Posts Tagged ‘Radio Birdman’

masuak2Chris ‘Klondike’ Masuak needs no introduction. Over the last two decades he has been a crucial member of some of the coolest, most rockin’ bands this country has ever produced. Radio Birdman, The Hitmen, The New Christs, The Screaming Tribesmen, The Juke Savages. Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer. Australian rock n roll owes a large debt to Chris Masuak. This issue, Vicious Kitten speaks to the man himself, and gets the lowdown on everything from the recent re-flight of Radio Birdman, his views on today’s music scene and also his forthcoming plans……..read on cats !

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Vicious Kitten: Klondike, let’s talk about the recent Radio Birdman reformation.  How did that all come about ?
Chris Masuak: Radio Birdman used to kick out major horsepower. That kind of energy is hard to contain, and when it spilled into our personal lives we didn’t have the skills to deal with it. Subsequently, it’s taken a lot of years to recover from the fallout and for some of us to even talk to each other. When we found ourselves in a recording studio remixing the old albums the feeling was generous, familiar, and comfortable. Then when I was visiting Deniz in the USA last year, a fax from the Big Day Out boys came through. We kind of looked at each other in a vague inquiring way and I guess decided then and there that if it was OK with the other guys it was fine with us. When Ron jammed with Deniz on one of Deniz’ European tours the die was cast. We all had different reasons for wanting the thing to work. I felt that it was a rare opportunity to repair an ugly ending and make the ‘family’ live happily ever after.

VK: From a fan’s perspective it appeared that the old ‘magic’ was still there. How did it feel to play as a unit after such a long time ? Was the old ‘magic’ still there ?
CM: It was awkward at first. The unreality of the situation was overwhelming ! I had to relearn the songs in some cases but it didn’t really seem to gel. Then one day in rehearsal I remembered the feeling, the posture. Genetic memory kicked in and we were back as far as I was concerned. I’m greatly relieved that we were so appreciated. I guess it means the ‘juju’ is still with us.

VK: Do you have a favourite show from that re-union tour? You looked particularly floored by the raucous response from the Selina’s crowd.
CM: It was typical Birdman; erratic, unpredictable, but always a trip. Yeah, sometimes the response surprised me. It was a case of being shocked out of concentration by the unbelievable support of the fans. I loved playing outdoors. There’s something about the sound and feel of megawatts.

VK: It must have been a thrill to have Wayne Kramer fly out and open the shows. 
CM: Wayne is a huge influence and a magnificent artist. It was an honour to share the same bill with him, Brock and Paul.

VK: Did any special moments/funny incidents occur during the re-union tour ?
CM: The most hilarious thing is that on any given night there were six old farts up on stage and no one got egged. The sight of Ron sitting behind the kit, like a cross between Buddha and Winnie the Pooh was worth the price of admission.

VK: Will Birdman be releasing any new product ?
CM: It’s possible.

VK: Was the reformation tour a one off ? There are a few rumours of a European tour ?
CM: We’ve all got our own projects and obligations, and we live all over the planet. The last tour was a logistical nightmare and it’s success was testament to John Needham, our manager’s courage and patience. I didn’t believe anything about the last tour until I had the proof in my hands, so who knows.

VK: The last re-incarnation of The Hitmen spawned the wonderful ‘Moronic Inferno’ LP. Your playing on that record is just so fluent. Were you disappointed with the lack of response it received from the music press and the record buying public in general ?
CM: Yeah, The Hitmen kinda fizzled out. We never did get much support from the industry here, and in fact even Triple J usually reject any of my stuff as “not the kind of music they play on this station”. Still, I can’t complain. I got more second chances in twenty odd years of rockin’ than most people dream of.

VK: Whilst on The Hitmen, I find it hard to believe that the indestructible Johnny Kannis is not on a stage somewhere. What is Zeus up to nowadays ?
CM: Johnny’s up north where it’s warm doing entrepreneurial stuff. His injuries really do keep him from doing much, which I know is a frustration.

