Release Date: 03.06.02
2002 Official Bio
There have probably been more sophisticated explanations in the annals of rock music as
to why a mature and experienced musician may feel that he has a vocation for rock ‘n’ roll,
but here’s Pete Wells’ reply: “What else can you do in Australia but write rock songs?” he
asks with amusement. “People always think everything’s so exciting over here, when in fact
it’s dead boring. There are no crocodiles here, with the exception of Angry Anderson perhaps,
and I’ve never run into Crocodile Dundee.”
Pete Wells is the guitarist and songwriter with Rose Tattoo, one of the hottest temptations
since the invention of the electric guitar, while the above mentioned Angry Anderson is the
group’s vocalist. Anderson, the band’s visual and acoustic focus thanks to his conspicuous
appearance, is a real live wire. His raw, whiskey-soaked voice releases pure adrenaline,
lending expression and ferocity to Rose Tatttoo’s straightforward material.
“My voice is a gift from God,” Anderson comments on his talent. “That’s nothing to do with me, I
owe it to a higher power.” Together, Wells, Anderson and their colleagues, Rob Riley (guitar),
Steve King (bass) and Paul DeMarco (drums), have just come up with their new studio album, entitled
Pain. The record consists of almost sixty minutes of pure, undiluted joy of playing, and one of the
current song titles – ‘No Mercy’ – highlights the record’s uncompromising attitude.
Rose Tattoo don’t hold back in other respects either, seeing that numbers like ‘Someone To Fuck’,
‘Hard Rockin’ Man’, ‘The Devil Does It Well’ or ‘One More Drink’ require no further comment.
As Anderson roars out his down-to-earth rock prose in no uncertain terms, Rose Tattoo’s musical style
is equally blunt and honest. They don’t waste any time beating about the bush but overlay pulsating
rhythms with loads of steaming hot guitar riffs, while the bass generally grooves away stoically on one
basic note, accompanied by slide guitars and earthy solos.
“That’s the great thing about our music: there’s no faking it, on our albums you get that authentic,
pure rock ’n’ roll feel,” Pete Wells explains the prevailing direction on Pain. “That’s precisely
what we’re known for and what people expect from us.” The 16 tracks on Pain were produced by Rainer
Haensel at the Karo Studios in Brackel outside Hamburg, with former Victory guitarist Herman Frank
(Saxon, Nostradamus, among others) in charge of the mix.
It was in 1976 when Peter Wells, erstwhile guitarist with Infamous Buffalo from Sydney, set out looking for
some like-minded spirits to found an aggressive new street rock ‘n’ roll group. His conditions were that all
members had to sport tattoos, short hair and dress in the same style. At that time there was a vocalist in
Melbourne whose voice was reminiscent of a young Rod Stewart. Anderson met up with Wells, and the chemistry
between them was dynamic from the word ‘go’. Featuring a blues rock sound which brought back memories of early
Stones and Faces, Rose Tattoo performed their debut gig on New Year’s Eve 1976 and went on to sign a contract
with Albert Productions, home of Australian rock acts of the tougher persuasion, like AC/DC and Angels. House
producers were the legendary Harry Vanda and George Young, both of Easybeats fame.
The first Tattoo single ‘Bad Boy For Love’ was an instant radio smash, followed by an eponymously titled debut
album in 1978, later rechristened Rock ’n’ Roll Outlaws. The band toured tirelessly during the first years
of their career and brought out their second recording Assault And Battery in 1981. By this stage, Rose Tattoo
had become something of a rock ‘n’ roll samurai: Angry frequently lost consciousness on stage or stood in
front of his audience, overcome by emotions and covered in blood. “There used to be a lot of drugs and alcohol
involved, but luckily that’s all behind us now. We’re much wiser. Or at least I hope so,” grins Wells.
Suitably, their third album was called Scarred For Life (1982) – a title that says more than a thousand words.
After tours with Aerosmith and ZZ Top, the Rose Tattoo story ground to a temporary halt in 1983. It took another
ten years before the band, on request of their faithful fans Guns N’Roses, who had recorded a cover version of
the Rose Tattoo standard ‘Nice Boys’, got together again, appearing as opening act during the Gunners’ 1993 tour
of Australia. During the show at Calder Park in Melbourne, Slash and Duff joined Anderson & Co. on stage for the
In 1999, Rose Tattoo came to Europe at long last, performing a number of spectacular shows during tours like
‘Songs Like Hurricanes 3’, featuring Boehse Onkelz, Saxon & Danzig. This feat was repeated one year later at
the Wacken Open Air 2000, where the band proved to the – in sections extremely young – festival crowd what real
rock ‘n’ roll is made of. The musicians used the fantastic atmosphere generated by the almost 25,000 punters to
record their live album 25 To Life at the Wacken Open Air. “We were a little nervous at first, but at the same
time we felt incredibly motivated to really do our best,” Anderson recalls. “We went out on stage and said to
ourselves: no matter what happens, we’re going to do the best we can. The atmosphere was really awesome.”
The following summer Angry & Co. set out for another assault on German stages, causing a major stir with their
impressive club performances, before the musicians returned to Oz to compose the material for their current album
Pain, which is about to be released.
Black Magic * The Devil Does It Well * No Mercy * Pain´s My Friend * Someone To Fuck *
17 Stitches * House Of Pain * Can´t Help It * Union Man * Satan´s Eyes * Hard Rockin` Man *
Stir Crazy * Livin` Outside My Means * Heat Of The Moment * Illustrated Man * One More Drink
ROSE TATTOO (1980)
ASSAULT & BATTERY (1981)
SCARRED FOR LIFE (1983)
SOUTHERN STARS (1984)
25 TO LIFE (2000)
New: PAIN (2002)
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