-by Matthew Picken
What’s been happening lately?
We have just come out of rehearsals for a show we are doing on my birthday in Atlantic City New Jersey, with a good friend Kevin Martin of Candle Box and The Gracious Few who is opening for us with an acoustic set.
Why thank you sir, 44 years young, it should be a good night.
It’s 2015 and Live is still going strong, did you ever imagine that your middle school talent show would last so long?
No we had no idea, we had the middle school dreams…of becoming a rock star’s… and touring the world… and it all came true. So here we are in our 40’s, still playing and it still feels as good as it ever did. I never thought it would go on as long.
Did you guys win that talent show that started it all?
We won that talent show. I think we got $20 and we went to the video arcade and spent all our money that night.
Who would have known that this talent show could have turned into such a huge career?
*laughs Who would have known it, but it wasn’t the fact that we won, I think we realized when we got on stage in the 7th grade and the girls started screaming . It was the girls that did it.
After a few years hiatus Live returned to the studio to record “The Turn”. What was it like to get back together with the guys and with new vocalists Chris Shinn?
The three of us had remained playing together thought the hiatus, we did the Gracious Few project and recorded an album. We toured the US and did a European run. Then there was a few months lag and the three of us decided it was time to do Live. We had dedicated a lot of energy and effort into that. We got together and started banging out some ideas and with the departure of Ed, obviously we had the space for a lead singer. We talked and contemplated it, but the three of us… well… chad and myself didn’t really have much of a discussion. So one day we all sat down and said that we needed a new singer. All three of us had the same idea and his name was Chris Shinn. Chris he was excited to come up, he just wanted to help out instantly. He didn’t understand what the position was going to be. We started writing songs and we thought that this was really the countenance of Live. It was so great because the four of us were in a room starting idea’s from scratch that were not presented to us, like what started happening to us with the last few albums with Ed. It had been a long time since the four of us had just been in a room and hammered out a song. So to have Chris come in and us start back at that ground level was just amazing. We got to take our time to record it, we were in no hurry. We had been on a break so it took us two years to write and finally record the album. And like I said, to me it feels like a continuation from where Live left off about four records ago. There’s an energy, I think still a freshness, yet a return, some how to the early days of Live.
This is the first time Live is touring Australia with Chris up front, what should fans expect?
Its not the same old show, Its been a long time, I can’t actually remember the last time we were in Australia, but I think they can expect a honest true performance with a lot of the old hits and a lot from the new record. I have had fans come up to me and say, “you just can’t replace the lead singer” to this I reply, “come to a show, give it 20 minutes and then we will talk” because once someone see’s what is going on – on stage it’s a trip, people are blown out of the water.
In November Live is touring Australia with Def Leppard and you have toured and preformed with so many big names and acts over the years have you ever felt totally star struck and if so who by?
In the same genre we did do a tour with Jon bon Jovi, I didn’t know what to
expect but when I realised we were playing to 80,000 people every night across
Europe. I did the math and the amount of people we where exposed to was
tremendous for us. Years ago we did a tour with Holly Jean Harvey, PJ Harvey, and at
the time I can remember having such a musical crush on her, as well as a male female
thing. I think we did a summer tour here in the states and I didn’t have the cahoonas
enough to even say Hi to her over the tree months. I was just in kind of awe. It was a
bit of a grade school boy thing. Now talking Def Leppard, when I was a kid in the
States, Def Leppard was huge as they continue to be a staple on rock radio. So the fact
they asked us to come down to Australia is quite a complement. I respect them and
their longevity and I am excited to see how things go. I’m expecting a lot.
As a bass player, who has been your biggest influence?
Early on as a young teenager I would say Flea from the Red Hot Chilly Peppers, and as a young guy I got to meet him and we talked bass, talking shop and he paid me some great complements, I walked away from that conversation a mile high. I love John Entwistle who is no longer with us but was the bass player from The Who, he was a monster bass player but as well I think more than just bass players were the bands and songs that really moved me. A lot of early U2… I wouldn’t just hone in on the bass line I would take in the whole song and relies what fantastic structure and arrangement. I went from U2 to a lot of new wave English things at the time like The Smiths, Eco and The Bunny Men and all of those sorts of things that were early influences that I think we kind of just wore on our sleeves. And any more are just kind of old guys like us that I look at, like Candle Box who I just saw their shows. There are a lot of bands here in the states from that same era that still have legs as a band that where a product of the 90’s and still remain relevant. We recently did shows with Marilyn Manson who may not have been thought of as still relevant but is still here and doing some pretty cool stuff. So there are still artists around from the 90’s that are still the real deal.
If you could do a drum bass duet with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Mmm… do I have to play bass *laughs, Wow! If it was a jazz session it would have to be a drummer named Billy Carbon that’s for all the jazz heads, but either Keith Moon or Bono ’cause for me its all about the rock. As a bass player its all about the rock and the groove, how you move in the groove.
Going back to Live’s second album “Throwing Copper”. How was that with all the success and attention it bought to Live?
It changed our lives, we did the first record “Mental Jewelry” with a quick tour and it did decently well and we all thought if that is all we ever get out of this as a career it’s awesome. Then we put “Throwing Copper” out and actuality in a year later… a year to the week it went number #1 here in America. It wasn’t an over night thing but we could slowly see the train pulling into the station, so to speak. We saw the shows getting bigger and all the while learning, you learn so much growing into bigger venues on the back of that huge success. I think we continue to master what we do, that is rock music.
It’s been great chatting with you Patrick thank you so much for your time.
Excellent indeed, thanks Matt
Live will be here in Perth touring with Def Leppard and the baby animals on the 21st of November at Red Hill Auditorium. With such a good line up it will be a great night out at a beautiful location. Tickets are still available here and you should snap them up fast as they will soon sell out.