Billboard Music Awards

The Datsuns Bolster Their Rep On The Road

Excerpted from the magazine for

If the essence of rock'n'roll is the live performance, then V2 Records freshmen the Datsuns are about as purebred as they come.

The band's nonstop touring is sending the rockers around the world in a whirl of wailing guitars and vocals in support of their self-titled debut, due March 4. The set was released in Europe via V2 late last year.

"All good rock bands are about performing live," says Datsuns guitarist Christian Livingstone, who, like fellow band members vocalist/bassist Dolf De Datsun, guitarist Phil Buscke, and drummer Matt Osment, has adopted the surname of Datsun. "We always play. Even if one of us breaks a limb, we will play a show."

The foursome's let-it-rip attitude explains why a recent week's schedule -- which found the group performing at home in New Zealand, then jetting in succession to Australia, Japan, England, and Ireland -- puts nary a damper on the members' enthusiasm.

"It's hard work," Livingstone says, "but it's something we've always wanted to do."

The Datsuns formed in 1997 to parlay the rock of such musical heroes as Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Queen into their own arena-sized sound. A meeting with the White Stripes provided not only local exposure in New Zealand via an opening slot on the Stripes' tour, but also the inspiration to take the band's music a step further.

"Being a successful band is not something you think about much living in New Zealand, because it just doesn't usually happen," Livingstone says. "We formed the band just to play music and have fun."

When it came time to record their album, the Datsuns called upon White Stripes producer Liam Watson, who currently is working on a set of B-sides with the band and who also understood the challenge of bringing a pack of road warriors into the recording studio.

"We are not fond of recording, but it was relatively short and painless for us, about 19 days," Livingstone says. "We went in and played live and if it was a good take, we stopped and got a cup of tea."

Hopes are that the single "In Love" will be heard on both modern-rock and album-rock radio stations in the U.S. just as the Datsuns begin zigzagging their way across the U.S. in a headlining club tour. The group will kick off the run March 14 with a performance at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, and close it out with two shows April 12-13 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, Calif.

For those who may not get to see a performance or are thirsting for more, V2 is bundling with 35,000 CDs a DVD that unloads a performance segment filmed last December at London's Astoria.

Excerpted from the March 8, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the members section.

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