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Rugged, explosive, full-tilt Aussie rock & roll – Jackson Firebird have it in spades. Mildura garage rockers Dale Hudak and Brendan Harvey have delivered one hell of a mighty wallop in the form of Cock Rockin’, the duo’s high-octane debut. Set for release on June 8th, this is 10 tracks of scorching garage rock: growling guitars, dirty riffs, and super tight beats, hits delivered not just from a kit but via a mic’d up, upside down ‘bottle bin’. Raised in regional VIC on a diet of Back In Black, Elvis, Spiderbait, the Easybeats and Gunners, the lads behind Cock Rockin’ will leave you wild-eyed and breathless before opener “Cock Rockin’” is done. Make no mistake: Jackson Firebird take no prisoners.
Crediting a childhood music teacher for spoon-feeding him a diet country music, Hudak received his first drum kit at age seven, after bashing endlessly on his parent’s coffee table. Harvey picked up the guitar at 13, befriending his future band-mate years later, when a teenage outfit he was playing bass in opted to head to Adelaide to record a few of their demos. The recording session went awry after their drummer failed to show up for the 4am drive. “Dale got an early call, we threw him in the car, and taught him the songs on the way to the studio,” Harvey chuckles. “And that was the start of us playing together!”
Away from the musical influences of a major city, Jackson Firebird were left to their own devices to uncover their future sound: dirty rock that gets straight to it. “Mildura was a great place for us to evolve musically,” says Hudak. “That whole isolation aspect – there wasn't much of a live scene, just cover bands.”
Harvey and Hudak first got to work years ago, jamming just for fun out back of a local bakery, quite handily owned, thank you, by Hudak’s family. “You’d have your chocolate éclairs and a huge fridge you could put a six-pack in; we’d go in, grab some donuts and keep jamming,” Hudak laughs. “It was pretty laid back. No neighbours, right in the middle of town.” Every Tuesday the lads plugged in, and soon enough locals were coming into the shop to enquire just who that was they could hear out back...
Skip forward to 2006, and armed with a swag of brand new songs (including album track “She Said”) Jackson Firebird was officially born. Gigs at local pub the Sandbar were frequent. At a pal’s buck’s party, while Harvey wailed on guitar Hudak couldn’t resist slapping on the barrels and corrugated iron lying around them. “Being the tapper as you are, you had to start bashing on something,” Harvey chides him. “Couldn't sit by the fire and do nothing!” The pair realised they were onto something. The next day they grabbed a plastic bottle bin and a cake tray, mic’d them up, and got to work. Jackson Firebird had found their sound.
“As soon as I jumped on the bottle bin, it had such a straight up ‘bass/snare/bass/snare’ thing going on, with a lot of energy,” Hudak remembers. “Straight away that really helped certain songs evolve. We started putting a bit of a trash element into our songs – they were really quite fast, and I got a heap more out of playing them. I’d walk off-stage ten times sweatier and sore!”
Soon after, there were gigs in Adelaide, and then the east coast. The band hit the road, and have since played alongside You Am I, King Cannons, the Snowdroppers, Little Birdy and the Fumes. After a meeting with their personal hero, Kram, the legendary thumper jumped up onstage with the duo for a blistering hit (check it on YouTube). In early 2008, the pair recorded a five-track EP, which included first single and live favourite “Bottle Bin”. Two killer visits to Byron’s prestigious Bluesfest sealed their fans, while this May the pair will head to the UK, having landed a slot at The Great Escape festival.
Now, there’s this: Cock Rockin’, 10 killer tracks which perfectly capture the band’s no-holds-barred live show, recorded in Adelaide with engineer/producer Mick Wordley at Mixmasters studio. Laid down in various sessions over a 12 month period, for their debut Jackson Firebird had one aim: to capture their volatile live power on tape.
“Jackson Firebird is all about the live show,” insists Harvey. “We knew Mick was a live sound guru with tape experience, and we wanted to keep the recording as honest as possible. He knew where to mic the room to get the garage-y sounds we wanted, or where to put them if we wanted a clean take.” No frills, nothing fancy: just straight up, 12 bar lovin’ rock & roll.
Want tales of a five-foot-two hustler with a really large wang? That’s first single “Quan Dang”. Balls-out breakdowns about break-ups? Try “Sweet Elouise”. Anthemic, ‘50s inspired rockers – check “Can Roll”. Breakneck, freight train garage rock? See title track “Cock Rockin’”. Jackson Firebird want you to let your hair down and get your fists in the air. “If Beavis and Butthead were to watch us on TV, we would hope they would end up head-banging!” reckons Hudak, of lines like, “Sweet as the centre of a crème brulee” (“Can Roll”). “We don't take ourselves too seriously, but we really love what we do. It’s all about putting on a rockin’ live show!”
“We feel the whole album has been stripped back to bare bones,” says Hudak, when asked about naming the album after the explosive title track. “We have nothing to hide and the ‘let it all hang out’ title sums up best what we’re about, both onstage and musically. No shame, stripped back, simple, dirty, in-your-face rock & roll.”
“I often watch a lot of bands and they run on pedal boards probably about as big as my car,” Harvey jokes, of Jackson Firebird’s fat and distorted, yet stripped back, unconventional set-up – bottle bin and all. “There's such a simple element to all the songs and our music. Dale’s kit is really simple: one cymbal, snare, bass drum and two floor toms. Everything about our music is straight up.”
“It was chaos distilled in a whisky bottle and poured all over the stage...” summed up The Brag in Nov 2011. Now it’s time to see for yourself. Hold on for the ride and turn it up loud: with Cock Rockin’, Jackson Firebird has landed.
Brendan Harvey - Guitar & Vocals
Dale Hudak - Drums, Bottle Bin & Vocals
Cock Rockin' - 2012
Shake The Breakdown - 2015
Adrenaline Fueled Aussie Rock n Roll !!!
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