VK: Let’s talk about your time with The Screaming Tribesmen – in particular the US tour of 1987. How did that go, and was the band well received ?
CM: We had support up the yinyang but basically fell apart at the seams. The performances were too erratic for me to accept and we all had personal problems to deal with and the band blew it. It’s always seemed a shame that Mick didn’t take advantage of all the resources and keep going in that direction. He had it all on a plate at that time – despite the problems and with his talent and a bit of vision, may have kept the hits coming. The fans were certainly there for it.

VK: Johnny Kannis and yourself received a ‘thankyou’ on the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom album ‘…And You ?’, whilst the latter day Hitmen used to open up with ‘The Party Starts Now’. What is the connection there ?
CM: We met the Handsome One in New York, and he came onstage for a Dictators encore at The Cat Club. The next thing you know Andy Shernoff has invited me to play on ‘The Party Starts Now’. There’s this guy in the studio and Andy says “Chris, meet Ross”. Dumb fuck that I am, I go “The Boss ??!!”. I spent much of my career ripping him off. Perhaps the style was too close to the bone ’cause they didn’t end up using my leadbreak (which I consider superior). Kannis and I hung out with them for a while and it was a pleasant surprise to be acknowledged on their album.

VK: What have you been up to of late ? You have a new band – The Raouls, is that correct ?
CM: I live, study and work in Sydney and am preparing for fatherhood. I drum in The Raouls which is primarily Warwick Gilbert’s baby and an outlet for his formidable guitar lust. We have recorded songs for a Spanish label and are putting together a CD for release here. We seem to play regularly so I guess there are a few people left in Sydney who don’t have their heads stuck up their ass too far to have fun.

VK: Are The Juke Savages on hold ? What’s in the pipeline ?
CM: The Juke Savages still exist, with a new drummer, Tubby Wadsworth, who despite the stigma of playing with the Candy Harlots (actually, a good bunch of guys) has given us a shot in the arm. We’re recording for a European release and, hopefully, a tour early next year. We don’t play around much; we’re too rocky for the blues fraternity and too bluesy for the hip venues. Too loud, too old, whatever. We’re patient.

VK: What’s your opinion on today’s scene, with the likes of Oasis fairly dominant ? Doesn’t seem to be too much rock-action out there, you really have to search for it nowadays.
CM: I wouldn’t know what’s out there, particularly. There does seem to be a trend toward pop and cohesive arrangements, which would be great if the new artists would come up with some ideas of their own from time to time.

VK: What excites you musically these days ?
CM: Listening to The Raouls, Juke Savages, Wayne Kramer, Coltrane, Parker. Playing the drums and giving up trying to play guitar at a respectable volume.

VK: How did you get into rock n roll ?
CM: My Dad gave me a guitar at 13.

VK: What was the first record you ever bought ?
CM: My brother and I bought Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

VK: What was the first concert you attended ?
CM: I can’t remember if it was T.Rex or B.B King. T.Rex was crap on every level and I was naive enough to believe that B.B was really collapsing from exertion on stage. I used to go and see these big concerts and heckle bands like Blackfeather, Finch and Hush. Utter crap but no alternative. When I started going to Birdman gigs my academic career was shot to shit and my destiny forged, for better or worse.

VK: Name your five ‘desert island discs’ ?
CM: ‘Cha Cha Cha’ by Bobby Rydell, ‘Linda Sue Dixon’ by Mitch Ryder, ‘Strange Pleasure’ by Jimmie Vaughan, ‘Giant Steps’ by John Coltrane and ‘The Hard Stuff’ by Wayne Kramer.

VK: A message for the Vicious Kitten readers/Klondike fans out there……..
CM: We are all here for a purpose, which I don’t pretend to know. I do know that once we get off our asses and do things, anything, anytime, and lots of it, life gets really weird and interesting and I suspect we get closer to finding out what that purpose may be. Work hard. Play hard. Have fun for cryin’ out loud !

