Sydney, NSW, AU
Date and Time
Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 8:00pm
Josh Barker: Vocals/Guitar
Nick Miller: Lead Guitar
Jim Wark: Bass
Aaron Carruthers: Drums
“You got to me/I’ll get to you/How long how long can you hold out?” – How Long
Like Crocodile Dundee, or bands like AC/DC and INXS before them, the members of LONGREEF have come from down under to conquer the USA. Having relocated to America from their native city of Sydney a little over two years ago, the band has taken to their adopted land by storm, tirelessly touring around the country and playing with acts such as Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Gary Allan, Puddle of Mudd and Serj Tankien.
“We’re pretty road tested,” says lead singer and songwriter Josh Barker, who originally formed the band as Inakin in Australia with LONGREEF guitarist Nick Miller and drummer Aaron Carruthers. That group played up and down the east coast of Australia and appeared in reality TV series “The Resort”, in which they performed a tribute to famed Aussie animal expert and “Crocodile Man” Steve Irwin on the one year anniversary of his death. They also played for the country’s troops stationed in the Solomon Islands to quell civil unrest there. “You don’t get as tight as we are unless you’re getting out there and performing as much as you can,” says Barker, who was the first of the group to move to America. He eventually relocated to Nashville, where he wrote and recorded with 3 Doors Down’s Chris Henderson, called on Miller and Carruthers to join him, and added bassist Jim Wark to finalize the line-up.
“We love the USA, the audiences are insane and there’s just so much opportunity and so many live venues here,” adds Josh. “We feed off the crowd’s energy, and every show we do gets better and better. It’s an awesome experience.”
Interspersed with a heavy touring schedule which took them to the Gulf Coast, Southern States, East Coast and Midwest, LONGREEF went into the studio to record their debut EP. The first single, “Lonely” was released to radio and reached #33 on Billboard’s R&R Indicator chart.
They began to draw interest from labels, with NIckelback’s Chad Kroeger among their high profile fans. They chose to forego the offers and remain independent, returning to the studio to record their second EP “Dirty Motel”, which shows off an increased songwriting prowess and a harder edged sound. The title track was released to Active Rock radio and was a huge hit for rock fans across the country, reaching #4 in Biloxi and receiving similar airplay in cities such as Chicago, Spokane and New Orleans. With lines like “I love the way you wrong every right” (Dirty Motel) and “Sex is her body/That girl’s in demand (She Likes The Ladies), the boys from LONGREEF haven’t lost touch with their cheeky “Shrimp on the barbie” down under roots.
Foregoing the major label system to date to go it on their own, Barker is confident the band’s instincts will win out in the end. “Having the creative control has made the band so much closer,” he explains. “We don’t want to just wait around and wait for someone to tell us what to do. We want to take the reins and make this happen on our own. So far, it’s been working.”
“It’s tough sometimes being away from family and loved ones, but I like to think we have the best job in the world,” enthuses Barker. “The day we played our first show here proved it was the right move, though. Every show has been an absolute blessing. That’s the best way to get your music out there, getting out and playing for as many people as you can and showing them a good time. We just want to keep moving forward and shooting for the stars.”
LONGREEF are here to stay, and they’re coming to a town near you.