The scrappy upstarts from Warrnambool – a country town about 3 hours from Melbourne, announced their arrival with 2007’s Runnin’ Wild, one of the most talked-about and best-reviewed debuts in recent hard rock history. Having won a Golden Gods Award for Best Debut Album and Classic Rock rightly hailed them Best New Band. Airbourne further marked their territory with the jaw-dropping follow up No Guts. No Glory cracking the Top 40 in the UK, the Top 20 in Australia and Billboard’s Top 200.
After unrelenting global touring that included co-headlining the legendary Wacken Festival, 2013 brought the critically acclaimed Black Dog Barking into the world. The album reached #5 in Germany, Top 20 across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand; and Top 30 in Canada and the U.K.
Black Dog Barking brought a sound was packed with the type of hard-working blue-collar riffs that would give AC/DC a run for their money back in their heyday. After hundreds of shows, and hundreds of thousands of miles travelled on the road, Airbourne are ready for the next chapter: Breakin’ Outta Hell.
“We had a few big nights,” Joel says, wistfully. “And when we drink, we really do get so excited and crazy and just do stupid shit, like jumping off hotel roofs into swimming pools and that sort of stuff. You wake up the next day with the hangover from hell, and somebody says we need to ‘Thin The Blood’. Ah, great! Another song title there. Get yourself a hair of the dog, get back into it, get your mojo working again.”
The song which most vividly sums up the immortal, feel-good spirit of the album is the closing cut, ‘It’s All For Rock N’ Roll’, a number inspired by the late, great Lemmy.
Airbourne’s wild image and full-tilt approach tends to disguise the attention to detail that goes into every aspect of their music and performance. The original line-up has held together through thick and thin, and however far they push out the boat, they take great care to ensure that their nights of excess do not interfere with their ability to put on a top show.
Airbourne’s reputation as a live act is already legendary. With a wall of Marshall cabinets piled high and wide behind them, they put on a show that is as exhilarating as it is immense. Now that a generation of hard rock legends is nearing the end of the road and playing their final tours, Airbourne is more ready than ever to step up to the plate. Whether diving into the crowd or free-climbing the rigging, Joel is a frontman without fear.
Airbourne will play The Academy, June 6th.
Tickets will go on sale this Friday, November 9th at 10am from Ticketmaster outlets, Sound Cellar and Ticketmaster.ie
All photography: © Down The Barrel Photography 2016
© OVERDRIVE 2016