(Archive Source: Vicious Kitten Fanzine Issue 4: July 1996)

radio_birdman_radios_appear

35 years on – still demolishing all new comers

Let me start this rant with an undisputed fact…..this record was released 35 years ago and it still blows most current sounding rock acts out of the water. It is a very special album which sounds amazingly fresh and relevant. It has aged well my friends and there is much to rave about with Radios Appear (The White Album) – but where to start ? Okay – the songs. Oh man the songs. Every track is white hot rock n roll. What Gives, Non Stop Girls, Do The Pop, the glorious Man With Golden Helmet, New Race, the fiery Descent into The Maelstrom….need I say more ? How’s about Aloha Steve & Danno, Anglo Girl Desire, Murder City Nights. Hand Of Law and Hit Them Again. Not one style-lifter in sight. Keeley’s drumming is way underrated, as is Warwick Gilbert’s bassplaying. Pip Hoyle’s contribution to these tracks can never be underestimated and his sounds washes over much of the record. Good tunes however need their own distinguishable identity to raise them to another level, and these tracks are given that by Rob Younger’s distinctive vocals and the searing guitar work of Deniz Tek and Chris Masuak. Sure there is the MC5/Stooges linkage – that Detroit sound is littered throughout the grooves, yet – as Mr Ratboy recently reminded me over lunch – there is a little ‘Doors’ in there too….and so there is. When you consider that in 1977 – the local radio was airing lightweight crap like Pussyfoot, Andy Gibb, Smokie, Shaun Cassidy, David Soul or Boney M – and then along comes Radio’s Appear ! My goodness. The firepower contained on these tracks is mindblowing and it gave hope for those rock n roll soldiers who cared – those 70’s Aussie punks who had their ears to the ground. It is hailed as groundbreaking and justifiably so. I would stack this record up against anything released in the past thirty years and it will always hold its own. Me and the Cowboy have long been Radio Birdmaniacs and why not ! The Kids are still saying yeah hup. If you have never heard this album, take the tip from Mr Rockbrat and buy this sucker. You will love it.

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The Iceman and Klondike let rip !

Who: Hitmen DTK (with Deniz Tek)

Where: Annandale Hotel, NSW Australia  – 17 November 1991

Is this gig really 21 years back ? Where the hell are the years going ? This was when the Sydney rock n roll scene was still smoking, and great gigs were about as common as tatts on footballers. A Radio Birdman re-union, back then, like much of the 80’s always seemed unlikely, so having Tek and Masuak – two of Australia’s most underrated guitar players, both sharing a stage in Sydney once more was reason to celebrate. It was hot, it was sweaty. It was packed. It was, a great evening of rock n roll.

“Here come the Tigers wearing black and gold, Stout hearted men – All fit and bold ” etc

What: Balmain Tigers Club Song
Winning Bid: $34 A
Starting Bids: $9 A
Sale Dates: 28 September 2010

Me and the Cowboy have long believed in the gospel according to the Gig Lizard, who once clued us onto the ‘footy = rock’ mindset – and how true the great man was. Yes folks, Rugby League and rock n roll once played a massive part of my life – usually watching the Saturday TV Game whilst on the beers, followed by a live gig, and then – venturing to see the once ‘greatest game of all’ at a Sydney league venue…..and if ‘Bug’ Davis was working the door at the long-demolished Manly Vale Hotel (as he did in the early 90’s) , footy and rock were indeed a glorious combination. The item we are looking at today is a vinyl 45 of the Balmain Tigers theme song, and boy does this one brings back some good memories…..memories of players like Dennis Tutty, Peter Duffy, Neil Pringle, Geoff Starling, Les Mara, Dennis Menteit….hell my memory ain’t all bad…back and gold never fold ! Well, actually, they did…at the end of the 1994 season to be precise (relocating to Parramatta and becoming the ‘Sydney’ tigers!) ….and this is a great item to make any Balmain boy cry. Sung by the M7 Team Surporters the tune was backed with (b/w) ‘The Kangaroo’s March’. Incidentally, the last great kangaroo tour was in 1994 – before Super League and all of the other modern madness. It ended right there for yours truly. But this record brings back some great memories. It is indeed, the Rugby League of the 70’s which I remember. Of Balmain shadow-boxer Laurie Nicholls, of Wednesday nights under lights at Leichhardt Oval when they play with a striped ball. Of footy cards in wax paper wrappers, when players worked for a living, and when you played for your district. Long before the big islander lads outnumbered (and outsized) the other guys in the comp, and certainly long before players sported earrings and were covered up to their necks in ink – like gangsta prison inmates….yes folks, this is the era when Rugby League was a simple man’s game….a Sydney game. A great find this one. Now where is my time machine goddamit…I’m going back to 75 or 76 right now…..and maybe – with a bit of luck, I can catch  Birdman at Balmain Town Hall for next to nix as well. Whaddya know – footy does equal rock !

