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August 5, 2021

Interview with Chris Cheney from The Living End

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Living End will be living the Bluesfest dream in October. Photo Mark Bodna.

Bluesfest Bring on The End

The Living End are truly Rock Royalty. Formed in 1994 in Melbourne, it was 1997 when the band blasted through with their double A side single featuring ‘Prisoner of Society’ and ‘Second Solution’ – songs that have become festival anthems around the world. This five times ARIA-winning band are one of the Aussie treasures playing at Bluesfest this October. This will be the third attempt by the Byron event since the 2019 COVID-19 lockdown to host their festival. Mandy Nolan had a chat with Chris Cheney about the band’s upcoming Bluesfest gig…

When I speak to Chris Cheney the lead vocalist of The Living End, it’s Lockdown Number Four in Melbourne. The impacts of the virus have been massive for the entertainment industry.

‘It’s really frustrating when you look at the bigger picture of the entertainment industry, and people are nervous about putting events on.

‘The government hasn’t given the entertainment industry the support it needs.’

It’s something musicans like Cheney find annoying. ‘When the shit hits the fan, it’s the entertainment industry that steps up and puts on a concert to raise money.’ The reciprocal support for the music industry has definitely been lacking.

The landscape for musicians has certainly changed. When The Living End started it was all about the pub. ‘The pub was everything – we did thousands of gigs before we got on Triple J, we built the following from the ground up.’

Consequently The Living End has the smarts of a band who know how to play to a crowd. They are a powerful festival act.

‘It’s an endurance test getting through our show’ says Chris. ‘You have to be match fit – we also have to be fit in ourselves. The songs don’t sound the same unless you are at 200 per cent!’

‘This is the first time we have played Bluesfest. I haven’t been before, never been and never played it, so we intend to come out of the gates with all guns blazing, we will be like bulls at a gate!

‘Bluesfest isn’t specifically blues and roots but it’s the core and it’s our background,’ says Cheney.

The Living End are playing at Bluesfest 1–4 October. Tix from bluesfest.com.au.


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