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Airbourne (band)

Airbourne is an Australian hard rock band originating from Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, where they gained a steady following with their hard rock sound. The band list their influences as bands such as Rose Tattoo, AC/DC, Motorhead, Status Quo, The Angels and other rock 'n' roll bands.

History

Formation (2003)

The band was formed in 2003 by the brothers Joel and Ryan O'Keeffe. Joel picked up his first guitar at the age of 11 and Ryan had his first drum kit at the same age with Joel being 15 at the time. It took the brothers several years to find like minded musicians with the same taste for making Rock 'N' Roll music in their hometown. Joel was introduced to guitarist David Roads when the two worked at the Hotel Warrnambool. Bringing their guitars to work and, after their shifts, jamming on song ideas, Dave was soon asked to join the O’Keeffe brothers for a jam at their house. Bassist Justin Street completed the picture in 2003, when Ryan ran into him while stumbling home drunk from a party one night. As it turned out his new mate played bass, and was interested in jamming with a band that were looking to move to Melbourne. Finally, Airbourne was born.

Ready To Rock (2003–2006)

Airbourne's independent eight track EP Ready to Rock, recorded with Adam Jakobson on bass, was released in 2004. In early 2005, the band relocated to Melbourne. Later that year, the band signed a five album record deal with Capitol Records and have since supported Mötley Crüe, Motörhead and The Rolling Stones, as well as playing in several summer music festivals.

Runnin' Wild (2006–2008)

In 2006 Airbourne relocated to the States to begin work on their first international studio album, Runnin' Wild, with legendary producer Bob Marlette. Runnin' Wild was released in Australia on 23 June 2007. Three singles were released from the album, "Runnin' Wild", "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast", a playable track on Guitar Hero; World Tour and "Diamond In The Rough". On 19 February 2007, Capitol Records cancelled their record contract with Airbourne, but the album was still released in Australia through EMI. The band has now signed with Roadrunner Records for distribution throughout the rest of the world. Amongst all the overseas hype, Airbourne still failed to be played on any of the major Australian Radio networks until 2010.

On September 2, 2008, MetalSucks had an exclusive interview with Joel O’Keeffe. On the issue with vast comparisons to AC/DC, Joel said, "Oh, mate, in this day and age, whoever you are when you come out, especially if you’re from Australia and you sound like we do, you’re going to get compared to anyone who is out there. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are going to get compared to somebody. To be compared to the best rock and roll band in the business, who are still going today and are about to release another album, there is no higher compliment..." On Friday 28 November at the Astoria in London, Dan Hawkins (Stone Gods/The Darkness) joined Airbourne on stage to play AC/DC classic Whole Lotta Rosie. Hawkins played Joel's guitar (white Gibson Explorer) while Joel sung without playing guitar.

No Guts, No Glory (2009–present)

After an interview with Airbourne's rhythm guitarist, David Roads, he confirmed the band would be entering the studio at the end of January 2009 to work on new material. In the January 17th issue of Kerrang! magazine, Joel O' Keeffe revealed that the band had begun writing the record in the Criterion Hotel, the very pub they played their first gigs in their home town of Warnambool. "We're getting all our gear plugged in and getting set for Aussie pub rock written in an Aussie rock pub!", stated Joel. The song "Heads Are Gonna Roll" (featured on a special edition of Runnin' Wild) was expected to be on the next album, but is not.

A new song, "Born To Kill" was played for the first time live at the Logan Campbell Centre, Auckland, New Zealand on October 7, 2009. The song was the first new material to be played live since 2008, indicating it may appear on the new album. On Tuesday, the 19th of January 2010, another new song, "No Way But The Hard Way" was played on the BBC Radio 1 Rock show, and as the first single to the album it was made available on iTunes on February 9, 2010.

The new album, called No Guts. No Glory., was released in 2010 on March 8 (UK, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia & New Zealand) and then on April 20 (USA).

Songs in other media

A big part of Airbourne's growing success is the exposure they have gained in other media - most notably, video games. Airbourne has provided some of their music to add to the soundtracks of the following games:

  • Burnout Paradise - "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" (Edited)
  • Guitar Hero World Tour and NASCAR 09 - "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast"
  • Battlefield: Bad Company, Madden NFL 08, NHL 09 and NASCAR 09 - "Runnin' Wild"
  • Rock Band/Rock Band 2 - "Runnin' Wild" (as downloadable content)
  • NASCAR 08, NHL 08, Medal of Honor: Airborne and Madden NFL 09 - "Stand Up For Rock 'N Roll"
  • Need For Speed: ProStreet and NFL Tour - "Blackjack"
  • Need For Speed: Undercover and Tony Hawk's Proving Ground - "Girls in Black"
  • Skate – "Let's Ride"
  • WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2009 and WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 - "Turn Up The Trouble"
  • Madden NFL 10 - "Heads are Gonna Roll"

Another place Airbourne have gained exposure over the past year is in the WWE. Their song, "Stand Up For Rock And Roll", was the official theme song for WWE's Royal Rumble 2008. They also perform a version of Mr. Kennedy's entrance theme "Turn Up The Trouble" which has replaced Jim Johnston's original version.

In the movie The Lost Boys: The Tribe, a sequel to the original Lost Boys, the song "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" is played in the car as Chris and Nicole drive to their new house. The song is also used in the trailer to the 2009 comedy I Love You Beth Cooper.

The song "Let's Ride" appears in the 2008 film College.

The song "Diamond in the Rough" is constantly used during Network Seven's coverage of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Members

  • Joel O'Keeffe - Lead vocals, Lead guitar
  • Ryan O'Keeffe - Drums, Percussion
  • David Roads - Rhythm guitar, Backup vocals
  • Justin Street - Bass guitar, Backup vocals

The guitarists use Gibson Explorers, Gibson SGs (Joel owns a 2007 Antique Ebony '61 Reissue SG) and Marshall Amps, Kerry King JCM800's without the 'Beast' section activated. They also sometimes use DSL 100, Handwired Marshall Plexi reissues and some JMP Mk. 2's with their main instruments. Bassist Justin Street uses primarily Fender Precision Basses.

Joel is one of the characters in the book Sex Tips from Rock Stars by Paul Miles to be published by Omnibus Press in July 2010..

Discography

Albums

  • Runnin' Wild (2007) (#21 AUS)
  • No Guts. No Glory. (2010) (#4 GERMANY) (#9 NZ) (#19 AUS) (#31 UK) (#11 SWE) (#90 US)

Live albums

  • Live At the Playroom (EP) (2007)

EPs

  • Ready to Rock (2004)

Singles

YearSongChart PositionsAlbum
U.S.
Main.
Rock
CAN
2007"Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast"1673Runnin' Wild
"Runnin' Wild"2290
2008"Diamond In The Rough"
2010"No Way but the Hard Way"29No Guts. No Glory.
"Blonde, Bad And Beautiful"