Tokyo's Neurotic Spiders - Down On The Street and Down To Kill !

Mr Rockbrat was in his favourite Tokyo Record store recently one quiet Sunday evening and asked the staff to ‘play me something cool I may not know’ ! So the owner grabs a CD and says ‘have you heard this ?’ He cranks this particular album at full tilt and damned if it didn’t measure on the richter scale. That’s not a great thing round these streets folks, but in terms of rock-voltage, the songs hit me with such force that I was immediately impressed. It’s something which doesn’t happen much these days – at least not to this weary old rock dog. Fired up I ask for the band’s name. The Neurotic Spiders. Remember it. In a city of shit, non-sensical band names, a cool name like that gives you full marks my friends. Motorhead meet the Stooges ? You’d better fucking believe it. They are inspired by Rose Tattoo and Angel City as well and it shows. In a sea of Tokyo punk bands who think cloning the Ramones is the only way to go, these guys are steering their ship on a course all their own.  The Neurotic Spiders formed in late 2005 and since that time have garnered a reputation as one of the meanest and loudest bands on the Tokyo live circuit. A bit over a year back, they released their aforementioned debut album – a self-titled effort on the Nicotine Record Label. It’s produced by well-known Tokyo guitar virtuoso Mr Ratboy (why isn’t he as popular as Marty Friedman in Japan – he’s got the looks and chops) who also guests on a couple of songs. This three-piece (Kiddo/Toma/Suzuki) unleash a similar fury in the vein of much-loved Antipodean trios like Red Shift, The Onyas or Cosmic Psychos. High praise but deservedly so. A-grade marsupial punk coming out of Tokyo ? Why the hell not ! The Neurotic Spiders are currently working on a split 7″ with Melbourne outfit Muscle Car. Major kudos to the staff of Shinjuku’s Barn Homes for still appreciating loud and honest, no bullshit rock n roll. Official MySpace page is here and if you happen to be in Tokyo in May, the Neurotic Spiders are playing Club Mission’s in Koenji on the 15th. Yeah hup !

Aloha Derek & Woody - The Rollers Do The Pop

You know I was recently reminded of a comment that Rob Younger once made about the Angels. He said that they were ‘contrived nonsense’ and I just wanted to reflect on that for a moment. From the outset, let it be known that I was a massive Rob Younger and Radio Birdman fan, (although more of Hitmen fan than Birdman), but also a fan of the New Christs etc. Yet I was also a hard rock fan, and a big fan of the Brewsters too. So why does this singular, zealot like focus exist ? Why can’t I dig Birdman AND the Angels? So If I dig Birdman, the cool school check list should only be stuff like the Stooges, Sonics, Ventures, Alice Cooper (though only early Coop is cool right?)Mitch Ryder,MC5, 60’s garage etc ? Gotta name check the right bands. Is Bob Seger classed as cool? He was from Detroit. So this stuff is cool, but the Angels are ‘contrived nonsense’?  

The whole notion of what’s cool and what’s not is completely subjective – and indeed personal. One man’s Radio Birdman might be another man’s poison right? Let’s focus on Rob’s swipe on The Angels for a moment. Birdman are great, no doubt, and I was as much a rock n roll soldier as anyone else – more so in fact. Radios Appear and Living Eyes are great, but sheesh, if I had to listen to that and artists of that style/genre only that I’d be ready for the funny farm!

