Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are getting back on the bike and redlining towards Australia for Under The Southern Stars with Cheap Trick, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots.BRMC haven't played live since 2019, so naturally the prospect of an overseas festival tour brings with it a mixed bag of emotions for drummer Leah Shapiro.
"I'm super excited to be doing this tour and of course a little bit nervous," Leah says, "but I think it will be really nice to be back in that environment again and be onstage and get to play music.
"When I first started with the band, my first tour in the US with BRMC was opening up for Stone Temple Pilots; we've toured with them a couple of times so it will be nice to see them as well. I'm really excited to be going."
Australia will be the first stop for BRMC as they return to touring post-pandemic, and Leah recognises what it means for Australian audiences to have a full-scale music festival with international headliners back on our shores.
"You guys have had it real crazy with the length and severity of the lockdowns, so I can imagine people are excited to get out now after all this time," she says.
"Hopefully, we're doing everything we can to rehearse and prep so we can do a good job."
After not playing for over two years, Leah and her bandmates – Peter Hayes and Robert Levon Been – are busily preparing for Under The Southern Stars by reviewing their catalogue and revisiting old live sets to ensure the upcoming shows are second-to-none.
"Right now, because it's been so long, we're having to do a deep dive into our own music again and remember like 'oh yeah, this is how we used to do it live'. Thank god we have live DVDs, man," she laughs.
"We're very much into letting the songs breathe a bit and not doing it the same every single night. It makes for some good moments and of course it can end in some amazing screw ups, but most of the time it works out well and it makes it more fun."
Leah's life and career was upended in 2014 when she was diagnosed with a brain condition called Chiari malformations, undergoing surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation to get back to being able to play and tour.
"Obviously, there's certain changes that I've had to make when touring after surgery that is that invasive, but I think I've gotten really luck with the outcome and having such an amazing surgeon," Leah says.
"Not just in the surgery room and during, but afterwards he was incredibly helpful in getting me back to drums and playing without hurting myself and making sure I had the right physical therapist that could understand what I was working towards."
It's been four years since BRMC released their last studio album 'Wrong Creatures', but we'll have to wait until after UTSS to find out what the band has planned for a new album.
"For now, I’m focussed on the Australia tour and that's been my main focus for a while because it takes a minute for me to physically get back into a place where I'm able to do it, after having sat on the couch and staring at my walls for too long," Leah laughs.
"I've been focussing on that mostly and that's going to remain my focus until it's over and then we'll see where we're at and where the world is at, what we want to do and what's possible to do."
Under The Southern Stars 2022 Tour DatesFri 11 Mar - Maitland Showground (Hunter Valley)
Sat 12 Mar - Foreshore Reserve (Hastings)
Sun 13 Mar - JC Lowe Oval (Yarrawonga)
Wed 16 Mar - Margaret Court Arena (Melbourne)
Fri 18 Mar - Bonython Park @ Adelaide Fringe
Sat 19 Mar - Bonython Park @ Adelaide Fringe
Sun 20 Mar - Bonython Park @ Adelaide Fringe
Tue 22 Mar - WIN Entertainment Centre (Wollongong)
Wed 23 Mar - Quodos Bank Arena (Sydney)
Fri 25 Mar - Kings Beach Ampitheatre (Sunshine Coast)
Sat 26 Mar - Southport Sharks (Gold Coast)
Sun 27 Mar - The Riverstage (Brisbane)