AU ABROAD

the AU review: Peter 'Maz' Maslen of Boom Crash Opera (Melbourne) on the band's return to the live stage!

Boom Crash Opera are legends of the Australian touring scene. They've recently released a greatest hits record in The Best Things, which features two brand new tunes, as well as a four album box set in Rattle It Out for fans to get around! The band will be on the road from March right into May and to tell us more, Peter 'Maz' Maslen takes on some questions!

There’s a stack of tour dates coming up for you guys – which is awesome to see! Are you looking forward to getting out on the road with this greatest hits collection?

Yes, but it’s not just the hits...We have two albums currently in the marketplace in which to choose songs for a live show! The Best Things (greatest hits with two brand new tracks) and Rattle It Out a 4 x disc compilation (first three studio albums plus an album called The Lost Things which is made up of rarities) - so we will concentrate on playing a mix of both, mainly the hits of course, but 'rarities' as well. They’re songs that, although never made it onto an album, define the bands' journey over the last 29 years. It's a bit like an old jacket you’ve kept in the cupboard and you’re waiting for that time you can wear it again. Fortunately, everyone in the band is still very actively performing, so when Boom Crash Opera does a show, it comes together very fast. After a couple of 'warm-ups' the band is cookin'!

Can you tell me a bit about how it was decided that this collection of music would be put together?

Our recordings reverted back to our ownership after being in mothballs for years. We had been chatting about re-mastering and releasing them again. Everyone dug deep to find what they had lying around. We met and played all of the songs and made the decision which ones to keep and which ones to cull. With so much repertoire, we had to be brutal... If we thought it was crap, out it went!

There’s two new songs in the mix as well – what was it like getting in the studio and laying these ones down? I imagine there would have been a definite reignited love for doing it, especially with Boom Crash Opera!

Yes, the band is very comfortable in a studio. It's a great way to craft and create. There’s also lots of fun, frivolity, jokes and cups of tea! To mitigate costs, a lot was prepared at home in Peter Farnan’s studio and we merely use a recording studio to track the drums. The entire process wasn't seamless. Pete struggled with balancing the tracks and getting the right parts to work together, but such is his gift for songwriting, he pulled it all off really well!!

The tour kicks off with a hometown gig in Melbourne – what is exciting you most about starting things off this way? What is a standout memory you have from starting out in Melbourne back in the day?

Yes, the Northcote Social Club on Saturday, 08 March (my birthday)... It's local, small and well known. For us, it’s seminal. The band 'grew up' in inner-city Melbourne in the mid-80’s when people went out and saw bands. We were frequent performers at 'The Club' in Collingwood (as was all the great bands of that period)...Cheap beer, black hair, red lipstick, synth music, haircuts, shoulder pads, Doc Martens and big hang-overs .. fun times!

Obviously, this collection is going to resonate with a lot of fans – your music will have been a soundtrack to some pretty important memories/moments to many no doubt! I have enough trouble keeping track of the week, let alone a year – for you, how fast has time felt like its gone?

Yeah, sometimes five years feels like its gone faster than ten. What is strange, but not entirely unreasonable, is a younger generation growing up not knowing who Boom Crash Opera is, yet they will know our songs. Some years ago, we performed with a much younger Melbourne band called Trial Kennedy (now defunct). They are friends of ours, but we are two generations apart. They asked if we would play a gig with them. We went on first to play to 'their' crowd .. at first, it was very hard, but as we played our set, the look on the faces of the younger audience changed with recognition of each BCO songs was played... "Hey, I know that song … and that one too…and this one!" We won them over in the end.

Boom Crash Opera are touring right into May, including performing with Keith Urban at Clipsal 500. Are you big car racing fans?

We have no interest in the car race, or any car race for that matter! The idea of performing in Adelaide to a lot of people however, is of great interest.

Do you have any set plans for the middle of the year, once the tour is wrapped up? What’s on the cards for Boom Crash Opera?

We don't have any plans yet, other than to keep performing while there’s interest and people like what we do! We always manage to have great ideas, but putting them into action takes a great deal of time and effort as we all have family and that’s our main priority!

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BOOM CRASH OPERA TOUR DATES

Sunday 2 March – Clipsal 500 w/- Keith Urban – Adelaide, SA
Saturday 8 March – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 9 March – Motor City Music Festival – Geelong, VIC
Saturday 22 March – A Day on the Green w/- Jimmy Barnes – Bimbadgen Hunter Valley, NSW
Friday 28 March – Lone Star Tavern – Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 29 March – Racehorse Hotel – Ipswich, QLD
Sunday 30 March – A Day on the Green w/- Jimmy Barnes – Sirromet, QLD
Thursday 3 April – The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
Friday 4 April – Terrey Hills Tavern, Sydney NSW
Saturday 5 April – Taren Point Hotel, Sydney NSW
Saturday 3 May – Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide SA