One of the best gigging bands on the planet have just completed the latest leg of a 18-month worldwide jaunt in support of 2008’s superb self-titled album but Backyard Babies still have time to chew the fat with rushonrock.
Frontman Nicke Borg has never been one to mince his words and this time around he claims there are too many poor bands populating the live scene and admits he’s fed up with life on the road. Other than that he’s loving life!
rushonrock: You’ve just been out on the road with your old buddies Danko Jones. How was that?
Nicke Borg: It was awesome. At the moment I cannot think of a better band for us to tour with. We’re friends with the guys and they’re a very interesting band. We’re a very good package and worth a few euros or pounds of anybody’s money. It’s ironic how these things turn out but eight years ago they were supporting us and in the last few weeks we’ve been supporting them! But music is a give and take business and right now they’re doing us a favour.
rushonrock: And next up it was The Rasmus over in the UK. What can you tell us about them?
Nicke: It’s strange but we don’t really know them that well at all. I think people saw that tour and assumed that because we’re both from over the North Sea we must be buddies. We’ve played a few festivals together and the very fact they’re from Finland means our patch have crossed over the years but we’ve never toured together. It just seemed like a good idea. The venues were selling out and of course The Rasmus sold a lot of records a few years ago and we’re on a bit of a roll right now so the co-headline tour thing works for both bands. If you combine two good bands you cut the costs, attract twice as many people and open up your music to a different crowd. It doesn’t have to be the same kind of stuff as long as it all rocks.
rushonrock: Degeneration has been released as a single and it’s available on vinyl. Do you like the format?
Nicke: I wouldn’t say in was a big collector or anything. I bought everything that Guns N Roses put out and I own a lot of Maiden on vinyl but I was never going crazy about vinyl. I quickly started to buy CDs because they were so much more practical and sounded much better. It makes much more commercial sense for a band to stick with CDs these days. I don’t think you can say vinyl is coming back – it’s too expensive to make for a start. The whole way people buy music now is totally fucked up.
rushonrock: How do you mean?
Nicke: The whole download thing’s out of control and it’s becoming harder for bands to charge people to listen to their music. It’s something that will settle down but I don’t know whether it’s a good or bad thing for people who like music. As far as the music business is concerned it’s good to have an ice age every so often. Then we can start afresh. Getting back to releasing Degeneration on vinyl, I think the only reason for putting out a physical record is that it becomes a single in its own right rather than just another little faceless file on your laptop.
rushonrock: So are you worried about the way music buying tastes are changing?
Nicke: I suppose I was concerned for a while but it’s nothing we can’t control as a band within Backyard Babies. It’s going to happen and the only constant in this industry is that you live or die by what you do live. Bands need to get out on the road and Backyard Babies are a touring band so we’ll be OK. Right now it worries me that there are a lot of shit bands out there and people are paying good money to see them.
rushonrock: Are you still enjoying touring the last album?
Nicke: Once we’re on stage we’re 110% professional every night because that’s what the fans deserve. But touring so much is very, very hard. I don’t enjoy it as such. I’m far away from enjoying it the way I used to when I was younger. When it’s new it’s great but then you realise it’s what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. Suddenly the drugs and the girls and the constant touring ceases to be fun. Driving around northern Europe in a tiny bus is not the coolest thing – actually it is. Very cool. Being with the rest of the guys in the band makes it easier but only so much easier.
rushonrock: So is the next album in the pipeline already?
Nicke: No. We’ve just been too busy touring and we don’t have anything ready really. We’re just gearing up to celebrating 20 years of Backyard Babies later on this year and there will be something really huge to mark the occasion. There’s going to be a big book and a DVD – loads of photos and film and stuff but I’m not sure how it’s actually going to come out. There will be a big release in the autumn and that’s where the focus is. We’ve never really written on the road and that hasn’t changed!