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

Q & A with AIRBOURNE’s bass thunderer JUSTIN STREET



Shane Rockpit - G’day Justin – thanks for taking the time out to talk to THE ROCKPIT & congratulations on “No Guts No Glory” – it’s had a great response around the world. You certainly don’t seem short of gigs!!


Justin Street - Yeah we have been keeping really busy. We have been going backwards and forwards from Europe and The States and Canada and we just got back to Australia to play here for the first time in three years.


SR - You must have played just about every major rock festival around the world in the past couple of years – is there a venue you’re still wishing you could play?


JS - We have definitely played a lot of festivals, but there are some big ones we haven't done yet like Leeds and Reading and Soundwave in Australia



SR - How unsettling is it to up stumps and go on the road for the better part of a couple of years?


JS - It's all right for us - we didn't really do much other than play in this band for the last four years before we left for overseas touring. And we have a lot of fun and have a lot of good times doing it so I wouldn't say it is unsettling at all. If any thing we are more settled on the road than when we are at home.


SR - What is the average gig night like backstage for Airbourne?


JS - A few beer, get ready and play, then we can get drunk so that usually follows. There are always some cool people to hang out and drink with whether it's other bands, crew or just randoms - it's all good.


SR - How do the band deal with sibling rivalry between Joel & Ryan [O’Keefe – singer/guitarist and drummer, respectively] when living out of each other’s pockets for so long?


JS - Joel and Ryan fight a bit but it is never too serious they are just brotherly fights and always end in laughter.


SR - You’ve appeared on the bill with some true legends like The Stones, Motorhead, The Crue, Slash, Aerosmith & many more – what’s the most memorable bit of advice one of them ever gave you?


JS - Lemmy from Motorhead once told me "Get drunk and have a good time". I ended up in jail in Sweden for drunk and disorderly that night!


SR - And what’s the most outrageous backstage antics you witnessed any of them getting up to?


JS - Lemmy drinks two bottles of Jack and smokes eight packs of ciggies a day, [he’s] still gutsy as!



SR - How do you guys compare “No Guts…” with “Running Wild”?


JS - I think No Guts is a bit more diverse while still maintaining the rock and roll. There are some slower tracks and some of the fastest tracks we have ever done. The performances are a lot better on No Guts as we all had a couple of years more touring under our belts and that definitely gives the recordings more energy


SR - What do you think about the incessant accusations that you’re AC/DC copyists?


JS - We love AC\DC and we are obviously inspired by them, we don't copy them we are pretty similar but pretty different at the same time, we are just doing what we love and don't really worry about what people say.


SR - For a bunch of denim n’ black shirt wearing blokes from Warnambool, touring the world to great acclaim must have opened your eyes to some different cultures and lifestyles – how has all this changed you as people?


JS - We are all lot more worldly, we now have friends all over the world and we now are not so excited going overseas as we have been to so many different places. We are now really good at doing the whole airport thing too!


SR - How has the response been on this homecoming tour – do you feel a lot of pride coming home as conquering heroes?


JS - It has been great, it's so good to play to Aussies again and the crowds have been crazy and loose as shit, exactly how we love ‘em.


SR - We’re devastated you’re not coming to Perth – but we’re looking forward to seeing you at The Big Day Out. What are you planning to do to make an impression in such a short set?


JS - We will just do what we always do: rock out as hard as we can and go crazy as hell and play all the songs fans want to hear



SR - Nowadays festivals like Big Day Out and Soundwave sell out so quickly, yet many club and pub gigs struggle to pull a decent crowd – do you think kids are just more spoilt nowadays with these multi-stage extravaganzas?


JS - Well a festival is something that has so much energy and vibe, everyone is there for a good time and there is a whole day’s worth of bands to see. So it’s not that surprising.


SR - When you’re on a festival bill like Big Day Out, with such a diverse lineup, do the rock guys, the dance guys, the indie guys etc all hang out in their little cliques, or does everyone mingle and compare war stories?


JS - Every one just hangs out and has a good time, the type of band you’re in doesn’t matter at all - I have mates in dance acts and indie bands and even emo bands!


SR - How was working with Johnny K? What did he bring to your sound?


JS - He was really good. He brought some great new ideas to the table and helped with melodies and structure and got everything sounding really good. He has a great studio in Chicago where we all stayed for four months with heaps of really good gear and guitars and amps and every thing you need, even a pool table.


SR - What new music have you been getting into?


JS - Rhino Bucket & The Parlour Mob


SR - If you were in a bar brawl, which other band would you most want on your side, and why?


JS - Rose Tattoo from back in the day – [they were the] meanest looking bunch of blokes and Angry [Anderson] may be small but I reckon he could lay down.


SR - What would be your five favourite Aussie rock artists?


JS - Rose Tattoo, AC\DC, The Angels, The Poor and Screaming Jets


SR - Is there one song or album you wish you could’ve helped create?


JS - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Born To Run” - it is so good and made Springsteen into the Boss.


SR - Thanks so much for talking to THE ROCKPIT