So why can’t I listen to Birdman and The Angels ? If you wanna compare apples with apples, the Angels certainly had more success, both domestically and internality than Birdman. Bands like G ‘n’ R and Cheap Trick and Great White knew that they were anything but contrived. They were a hard rock band with immense originality and character. Yet that aside, who really cares? I was and still am a big Johnny Thunders fan. Yet years ago someone took a swipe at me when I declared that I dug the Bangles. Not cool? So let me get this right. The Pandoras would be OK, or the Donnas – but not the Bangles. Hang on; let me refer back to my list of ‘sonically OK bands to listen to’. Sheesh, how uncool am I? I like Johnny Thunders AND I’ve seen the Bay City Rollers – on different tours!   

Yet you know what? The older I get, the more diverse my musical tastes have become – and that’s called ‘growth’. Although having said that – the guitar is still fundamental to the majority of what I listen to. When I was a teen, it was heavy metal and nothing else. It was Kiss and Iron Maiden and Ratt and Motley Crue etc. I was blinkered beyond belief. If a band had long hair and leathers – then I swallowed it hook line and sinker. I would not consider any other musical style, or ‘wimp out’ was the expression I think we used to use. With retrospect, and viewed through the objective eyes of an adult, musically, a lot of this stuff was limited, repetitive and indeed, lo- cal versions of the authentic articles. (I very rarely listen to bands like Motley Crue nowadays, and in fact my favourite album of theirs is their 2000 effort, ‘New Tattoo’ without a doubt the best thing they ever did). Yet I digress.

Being so blinkered meant that I was quick to dismiss bands like Dire Straits or Fleetwood Mac, yet nowadays I can appreciate the musical talents of Mark Knopfler or Lindsay Buckingham. One look at the recent ‘Desert Island Discs’ blog I wrote is further indicative of how my musical tastes have grown and diversified. There’s only one or two metal bands represented there. Similarly, I don’t get the whole ‘punk or nothing’ ethos either. Punks who dismissed metal or hard rock sure missed out on some good stuff, as did metal heads who dissed bands like the UK Subs, Lurkers, Sham 69 etc etc. Although one punk band I cannot stand nowadays are the Pistols. Musically it’s OK, although the riffs are all Johnny Thunders rip offs, but the annoying whine of Lydon simply grates on me. I can’t listen to him. Best thing they ever did was the thing with Ronnie Biggs.  Yet back to my original point, if it sounds good, and you enjoy it, listen to it. If you like Bread AND The Sonics, great, who really cares ? You like the Dead Boys AND Def Leppard, good for you. You like The Misfits AND the Carpenters? Great, you appreciate great song writing and an amazing female vocalist. You may not score many points in the cool stakes amongst your circle of rock action pals – but big deal. Part of the fun of being a fan is discovering music and old bands too – so go forth and dig.

I remember wearing a Rod Stewart tour t shirt in 1991 much to the embarrassment of a friend. It was cool for her to be into the Gurus, but I couldn’t be into Rod Stewart? Huh? The Faces over the Gurus anyday chum. 

At the risk of upsetting the dogmatic inner city uber cools, (all 40 of ‘em nowadays at last count), let me tell you that last week I saw Phil & Tommy Emmanuel. Whilst in the cool stakes, these two ain’t up there with Simon Townsend lookalike Ron Asheton, (RIP), but musically, this was the best concert I’ve seen in a long long time. Phil Emmanuel is one of the best ‘lectric guitar slingers this side of Jeff Beck, and the only cat who can make Tommy look a little inadequate on stage.

Nowadays, I’d really hate to have the same one dimensional outlook I had to rock ‘n’ roll that I did when I was a teen. Nowadays I listen to Sinatra, Dean Martin and a stack of obscure jazz artists from the 40s and 50s – as well as Thin Lizzy, Johnny Thunders, Motorhead, Joan Jett, The Boys, Cheap Trick, Skynyrd, and indeed – Radio Birdman and The Angels. Yeah Hup? Take A Long Line ?  Whatever sounds good to you – enjoy it. Justin Bieber is contrived nonsense my friends – not the Angels.

The Angels - Many things they may be - but cointrived ain't one of 'em.

