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
BOOM CRASH OPERA PETER MAZ MASLEN INTERVIEW 2014

ROCK INTERVIEWS 2014 - BOOM CRASH OPERA - PETER 'MAZ' MASLEN

BOOM CRASH OPERA

IS BACK ON THE ROAD

PETER 'MAZ' MASLEN TALKS ABOUT THE NEW TOUR, NEW ALBUM AND THE MEANING OF LIFE...

Re-born Aussie music legends, Boom Crash Opera have announced the release of a new greatest hits album, The Best Things featuring two brand new songs, as well as a four album box set, Rattle It Out, containing the band’s first three albums digitally re-mastered and a bonus 14 track rarities disc of never-before-released material from the 80s and 90s.  They’ll be celebrating these catalogue additions with a national tour kicking off at The Northcote Social Club in their hometown of Melbourne on March 8 and heading through Brisbane, Sydney and finishing off in Adelaide in early May.

Hi Peter, thank you for taking the time to talk to the Rockpit. BOOM CRASH OPERA will be a name many of our local readers will be familiar with but for our overseas readers how would you sum up the band’s entire career in a single sentence!


Boom Crash Opera is a 5 piece rock band from Melbourne Australia. We formed in late 1984, did our first live show in 1985 and had our first single in 1986. We’re loud, brash, chanty with lots of ‘hey heys’ and ‘nah nah nahs’. We’ve sold lots of records and toured Australia MANY times!

 

Does being a ‘National Treasure’ bring any burdens with it, or just free drinks and good times?


Both .. although two of the band don't drink, so we eat cake (they have raging cake habits)!


You are just about to set out on your National tour, kicking off in your home town of Melbourne on Saturday March 8 at the Northcote Social Club and finishing up on Saturday May 3 in S.A.  What’s it like being back on the road?


Well, we have been doing shows constantly for years, although most of the shows were far apart or in uninhabited parts of Australia, so people would be forgiven for thinking we had gone away. Boom Crash Opera has always thrives on live performance. We are now older, but because everyone in the band still performs, it isn’t such an effort to get together and ‘be’ Boom Crash Opera. As well as performing, the band enjoys hanging out. Hard to believe, but after nearly 30 years, we still like each other .. up to a point that is!!!


We hear that you will not only be playing the hits but also dipping into songs that you've either never performed or haven't performed for 20 years or so? Can you name one song that you’ve fallen in love with again?


‘Rattle It Out’ is a songwe have always liked. We never recorded it properly (only a demo). It’s seminal for us and reminds us of where we came from! We love it so much, we named our compilation album after it.

You’re also playing a couple of ‘Day On The Green’ dates with Jimmy Barnes. Did you guys ever cross paths back in the eighties?


Yeah heaps .. we played together quite a bit back then. In fact Jimmy asked me to tour with him in 1998 during his come back period (Greatest Hits and ‘Lover Lover’)

 

What sort of ages to you get coming to their shows? Are parents bringing up their kids right and taking them out to see some good old Aussie Rock and Roll?


Yes, it’s interesting to note that the musical generational gap that was there between me and my parents, is now non-existent. We all listen to pretty much the same music! Triple J’s Hottest 100 isn’t just for the kids in our house!! I’ve noticed many younger people in the crowds over recent years. I love it that we can mean something to people who weren’t even alive when we were on Countdown!


Does the feeling you get from playing live change over the years?


Yes .. it means more to me now than ever before. The question is personal, so I cant answer it generically. All my life, I’ve wanted to do, what I’m already doing .. so, when you realise you’ve been doing it AND you’re STILL doing it, you learn to respect it. I’m a lucky guy .. I get paid for doing something I WANT to do .. it means I never have to work!


 ‘The Best Things’ your Greatest Hits package is just out  – will you get a chance to play most of those songs live?


Yes, we play mostly the hits dotted with a selection of favourites from ‘Rattle It Out’.


‘The Best Things’ also features two new tracks is it a case of giving a little extra to the fans or are you actively writing new BCO material at the moment?


Other than the two tracks you mentioned (‘I Am’ and ‘You Cant Stop The Sun’), we are not actively writing. The reason is simply, time and energy. Peter Farnan, chief song writer is a busy guy and for him to enter into a period of creativity, would largely involve him stopping his life. As you get older, you get busier, it's a fact. Life gets in the way, of having a life!

Are we likely to hear the new singles ‘I Am’ and ‘You Can't Stop The Sun’ in the live set? And can you tell us a little about them?


Peter Farnan wrote ‘I Am’ with our friend Connie Johnson in mind. Connie is suffering from cancer. Her brother Sam, just rode around Australia on a uni-cycle to raise money and awareness. Greg O’Connor came up with the idea for ‘You Cant Stop the Sun’. He bought it to Peter and they worked on it together.
We play ‘I Am’ in the live set .. it works well, yet ‘You Cant Stop the Sun’ doesn't!


You also have a four album box set, ‘Rattle It Out’, out – which collects your first three albums digitally re-mastered and a bonus 14 track rarities disc of never-before-released material from the 80s and 90s. Who selected the material for the bonus disc?


Our recordings reverted back to our ownership in 2012 after being in mothballs for years. We had been chatting about re-mastering and releasing them again, but we had to choose from an extensive repertoire of ‘rarities’. We all dug deep to find what they had lying around. We met and played all of the songs and made the decision which ones to keep and which ones to cull. With so much repertoire, we had to be brutal and dismiss anything deemed unworthy.

