Opening for Keith Urban and Guy Sebastian is a big ask, but for Max Savage and the False Idols, it’s “super exciting.” The local muso is playing on Sunday night at the Clipsal 500 as part of the Bands on Track initiative. After spending the last few years in Melbourne, and travelling around the country playing countless shows (roughly 250 in 2013, and 200 shows the year before), Max is keen to bring his best to the stage. He and the False Idols play a hybrid brand of country rock and roll with flavours of blues and soul.
“Clipsal’s one of those really interesting cultural phenomenon’s. It’s bizarre in Adelaide wherein we have these amazing arts festivals and cultural things that are built and constructed for one segment of the community; which is really great. But if you’re a part of the community that doesn’t want to watch experimental theatre, there’s actually not an awful lot. So as much as people moan and complain about Clipsal, I think it’s really important.”
Max firmly believes in having an abundance of diversity and culture in Adelaide, and is extremely proud to be playing at Clipsal. “I’ve been to Clipsal a few times before… I’m gonna admit straight off the bat that I don’t know a lot about cars, but it’s a really big part of your childhood in Adelaide. I can remember going to a few of the grands prix, and really enjoying seeing some of the great live acts that came to those races.”
Reminiscing about the stars that played in those days, Max believes that car culture is engrained within us here in Adelaide, and not just the bogan stereotype.
Speaking about his excitement for fronting up for Keith Urban, “I think he’s some of the best driving music you can have. I do a lot of driving from rural town to rural town for gigs, and I listen to a lot of Keith Urban.” He is also excited to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, as Richard Pleasance is a part of Boom Crash Opera, “I grew up watching Sea Change, and Richard Pleasance wrote the score for it, so it’s sort of engrained deep within my psyche. I think it’s really important to have people like Keith Urban play at Clipsal, as mainstream country is somewhat looked down on in Australia. Keith is one of the biggest country artists in the world, and one of our biggest musical exports… At the peak of his game, it’s a really important thing to see.”
So what does the future hold for Max Savage?
“We’re gonna go and tour the US and Canada in the middle of the year, so this month is the calm before the storm. Then it’s just another year of being on the road and playing shows which is super exciting… I think we’ll release a couple of albums this year. The plan was to release 5, but we got off to a bit of a slow start. Maybe we’ll do something like 2 EPs and an album.”
Catch Max Savage as part of the Bands on Track initiative at Sunday’s Clipsal post race concert where they’ll be playing in honour of Reza Barati, the deceased asylum seeker who died on Manus Island.
Interviewed by Will Allen