 
 

Below is another re-print of an old interview – this time with Radio Birdman’s Chris ‘Klondike’ Masuak. This interview was conducted with Klondike in 1995 and was originally published that year. Since that time, Klondike has continued gigging and recording, most notable with Birdman and a re-formed Hitmen. He is soon to depart Australia and is becoming a resident of France.

Chris ‘Klondike’ Masuak needs no introduction. Over the last two decades he has been a crucial member of some of the coolest, most rockin’ bands this country has ever produced. Radio Birdman, The Hitmen, The New Christs, The Screaming Tribesmen, The Juke Savages. Guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer. Australian rock n roll owes a large debt to Chris Masuak. This issue, Vicious Kitten speaks to the man himself, and gets the lowdown on everything from the recent re-flight of Radio Birdman, his views on today’s music scene and also his forthcoming plans……..read on cats ! (interview conducted July, 1996)

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Rockbrat: Klondike, let’s talk about the recent Radio Birdman reformation.  How did that all come about ?
Chris Masuak: Radio Birdman used to kick out major horsepower. That kind of energy is hard to contain, and when it spilled into our personal lives we didn’t have the skills to deal with it. Subsequently, it’s taken a lot of years to recover from the fallout and for some of us to even talk to each other. When we found ourselves in a recording studio remixing the old albums the feeling was generous, familiar, and comfortable. Then when I was visiting Deniz in the USA last year, a fax from the Big Day Out boys came through. We kind of looked at each other in a vague inquiring way and I guess decided then and there that if it was OK with the other guys it was fine with us. When Ron jammed with Deniz on one of Deniz’ European tours the die was cast. We all had different reasons for wanting the thing to work. I felt that it was a rare opportunity to repair an ugly ending and make the ‘family’ live happily ever after. 

RB: From a fan’s perspective it appeared that the old ‘magic’ was still there. How did it feel to play as a unit after such a long time ? Was the old ‘magic’ still there ?
CM: It was awkward at first. The unreality of the situation was overwhelming ! I had to relearn the songs in some cases but it didn’t really seem to gel. Then one day in rehearsal I remembered the feeling, the posture. Genetic memory kicked in and we were back as far as I was concerned. I’m greatly relieved that we were so appreciated. I guess it means the ‘juju’ is still with us. 

RB: Do you have a favourite show from that re-union tour? You looked particularly floored by the raucous response from the Selina’s crowd.
CM: It was typical Birdman; erratic, unpredictable, but always a trip. Yeah, sometimes the response surprised me. It was a case of being shocked out of concentration by the unbelievable support of the fans. I loved playing outdoors. There’s something about the sound and feel of megawatts. 

RB: It must have been a thrill to have Wayne Kramer fly out and open the shows. 
CM: Wayne is a huge influence and a magnificent artist. It was an honour to share the same bill with him, Brock and Paul. 

RB: Did any special moments/funny incidents occur during the re-union tour ?
CM: The most hilarious thing is that on any given night there were six old farts up on stage and no one got egged. The sight of Ron sitting behind the kit, like a cross between Buddha and Winnie the Pooh was worth the price of admission. 

RB: Will Birdman be releasing any new product ?
CM: It’s possible. 

RB: Was the reformation tour a one off ? There are a few rumours of a European tour ?
CM: We’ve all got our own projects and obligations, and we live all over the planet. The last tour was a logistical nightmare and it’s success was testament to John Needham, our manager’s courage and patience. I didn’t believe anything about the last tour until I had the proof in my hands, so who knows. 

RB: The last re-incarnation of The Hitmen spawned the wonderful ‘Moronic Inferno’ LP. Your playing on that record is just so fluent. Were you disappointed with the lack of response it received from the music press and the record buying public in general ?
CM: Yeah, The Hitmen kinda fizzled out. We never did get much support from the industry here, and in fact even Triple J usually reject any of my stuff as “not the kind of music they play on this station”. Still, I can’t complain. I got more second chances in twenty odd years of rockin’ than most people dream of. 

RB: Whilst on The Hitmen, I find it hard to believe that the indestructible Johnny Kannis is not on a stage somewhere. What is Zeus up to nowadays ?
CM: Johnny’s up north where it’s warm doing entrepreneurial stuff. His injuries really do keep him from doing much, which I know is a frustration. 

