Australian Rock of the 1980s | A.L. Music on Bands Influenced by The Angels and Rose Tattoo

September 21, 2012

This post is one in a series of interviews about Aldo Leopardi and his music. In this edition, hear from Curt Sautter, independent music marketer and the founder of indie label Delirium Records.


Some U.S. audiences may not know why Aussies rocked the 1980s. What makes their sound distinct?

Australian rock from the 1980s and into the modern rock era has one constant: It’s fun. Australian rock doesn’t take itself too seriously. It knows that rock ‘n’ roll is supposed to be sexy and joyful. Modern bands influenced by Rose Tattoo or The Angels come through on that promise.

So Australian rock isn’t just a regional taste?

I think it’s universal. Take AC/DC. I can go into a country bar and put on AC/DC, and people are going to smile and dance.

Sounds like a party. You mentioned The Angels, who have a similar tonality and vocal style to AC/DC.

But The Angels have more of a New Wave swagger than AC/DC. They’re jumpy and aggressive in their sound. They’re also lesser known outside of Australia, with the exception of rock ‘n’ roll fanatics.

How do you see The Angels and Rose Tattoo’s influence on Aldo’s band?

Much of Aldo Leopardi’s music has a blues base. Like [Australian blues rockers] Rose Tattoo, Aldo brings a youthful lyrical angst to a blues core. I get the same kind of “it’s my life, my rules” feeling from Aldo’s “My Parade” as I do from Rose Tattoo’s “Scarred for Life” or “We Can’t Be Beaten.”  To me it’s about the vibe and the message.

As for The Angels (aka Angel City), listen to their album, Face to Face. In particular, check out their song “Marseilles,” and then Aldo’s “Everyone’s Talking But Nothing’s Been Said.” On both, you hear driving rhythm guitar. They also share edgy vocal phrasing.

All three of these bands represent different identities and sounds when you look at them as a whole. The wonderful thing about Aldo’s music is that he pulls from a vast pool of influences, but he doesn’t become a carbon copy. His songs are uniquely him.

Experience Aldo Leopardi. Stream free music on Spotify and Jango.

The Legacy of Australian Hard Rock: Bands Influenced by AC/DC, Cold Chisel, and Other Icons

September 19, 2012

Curt Sautter, independent record producer and the founder of indie label Delirium Records, sits down for an interview in our blog series about Aldo Leopardi.

Curt, what defines “Australian hard rock” and what is its impact?

We talked before about classic rock from Australia, and there are a lot of similarities with it and hard rock. Australian rock of any genre is about fun. The only thing it takes seriously is making awesome music.

Then, there’s the impact. Bands influenced by AC/DC or bands influenced by Cold Chisel carry on their legacy by playing music that has a certain feeling to it. The themes go from love to hate and everything in between, but underneath it all, you know it’s really about joy, sex, and living life without boundaries.

Where does Aldo Leopardi’s music fit into this?

I think Aldo’s music is fun, first, in the great tradition of Australian rock. I see Aldo as one of the bands influenced by Cold Chisel and AC/DC especially on his first album. He uses deep emotional arrangements and vocals that make me think of Cold Chisel, and his rock songs express the passion of AC/DC’s tunes.

However, I hear a lot of complexity in Aldo’s songs. There is a lot going on in the vocals, guitar, arrangements, and themes. While you can enjoy the music at a surface level, you can also experience it at other deeper levels as well.

So you think Aldo Leopardi takes the Australian influences and makes them his own?

Yes. You can see this especially if you compare Aldo’s debut album to an album like Villains & Heroes.

A lot of times, a band comes out with a killer first record that makes you think of other bands that you love. You hear these influences and it captures your attention. If you’re going to become a fan of someone’s music, it is really important for there to be a progression, though. Otherwise, they begin to sound like a copycat, and it’s probably a pale comparison.

I listen to Aldo’s earlier music, and I hear an interesting blend of Australian rock: Angel City, Cold Chisel, and Ice House. By the second album, though, there’s a vocal styling and driving pace that’s all his own. When you start with a debut album and then create an identity for yourself as you grow as an artist, it gets fans like me excited for what’s going to come next.

Hear Aldo Leopardi for yourself by streaming his songs on Spotify and Jango.

Know Your Rock: Australian Greats and Bands Influenced by The Angels, Rose Tattoo, and Cold Chisel

September 13, 2012

 In this post, we continue our series of interviews about Aldo Leopardi with Curt Sautter, independent record producer and the founder of indie label Delirium Records.

