Over a career spanning 21 years, Fireballs have become an institution in the Australian live scene, while also remaining a huge drawcard for punters. Indeed, they regularly sell out venues with a capacity of over a thousand people, simply through their fan pages and word of mouth – no advertising necessary.

Hence fans are in for a treat as they prepare to hit the stage with blues man Barrence Whitfield and his devilish band The Savages, as they both play one of the most intimate shows of their recent careers at Ding Dong Lounge in Melbourne this Good Friday. Jim Murray caught up with singer and drummer Eddie Fury ahead of the gig.

Eddie Fury cackles as he remembers the first gig this interviewer saw the band at, back in 1993 as a squeaky voiced barely-teenager at the Pushover Festival at (the then) Olympic Park in Melbourne. “Yeah that was with … It probably would have been Frenzal Rhomb’s first gig.” Indeed almost 20 years later, he also remembers TISM and the Hoodoo Gurus headlining.

“Yeah, if I remember correctly they had big bubble costumes on their heads.” At that stage, TISM in their prime and Fireballs also heading in to the stratosphere of Australian music was enough to blow the mind of a 13 year old schoolboy; but all this time later, TISM are no longer. Despite an eight year hiatus, Fireballs are still playing to crowds that make other music promoters jealous. What’s kept them going is the obvious question?  Indeed, they’re not even resting on the laurels they are more than entitled to – they have recently put out a new album; Hellrider.

Now that they’re not at the mercy of record companies and shareholders, has it made the process of writing a new album any different? “Yeah well we’re just a bit older and are a bit more ourselves and need that artistic control,” Fury says. “It’s good—it helps us in the writing process as well seeing as we’re not trying to make a hit … it has taken us a good year to do the last album, which is probably the longest that we have ever spent on that many tracks.”