Punk rock veterans Unwritten Law are heading down under this month, celebrating a huge twenty years since the release of their “Black Album”. this album was not only an important part of punk rock history, but saw millions of people naming their daughter Cailin, after hearing the song Scott had affectionately written for his own daughter …
Coffs Harbour is lucky enough to play host to the group this month, and FOCUS caught up with front man Scott Russo for a trip down memory lane.
Hi Scott. What have been some major highlights for you being in the industry?
Highlights are getting to travel the world with your friends. We’ve been fortunate enough to get some really dope gigs with No Doubt, Blink 182, Big Day Out Tour, Warped Tour; it’s been a pretty fortunate run, all in all.
Do you find at these shows it’s mostly die hard fans, or do you see a new wave of younger fans coming through?
Well, the thing with us – and this being a twenty year tour – is that there are going to be generations there now. For instance – and not because of me – my kids love Blink and Greenday. It’s like everything has a 20 year cycle; they found that on their own. People who’ve loved us are now parents and have children of their own, and those children probably grew up listening to Unwritten Law, so we have definitely seen generations of fans and people coming up to us and saying, “I’ve brought my kids up listening to you guys”… and especially people who have named their daughter Cailin! Who knew! I was so young and writing that song for my daughter. So, we definitely see generations of people coming out now; it’s really, really cool.
As one of the most highly reputable and well known punk bands of the ‘90s, this tour in particular is in celebration of your self titled album making its debut 20 years ago. Can we expect a run through of just this album as the show, or will you be throwing some other tunes in there?
We will be playing the Black Album from front to back in its entirety, and then we’ll do an encore with an entirely different set.
How have you developed personally through music since the beginning of your journey?
I tend to write songs ten times over now, so it’s more of a tedious process. When we were doing that record (Black Album), we were kids; we were writing what we thought sounded cool. When I go over the lyrics off that record, I think to myself, “I cannot believe I really wrote that gibberish!”
Whereas now when I write, I write something that means something to me or that I see personally, or that I’m personally affected by – whether it be love, or heart break or partying, or whatever it may be.
Are you bringing anyone along as support?
In Australia, we’re trying to bring our friends Runaway Kids, who couldn’t get on the plane last time.
Don’t miss Unwritten Law with special guests on Wednesday 14 February 2018 (opening 7:30pm) at C.ex Coffs, Cnr Pacific Hwy and Vernon Street, Coffs Harbour. Tickets www.cex.com.au **18+**