Do you need to have listened to a lot of Australian rock to appreciate Aldo Leopardi’s sound?

I can listen to [Aldo’s] “Villains & Heroes” or “Always Be” and just enjoy them for the emotion, the rhythm, and the lyrics.

But one of the great things about being a fan of a particular musician or a music genre is that you get to experience songs on a lot of different levels. So, I can appreciate something creative that Aldo does with a particular vocal section or a cool guitar solo that I never noticed before.

Also, I think of Aldo’s group as one of the bands influenced by Rose Tattoo and other Australian groups. When I hear his music, I look for these influences and get excited thinking about how he’ll grow from them.

Rose Tattoo has impacted music in a way that some people in the U.S. may not know. What other lesser-known Australian groups?

Yeah, definitely. Aldo’s group is among the many bands influenced by Cold Chisel and probably the Angels…

…That’s Angel City in the U.S.

Right, Angel City. These bands, and all of Aldo’s music, have that unique Australian rock quality. Their songs are fun and they don’t take themselves so seriously that their ego crowds out the music. Rock ‘n’ roll isn’t supposed to be serious anyway. It’s an attitude that you’re going to live life your way, and celebrating that.

Do you think that Aldo has progressed in his music? Or, do you see him as primarily an Australian rocker?

I think there’s a definite evolution from Aldo’s debut self-titled album to Villains & Heroes, and I expect that he’s going to keep evolving.

For example, the self-title album has a blues base to it, which is a similar sound that you get from listening to Rose Tattoo or even The Rolling Stones. Aldo’s follow-up albums keep this bluesy quality, but it’s more subtle and more aligned with the themes he sings about in those more recent songs.

Another example of bands influencing Aldo’s music… Cold Chisel has deep emotional arrangements and vocals. Compare their “Choirgirl” to “Always Be” from Aldo’s debut album, and you hear these similarities.

However, while Aldo’s newer songs retain those powerful, pure vocals, they’re presented in a more modern rock way. I think that’s one of the reasons I like his stuff: he pulls from a big pool of influences without becoming a carbon copy.

Explore Aldo Leopardi’s music. Find his songs through Spotify and Jango.

Modern Meets Classic: Rock Bands Influenced by Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Other Legends of the Stage

September 10, 2012

 In this post, we continue our series of interviews about Aldo Leopardi. Below, read our conversation with Curt Sautter, independent record producer and the founder of indie label Delirium Records.

Why do you think classic rock is important?

Classic rock is important because there are thousands of bands influenced by The Rolling Stones and bands influenced by The Beatles. It would be harder to find groups that don’t have their influence than groups that do.

So, essential classic rock bands transcend taste. You don’t think of them for their songs or their albums or their genre, really. You think of them as “music.” You can talk about bands like The Beatles from a historical perspective and how they reflect a time and place, but for me, it still comes back to the music.

The Rolling Stones, The Beatles… What other bands make you think “classic rock?”

Definitely Led Zeppelin should be in there. And AC/DC.

In a previous interview, we talked about Aldo Leopardi’s classic rock influences. Do you see a connection between these bands and Aldo’s songs?

I think Aldo’s music has the same sort of quality songwriting that you see in great classic rock. Whether it’s the vocals or the instruments or the structure that we’re talking about, there’s a lot of thought put into each element and a level of complexity that keeps you returning to the music.

Also, I’d say Aldo Leopardi is one of those bands influenced by AC/DC, since they’re both from Australia. They both share that rebellious joy that makes for true rock ‘n’ roll.

What is modern rock and how does Aldo’s music represent it?

Modern rock is the current genre you hear being played. It used to be “album-oriented rock,” then “alternative,” and now “modern.” It’s more complex than the power pop sound of the 80s, but it does keep the same “jump” that makes songs catchy and hard to forget.

Modern also has the angst that you heard in classic rock. It’s not a sugary, young emotion, but the mature, heartfelt angst of an earlier generation.

Finally, modern rock has driving guitars, percussion, and rhythm. It’s lighter than heavy metal and hard rock, but it grabs you in the same way. Aldo’s more recent songs are great examples of this sound. Listen to “Not Enough,” and you hear these elements. His music represents where the genre has gone and the direction I hope it continues to go.

Hear Aldo Leopardi for yourself by streaming his songs on Spotify and Jango.