Hanging out in the Emerald City

Emerald City knockin' em dead in the U.S.

A couple of weeks ago, after seeing the guys in Long Sword Spectacular at Liquid Lounge, I walked next door and caught this band, Emerald City, doing a set at the Curtain Club, and the two songs I got to see made me angry I didn’t catch their whole set. They’re from Perth, Australia, and they know how to put on a show. They had the crowd eating out of their hands with a musical style reminiscent of the 80’s, especially the ladies. A fun, rockin’ band, and really nice guys offstage, they were in the midst of a U.S. tour, their first, and I have a strong feeling that when they come back, the attendance will double. I know I’ll be there, and so will the two guys I was with. Guitarist Joe Saba recently called in to say hey, and give us the update:

Amps: So, tell me how the tour’s going so far.

Joe: It’s our first time in the States, trying to play as many places as we can, and meet as many people as we can. We’ve had some great response, sold a lot of merch, we’ve been here about six weeks, and we love it. We hope to be back next year, too.

Amps: How’d Emerald City come about?

Joe: A few of us were in other bands and jamming with other musicians, and then we were out one night, and heard Sal (Abate, vocals), and we knew we had to get him in our band. Same thing with our bass player, Simon Hallett, we got him on board, and two drummer changes later, here we are.

Amps: Who does the writing?

Joe: It’s a fairly collaborative effort. We all put in our fair share of ideas. Me and Nick tend to do a lot of it in rehearsal, and the other guys sometimes come up with stuff based on that, that jamming in rehearsal. When you’ve got five different opinions and five different angles, sometimes it’s easier when everyone comes up with something, and we try all the ideas out when we get together. Sometimes one of us might have something on the shelf for years, and then something happens that triggers getting it back out, and next thing you know, a song comes out of it.

Amps: What’s been the craziest show of this tour?

Joe: By far Rocklahoma. We didn’t know what to expect, we were on really early in the day. And we were fortunate that we had a big crowd, and everyone was getting quite rowdy, and hung out for the whole weekend. People were still coming up to us on the last day talking about our show, and the whole weekend was just great. You can’t look past that; it was a highlight for sure.

Amps: What’s your favorite guitar to play?

Joe: Oh, man. Nick (Rossetti, guitar) and I both love Les Pauls. Our favorites for sure.

Amps: What do you like to listen to, guitarist-wise, and in general?

Joe: Well, I love Joe Satriani. He’s my favorite. I also love Skid Row, AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, KISS, and Guns N’Roses, all that stuff. Just good time rock and roll, man. And that’s kind of what we try to do. Not be some 80’s stereotype, although the influence is there. We just wanna make good, fist-pumping music, and give people a good time.

Amps: So the EP Unleashed is out now. When can we expect a full-length release?

Joe: I think early 2014. We write on the road. There’s a LOT of downtime, so when we’re not doing the tourist thing, Nick and I lay some rough demos. So yeah, next year. Then we wanna get back on the road and do it all again. Come back and see everyone in America. We love it over here!



Emerald City‘s debut EP Unleashed is available on iTunes now.

– Originally published in Dallas Metal Music Examiner, July 6, 2013

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