RB: Let’s talk about your time with The Screaming Tribesmen – in particular the US tour of 1987. How did that go, and was the band well received ?
CM: We had support up the yinyang but basically fell apart at the seams. The performances were too erratic for me to accept and we all had personal problems to deal with and the band blew it. It’s always seemed a shame that Mick didn’t take advantage of all the resources and keep going in that direction. He had it all on a plate at that time – despite the problems and with his talent and a bit of vision, may have kept the hits coming. The fans were certainly there for it. 

RB: Johnny Kannis and yourself received a ‘thankyou’ on the Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom album ‘…And You ?’, whilst the latter day Hitmen used to open up with ‘The Party Starts Now’. What is the connection there ?
CM: We met the Handsome One in New York, and he came onstage for a Dictators encore at The Cat Club. The next thing you know Andy Shernoff has invited me to play on ‘The Party Starts Now’. There’s this guy in the studio and Andy says “Chris, meet Ross”. Dumb fuck that I am, I go “The Boss ??!!”. I spent much of my career ripping him off. Perhaps the style was too close to the bone ’cause they didn’t end up using my leadbreak (which I consider superior). Kannis and I hung out with them for a while and it was a pleasant surprise to be acknowledged on their album. 

RB: What have you been up to of late ? You have a new band – The Raouls, is that correct ?
CM: I live, study and work in Sydney and am preparing for fatherhood. I drum in The Raouls which is primarily Warwick Gilbert’s baby and an outlet for his formidable guitar lust. We have recorded songs for a Spanish label and are putting together a CD for release here. We seem to play regularly so I guess there are a few people left in Sydney who don’t have their heads stuck up their ass too far to have fun. 

RB: Are The Juke Savages on hold ? What’s in the pipeline ?
CM: The Juke Savages still exist, with a new drummer, Tubby Wadsworth, who despite the stigma of playing with the Candy Harlots (actually, a good bunch of guys) has given us a shot in the arm. We’re recording for a European release and, hopefully, a tour early next year. We don’t play around much; we’re too rocky for the blues fraternity and too bluesy for the hip venues. Too loud, too old, whatever. We’re patient. 

RB: What’s your opinion on today’s scene, with the likes of Oasis fairly dominant ? Doesn’t seem to be too much rock-action out there, you really have to search for it nowadays.
CM: I wouldn’t know what’s out there, particularly. There does seem to be a trend toward pop and cohesive arrangements, which would be great if the new artists would come up with some ideas of their own from time to time. 

RB: What excites you musically these days ?
CM: Listening to The Raouls, Juke Savages, Wayne Kramer, Coltrane, Parker. Playing the drums and giving up trying to play guitar at a respectable volume. 

RB: How did you get into rock n roll ?
CM: My Dad gave me a guitar at 13. 

RB: What was the first record you ever bought ?
CM: My brother and I bought Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

RB: What was the first concert you attended ?
CM: I can’t remember if it was T.Rex or B.B King. T.Rex was crap on every level and I was naive enough to believe that B.B was really collapsing from exertion on stage. I used to go and see these big concerts and heckle bands like Blackfeather, Finch and Hush. Utter crap but no alternative. When I started going to Birdman gigs my academic career was shot to shit and my destiny forged, for better or worse. 

RB: Name your five ‘desert island discs’ ?
CM: ‘Cha Cha Cha’ by Bobby Rydell, ‘Linda Sue Dixon’ by Mitch Ryder, ‘Strange Pleasure’ by Jimmie Vaughan, ‘Giant Steps’ by John Coltrane and ‘The Hard Stuff’ by Wayne Kramer. 

RB: A message for the Vicious Kitten readers/Klondike fans out there……..
CM: We are all here for a purpose, which I don’t pretend to know. I do know that once we get off our asses and do things, anything, anytime, and lots of it, life gets really weird and interesting and I suspect we get closer to finding out what that purpose may be. Work hard. Play hard. Have fun for cryin’ out loud !