THE LIVING END FRONTMAN WILL RELEASE HIS DEBUT SOLO ALBUM ON 17 JUNE
THE LEAD SINGLE ‘CALIFORNIA’ IS OUT NOW, ALONG WITH A VIDEO
DIRECTED BY NICK MCKINLAY
The Living End frontman and guitarist Chris Cheney launches his debut solo project with the release of ‘California’, a love letter to the city of Los Angeles. ‘California’ is the first taste of his forthcoming album The Storm Before The Calm, due out June 17.
Written in his Melbourne garage during the world’s longest lockdown, ‘California’ is an ode to a place that Cheney called home for nine years, before the pandemic thrust him and his family back home to Melbourne.
“Australia will always be home. We do have the best of everything here,” Cheney says, “but I loved the time I spent in LA and I found it a very inspiring place to be a musician. I had some really amazing experiences where I got to work with and play music alongside some incredible people. LA is just such a buzzing town.”
Stripping back some of the distortion and overdrive we’ve come to expect from The Living End, on ‘California’ Cheney instead evokes a sound somewhere between vintage Tom Petty and The Beach Boys’ ‘California Girls’, letting his voice and lyrics take centre stage, while still managing to sneak a duelling guitar solo in for good measure.
After nine albums and countless incendiary shows across Australia and the globe with his band The Living End, The Storm Before The Calm sees Cheney stepping out on his own for the first time. The album captures him in his songwriting prime, showing a deeper side to the guitar slinging, rock n roll wild man – one that we’ve never seen.
Written and recorded across sessions in Nashville, LA and in his Melbourne garage, The Storm Before The Calm offers an incredibly personal look at the singer-songwriter, as he details his struggles through a personal breakdown, substance abuse, the loss of his father, and the near dissolution of his marriage.
All this is set to a soundtrack more varied than anything Cheney has written before – there’s the new wave power pop on ‘California’, Otis Redding-style, 60s soul on ‘Lost In The Darkness’, gentle balladry on ‘Football Team’, brooding swampiness on ‘Exile’ and of course some southern style barroom boogie thrown in for good measure on ‘Little White Pills’.
“It’s not been an easy road and I’ve wanted to throw the towel in many times, but I knew if I could just finish this album, then I’d have created something special,” Cheney says. “That’s why it feels like a personal triumph for me, not just because I got it finished, and not just because it’s a different album to anything I’ve ever done; but because I think It’s the best album I’ve ever done.”