 

What will fans get out of the rarities disc?


An insight into the development of the band from our seminal roots through our recording history. They range from pretty basic ‘demos’ to full studio recordings. If anything, its honest.


Listening to the remastered albums was there one in particular that stood out for you, or do you still love all of your ‘children’ equally?


Everyone in Boom Crash Opera will answer this question differently. For me, its ‘Fabulous Beast’, the bands 3rd album recorded in Los Angeles in 1992. This album was made when the band was at a very serious crossroad creatively. More personally, it was made during a period of self-development. It will always take me back to that place and that time!


What have been your greatest challenges over the years, and your favourite moments musically?


The greatest challenges have always been to stay relevant, yet remaining honest. I’m a nostalgic guy, the fondest musical memories, are when we first started writing and performing in 1985. Everyone in the group thought about Boom Crash Opera 24/7. It was our honeymoon period .. just like having a new partner, it was all you could think about!!

With technology changing so much over the last few years and seemingly not slowing, and TV force-feeding us the lowest common denominator, is there any hope for creative young bands anymore without major backing?


‘Artist development’ died years ago in record companies. They stopped funding development because they weren’t seeing the returns financially .. or so they thought. Of course, with the digital age, it was the record companies who seemed to drag their feet the most. Rather than jump on the moving train, they sunk their feet into the ground and got left behind. There’s never been an easier and cheaper time to get your music out into the world. ‘Home studios’ are everywhere and with a very small budget, you can record, manufacture (if you go that way) and promote your product. Make a nasty cheap video and post it on YouTube. The very nature of technology, dictates that record companies are now an anachronism! The music industry has constantly sort to keep moving and ‘morphing’ .. it has to, otherwise, it dies! It’s again, reverted back to a cottage industry. Move with the times, or get left behind.


Thinking back to your early memories of music, what was it that first made you decide you needed to be in a Rock and Roll band?


In the early 70’s, my sister bought home two albums: ‘Cosmos Factory’ – Creedence Clearwater Revival and ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’ – Iron Butterfly. She said ‘do you want these .. they’re shit’. They both blew my mind!! I was fortunate to have a few older cousins who were in bands .. it certainly didn't take much convincing. I was playing and hanging in music since about 12 and it was then I knew what I wanted to do!

 

 From what you’ve learned so far what is the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far as a musician?


There’s a couple of good ones:
-‘the people who you meet on the way up, you meet on the way back down”
-“everyone’s an expert, but no one really knows”
But my favourite is the Hunter S. Thompson quote:
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."

Can music change the world?


Four words: “We Are The World”

 

If you could have been a ‘Fly on the wall’ for the creation of any great album from any period, just to see how the magic happened and it all came together, what would it have been for you and why?


Just one ???? Ooooooooooooooooooo … tough call!!! Off the top of my head: ‘Rumours’ – Fleetwood Mac. Considering what went on internally in that band, Im amazed the album ever got made .. AND it sold MILLIONS!!!!!!!!

 

What is the meaning of life?


Playing music!!

 

BOOM CRASH OPERA NATIONAL TOUR DATES

 

Saturday 22 Feb – Between The Bays Festival – Mooroduc, VIC

Tickets from www.betweenthebays.com

 

Sunday 2 March – Clipsal 500 w/- Keith Urban – Adelaide, SA

Tickets from www.clipsal500.com.au

 

Saturday 8 March – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC

Tickets from www.northcotesocialclub.com (03) 9489 3917

 

Sunday 9 March – Motor City Music Festival – Geelong, VIC

Tickets from www.motorcitymusicfestival.com.au

 

Saturday 22 March – A Day on the Green w/- Jimmy Barnes – Bimbadgen Hunter Valley, NSW

Tickets from www.adayonthegreen.com.au

 

Friday 28 March – Lone Star Tavern – Gold Coast, QLD

Tickets from www.lonestartaven.com.au or www.ticketmaster.com.au (07) 5572 2000

 

Saturday 29 March – Racehorse Hotel – Ipswich, QLD

Tickets from www.racehorsehotel.com.au or www.ticketmaster.com.au (07) 3282 1222

 

Sunday 30 March – A Day on the Green w/- Jimmy Barnes – Sirromet, QLD

Tickets from www.adayonthegreen.com.au

 

Thursday 3 April – The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW

Tickets from www.factorytheatre.com.au or www.oztix.com.au (02) 9550 3666

 

Friday 4 April – Terrey Hills Tavern, Sydney NSW

Tickets from www.terreyhillstavern.com.au or www.moshtix.com.au 02) 9486 3343

 

Saturday 5 April – Taren Point Hotel, Sydney NSW

Tickets from www.tarenpointhotel.com.au or www.moshtix.com.au (02) 9525 2879

 

Saturday 3 May – Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide SA

Tickets from www.thegov.com.au or www.oztix.com.au (08) 8340 0744

 

Peter spoke to Mark Diggins February 2014

 

 

WANT MORE INTERVIEWS? THE LINKS BELOW TO GO DIRECT TO YOUR CHOSEN YEAR...

 

Interested in an interview for your band? e-mail digg@therockpit.net

www.therockpit.net prefers to interview live or via skype or phone but will consider e-mail interviews