Published in The Music WA and on theMusic.com.au, Sept 2014
Their last record almost destroyed them, but US rockers American Hi-Fi are back with a mission to save rock’n’roll. Frontman Stacy Jones takes a break from his work with Miley Cyrus to chat with Daniel Cribb about their return to form.
It was with the release of their debut self-titled record and its accompanying worldwide hit single Flavor Of The Weak that Boston-bred rockers American Hi-Fi almost made their Australian debut, but it never quite happened. “We were supposed to play Big Day Out like years and years and years ago. Maybe 2001 or 2002, but I can’t remember what happened,” affable frontman Stacy Jones recalls.
With five studio albums to date, it’s surprising the band’s never made it over. Jones, on the other hand, has ventured to Australia numerous times. Increasing delays between the band’s latter records can be explained in part by the frontman’s other job as drummer and artist director for Miley Cyrus. “My job is to produce the music anytime she plays live – figuring out if she’s going to run off stage and do a costume stage, what does the band do for the 30 seconds that she’s off stage? It’s quite different to putting a rock show together where we get together in a rehearsal space with a case of beer and play the set a couple of times and go to a gig. With Miley, when we put the Bangerz tour together, I think we rehearsed for like three months before we ever even played a show.”t was with the release of their debut self-titled record and its accompanying worldwide hit single Flavor Of The Weak that Boston-bred rockers American Hi-Fi almost made their Australian debut, but it never quite happened. “We were supposed to play Big Day Out like years and years and years ago. Maybe 2001 or 2002, but I can’t remember what happened,” affable frontman Stacy Jones recalls.
The band’s fourth record, 2010’s Fight The Frequency, was almost their final. “When we put out Fight The Frequency like four or five years ago, we thought we’d put it out ourselves, we’d get a distribution company to release it, we’d hire a marketing person and organise regular promotion. We gave all of these people the money and because we weren’t set up to keep an eye on them on a daily basis they didn’t do a god damn thing for us. It was really frustrating and disappointing. We were all just kind of like, ‘Fuck this’.”
They took a step back and focused on different projects until a few years later when Jones found himself scratching demos that sounded reminiscent of American Hi-Fi’s earlier work, which reignited the band’s passion for big guitar rock and led to album number five, Blood & Lemonade. “When we wrote that first record, we didn’t have a record deal, we didn’t have a manager, we didn’t have anybody. It was just us and that’s exactly how this record came together. We basically made this record thinking, ‘Hey, hopefully someone will want to put it out but if not, we’re kind of doing this for us’. We want to put one more thing out into the world – we feel like we’re not going down without a fight. And so, it was nice to be able to just go into the studio and at the end of the day, the only people we had to please were the other guys in the band.”
While this record has so far rolled out better than the last, it still could be their final. “Honestly, this is probably the last hurrah. If it doesn’t work, if no-one cares then we probably won’t make another record. I think we had a great time doing this one and I think the general consensus within the band is if people like this record and if there’s even a few places that respond to it, we’ll do another. If it just comes out and nobody gives a shit then we might hang it up and that would be fine. We’ve had a great run.”