Airbourne is an Australian hard rock band formed in Warrnambool in 2003.
Mainstay members are Joel O'Keeffe on lead vocals and lead guitar, and his brother Ryan O'Keeffe on drums. They were later joined by Justin Street on bass guitar and backing vocals. David Roads was also a mainstay member until leaving the band in April 2017 – Harri Harrison was announced as his replacement.
Their debut album, Runnin' Wild, was released in June 2007 and peaked in the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It appeared on the United Kingdom Albums Chart and United States Billboard 200. By August 2013, it was certified with Silver award by BPI.
Their second album, No Guts. No Glory. was issued in March 2010 and reached the top 20 on the ARIA Chart, top 40 in the UK and also appeared on the Billboard 200.
Their third studio album Black Dog Barking was released on 21 May 2013. In October of 2016, Airbourne released their fourth album, titled Breakin' Outta Hell.
Airbourne formed as a hard rock band in late 2003 in the Victorian city of Warrnambool by Joel O'Keeffe and his younger brother Ryan . Joel had played guitar since the age of 11 and Ryan got his first drum kit four years later also at the age of 11. Joel met David Roads when the two worked at the Hotel Warrnambool. The pair brought their guitars to work and, after their shifts, jammed on song ideas; Roads was asked to join the O’Keeffe brothers on rhythm guitar for rehearsals at their house. By late 2003, Adam Jacobson had joined on bass guitar, the group was named Airbourne and played regular gigs at the local Criterion Hotel.
In March 2004 the four-piece won a statewide band competition, Push-On, in Melbourne. Their early material was influenced by Australian rock bands AC/DC, The Angels, Billy Thorpe and Rose Tattoo. They recorded an eight-track extended play, Ready to Rock, which appeared in July 2004 as an independent self-funded release. By that time Jacobson was replaced by Justin Street on bass guitar – Ryan had met Street while stumbling home drunk from a party one night. In early 2005, the band relocated to Melbourne and in August, they signed a five album record deal with Capitol Records. According to Joel, while the band were living in a shared house they threw a party, and during listening to a Krokus CD, Rock the Block, a blown fuse resulted in a fire burning the back part of the house. The group have supported Mötley Crüe, Motörhead, Iron Maiden and The Rolling Stones, as well as performing at summer music festivals.
In 2006 Airbourne travelled to the United States to begin work on their first studio album, Runnin' Wild, with producer Bob Marlette .Runnin' Wild was released in Australia on 23 June 2007. Three singles were issued from the album, "Runnin' Wild" , "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" , a playable track on Guitar Hero World Tour; and "Diamond in the Rough". In February, Capitol Records cancelled their contract with Airbourne, but the album was still issued in Australia through EMI. In June, the band signed with Roadrunner Records for international distribution.
The album peaked in the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart in Australia, top 40 on New Zealand's RIANZ Albums Chart and appeared on charts in Austria, Switzerland and France. During late 2007, the group toured the United States supporting Kid Rock and Korn. Runnin' Wild was issued in North America, Europe and Japan in January 2008, after which they relocated permanently to the US. The album reached the Top 100 on the UK Albums Chart and appeared on the Billboard 200. In September 2007, they issued a five-track live extended play, Live at the Playroom.
In a September 2008 interview with MetalSucks, Joel discussed comparisons with AC/DC, "whoever you are when you come out, especially if you're from Australia and you sound like we do, you're going to get compared to anyone who is out there. It doesn't matter who you are, you are going to get compared to somebody. To be compared to the best rock and roll band in the business, who are still going today and are about to release another album, there is no higher compliment..." In November at the Astoria in London, Dan Hawkins joined Airbourne on stage to play the AC/DC song, "Whole Lotta Rosie".
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