Like all great things in the world, Ablaze started out as an idea over beers at the local pub back in 2010, intent on rocking out and partying hard.
Fast forward eight years and their time performing covers is well and truly over. With a hunger to write their own music and a couple of lineup changes, they’ve since been cutting their teeth in any place that had a stage and would let them play, released a debut single in 2014, followed it up with an EP in mid 2016 and now they’re seeing out 2018 with a new single, a stack of shows and their forthcoming debut album.
Drawing influences from bands like ACDC, Rose Tattoo and Screaming Jets, drummer Dan ‘Mango’ Mangano explains how all five of the passionate and dedicated band members contribute to creating the riff driven, big balled, hard rock Ablaze sound.
“We all have very, very different influences and they all come together as the common middle ground around those bands that I mentioned. It doesn’t matter if we write something a bit more rockabilly, or celtic feel, or a straight out rock song, it always sounds like us.
“Everybody writes for each other as well; no one’s too princessy about writing their own parts and their parts only. But we do have a habit of doing 95 per cent of the writing in a very short period of time and then spending the next massive period of time arguing about it,” he continues, referring to their collaborative writing process. “There’s a couple of perfectionists and there’s a lot of Italians so there’s a lot of yelling but it’s a good thing,” he laughs, “It means everyone’s passionate, everybody’s invested.”
It’s their high octane single ‘Just A Taste’ that’s just set fire to the Australian hard rock scene which Mangano confesses is all about telling someone to fuck off.
“For us, it’s more of a reflection of people within the music industry who try to stand over you and try to say ‘we’re better than you’ or ‘you don’t deserve this’. And it’s us saying, ‘no we are, we’re here, this is us, get stuffed’.”
But is this Ablaze’s way of sharing ‘a taste’ of what’s to come from their forthcoming album?
“The whole album’s not about telling people to fuck off,” he laughs, “That song for us is just a surge of energy; and one of the happy accidents was that it actually is ‘just a taste’ of what’s happening with this album.
“It will tell us what they really like about the band, whether it’s the energy, the fun – we always have a lot of fun performing, we jump around like idiots – the big vocal harmonies, guitar solos, or bass grooves. This is everything we love doing, and it’s all in this one track. There’s a hint of where we’re at, what’s coming and what you can expect from the other 11 songs on the album.”
With a collection of songs in their back pocket for the last couple of years, the boys have dedicated the last year to fine-tuning their writing, just recently wrapped recording with industry legend Ricki Rae at Lighthill Sound (Tequila Mockingbyrd, Electric Mary). It’s clear, Ablaze have the tunes ready, their livers prepped and lessons learned and are ready to light up the stage with their upcoming nine date tour.
“We love writing and we love recording, but, they’re all so stressful,” he beams. “For us, it’s always about the live stuff. It’s being there with the punters in front of us, jumping around, having fun, meeting people, having a few drinks, having a few more drinks, and just shaking off the cobwebs from writing and recording business mode. This is why we busted our ass for as long as we did to get this stuff out; that for us, is the ultimate.”
When & Where: Music Man Megastore, Bendigo – August 17, Rockstar Bar, Frankston – August 24 & Mojo’s Pool Hall, Ballarat – September 7.
Written by Talia Rinaldo