Violent Soho is a rock band not from New York or London, but Brisbane, Australia. The band name has nothing to do with their location, but rather a Rancid song called “Ruby Soho”. Though America is just now getting to know the band via various rock shows along with their recent run on 30 Seconds To Mars’ “Into The Wild” tour, Violent Soho have been playing together since 2004. When StarShine sat down with the band backstage at Atlantic City’s House of Blues, we were able to get an inside glimpse at the struggles of making it as a band from another country.
“It’s near impossible for most bands from Australia to come over to the U.S.,” drummer Michael Richards told us, stating that’s mostly due to Visa complications. “That’s something we always wanted to be able to do. We were lucky enough to get picked up by a label and booking agent over [in America].” The band’s debut album made their dreams come true by being released worldwide in March 2010. Not only did they get to tour the U.S., but famed producer Gil Norton made the record with them.
Lead singer Luke Boerdem tells us the themes of their self-titled debut album are their shared frustrations about religion and growing up in their town, and their love for the same music. Violent Soho’s first single, “Jesus Stole My Girlfriend” reached #21 on the U.S. Alternative charts. With their second single “Muscle Junkie”, the band is hoping the video will take off. “We wanted to give the opportunity to put people in a video who normally don’t get asked to be in videos,” explains guitarist James Tidswell. “Instead of Britney look-a-likes having no clothes on, we wanted to have normal people and celebrate being normal and hating on people who strive for perfection in the looks department just to be in some sh*tty music video.”
The band feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to tour with 30 Seconds To Mars, who is one of the big names in rock music right now. StarShine wondered if Violent
Violent Soho performing live at the House of Blues in Atlantic City on September 4, 2010.
Soho received any good advice from Jared and the boys. “To preserve your looks,” James began. “Eat really good food and ride your bicycle after a show,” he laughed as the band discussed how Jared Leto stays in such great shape. “And don’t drink,” Boerdem added.
“Jared does an hour and a half show every night and then rides his bike an hour a day,” Michael says. “We do a half hour show and then we’re f*cked,” James then laughed.
Aside from Jared Leto’s healthy lifestyle, Violent Soho explained how it was just inspiring to see how far 30 Seconds To Mars has come. “They explained to us how they’ve been together since 1997. It’s good for us to see how long it takes to get where they are. In Australia, it happens a lot quicker or it’s not going to happen. It just goes to show you that you can do it,” James said positively.
In the future, Violent Soho would love to tour with some of their favorite bands like Against Me!, Blink-182, Paramore and The Melvins—who the quiet drummer Luke Henery added to the mix. “He’s the punk one,” James teased before he joked that they’d like to tour with Justin Bieber.
We ended our interview with the band by asking our signature question: what song would they dedicate to their fans? Their answer: “Rise Above” by Black Flag. “It’s what we want to inspire in people. Taking what’s given to you and rising above,” explains James.
StarShine was with the band up until they hit the House of Blues stage to a sold-out crowd. Our impression: Violent Soho knows how to mix professionalism, art and a whole lot of fun. They’re fairly mellow before the show and then hit the stage like a thrashing hurricane that’s reminiscent of the ‘90s grunge era. If you like true rock-alternative music without all of the fluff that’s being produced nowadays, go to iTunes and download this Aussie import!