INTERVIEW WITH LARRY FROM ACCA DACCA
No mate, it’s not a tribute show,” sighed Accadacca frontman Larry Attard. “It’s more like a homage to the legacy and the memory of AC/DC from their early years right through to Bon Scott’s death and the emergence of Brian Johnson before he was forced from the band due to health issues. We prefer to think of the show as celebrating the life and the music of one of Australia’s greatest ever bands.”
Accadacca have toured both internationally and through Australia since Attard formed the band in 2000. Rather than taking advantage of a path already forged by AC/DC, Accadacca were aiming to fill a growing void within the Australian music industry by recreating a period of music that will forever define rock and roll in this country.
“My originals band Snake had recently broken up and I wasn’t ready to hang up the microphone,” Attard continued.
“Snake had supported AC/DC on a couple of occasions and there was a fleeting period where discussions were held involving myself, Snake and AC/DC before Brian was named as Bon’s successor. I was sick of people telling me how much I sounded like Bon when I sang so I decided to form the band to provide an outlet to breathe life into the juggernaut that is AC/DC. Years later when Angus Young was interviewed in Germany and asked which cover band stood out from the others he quickly replied ‘if you can’t see the real thing, the next best thing is Accadacca’ which sort of justified things for me.”
Despite going through inevitable line-up changes, Attard and son Jesse (lead guitar) have been the two constants in the band, with Jesse having first operated lights for the band while his Father belted out the tunes when he was just six years old. From there he progressed to drums before a seemingly endless run of trouble with the lead guitarists performing the Angus role in the band forced him to pick up the guitar.
“Jesse has been a part of Accadacca before he got his first pubic hair,” Larry laughed. “We took him on the road when he was just a cheeky little shit and along the way he picked things up that put him in good stead for the future. I remember when he finally had enough of the revolving door of Angus’s he locked himself in his room with AC/DC DVD’s and CD’s and learned how to play the songs from there. A couple of weeks later he was ready to perform and has been Angus ever since. He’s still a cheeky little shit but we’ve all learned to tune out (laughs).”
While still enjoying the nightly thrill of performing AC/DC’S hits, early last year Larry decided it was no longer enough to play to pub crowds and outdoor stages. The fans were hungry for more than music – they wanted to know the behind the scenes moments and decisions that helped shape AC/DC.
“I started toying with the idea of moving to a bigger stage and using a big screen behind the band to show rare photos, interviews, and graphics, punctuated by Accadacca performing hits from various key stages of AC/DC’s career,” he offered. “That grew to include a voice-over commentary and archival footage plus the addition of cannons during ‘For Those About to Rock’ and a live bagpipe player for the classic hit ‘It’s A Long Way to the Top’.” “With this production, I wanted to take the audience through the history of AC/DC. I wanted fans to know the stories behind the songs and things like album covers by sharing interviews with the band from the early days and recounting stories of debauchery and extravagance from the bands perspective. Of course with Bon leaving us in 1980 we have had to split the show into two sections focussing on AC/DC with Bon and then their career afterward with Brian which is separated by a short interval where the audience can catch their breath.”
Spanning over three hours, the AC/DC Story doesn’t just bombard you with hit after hit, it more focuses on the journey of the band from humble beginnings to their current standing among the world’s elite bands told through the words and images of what was a group of young, inexperienced musicians who were at times out of their depth but had a tenacityand cheeky flippancy that forced the world to take notice.
“We feel the whole story of AC/DC needed to be told,” Larry said proudly, “and it needed to be told through the memories and images of the band themselves. We owe – in fact the whole music world owes a debt of gratitude to every member to have passed through AC/DC and with the AC/DC story we hope the fans can not only learn from the experience but can also understand the personalities that pioneered a whole genre of music.”