Airbourne’s Joel O’Keeffe on Return to Touring, New Album Plans, and AC/DC’s Longevity

"Rock 'n' roll will never die ... it's the best drug you can get"


Airbourne’s Joel O’Keeffe, photo by Amy Harris

    Australian rockers Airbourne returned to North America last year for a late summer / early fall tour. While the band was in Louisville to play the Louder Than Life festival, Heavy Consequence caught up with frontman Joel O’Keeffe.

    After being in lockdown in Australia, the singer-guitarist was happy to be onstage again. “Crowds today are more wild and more ecstatic than ever,” O’Keeffe told us in the video interview above. “‘Cause they’re so hungry. They’ve been locked in cages, and now they’re ready to rock.”

    Airbourne’s most recent album, Boneshaker, arrived in October 2019. Despite not being able to tour for a couple of years, O’Keeffe said the band wanted to wait to hit the stage until they started working on new music in earnest.


    “Without the passion of the crowd, without the roar, without that connection, it doesn’t feel right to write a rock ‘n’ roll song when all you’re hearing on the news is another lockdown, another this, another that,” explained O’Keeffe. “We had a few ideas, but we wanted to wait until we got back on the stage.”

    As a hard-rocking Australian band, Airbourne often get compared to AC/DC. O’Keeffe told us he admires the longevity of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame act and other legendary bands.

    “It just proves that rock ‘n’ roll will never die,” remarked O’Keeffe. “The Rolling Stones don’t need to tour, AC/DC don’t need to tour, Metallica don’t need to tour. But they go out on tour because they love it. And the crowds love them … It’s a drug. It’s the best drug you can get.”

    Check out our full interview with Airbourne’s Joel O’Keeffe in the video above, and catch them at one of their shows in the UK and Europe this summer.

    Trouble viewing the interview in the player above? Watch on YouTube.

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