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Iconic rock n roll legends Dragon release new album Roses
Roses album launch at The Basement in Sydney this September

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Dragon - Roses

Iconic rock n roll legends Dragon are gearing up for the release of their new album ROSES at The Basement this September. The 12-track CD, which marks the 10th release from the band’s current incarnation, features an exciting combination of all new material with that trademark Dragon sound. In addition, the CD launch marks another milestone for the band, it will be their 600th show since they reformed in 2006. The current line-up, which includes founding member Todd Hunter (bass), fellow Kiwi Mark Williams (lead vocals / acoustic guitar), Bruce Reid (electric guitar) and Pete Drummond (drums), have been solidly on the road for the past few years and yet have still managed to find time to not only pen 12 new tracks, but also spend many hours in the studio bringing the ROSES album to fruition.

ROSES features a wide range of songs, from the garage punk of Hey Hey Hey, to the hymn-style last track Nothing More Than Dust. There is a vein of 60s psychedelia buried deep in the heart of the record. Alice Pan is the perfect soundtrack for an acid-soaked Sunday afternoon in Kensington Gardens in 1969, while Going Down contrasts Appalachian banjo with 1960s sitar stylings. Whatever the new material Dragon releases, there is still that undercurrent of that traditional Dragon style.

Founding member Todd Hunter says that familiar sound just happens. “We can’t avoid it,” he says. “It has to do with the harmonies, the way the songs are written and the life we have lived for the past 40 years that seeps into the songs. Also, there is something in the fact that we were Kiwi outsiders looking in which give the songs a certain poignancy.”

Dragon have decades of hits already chalked up to their name. Songs like April Sun in Cuba, Are You Old Enough, Still In Love With You, Rain, Young Years and Dreams of Ordinary Men have become part of the national psyche. The band has been embraced as honorary Australians and their music is part of the landscape of the past four decades. Having celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2013 and regularly playing packed houses around the country, it’s evident that Dragon are still one of the most popular bands on the scene today.

Todd says the band is just as enjoyable to be a part of now, as it was during the early years. “The musicians that make up the band are never afraid to fail in the pursuit of pushing the things that the band can do,” he says. “Within the constraints of being a band that is morally bound to play its hits, Dragon is constantly reinventing its sound and exploring different territory in its songwriting. All the band members have more than one role in the band.”

With this in mind, it’s no surprise to find out that the ROSES album was indeed a collaborative effort, as is every Dragon project. A couple of the songs for ROSES were written at ‘band camp’ in January at Todd’s studio on the South Coast. The majority of the songs were penned by Pete and Bec [Drummond] at Pear Studios in the Blue Mountains. Bass parts were recorded at Axle Studios on the South Coast and the guitar parts were laid down at Bruce’s [Reid] place in the Blue Mountains. Pete recorded Mark’s [Williams] vocals in hotel rooms and backstage areas around the country. Pete also played drums and a multitude of other instruments, as well as pulling all the tracks together and mixing them at Pear Studios.

The album’s title track ROSES has already been receiving great feedback at live shows, with the band testing the waters with audiences. Their upcoming CD launch at The Basement will be the perfect balance of new material and classic hits. Tickets are on sale now.

Friday 19th September 2014 | 7.30pm
The Basement, SYDNEY NSW |

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