Who are you? Where y’all from? And what’s your deal? I am Dan, the drummer, and we are Ablaze! We are 5 blokes from Melbourne who love to play some rock ‘n’ roll, have a beer and a party and not take ourselves too seriously.
How long have you been playing together? Myself, Ben and Matt all went to high school together so we’ve been playing music together for a while, even if originally Ben and I were on Saxophone! On our current instruments, we’ve been playing together since 2010, with Danny and Dave joining in on the fun along the way. The current line-up has been going for about 18 months now.
Who plays what instrument? Danny Slaviero is on lead vocals, Ben Anderson is the lead guitarist, Matt Dynon is on rhythm guitar, Dave Knight is the bass slinger and I hit stuff with sticks.
How did ABLAZE come to be? Sitting in a pub, listening to an average-as-hell cover band absolutely murder ‘Run to Paradise’ and thinking ‘SURELY we can do better than this’ – and then had an ‘Oh Shit’ moment and went ‘well maybe we should.’ That was early 2010. Originally the three of us had played and jammed together during high school but now we were getting together once a week with some other mates and it was coming together nicely. Few random covers together and we had the lightning-bolt moment where we said ‘you know what? Playing other people’s songs is getting boring. Let’s try writing a song!’ – and the rest is history.
Where’d the band name come from? We’ve had a few names over the years. From ‘Fighting the Storm’ to ‘Edge’ and finally Ablaze. The name doesn’t really have a cool backstory; we just kind of came up with a big list of possible band names that sounded cool and Ablaze was the only decent one that wasn’t already taken. I wish it was a cooler story but there you go!
When penning down tunes, what comes first, the music or the lyrics? It depends on the song. Sometimes we’ll have a whole song’s worth of music and have to then put lyrics down. Sometimes myself or Danny will already have an almost complete set of lyrics sitting in our phones that fits it. Sometimes we have verse music but chorus lyrics and we kind of work them around each other – I don’t think we’ve ever done the same thing twice to be honest!
You have just released your latest single “Just a Taste”, how’s it feel to have it out and about for the world to hear? After spending the better part of two years writing, jamming, practicing, recording, mixing, mastering and everything else it feels AMAZING to finally get it out to everyone and get you all ready for the album. After all the business and admin-type stuff it’s going to be awesome to get back out and do what we love – playing as many gigs as we can in as many places as possible and having a beer or 11 with everyone afterwards.
I noticed a subtle ‘stick it to the man’ vibe in the music video and tour artwork. What’s the message behind your new music? The song is very much a stick-it-to-the-man type of track, but there is a lot of variety on the album. The fun stuff, the emotional stuff, the heavy stuff, the light stuff, and all the right stuff! But the root of it all is making it’s all fun. Our live shows have to be fun for us and fun for you. That’s priority #1.
Talk us through the recording process of your new album: The album was recorded at Lighthill Sound Recording in Riddells Creek with the master himself, Mr. Ricki Rae. We did a two-week stint up there early in the year where all the drums, all of ‘Just a Taste’ and a few other bits and pieces were recorded, and then we went back a month or so later and did a bigger stint to get it all done. As always, it takes longer than you think it will, but the final result is bigger and better than we ever could have imagined. Ricki knows how to get the absolute best out of all of us, and really works with us to take every song to the next level.
Thoughts on the Australian music industry? Anything you would like to see changed? The Australian Music Industry today is certainly an interesting one. It all depends which part of it you’re in. Speaking from the Hard/Pub/Classic/Party Rock sort of area that we sort of fit into, a lot of people seem happy sitting at home listening to the same CD from 30 years ago, there is almost no support from commercial radio and a lot of people are disheartened with it. I’d love to see more people going to gigs; not just the punters, but bands too. If everyone in a rock band here went to a gig once a week, there’d be a LOT more punters around. Just going to your own gig (or in some cases, your own set) is just not good enough. No one’s going to support a scene that doesn’t support itself.
What kind of music do you guys listen to? Any Albury/Wodonga bands? We all have very varied music tastes. At the moment I’ve been listening to a lot of local stuff. Albums and EPs by bands like Darcee Fox, Dangerous Curves, SheWolF, Massive and Atomic Riot have been getting a lot of rotation at my place – and of course, in terms of Albury musicians, IDLE FRET’s album ‘Reborn’ hasn’t left my car since it was released, what a cracker of a CD! I’ve also been going back and listening to music I haven’t listened too for years, just to see where it sits with me now. Racer X, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Mr. Big and Diesel getting a bit of a spin as well. And the regulars of course – AC/DC, Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, Alter Bridge and The Darkness are bands I need to listen to regularly!
What advice would you pass on to the next generation of rock n rollers? Listen to as many people’s advice as possible, and use it to foRm an idea of how you want to go about things. Don’t just follow one path because someone told you it was the only way, because it’s probably not. But don’t be pigheaded either – if you want to take things seriously there’s a lot of business stuff to do, and when it comes to recording and releasing music, there can be a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’. Don’t be in a rush to release everything the second it’s ready. GET A PR PERSON. In Australia right now, PR is more important than a label.
What can Albury/Wodonga punters expect from an ABLAZE show? Big riffs, thumping drums, a spinning bassist, screaming guitar solos, beer, stupidity and a LOT of fun. What’s next for ABLAZE? After the ‘Just a Taste’ Single Tour, we’ll be all sights locked on the album launch, and then be touring that for the rest of the year. Lots more in store VERY soon!
ABLAZE will be supporting legendary Albury rockers LEDD ASPRIN at the SS&A Club, Albury, Saturday August 11th – 18+ event, FREE entry, 9pm start: This will be LEDD ASPRIN’s LAST and FINAL show – DO NOT MISS THIS.