Melbourne's Fastrack have quickly gain ed notoriety and profile for their ball-breaking heavy rock and roll sound and over the top live performances since their formation in late 2008. Starting life as a slightly poppier and more naïve version of the rock beast that you hear today, this band expanded their lineup, sound and songwriting over the past fourish years and are now masters of the old school 70s and 80s influenced rock style. The fruits of that labour can be clearly heard in their latest EP, Steal The Show, and will be on display in their full glory this coming Saturday night when they launch it at Ding Dong Lounge. Drummer Ben Sarros and lead guitar player Jimmy Dee recently sat down with Beat about the EP, its Melbourne launch and all else Fastrack related.
"Yeah man, we're pumped," Sarros states, regarding the launch. "We're hoping it's going to be a sellout. The last few headline shows we've done have been sold out and this one is looking that way too. Ticket sales have been really good, we've done a few good supports recently, so hopefully it'll be a rockin' show," he exclaims.
"It's gonna be good," Dee agrees. "We're doing a few different things that we don't usually do. We could get up there and play for an hour and 20 minutes… because there's no point getting up there and just playing the tracks off the CD. We've been working on new songs, so there's gonna be a couple of new songs we're going to debut."
"Which we were originally going to do," Sarros continues. "They were meant to be for this release. We've got a few, but we picked out two to throw in, to sort of show what else is happening, that there's continuous work happening as well."
Dee carries on where Sarros leaves off: "And with these two new songs we're going to play, you can actually see where our next progression is going. We can see more growth in what we're writing now."
This turned the conversation to the future direction of Fastrack beyond the current release. Apparently we'll be seeing an old school influenced rock and roll band attempting to bring their sound into 2011, as much as can be done with the style anyway, and also to broach some new themes in lyrics that are rather adventurous for a rock and roll band.
"We're modernizing it," Sarros states emphatically. "We're putting a modern twist on it so people can relate to it now, not so people who are 50 can say 'this was cool when I was 20'. People who did like stuff like ours back then can hear where it's coming from, but it's like nothing that's happening now, it's still a fresh sound. So kids can hear it now and go 'wow, this is cool!' It's like putting that modern and old together to make something that's new and fresh."
"The writing process is more organic now," Dee adds. "It's like between our first and second EPs - our second EP is more 'all of us'. These new songs are more or less completely written at rehearsal, rather than, on our last EP where we brought in something that we'd worked on (individually) to the band. I think it's a far better representation of who we are. It's just defining a sound that's us, right now."
"We had a story to tell with the songs," Sarros explains when talking about their lyrics' subject matter. "It wasn't just songs about 'something', they had a meaning. Each song has a meaning to it, as well as being a rock and roll song. It wasn't just about chicks, beer and partying. And they all come out in [singer] Brad's lyrics. We experience things and stuff happens to us as a band, which creates a story. It wasn't just one individual saying something."
Despite this slightly atypical approach to rock lyricism, uninitiated punters can expect a massive, traditional, alcohol-soaked live experience from the Fastrack show this Saturday night at Ding Dong. "Lots of beer!" Sarros laughs. "Almost like a party vibe. We want to get that 'bigness' that see with bands playing massive stadiums and arenas, and trying to cram all that into a pub. We don't just get up there and put on a pub show, we want to put on as big a rock show as we can."
Fastrack will be launching their Steal The Show EP at Ding Dong Lounge on Saturday March 19.