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



Sydney band the Hell City Glamours have made quite a splash recently with their self titled 2008 debut album being released in the UK by Powerage Records, Classic Rock Magazine's new imprint, and full page ads in Classic Rock Magazine itself.


We were lucky enough to have a chat with Oscar McBlack, the band's singer/guitarist, recently and this is what he had to say...



G’day mate – thanks for talking to The Rockpit!


We love your debut album - to our ears it’s got everything we love about sleazy hard rock – like Guns n’ Roses, Hanoi Rocks, The Stones, Thin Lizzy and Accadacca playing in a grimy little club on the Sunset Strip, if the Strip was in suburban Australia. It’s no bullshit, sleazed up, glammed up Aussie hard rock, gritty and beautiful – we want more!


Oscar – Well I guess it’s lucky that we’ve started writing the second record then!


What are the influences you guys draw on personally and as a band?


Oscar – Apart from what you’ve already mentioned? Rancid, Tom Waits, 70’s Aerosmith, the Clash, Nick Cave and the Bad seeds, The Hellacopters, Sabbath, Zepplin, the Band, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Whiskey and Co, Chuck Ragan, The Gaslight Anthem…


We thought ‘Ready To Fall’ is kind’ve like The Choirboys ‘Run To Paradise’ mashed up with Queen’s ‘Hammer To Fall’, but played in an AC/DC style. Was that a conscious thing or a happy accident?


Oscar – Wow… what an odd mix!? Total accident I’d have to say as I wrote it and don’t have either of those songs on record… I’ll have to get em and have a listen .


Our favourite magazine – Classic Rock – has been championing the band in recent months, even signing you to their new Powerage record label in the UK. How did that connection come about?


Oscar - A very dear friend of ours and long time supporter of the band Scott Adams sent a copy of our record to a friend in the UK who knew someone from Powerage. They listened to it, liked it and got in contact with us straight away. They offered us a really fair UK and Europe wide distribution deal that saw us keep all of our rights to our music so we were more than happy to sign with them. We really do owe it all to Mr Adams though…


Has the exposure they’ve been giving you been felt back at Hell City Glamours HQ yet?


Oscar – It’s starting to feel like a reality now… we’re seeing the itunes sales break downs and all of a sudden it’s places like Japan and Great Britain and Wales popping up on it as opposed to the QLD, NSW, VIC that we’re used to!


Are you planning on heading over to Europe to try and capitalise on this exposure?


Oscar – We are starting to talk about it yeah. It’d be pretty stupid not too… what better way to see Europe than from a stinky tour van????



You’ve done a fair few high profile support slots already in Australia – have you had a chance to meet any personal heroes?


Oscar – Yeah we have… it’s been really cool meeting people like Paul Stanley and Sebastian Bach who were both lovely guys and total pros… we were really well treated on both those tours by both the bands and the crew. Stand up guys. The Angels and Rose Tattoo were both fucking awesome to tour with as well… old school, hard working Australian rock bands and no one does it better. When those guys are on a good night they will wipe the floor with anyone.


We’ve been fortunate enough to play with the New York Dolls twice as well, once in Sydney and once in Austin, Texas at SXSW Festival where we actually shared a dressing room with them. David J and Sylvain Sylvain were both lovely but the highlight for me was meeting Sammy Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks… totally the coolest cat on and off stage.


Do you use support slots as an opportunity to pick up a few tricks from the headliners? (Any examples?)

Oscar – Ha haha… you’d be stupid not to pay attention when you’re playing with the big boys! I think you learn the most from the crews though… from the half deaf, degenerate, black jean wearing, gaffa tape hording soundies, roadies and lighting guys. They are the salt of the earth and will tell you anything you want to know if you ask em right and also have the best stories, no holds barred! They are the human side of touring and they are what makes the shows go on. You are more indebted to these guys than you realise.

What new music have you been listening to lately?


Oscar - The Black Keys new record “Attack and Release” is awesome, the Black Rider’s new cd is totally cool too… the backyard babies are rad, Airbourne rule, the Answer, Electric Mary, Gay Paris have nearly finished their new record which I’m pretty excited about…


Do you think there’s an Aussie hard rock revival happening at the moment?


Oscar - I think that there are a lot of really good bands coming out of Australia at the moment… but there always has been. I think they are starting to get a little bit more of the credit and exposure that they deserve. But even on the world stage… Airbourne, Wolfmother and Jet are all doing really well right around the world which is great because it makes people look to Australia for rock and roll bands. They open the flood gates and hopefully a few of the others will get to go through as well.


Do you get much of a chance to get out and see other bands perform, or are you always playing? If you have, who has impressed?


Oscar –Between working nights in a bar and playing in a band I don’t get nearly enough time to go and see music. Most of the bands that have impressed me lately have been ones that we’ve played with which is a real blessing… The Whiskey Go Gos, Concrete Street, Run! Hide!, The Black Rider, La Mancha Negra, Gay Paris, The Screw Top Detonators, Electric Mary, Jack Carty, Johnny Casino and the Secrets, Rock City Riff Raff and The Devil Rock Four

Your latest website posts say you’re currently in writing mode – how’s that coming along and when can we expect the new album?


Oscar - It’s going really well. We have 30 rough ideas written and recorded as very basic demos and are, at present, fleshing them out into proper arrangements and structures. We’ve just recorded a song called “One For The Road” which will be an itunes only release which will be out in a couple of weeks and I would really like to think that you’ll have a new full length record in your hands by the close of 2010.


We will be eagerly awaiting it and will definitely be reviewing it for The Rockpit – hope we can do another interview then!


Oscar – You can count on it!!


What’s next for the Hell City Glamours?


Oscar – Well… to tell you the truth, we’re not sure. We’ll keep writing the new record, see how the first one goes overseas… we’ll start playing around Australia again in feb I think… we’ll see. We don’t like to leave it too long… we get itchy fretting fingers.


Thanks so much for talking to The Rockpit!


Oscar – An absolute pleasure. Thanks for taking the time out for us.


Interview by Shane Rockpit

Posted 30 November 2009