While on tour in Europe last month, Airbourne sat down with Metal-rules.com to discuss the new album No Guts. No Glory. Released in April, the album packs high energy, whiskey-soaked riffs into 13 rocking tracks.
Drummer Ryan O'Keeffe catches up with the zine to shed some light on what went into it and how it compares to the band's first offering, 2008's Runnin' Wild.
"RUNNIN' WILD was one of the best releases in 2008 and many magazines, including Metal-Rules.com, voted that CD for the album of the year. What kind of expectations do you have for this new NO GUTS.NO GLORY album?
This is the new one. We spent a year making it. So when you do that it's sort of like raising a kid, you're sort of slowing building it. Now it's out, and now we like to let it be its own thing. It's something we've nurtured. Now it’s all or nothing. We leave it to walk on its own two feet and do whatever it does. That being said, let it grow all gangly, whatever it does is what it does. There are no real expectations. We're proud of it. We put it out in the world and people will make their mind up.
Two years ago you won many “newcomer of the year” awards. So how are things different now that you are not a new band anymore?
Now I guess...it's almost in regards to the title of the albums. The first one was RUNNIN' WILD, we were a new band, and now it’s not a new band anymore it’s NO GUTS. NO GLORY. We’re serious, we’re here. We do have our first heavy trailer on this tour where we are going to be touring a lot for the next two years.
Recording wise, how was it different to work on the second album because I think you had lots of old stuff in stock before you recorded RUNNIN' WILD, and now you had only 2 years in between these two albums…so was it any different or more difficult to write songs for this album?
Well we sort of wrote songs on the road and we got a lot of experience from the road so that helped a lot. We gathered influence from the road. The difference was, when we went and played with DIE TOTEN HOSEN in Germany in December after Christmas in 2008, finishing up that RUNNIN' WILD cycle, then on New Year Eve we were on a plane heading back home and on Jan 1 we were home and began pre-production on the second album in a pub. It was the same pub we played our first shows at. It was now closed down, so we just had the key to it. So there we got a lot more influence as well from the old days. We just made songs, and in the evening we’d go to the pub around the corner and drink and bet on horses and do whatever... Have some fish and chips… and just continuously and casually make rock songs. We were so far away from record labels and everything that nobody could get to us so it was just us making rock and roll.
So far all the Airborne songs are written by you and your brother.
How you two actually do your writing together?
Well the riffs are made on the road and we gather what material we have from the road and begin working on ideas for that. John and I work together for the early part of pre-production of getting the songs together, and the lyrics and the riffs…making sure they can be the best they can be. Then we bring the other guys in later on and we sort of take the songs even further. Sometimes me and John go back and refine some new stuff and we all get back together when we’re really pushing to make it a song again. That’s sort of how it works. We setup base camp somewhere and start rocking away.
Tell me something about your new album’s cover art design?
We kind of had the idea about the old kind of action movies where they used to put all the main scenes from the movie on the cover. So we wanted to put the songs on the cover and it was also very important to have it drawn so it looks like a photo, but also looks drawn which is the old school way Drew Cousin did INDIANA JONES, STAR WARS, BACK TO THE FUTURE… all those old movies. We asked Drew if he could do it, and he said “thank you for your offer, but I’m retired.” So we found these two other guys, the Sharp brothers in Australia. We sourced those two guys from Ben Cousins who did our first cover. So pretty much those two brothers just drew it all up and it was great."
Airbourne are currently on the road in the US with Bullet For My Valentine, and will be featured on the Rockstar Energy UPROAR tour later this summer! Go HERE for all dates and ticket information!