Revered Australian rock figures Andy McLean (Horsehead) and Dave Leslie (Baby Animals) unveil new band, Truck.  Truck, an apt name for a big, powerful beast that makes classic driving rock.

During the week, I caught up with Andy McLean for a chat about Truck and their debut single Make Hay, which is now available on your favourite streaming platform from 3rd December, along with a cracking film clip which you can check out below.

I must have been living under a rock, knowing that Truck has been kicking around for a couple of years, give us the Truck history lesson…
Back in about 2014, Scott (Kingman) and I were were trying to get Horsehead back together and we were going back through some material and listening to stuff. And I said to Scott, you know, if Horseheads not going to happen, I need to write and I need to be creative.

So we put together a project called The Alternative way back then, which I just rounded up a bunch of players and a bunch of friends. We did an album called The Alternative and since then, Scott's as you know, has been with The Screaming Jets, Cam’s been busy doing Mark Seymour, etc, etc.  So if I wanted to do stuff, I was a bit limited, other than say get Horsehead back together once in a blue moon.

So I’d been wanting to put a band together and I guess for many years I've just looked up a lot of those players. I did a band called When Frames Collide and we had a record out through Golden Robot Records.  It's really hard when you get to this age I reckon to, to find like minded people that are able to commit to something.  So it has felt like you touch base with someone, you're playing with them for a little while, you see what you can do and then it kind of moves on.

But the keyboard player that I've been jamming with over the last few years ago, by the name of Mark Donaldson, he's become someone that I've just stuck with, we're right on the same wavelength. We then hooked up with Kevin again on bass, who I'd played with on The Alternative album and he's an old cat from the Josi Jason days, you know, going way back.  We initially had Venom on drums when Truck initially started probably about two years ago.  Our initial lineup also had Justin Garner who'd played with Nick Barker before and we did a few gigs.  But it was all in between everytime there was a break in the COVID stuff, we were like can we get a gig and I'd also grab any opportunity to just write some stuff. 

Musically, what can we expect from Truck…
I think in my later years, I have found myself going back to the music that I grew up with, the music of the 70s, you know, that stuff really just is inside me.  I guess if Horsehead was ROCK, I'm leaning back towards Rock and Roll, which is a little bit looser, it's more a bit more toe tapping.  I guess for a phase there with Horsehead, I felt really angry about a lot of things.   But I’ve found gathering myself with like minded muso’s, it’s really all about this swagger Rock and Roll stuff.

How did Dave Leslie (Baby Animals) come to join Truck…
We went in and started tracking some material, I think at the end of last year with Ricki Rae, who's got a studio LightHill in Gisborne. We were looking for a permanent guitarist and permanent drummer, and our bass player Kevin said he was friends with Dave Leslie on Facebook. I had played with the Baby Animals in the Horsehead days and then then there was also the double connection in that Ricki Rae, was the Baby Animals sound guy.  So we connected from there, Dave said he'd loved what he'd heard, we did a couple of little gigs together and the rest is history…

You’re all seasoned veterans, what do you hope to get out of Truck…
It's a joy to play with them and I think we're all just going, it’s great to get another crack at it at this age.  My girlfriend actually said to me the other day “what are you hoping to get out of it?”, you know, because a lot of time and effort does go into this.  I thought about it and said the rehearsals are what I hope to get out of it, when I'm up on stage playing to a crowd with the band, having a beer with the blokes and having a jam on good music.  It's just an incredible vibe.  We've just been up in Sydney and done these shows with James Reyne and I couldn't be prouder. Truck and the band is the most organic Rock and Roll thing and god, it's nice to be back playing live music!

Tell us about your debut single Make Hay….
It's probably been kicking around maybe just before COVID.  I think in my life, as you get older, we all have dreams, but there's the reality of life too. The song is really just about making the most of things.

In the second verse. I say “show me to the workplace. I'll always be there with elbow grease”.  You know, because I do, I'll give 100%, put the wheels in motion, do what I have to do to get it going, but I'll also put my sail to the breeze hoping to catch a break if I can.  Because you take whatever you can, you know, whether that's just take the dog down to the beach on a weekend or spending time with the kids. The little things.  In my early days, angry songs came thick and fast. You know, trying to write positive songs when I was younger, I felt kind of daggy.  But what comes out of me now, I think is that life experience.

It's got a really driving riff, I love the start of this song to me it’s what rock and roll is all about.  It's exciting every time we play it or even listening back to it. We also had it mixed with Kevin ‘Caveman’ Shirley, which was incredibly exciting for us. There’s also a fantastic film clip to go with it, so check that out as well!

You’ve got your ‘Make Hay’ single launch at The Bendigo Hotel, Sunday 5th December…
The Bendigo Hotel have been really good to us in that, whenever there's been a break in the lockdowns, we’ve grabbed a gig and brought along a few heads. On a Sunday afternoon, we're just lucky we play easy listening Rock and Roll and is great for people to come out. The Bendigo Hotel feels like a nice little home base for us at the moment. We also just finished some CD’s of what we’ll call the LightHill EP, we'll sell some and maybe even give some away this weekend.

Truck is a band that knows how to rock … and roll.

Andy McLean – vocals
Dave Leslie – guitar
Mark Donaldson – keys
Kevin Hunt – bass
Alex Deegan – drums

Catch TRUCK live:

Sun Dec 5 – Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood Vic – single launch with Riff Raiders and Paul Woseen.



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