How Three Highly Respected Songwriter/Producers Teamed Up To Become A Studio Project
Demolition Crew started out as a brain storming session between three highly respected Melbourne songwriters and producers. Now they have become a fully-fledged studio project set to release a series of records with guest vocalists.
The core of Demolition Crew is made up of:
* DAVID BRIGGS – played lead guitar with Little River Band between 1976 and 1980. He co-wrote some of their hits including “Happy Anniversary” which reached #12 on the American Billboard charts and “Lonesome Loser” which sold a million copies worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy. In 1979 Briggs was the recipient of the Advance Australia Award for Outstanding Contribution To Music and in 2004, was inducted with the rest of LRB into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame.
Briggs set up his recording studio The Production Workshop in 1979 and focused on writing and producing acts. He discovered Australian Crawl and produced their multi-platinum debut album The Boys Light Up. He also developed a songwriting collaboration with Greg Macainsh of Skyhooks fame; their songs were recorded by The Uncanny Xmen. John Paul Young and Renee Geyer. He studied Music Engineering at Surrey University in the UK in 1986, and produced records for Russell Morris and Wendy & The Rocketts.
* CHRIS DOHENY – gained national attention when he emerged with the band Geisha, which scored a worldwide deal with EMI Music and scored eight Top 10 singles in Australia between 1985 and 1987. One of these, “Kabuki” reached Number One. (Twenty years later Geisha were discovered in America, and Doheny toured there in 2007). He wrote songs for Daryl Braithwaite, James Blundell, Lee Kernaghan, Steve Wright as well as US band Berlin’s singer Terri Nunn, Roxette and Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! fame. He was the voice of “More Than A Game”, theme song of Nine Network’s AFL The Football Show, fronted glam-pop bands Dragonfly and All The Young Dudes, helped coordinate the soundtrack for Australian movie The Castle, and released solo recording on his Diamond Dog Records. His skill as a singer and entertainer makes him sought after for corporate work.
* STEVE STRANGE – a Melbourne club DJ and music programmer for 30 years, he is also well known for his voice-over work on radio and television. He co-wrote and produced with David Briggs as “The Prophecy” featuring Marie Hall and co-wrote “Sailing” with Chris Doheny for a Geisha release in 2012. Over the past few years Briggs, Doheny and Strange met every Friday mornings at Briggs’ recording studio in West Melbourne tossing songs and ideas around with no specific project in mind.
Recounts Briggs of their longtime friendship, “I first met Chris Doheny in the early 80s when he came to my studio to record. He was very young, but even then he showed immense musical talent as a musician /vocalist and I was impressed. I met Steve a little later when he worked as a club DJ. He, again, demonstrated a wealth of musical knowledge in his idiom, and a great understanding of the dance floor. Both very experienced in their fields, and I like them both as people which makes it easy creatively to work with. We write music together as a collective social interaction…it’s what musicians do.”
Now Demolition Crew is taking a major step forward, and become a studio dance/pop project using a variety of male and female voices.
The first single is “The Real Deal”, which is the track when all three realized that Demolition Crew was ready to release music to the world. Chris Doheny takes the lead vocals on the track.
Briggs explains: “It was a no-brainer to have Chris singing the ‘Real Deal’. .He is such a great vocalist and was obvious to sing that tune. It developed from our Friday sessions. Steve and myself had much of the music up and going before the lyrical direction. Chris came in and gave the song his unique vocal angle and also some feedback and creative input to the bridge.”
In the future, Demolition Crew songs will stylistically take shape as they are written, with contributions from outsiders whom the three feel can add to their ingredients. Briggs emphasizes, “The DC can be whatever we want it to be as spelt out by the song’s direction.”