Interview: Local SA Band McKenzie Ahead Of New Single & Tour

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Glam Adelaide interviewer, Jonathan Matthews, recently had the chance to catch up with South Aussie band McKenzie to chat about their brand new single, the bands upcoming plans, and the awesome spot they have landed on Rock The Boat which is taking place in October and features over 40 bands.

So you’ve got some cool stuff going on, such as a new single just released in March which is titled “Living for the Moment” tell me about that…

Well it’s been a long process. We started writing that in 2014. It began as a song for sport, an anthem but over the years it changed, unfortunately 2 years ago we lost our Mum to cancer and we changed it to being about living for the moment…

Was that something that influenced the release and your original material yet to come?

It was such a long process. We wanted to release it a lot earlier, but with everything that happened with Mum it got pushed back quite a while. We finally got there and we’re really happy with it and the release date worked perfectly. Everyone is enjoying the song.

Have you got much more original music in the works?

Yeah, we should hopefully have an EP out in the next couple of months with 6 or 7 songs. We’re pretty excited to get more music out there. People are always asking for more.

Where are you recording it?

We’re probably gonna record it in Byron. We’re using the same engineer as the single. We’re flying him over and hoping to nut it out in a couple of days.

Awesome! You’re playing Rock the Boat coming up in October alongside artists such as Chocolate Starfish and Reece Mastin, is this your first tour… on a boat?

Yeah, we’ve never really been on a massive boat like it so we’re really excited, and we’re really looking forward to getting to know some of the other artists. We get to meet some of the guys and have dinner with them and have a bit of a jam with them on the last night. I’m keen to meet them and hear their stories.

How do you think you will go being on a boat? Do any of you guys get sea sick?

We’ll be alright I think. We’ve all been on boats before, although we’ve never played on them, I think a couple of sea sick tablets will keep us okay.

You are both an original band and a cover band, do you have any preferences as to what you play?

It’s driven by the crowd a lot of the time, some of the songs we play, we’ve probably played a thousand times. Sometimes if a crowd is really into certain songs we’ll play it a couple of times. If someone doesn’t like a song you can usually tell. It’s totally and completely driven by the crowd, they put as much energy into it as we do. It’s almost like teamwork between the crowd and the band.

With your original music, how are you finding the crowds response?

It’s been pretty good. Sometimes we don’t really want to play our own songs because we’re worried it’s gonna clear the dance floor but a lot of people have actually asked us to play them, so that’s a good sign. The response is generally good, there’s always a few people who are a bit unsure and shuffle away.

Do you have any ways to reel in those listeners that wander off?

We just try and keep our energy on stage as high as we can no matter what. Because the more energy we produce and the more ridiculous we are on stage the more comfortable the crowd feels, and the more they put in. The guys have their wireless guitars and they will go into the crowd and keep them dancing, which is pretty fun.

Where is the furthest place you have toured from your home town?

We just got back from Cairns on the weekend. It was our first time there so we spent a bit of time exploring and two days performing at the casino. It was an awesome set up, a really great stage. It was a fun gig and completely packed out. We went with an artist called Lisa Hunt. She’s a soul singer from America, we had an awesome time.

How did you all initially meet?

We’re all South Australian boys. One is my younger brother, the guitarist, I studied sound production and lighting production with the lead guitarist… and we met the bass player through the last bass player that we had… We all hit it off really well and we all have a really good friendship. Our personalities don’t clash too much and we all get on.

Where did you study Sound and Lighting?

I studied at Adelaide College of the Arts.

When and where did the Band start?

It started a long time ago, with myself and my brother and the next door neighbour, over the years we went through a lot of members, and A LOT of bass players, probably four or five. But yeah, the line-up has been the same for a couple of years now, and we’re going great!

As a cover band, what is the most commonly requested song to play?

The most popular three are probably Mr. Brightside by The Killers, Wonderwall by Oasis and Horses by Daryl Braithwaite. I’ve played Horses every set, up to four times in one night sometimes, it gets requested so frequently.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans here in S.A. ?

We are coming down to South Australia in a few months, so keep an eye out on Facebook for that. We are going to Adelaide, the Riverland, and Jamestown, hopefully you can all come down! Thanks so much for the chat! 

Interview by Jonathan Matthews 

Don’t miss out on McKenzie’s upcoming shows in Adelaide soon and Rock the Boat sailing the seas in October! Keep an eye out on the bands Facebook page for more details.

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