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

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.