“It is a fantastic night, the crowds great, the bands exceptional, it’s just one of those nights that you look forward to all year” quote; Corey Fan (see interview below)
It was Saturday, 16th December 2017. I’ve been away from Canberra for a couple of years but I was delighted to hear Cell Block 69 were going to perform their “17th Anniversary of their last ever annual show”. This is the coolest because I got the chance to have a very entertaining interview with the band and a loyal Fan !!
I’d missed previous shows at the ANU (Australian National University) so I made the effort to get to the Basement in Belconnen for the reported Sell Out show. I managed to get a limited ticket at the door and wasted no time getting in front of the band to interview them. I just had to get the story from their perspective – “who wrote the original music?”
Interview with Corey Spelling – Lead Guitar (Language Warning)
Keijo: Thanks for your time today, its f..ken awesome, I’ve only been called at the last minute and it’s such an appreciation to be here with you guys, Why are you here in Canberra for potentially your last gig ?
Corey: Well it is absolutely and definitely our last show ever and there is no question that we will definitely be retiring after this show any reports to the media to the contrary are completely fake news and we are very very offended by it. People not taking us at our word, when we say we are breaking up we’re breaking up.
Keijo: and who am I talking too and who is saying this?
Corey: Corey Spelling, lead guitar, I have a trans Atlantic accent.
Keijo: So I’m loving the accent, and you’ve been for like .. the last thing I read about you guys was in 2006 saying that you’d ripped of a song from somebody else?
Corey: that is also fake news. We’ve had a long and illustrious career of other people ripping off our music.
Keijo: and where does the band call ‘home’ these days?
Corey: most of us live in generic Europe, some of us dane to live in the Antipodes, but mostly kind of live in castle’s and stuff like that.
Keijo: so i’ve had the pleasure of watching you guys warm up and sound check and you are cutting out some classic rock, you’ve got Guns n Roses going on the background, so what’s the main driver behind what songs you chose?
Corey: well the songs that we chose for our set are typically songs that other people have stolen from us. That are well known for being performed by other artists so make of that what you will.
Keijo: I hate it when people steal your songs man, you work so hard at it and what’s going on there.
Corey: oh it fu..king sucks, don’t get me wrong i still live in a castle, let me be absolutely clear on that, we could be a lot more wealthy had these dilettantes not basically you know rained on our parade and stolen our ideas.
Keijo: and Canberra, I mean, people say it’s not the ideal place to play but your here what’s with that?
Corey: contractual obligation
Keijo: love it, I love a good public service contractual obligation, I would not be here if it wasn’t for that. And is everybody else committed to the final night as you are?
Corey: I would say, on a level, no … pretty much, I mean one of the reasons we are breaking up is because I hate them all and you know, I think some of them are in cohoots with each other but um, the general consensus within the band is that everyone is basically an arsehole.
Keijo: So do you consider yourself the voice of the band?
Corey: let me make this very very clear. I’m not the voice, you’re the voice, just try and understand it.
Keijo: am i the voice try and understand it, let the feelings fly?
Corey: more, make a noise and make it clear.
Keijo: Farnsy, we gotta love those Aussie references…
Corey: THAT F..king C..t. When we were touring entertainment centre’s, about 7 years ago, we couldn’t really go anywhere without seeing that fat c..t setting the attendance records for every entertainment centre, he was always grinning at us – the prick.
Keijo: so he’s done the occasional come back tour, you guys might be considered to be doing the occasional comeback tour …! are you not the same?
Corey: let me make this perfectly clear, this is also an idea that has been stolen from us, if there were like intellectual copyright – we are actually in international court at the moment with copyright infringements that were in law suits so I better restrict my comments to that, thank you.
Keijo: thank you very much for your time tonight it’s been an absolute pleasure to be among such royalty of coverness.
Corey: it has, hasn’t it.
Keijo: absolutely, so I’m just going to sign off saying I can not wait for this performance because I personally haven’t actually seen you live, I will admit to that right now but I’ve seen the warm up and geez I cannot wait, have you got anything else you wanna say as a closing comment?
Corey: I’ve been ordered not to make any further comments
Keijo: and that’s what we would expect, thank you very much that’s been brilliant.
Now let’s hear from the Fans !!
Keijo: so I’ve just had my first interview with Cell Block 69, guitar player and I’m speaking to one of their fans who has been here every year apparently and who am I talking too ?
Corey: so my name is Corey Fan
Keijo: Corey fan of course of the Corey 9’s and you’re the Corey Fan and you’ve seen them how many times now?
Corey: I think 7 now
Keijo: Seven, is that consecutive years?
Corey: Consecutive years.
Keijo: wow, and you and your husband and family and friends, is that how it goes?
Corey: that’s right there is about 12 of us here tonight
Keijo: and it’s an annual event that you all get dressed up for, I’m looking at this fantastic ‘I love 80s’ outfit it’s sensational so you’ll have to check out the photo’s later if we can get some exclusive photo’s.
Corey: we plan months ahead, we work out what we are going to do every year and we dress up as much as we can
Keijo: so have you always seen them in Canberra or have you seen them elsewhere?
Corey: only seen them in Canberra
Keijo: and what brings you back, what is the compelling event, is it the music, the dress up is it all of the above
Corey: it is absolutely all of the above. It is a fantastic night, the crowds great, the bands exceptional, it’s just one of those nights that you look forward too all year.
Keijo: I’m very excited to be here myself. I’m seeing you guys and the passion that’s brought about I actually stood by with the sound check earlier on, is there a favourite song or something that you really want to see tonight?
Corey: look to be honest, I just love all the songs, I think ‘the final countdown’ is probably one of my favs cause I do like a bit of air guitar but all of the 80s songs bring back great memories for me because growing up as a teenager in the 80s it is just a whole night of memories coming back and they’re making more on the same night so it’s awesome.
Keijo: and so you’re obviously a Canberra person, maybe born and bred how long have you lived in Canberra and are you an avid supporter of local music.
Corey: well I did grow up here, then i moved away, Melb 8 years, Sydney 10 years came back to Canberra for work and have been here the last 7 years so that’s when we discovered Cell Block. But I do love live music, always have wherever I’ve lived um but I’d have to say that these are probably one of the best.
Keijo: and what about the venue, the Basement itself how have you seen that progressed over the years
Corey: I’ve only been here a couple of times to be honest, I think it is pretty good for a band venue, we usually go to the ANU where the Cell Block has been their home for many years. This is the first time we’ve been to a different venue because it is getting renovated, but um it’s great, it doesn’t matter where you are it’s what you are doing
Keijo: yeah so we heard they played the Academy last night and they were excited about that and their always pumped up about the Canberra crowd and here we are again now at the Basement, but it’s more about the music isn’t it not so much the venue
Corey: yeah I’d go anywhere to see them
Keijo: we’ve had our time together I really appreciate it and I’ll see you on the dance floor
Corey: and next year you’re dressing up !
Keijo: I am so dressing up.