It’s been quite some time since Airbourne have played to a UK audience and capitalising on their Ramblin’ Man appearance, Scotland and Wales were treated to a couple of headline dates as the band get back on the road in anticipation of their new album, Breakin’ Outta Hell. Beforehand, I got the chance to speak with David Roads, Joel O’Keeffe’s sparring partner. Compared to being onstage, he’s far more laidback and far less sweaty. He’s eager to be playing to audiences once more, discussing old touring mates and what’s in store for the band.
Welcome to Edinburgh! You’ve played Glasgow numerous times but have you played here in the “other side”?
Uh…no, not for a long time, anyhow. I think we might have done Dundee a long time ago. It’s the first time back in Edinburgh for quite a while, I think the last time we played might have been the Edinburgh Tea Party Festival or something…it’s been quite a while!
You’ve recently gotten back on the road, how’s it going so far?
Yeah, pretty good! Tonight’s about the tenth show in. It’s been about a year since we last played. It’s just all about getting the fitness levels back up and all that. We seem to be back on the money now with fitness, I think. It’s been going really well; the shows have been good, we’ve been to Russia already done a couple of festivals so it’s all going good.
You played at Ramblin’ Man at the weekend, how did that go?
Yeah, that was good! Good fun, it’s a good festival. We sort of got in trouble for doing the whole climbing thing again…which always happens! But it’s part of the show but it was good to be part of a new festival, too.
Breakin’ Outta Hell is the new album. What can you tell us about it?
We recorded it in Melbourne this time; back home. It was good to be working with Bob Marlette again, he did Runnin’ Wild; he came out and produced it. We had Mike Fraser come in to engineer and mix it, he’s renowned for a lot of AC/DC stuff. It was really good fun working with those guys. The vibe of the album went down really well, the tones of it, sonically, sound amazing. I feel every song got the right amount of attention during pre-production so nothing was rushed. As a final product, we’re really happy with it.
I remember reading about a year ago Mutt Lange was to be producing it but that obviously wasn’t the case. Was there ever any truth to that?
Nah…probably just bullshit! [laughs]
Have you thought about releasing a live album or DVD?
Yeah, we’re looking at doing something, probably soon, actually. We’ve been collecting footage, lots of stuff over the last few years. A guy called Matt Stocks who we’ve done a lot of press with, he was getting a documentary together of a lot of stuff. We were actually originally going to release it a couple of years ago but it just got delayed so now we’ve decided to save it for this album cycle and we’re going to add a lot more. So there’ll be a lot of Black Dog Barking tour cycle footage on there mixed with a lot of this new stuff so there will definitely be something in the works soon.
Who has been the most memorable band to tour with?
Iron Maiden was pretty good. We’ve played with a lot of rad bands. I’ve gotta say Motörhead; Lemmy really took us under his wing, he was really good to us when we did a few tours with those guys. We had the honour of him appearing in our video for “Runnin’ Wild”. Sometimes when we were on tour with them, he’d invite us into their band room and tell us old Motörhead stories and things about the industry; he was very humble like that. That was a real honour, supporting Motörhead. Iron Maiden were another great band to play with, we did a short tour with them a few years ago around the UK. They’re a great bunch of guys and a great crew; a good band to tour with.
You’re out on tour in Europe with Volbeat and Crobot soon; that should be a hell of a night for anyone going.
Yeah, that’ll be really good! That starts in mid-October, that’ll be a great arena tour. I thin we’re on the road for nearly a month with those guys and that’ll lead into our own headline tour after that. Volbeat; we’ve played with them before, they’re a good band and we seem to work well together. It should be fun supporting those guys in arenas.
Shortly after which, you’re back here doing a pretty big tour including the Barrowlands!
Yeah, I think this will be our third or fourth time playing there. It’s a great venue; I’m looking forward to that. That headline tour should finish the year off.
Is there anywhere you’re hoping to play that you haven’t played already?
Nothing really springs to mind…just try to get everywhere, really; keep everyone happy! Obviously there’ll be more shows next year, a lot of touring and coming back to do all the festivals, more headline touring later in the year. Nothing’s locked in yet but it should all be getting finalised soon-ish.