Rock City before. This time was the first time I’ve seen the ceiling as back in the day it used to be full of smoke!



Dre: Great place; we had a day off last time we were there so by all reports we had a good time!



Mark (laughs) It’s great that people are reporting back. We will catch up one day, all the best and take care. I can see big things for you ahead mate, go and grab it by the throat!



Dre: Thanks, Mark; we’ll keep working at it! We’ll let you know when we come over and we'll have that beer, cheers, mate.







12 July – Adelaide,SA - The Gov supporting THE ANGELS
13 July – Adelaide, SA – The Govenor Hinmarsh supporting THE ANGELS
19 July – Kingsford, NSW - The Juniors – Kingsford supporting THE ANGELS
20 July – Wentworthville, NSW - Wenty Leagues supporting THE ANGELS
25 July – Sydney, NSW - Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice
26 July – Hurlstone Park, NSW - Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club supporting THE ANGELS
27 July – Mt Pritchard, NSW - Mounties supporting THE ANGELS
03 August – St Kilda, VIC - The Espy - Gershwin Room supporting THE ANGELS
22 August – Brisbane, QLD - Rics Bar
23 August – Victoria Point, QLD - Victoria Point Sharks Sporting Club supporting THE ANGELS
24 August – Ipswich, QLD – Racecourse Hotel supporting THE ANGELS




By Mark Diggins July 2013




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