The Big Issue : Edition 512
34 THEBIGISSUE20MAY–2JUN2016 “WE’VE PUT A lot of emphasis on our live gigs over the years,” says The Living End frontman Chris Cheney, when asked about the Melbourne band’s impressive career longevity. “We’re versatile – we can play a gig at the Enmore Theatre [in Sydney] or we can play a gig on the main stage at [heavy music festival] Soundwave. That’s kind of our home, I suppose, being onstage.” The importance Cheney ascribes to the band’s live cred is telling. Their seventh album, Shift, was produced by regular live engineer Paul “Woody” Annison, whose input has made the contagious energy the band is known for palpable throughout the 11 tracks. The roots of The Living End’s musical journey go deep. Cheney and fellow founding member Scott Owen – whose upright bass has long been emblematic of the trio – cut their teeth in the early 1990s playing Stray Cats covers and hammering out the genre- spanning sound that would ultimately define their output. The band properly formed in 1994 and Cheney, Owen and then-drummer Joe Piripitzi hit the ground running, supporting US alt-rock heavyweights Green Day during their 1995 Australian tour. Drawing on the vernacular of classic rockabilly, punk and more, The Living End announced their arrival with the breakout double A-side single ‘Prisoner of Society’/‘Second Solution’ in January 1998. It went on to become the top- selling Australian single of the decade. A multi-platinum eponymous debut LP followed later that year, before their next outing, Roll On, cemented the band’s Australian rock ascendancy in 2000. THE LIVING END DON’T NEED NO-ONE TO TELL THEM WHAT TO DO – THEY’RE JUST GOING TO KEEP MAKING MUSIC. Living It THE LIVING END – SCOTT OWEN, ANDY STRACHAN AND CHRIS CHENEY (FROM LEFT) ARE BACK, WITH THEIR SEVENTH ALBUM, SHIFT.