It’s that time of the year again, when Adelaide revs up for Mad March and the smell of burning rubber on our streets. It’s a bigger deal than usual though, as this year marks the 20-year Anniversary of the event.
This year’s Adelaide 500 after race concert selection is proving to be stellar, with Cold Chisel, Live, and Robbie Williams headlining the off-track entertainment after each day’s sessions.
In a most welcome reunion, Ed Kowalczyk has reformed with his fellow band members to give us the original ‘LIVE’ lineup, and we were blown away to speak with him about getting back touring, and the news that there’s another album in the works!
It’s amazing, we got the band back together a few years ago & did a bunch of shows, mainly festivals, in the States and now a return trip to Oz. It’s a great opportunity to get back there. We’re also headlong into a bunch of new songs so we’ll head back to the studio soon. Things are pretty freakin’ awesome to be honest!!
There’s a new level of energy and gratitude within the band with our friendships for this reunion. We can feel it on stage and I know it translates to the fans who are thrilled with how much fun we’re having- they ‘re feeling it too man!
So, you’ve been to Adelaide before, have you had much of a chance to look around and see the amazing things we have to offer?
I think we have a free day after the race so we’re headed to a winery to do a bit of relaxing- there’s some good living right there! I also love the Central Markets, so I’ll go foraging for a bunch of good food in there. I love Adelaide, it’s an amazing city and we were so happy to be able to go again. We’ll also have a chance to visit Perth this time which we couldn’t on the last trip, and another show in Sydney.
The album Throwing Copper was a huge success, selling over 8 million copies and to this day remains a great listen for its contrasting sounds and Kowalczyk’s intense vocals. Did you expect the album to be as successful, or were you comfortable with the accolades it received?
Absolutely, it’s just an unbelievable dream come true. We went from playing clubs with a few people, which we were happy to do, but then for about 8-9 months we were paying massive gigs to thousands of people really quickly. We were still super young but I think as happy and excited as we were, it took us a couple of albums to find our stride and be a band that was International. Then of course we had the 7-year hiatus where I went out solo and the other guys worked on other stuff. What we realised through that is that we ALL grew as artists, people, and players. Once we got back together and settled, we looked at each other and thought ‘man, we sound good now, much more confident with a lot more chemistry.’
And have you managed to get through the issues you had a few years back?
Absolutely, that all went away a while ago. About a year went by after it all washed up and Chad Taylor messaged me, asking ‘how are the kids? Etc. We just missed each other and realised we shared something special, so we met for a beer in our hometown (Pennsylvania). Within a day or 2 we were all in a room together playing again. We quickly started to work on new music. It’s now not just a reunion to play the older songs, we’re creatively at another level so we’re excited about getting new music out.
You mentioned the new album might be out in your Spring (Mar-May). How far into that process are you?
We have 5 or 6 songs that we’re really excited about & are looking at a full album later in the year, but want to get these out in the next few months. During our hiatus, the world of music changed dramatically, all the different formats etc. We’re excited about not being chained to having to produce a whole album, it’s cool.
Are there any albums you could compare it to?
Whenever you put the four of us together it will of course be recognisable as our ‘Live’ sound, but getting out playing with our buddies like the Foo Fighters & Jane’s Addiction, we have so many moments that inspired our tempo and sound. Some of the new ones are more up tempo rock. It has the ‘Live’ essence but with a new take on it.
Fantastic to hear! Ed, your song writing and the ability to pair it with your vocals is masterful, do you have a definition or idea of what makes the perfect song?
It’s funny that you mention ‘perfect song’, because I was listening to The Rolling Stones’ ‘Angie’ the other day and I thought that’s a perfect song. There’s an emotional content to it that’s universal. You can’t listen to it and not come away moved. That’s what we try for, a song that makes people think ‘man, I need to hear that again.’ We’re always going for something that touches emotions, and/or is energetic.
You’re trying to make a song that, as we say here in Australia, sticks out like dog’s balls?
(Laughs), I love it! I’m gonna use that, I’m bringing that term to the United States. It sounds like an album title.
You’re playing with Birds of Tokyo on the Saturday Night, have you heard them before?
Yea man, sure have. They’re great! We’re also touring with the Tea Party for the other 2 shows. We’ve been really blessed to play with some amazing people, and this is going to be just as cool. We’re just thankful and excited to be getting back down there, it’s always beyond a pleasure coming to Australia because our Aussie fans are one of a kind.
Our pleasure Ed, we’re really looking forward to seeing you guys play at the Adelaide 500.
The Adelaide 500 will take place 1-4 March, 2018
Tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com.au
Adelaide 500 Concert Line-Up:
Friday Night- “Made in SA”
- Cold Chisel
- Kasey Chambers
- Birds Of Tokyo
- Robbie Williams
- Sheppard –
By Dazz Hassan