Big Red Fire Truck are an Australian based group of rockers. Beginning in 2016 as a project by Digby to write some fun heavy metal and hard rock songs and fulfil his need to hear new music in the style of his beloved bands. Taking inspiration from the likes of Van Halen, Reckless Love, The Darkness, and Crazy Lixx, the quartet pays homage to previous generations of hard rock while delivering their own distinctive character.
BIG RED FIRE TRUCK Are:
Digby (Guitar and Lead Vocals)
Ben Frank (Guitar)
Pete Grant (Drums and Vocals)
Nick Frazier (Bass)
First up, here is the review for “Trouble in Paradise” which is released on all platforms (including physical CD) on August 4th.
“Neon Sunsets” an opening instrumental, some swirling sound montage. A haunting reverie with an 80’s synth connection.
“Trouble in Paradise “ is straight out of that 80’s hair metal sound. It delivers a Bon Jovi feel, Kiss around “Crazy Nights,” you get the idea! For those of us who are on the beach watching the babes (or the hunky guys!), and playing the radio loud, then this one is a more than satisfying stadium rock number.
Download the single here
“Love Bite” continues the fun. This one has a nod to Poison; it is full of those vocal harmonies and riffs that created an era. Any of these tracks needs to be belted out with the volume high, stuck on the headphones, and taken to the days when hard rock had a smile.
“Oh sin city, You ain’t so pretty, Underneath your neon lights, Oh so gritty, She purrs just like a kitty. But watch out for her love bite.” (lyrics Big Red Fire Truck)
“Psychotropic Thunder” Great drum scene and a sing-along chorus; solid riffs. Listening to these tracks, I feel like I am 16 again (lol). Again, plenty to like here: fast, rocking, and full of energy. The guys can play those guitars and are having an absolute blast.
Download the track here
“Miami Skies” make us all dream of California. Those guitars, a love of the sun, and great rocking tunes are the driving forces behind the song.
“Hot Summer Nights-” Ends the EP with a sing-along chorus, big drums, and a touch of Cinderella.
If you love 80’s hard melodic rock, big guitars, and a load of summertime fun, then this EP is for you! It’s an album of big anthems and sunshine!
As a bonus here, we asked Digby, lead singer and songwriter, for some background on the album and got a brief exclusive on a few points.
The EP was a load of fun; it reminded us at the magazine of the best days of hair metal, the latter pre-grunge days where life was rollerblading down the beach, and feeling good, while playing some hard rocking music on the headphones! It’s an album of big anthems and sunshine. You almost have enough here for an album, say 3 or 4 more tunes, and there it is. How did the decision for an EP come about? Although there are no Fillers, of course, it’s all lean rock n roll.
Digby- I think mainly because it was our first outing into the international market and we had five songs we were really happy with, an EP was the natural decision to say, “Hey, this is us”. I think if it was going to be an album, it may have taken another 6 months or more. But I thought, Let’s see how this goes, and if it does, let’s do an album after it.
Have these songs been written as a unit in a few sessions for the EP, or have they been put together over the years since the band’s inception? Are they new or old tracks revisited?
Digby- These are all brand new tracks. I wrote them at home for the purpose of building the EP after completing the title track, “Trouble In Paradise.” Once completed, I presented them to the band. Darby Todd (drummer for Devin Townsend and past drummer for The Darkness and Justin Hawkin’s “Hot Leg”) actually worked on the demo for the title track during COVID from the other side of the world and really helped me harness the energy of the first track. Then Pete, our drummer, took that with him into the studio and did his interpretation of it.
You are clearly having fun here with the big anthems and the swagger of the Bon Jovi style of chorus. Which songs are going down best in the live set?
Digby- Firstly, thank you for mentioning us in the same breath as Bon Jovi; that’s quite an honour. “Trouble In Paradise” definitely goes down the best live, but in “Psychotropic Thunder,” we include a big guitarist on guitarist’s shoulders moment for the dual solo, which always gets the crowd’s phones out to film.
That whole hair metal era was a time for many bands to seemingly speed up the music. Listen to some of the Kiss live recordings from Animalize; Mark St. John’s shredding guitar style has influenced them to play the traditional grooves at a much faster speed. Does your guitar sound give a nod to the shredders or to a more Brian May or Ritchie Sambora feel?
Digby – I’m all about style over speed, but there’s always room for a bit of fast flash; I think it’s expected in this genre. I’m all about balance, like Eddie Van Halen, Justin Hawkins, or Brian. Richie saved me back in the day, though. I was ready to quit guitar when I first started, and then I discovered Bon Jovi, and it was exciting to play something that sounded anthemic but wasn’t too hard to play.
Who are your guitar heroes?
Digby- Eddie Van Halen is my go to guy. Amazing rhythm, often forgotten and underrated in his playing. Obviously, his soloing is all-time great. He doesn’t need to be the fastest because his licks present speed and style all at once. No one seems to be able to replicate him. Justin Hawkins is an amazing singer and player, and his solos are so incredibly melodic while being technically proficient. Special mentions go to Eric Clapton (EVH got me on to him, Cream days and Derek and the Dominoes) and Brian May (what more can I say?) And more recently, Satchell (Steel Panther), who perfectly moulds classic hair metal with a modern heaviness in his guitar sound,
Lastly, any news from the band you can share with us (apart from the EP, of course): touring, merchandise, etc.
Digby- We just released a brand new line of wrestling-inspired t-shirts, which you can find on our bandcamp. We have east coast Australian shows to celebrate the release in Melbourne and Sydney, but mostly we would really love to get over to the UK and Europe to do some shows. If the EP does well, we will be on the next plane. So if you’re listening and you like what we are playing, please don’t hesitate to message us on social media or email us; we are always there to chat and share our love of hard rock.
Follow Big Red Fire Truck on Instagram
The website for the band is here
By Stevie Ritson
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