The Crown Coliseum presents Air Supply, Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The band is currently on their “The Lost in Love Experience” tour. Up & Coming Weekly recently caught up with Graham Russell and his mesmerizing accent in the Philippines for an insightful late-night phone interview.

Air Supply was formed in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia. The soft rock duo consists of Englishman Graham Russell, guitarist, and Australian Russell Hitchcock, lead vocalist.

Fate brought them together as the two forged an instant friendship and musical connection. Little did they know they embodied a musical spirit that would drive the 80s decade with monumental music.

“We were in Jesus Christ Superstar in Australia and I was on a mission to get something going, so when the show closed we had somewhere to go, could work together and create something,” said Russell.

“We knew the show would last about 18 months and the first day I met Russell Hitchcock, the penny dropped.”

He added, “he had this amazing voice and had the best voice in the show by a long margin. I knew I had to work with this guy and that is how it all got started.”

The name of the band derived from a dream that Russell had the evening before they had to tell the record company.

“I had a dream, and in the dream, I saw this big billboard that was pure white,” said Russell. “On the perimeter of it were flashing lights going off really fast and in the middle of the billboard were two big black words, Air Supply, and I told Russell about it the next morning.”
Russell added, “We didn’t know what it meant and it was the only name that we had so we had to go with it.”

Russell was 13 years old when he first realized that he had a love for music. He could play the guitar and started writing songs for no particular reason. It wasn’t until he saw The Beatles live in 1964 at a local cinema that everything fell into place. That particular moment was when he knew he wanted to be “that guy” on stage.

“Everything that I did from that moment forward was a journey towards that,” said Russell. “Even during my school years, I always wanted to be in a band and I wanted to be a musician.”

Air Supply is known for delivering sentimental ballads with a passion that cannot be denied.

“The music that we create is very emotional and romantic, but it was never by design,” said Russell.

“We did not sit down and say nobody writes romantic songs so let’s do that.”

He added, “it is just the way it has always been, this is who we are and that is our sound.”

Their first record in Australia was “Love and Other Bruises.” The duo has had a string of chart-topping hits through the years that have cemented their place in the soft rock genre. They include “Making Love Out of Nothing at All,” “Lost in Love,” “The One That You Love," “Here I Am,” “All Out of Love” and more. Russell’s favorite song to perform is the epic lead single “All Out of Love” and they always close the show with it because it is their most successful song.

“The song has been in at least 20 movies and in TV shows after 45 years and that is quite alarming,” said Russell. “It is a song that everybody knows.”

He added that sometimes when he is on a plane, the person next to him will ask him what he does for a living. He tells them that he is in the band, Air Supply, and they will ask the name of one of the songs. Russell says “All Out of Love” and immediately the individual knows the song.

Russell and Hitchcock have favorite artists and are huge Beatles fans.

“I am a song person and there is no greater songwriter than McCartney,” said Russell. “My favorite modern musicians are The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel and Sting.”

When Russell is not writing songs, his favorite pastime is digging into the soil in his garden.

“I am an avid gardener and I grow a lot of vegetables and flowers,” said Russell. “I have a massive greenhouse and when I get home it is a great grounding process for me because it really balances my life and I love creating something from nothing from the earth.”

Russell’s advice to aspiring musicians is to keep doing it, believe in yourself, don’t quit and you will find success.

“You have to keep going but be prepared for rejection,” said Russell. “Be prepared for people to tell you that your songs are terrible, you sound awful and you can’t play the instrument.”

The legendary band has a plethora of projects on the horizon.

“We are approaching our 50th year together in 2025, we have a new album coming out next spring, an autobiography coming out, a documentary and a musical,” said Russell.

“For our anniversary, we are going to rent a big ocean liner and sail off with about 1,500 fans into the sunset.”

And what can the audience expect from their performance?

“The audience can expect us to come out with guns blazing and it is going to be loud, powerful and very orchestral,” said Russell.

“The whole show will sweep everyone away because people have no idea we are like this and it will probably be the best show they have ever seen.”

Visit https://www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/air-supply or call 910-438-4100 for more information and to purchase tickets.

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