A couple of days ago, I had the chance to sit down and have a chat with Australian rockers, Black Aces before their show in Glasgow. After a warm welcome from the guys, I asked them how their tour with Massive and the Tequila Byrds was going.
“It’s been good. We’ve had a real good reception and we’ve been selling quite a lot of merch!” remarks frontman Tyler. “ We’re looking forward to this evening, but not looking forward to hauling all the gear downstairs!” guitarist Jazz adds.
With regards to the response to their most recent album, Shot in the Dark, the band agreed that the response had been very positive. “Most of the songs we’ve been playing are off the new album, and people seem to be really digging it,” says Pete. “People have really been eating it up. All the tracks from the album that we’ve been playing have been getting a great response” adds Tyler.
In contrast with the other 2 bands on the tour, the guys are heading back to Australia instead of relocating to Europe/UK. “The idea was to come over here, make a bit of a footprint for ourselves and get a following. Then we’ll go home, record another album and come back next year. We’ll then keep doing that until we have a big enough following” Tyler explains. “It’s a tough thing to do. You don’t want to dive in too prematurely as that can cripple a band financially” adds drummer Pete.
“That said, hats off to the other two bands for being willing to do that. But, we know what we want to do and we want to make a killer record. We’ve got around 20 songs already written so there’s going to be a lot of chopping and changing!” mentions Jazz.
The topic of crowd funding then comes up and it’s something that the band are no strangers to doing. “We actually did that for this tour. Just a small one for a extra bit of spending money” mentions Tyler. “We played pretty much any gig we could get and worked really hard to fill the coffers a little bit. $1000 dollars each on a plane ticket is not cheap!” adds Jazz.
I then ask the band what sort gear they use in terms of drum kits, amps and guitars. “The main guitar amps we’re using are Marshall JCM 2000’s with DSL’s. I use Gibson SG’s but I’ve been using the specials one I have and the standard one as the back-up,” says Tyler. “I just use a Fender P-Bass. No tricks, just keep it simple. I use Aidan’s [Massive bassists] Orange bass rig and it ways a ton. It’s a bloody pain to lug around!” adds bassist Alex.
“It’s Massive’s kit we’re using on this tour which is a Ludwig p-tone I think. I normally use Sonar drums, from whom I’ve got a custom kit. I think it has got maple shells.. I hit it hard and it makes a noise so that suits me!” remarks Pete.
With regards to what’s next for the Aces, frontman Tyler explains: “After this run with Massive and the T-Byrds, we have our own tour in Germany, Spain and France. We’ve got a couple of shows slotted in in Holland as well, and then after that’s done we come back to the UK. We play Sheffiled, Hard Rock Hell and then Bolton. After all that’s done, we head back to Australia. We’re probably going to do like a home coming tour when we get back and then we’ll get stuck into the new album.” All very busy then!
Finally, I ask the boys what advice they can give to new bands. “Work hard” says Tyler. “And be willing to have to go through some real bullshit. You’ve got to write the songs, play the shows, write the songs, play the shows etc. You can’t let it break you. The only way you’ll get better is by continually playing and writing.” “You need to make sure everyone is on the same page,” adds drummer Pete. “Otherwise, it’ll be like having two people trying to drive in two separate directions which is not good.”
Thanks to Valeria at Duff for organising the interview and thanks to Tyler, Pete, Jazz and Alex for chatting with me. I really rather enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you guys again soon!