"I love it stinking hot, wearing my sunglasses and shorts," says Boom Crash Opera's Dale Ryder in response to me telling him how hot it will be at Westport Park, when BCO open the tenth edition of Red Hot Summer on February 1, 2020.
Ryder rejoins the band, which originally formed in 1984, after quitting three years ago due to scheduling problems. "It's fun for me to step back in. I've been doing these songs with other bands, but they don't make the same kind of noise."
Everyone in the BCO line-up is an original band member [Peter "Bungie" Farnan (guitar/vocals), Peter "Maz" Maslen (drums/vocals), Ryder (lead vocals)] except for John Farvaro (bass/vocals). "I've been with them for almost 30 years, so it was very easy and comfortable to slip back in. I've lived with those songs and was there at the beginning. I did miss it (2016-2019), but I didn't want to tell anyone."
Ryder says all the band members contributed to the songwriting for the group, but Peter Farnan and Richard Pleasance were very prolific songwriters. "They wrote great lyrics that had longevity. They weren't trite, there was nothing corny about them, even singing Onion Skin today, it still has relevance."
Indian born Ryder came to Australia in 1968 as a teenager. He says looking back to when it all began 35 years ago, he didn't think singing in a band was going to be a long career. "You are young and full of energy to start. But it's all I like to do, so it's like getting paid for a hobby all this time," the 65-year-old says.
Also on the epic bill for RHS 2020 are Killing Heidi, Baby Animals, The Angels, The Living End, James Reyne and, re-forming for the tour, Hunters & Collectors.
"This will be a thrill to do. It's quite glamorous compared to what we did in the old days. There's marquees, drinks, food and no pressure. You do your hit singles and just try to please the crowd for half an hour. Then you sit backstage and talk to everyone. I love the stories from the other bands.
"Everyone becomes very close. It's like a long holiday. It's amazing going to all these places, I am really looking forward to it. I've played with everyone except Killing Heidi and Hunters & Collectors. I can't wait. When you see Mark [Seymour] on stage, he's mesmerising."
Ryder says all the bands are a little older and play the songs a little better. "When i was growing up, music was a charge, it was almost anthemic, it could change things in the world. People don't write anthems anymore."
Boom Crash Opera kicks off the sizzling bill at 2pm. "In the old days we wanted to be on last. These days we like being on first, we get to relax and listen to everyone else."