Released on Remembrance Day, November 11, Rock for Reflection & Remembrance (Rock for R’n’R) is the first-ever album and touring project to bring together Australian Veteran bands, musicians, and artists, to commemorate all Australian veterans and their families.
Rock for Reflection & Remembrance features 25 tracks from over a dozen current and former Veteran bands and musicians, and Defence family members. The album commemorates not only the end of 20 years operational service and the War in Afghanistan but, the service of all Australian Defence personnel and their families over the past many decades.
In September 2021, Australia ended its role in the war in Afghanistan, marking 20 years and the longest commitment to military operations in the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) history. This period of sustained operations included Iraq, Timor-Leste, and Solomon Islands, as well as many other warlike, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations globally.
This nationally significant moment has brought a range of emotions for all living veterans, their families, and for our nation. The end of this period provides a significant inflection point in history offering an opportunity to pause, reflect and remember the service of all our veterans and their families.
Rock for Reflection & Remembrance features some of Australia’s best-known Veteran musicians including Normie Rowe, Anthony Field (The Wiggles, The Riflemen), John ‘Swanee’ Swan (performing Cold Chisel’s, ‘When the War is Over’), and Stella Anning, as well as acclaimed singer-songwriter John Schumann. Other former and current serving members contributing include Liz Smith, Tony Q, Liam Haven, Veterans Inc., Ben McNeil, The Pretty Bones, and the world’s only ‘Spec-Ops-Rock’ band, The Externals.
The album will be a prelude to the national tour, which kicks off on Feb 12 at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, before travelling to the Darwin Convention Centre on Feb 19. The tour will also visit the grounds of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in March, with multiple other venues to be announced throughout 2022 as part of a national tour.
Rock for R’n’R producer and lead singer of The Externals, Harry Moffitt, says that the music is an eclectic mix of styles and genres, guaranteed to be enjoyed by all.
“The album will showcase an array of musical styles and talent, I think everyone will be more than pleasantly surprised at the quality of our veteran musicians, both in playing and song writing ability. They are as good as anyone going around.”
Liam Haven’s song ‘Talking To Myself’, is an exploration of the impacts of combat. Haven, 33, says that without music he would not have recovered from his life-altering deployment to Iraq.
“In May 2008, two weeks shy of me coming back to Australia, I was seriously wounded when my ‘Bushy’ (Bushmaster armoured vehicle) was hit by a roadside bomb near the end of a routine patrol in Southern Iraq. I lost my left eye, and my right eye was extensively damaged. I not only suffered physically but also had mental health challenges including Type 2 Bipolar. This led to issues with alcohol and drug abuse. Somehow, I pulled myself out of the hole and turned to music for solace and hope.”
“I am a self-taught guitarist and enjoy singing and writing my own songs. The opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, amongst fellow Australian Veterans was an offer too good to refuse. It has reignited my passion for acoustic rock music, and I look forward to performing pieces that are poignant, as well as songs that celebrate life and love.”
There are many other stories behind the music giving a unique personal gravitas to the project.
“It has been epic to put this together” Moffitt explains about producing the album. “I have produced a few albums in the past, but this has been unique. We have whole bands recording in different parts of the country, from lockdown, and sharing into one studio in Melbourne where we are mastering the album for release. I really hope the country gets behind it.”
“Following the album release, we will kick off a national Rock for R‘n’R concert tour,” says Moffitt. “We are looking at putting on a couple of big veteran arts festivals next year. I think Australia will be blown away at the creative talent in and from our defence force, which is next level. They are amazing storytellers.”
Anthony Field (The Wiggles, The Riflemen) says:
“I’m proud to be involved with Rock for Rock for R‘n’R. When I was in the Army, we had many veterans from Vietnam who suffered, so when fellow Veteran and musician Rob Pickersgill (The Riflemen) called and told me about the project, I wanted to help in any way possible. Music has the amazing ability to bring people together and lift everyone’s spirits, which I think is essential in today’s climate and why events like Rock for R‘n’R are so important.”
The album cover art is also by veterans Kat Rae and Sean Burton.
ROCK FOR REFLECTION & REMEMBRANCE
ALBUM TRACK LIST
1. Swanee – ‘When The War Is Over’
2. Liam Haven – ‘When Dawn Comes’
3. The Riflemen – ‘The Recruiting Sergeant’
4. Normie Rowe – ‘Missing in Action’
5. Veterans Inc. – ‘Welcome Home’
6. It Only Rains on the Weekend – ‘Stella Anning’
7. The Externals – ‘The Hell Beyond’
8. Tony Q – ‘One More’
9. The Pretty Bones – ‘Crawl’
10. Liz Smith – ‘Tell Me Who You Are’
11. Ben McNeil – ‘Betterman’
12. Swanee – ‘Letters from Home’
13. John Schumann – ‘On Every Anzac Day’
14. Liam Haven – ‘Talking to Myself’
15. The Riflemen – ‘Masons Apron’
16. Stella Anning – ‘Empty’
17. The Externals – ‘Edge of the World’
18. Tony Q – ‘Hair Trigger’
19. The Pretty Bones – ‘Roadside’
20. Married Patch – ‘Seven Brothers’
21. John Schumann and The Vagabond Crew – ‘Khe Sahn (Long Tan Version)’
22. Married Patch – ‘Silence Alone’
23. Normie Rowe – ‘What Have You Done for Australia’
24. Ben McNeil – ‘Delilah’
25. Swanee – ‘Close the Door’
ALBUM OUT NOW VIA ABC MUSIC
Listen here: https://snd.click/Rock4RnR
For album info and national tour dates visit the Rock for R‘n’R website