Co-Founder, Guitarist, Songwriter and Lead Vocalist of one of Australia’s greatest Rock N’ Roll Bands “The Living End”, Melbourne’s very own local legend Chris Cheney just bought himself his first motorcycle and he sat down with us to talk about this exciting new release for him, his brand spanking new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 Twin.
Everyone knows the band, made up of Chris, Scott Owen and Andy Strachan have had some mega hits such as “Second Solution” / “Prisoner of Society” (1997), “All Torn Down” (1999), “Pictures in the Mirror” (2000), “Roll On” (2001), “One Said to the Other” (2003), “What’s on Your Radio” (2005), “Wake Up” (2006), and “White Noise” (2008). Their 2018 album “Wunderbar” recorded in Germany peaked at #3 on the ARIA charts and until COVID hit, the boys had been enjoying many great years of touring and playing to fans all over the world.
Having lived in LA for the past few years, Chris and family recently moved back to Melbourne where he just celebrated his 46th Birthday and wife Emma surprised him with a voucher to attain a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit, a longtime dream of Chris’. We asked him a few questions about his motorcycle and motorcycling and here’s what he had to say:
What was your first Motorcycling experience?
“As far back as I can remember I always had an awareness and love for motorcycles. When my dad was in his 20’s he raced a 500 Manx Norton and travelled around Australia as well as Europe and Spain. He had given up racing long before he had kids but remained an enthusiast. We would travel to Mt Panorama every Easter to watch the motorbike races and they were some of the best memories growing up. The smell and deafening sound of the bikes hurtling around that mountain was incredibly exciting to watch. My hero was Roger Freeth and we always stayed at the same motel he did so I remember meeting him each year and we used to give him Easter eggs.”
Why did you choose the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650?
“I’ve always liked the look and sound of old motorcycles, particularly the British 50’s and 60’s style. Motorbikes that actually look and sound like motorbikes, not all plastic and polite. Once I decided to actually get a bike I test rode a couple of Enfields at Mid Life Cycles in Richmond and loved them. The interceptor and GT were right up my alley. I’m a big fan of vintage guitars and amplifiers and the Enfields just have that same style and feel to me as an old 1950’s Gretsch guitar. They’re beautifully made but they growl when they need to.”
Why did you decide to get your Motorcycle licence at 46?
“Better late than never! I think because my dad had raced bikes and had seen first hand the danger attached he never encouraged me! I’ve always been interested in them though but I guess I just never got around to it until now. My wife bought me the 2 day licence course and gave me the hand book and was like ‘here you go, go and tick this off the bucket list’.”
What are the plans for your Motorcycling future?
“It’s just a hobby really. I don’t plan on doing long distance travel trips. I like the idea that there’s a whole scene and lifestyle that goes with these bikes, particularly the Royal Enfields. There’s a really great community of like minded people who enjoy the craftsmanship and aesthetics of the cafe racer style.”
What is next for Chris Cheney and The Living End?
“The band is going great! We’re lucky to still be doing it and it blows me away that Scott and I started this band when we were about 14 years old!! Despite not being able to play as much as we’d like due to restrictions etc. We just started working on some new material when the pandemic hit so looking forward to getting back into that ASAP. I have a solo album that is getting geared up for release and I’ve been doing some touring with that which has been a blast.”
Where do fans find you Chris?
“All the usual spots, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and now in my spare time, lurking around Mid Life Cycles in Richmond.”
You can find Chris and The Living End on these links.