Introducing… Electric Mary
Serving up classic rock ‘‘the way it used to taste’’, these Aussies already count David Coverdale and Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith among their celebrity fans.
Peddling vintage rock to a country 30 times the size of the UK but with only a third of its population is not without its challenges, says Electric Mary singer Rusty Brown. ‘‘We have a great rock’n’roll scene over here,” he explains, “but the number of people we can get to is small, and flying is so expensive.”
Guitarist Irwin Thomas and singer Rusty Brown, both veterans of Melbourne’s rock scene, met back in 2003, but it took an inspirational visit to Hendrix’s legendary Electric Lady Studios in New York, and a meeting with studio manager Mary Campbell, to motivate the affable frontman to form the band. ‘‘Man, it was amazing’’ he enthuses, ‘‘I don’t want to sound like a wanker, but when you’re in the middle of that room with so much history, you’re completely humbled.’’ And the name? ‘‘Her email address was electricmary@ blah blah, and I thought, ‘What a great name.’’’
Electric Mary were recently described in Classic Rock as “Guns N’ Roses meets Free, add Aerosmith’s pizzazz and a pinch of Tom Morello’s staccato chops, all fronted by any iron-lunged singer from rock’s golden age, and you’re getting warm”. Brown’s summary of Electric Mary is: ‘‘It’s rock’n’roll the way it used to taste.’’ And it’s difficult to argue with him on that.
Citing venerable influences – “Bad Company, Foreigner, Rainbow, Queen, Dio, anyone with singers” – Brown reserves his highest praise for Coverdale-era Deep Purple: “As soon as I heard Burn, I was like, ‘There is never going to be anything better than this’. I still play that record every two weeks. And [Purple’s] Stormbringer. I fucking love it.”
Fandom, however, barely prepared them for when they supported Whitesnake on a recent tour down under. Brown: “We’re doing the gig, when I see Coverdale watching from the side of the stage. He walks in the dressing room afterwards and says in that voice of his: ‘Fucking great show, man.’ Mate, I shit my pants.”
Welcome celebrity patronage from other notable icons has further served to up the ante. “Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith said to me: ‘If only we’d known about you guys before we came over, you’d be doing the gig,’” Brown recalls. And “Little Steven [of Springsteen’s E Street Band] found us online and bought our record. And when he came over we went to a nightclub.”
With the support slot on the Oz leg of Judas Priest’s upcoming tour in the bag, Electric Mary’s energies are now focused on Europe. “Our job now is to try and make our way over to you,’’ Brown says, ‘‘because that’s where we need to be.”
The Definition Of Insanity EP is available at www.myspace.com/electricmary
Another of Electric Mary’s celebrity fans is Australian tennis hero and part-time rocker Pat Cash. “A mate called me up and said: ‘Turn on your TV.’ There was Pat Cash on some news show, wearing our ‘Definition of Insanity’ T-shirt,” Brown recalls. “How cool is that?! We’ve met now, and he’s a great dude.”
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