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The Beast Bandage Q&A: Grinspoon

By Dan Hutton on June 23, 2017 in Arts

Photo: James Philson

Grinspoon really need no introduction. Having formed in 1995 in the backwaters of Lismore, they went on to become one of the most successful Australian rock bands of the late 90s and naughties. Their live performances were second to none, with front man Phil Jamieson regularly whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

Though they now have seven albums now under their studded belts, you’d be hard pressed to find one more popular among fans than their debut, Guide to Better Living, which first dropped 20 years ago. As such, Grinspoon are packing up the tour bus and hitting the road to play the album in its entirety at a range of venues around the country, and they’ll be hitting the stage at the Enmore Theatre on July 6 and 7.

We fired a few questions at Mr. Jamieson during the month…

My first memory of music is… gospel, though my first memory of popular music was hearing ‘Evie Part 1’ by Stevie Wright at the age of three.

Growing up my parents listened to… Christian music, mainly; Keith Green, that kind of jazz. They may have had the Skyhooks/the Eagles/Deep Purple as part of their vinyl collection, but it rarely got played.

My dream gig… would include Sufjan Stevens, Bud Powell, Billy Ocean, Bikini Kill, No Zu, the Tall Grass, Spoon, Lonely Island, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Magic Dirt and the Easybeats.

If you come to see us play Guide to Better Living in its entirety, you can expect… Guide to Better Living played in its entirety.

I think young Aussies connected with Guide to Better Living and Grinspoon because… I made the record when I was 19 so perhaps that has something to do with it? Otherwise I have no idea!

If I could go back to 1997 and give myself one piece of advice… I wouldn’t stop at one piece of advice. I’d have at least five pieces of advice: 1. It’s a marathon not a sprint; 2. Roll don’t fold; 3. Don’t buy the jeep; 4. Don’t sell the EH; and 5. Avalon is a long way from anywhere.

My biggest regret from the last 20 years is… 1. Not buying that Hawaiian shirt; 2. Letting Chris Cheney buy the Hawaiian shirt 3. See above.

My career highlight is… hard to put a finger on. Thinking of highlights seems to be way too self-congratulatory. I really love Grinspoon’s second album, Easy, and I really liked programming Rage for the first time as I had been watching it/taping it since I was a kid. It was a surreal experience.

There was one time when we were starting out… that Pat quit the band whilst sitting on a toilet.

If I could have chosen one song to have written it would have to be…
I have millions of these. Today it’s ‘Mr Sandman’.

My favourite song to perform would have to be… I love them all (well, sort of). ‘More Than You Are’ holds a special spot, though.

The best thing about the local music scene is… Stale Cakes, Jack River, and Flow Bar.

Our biggest fan has got be… You? My mum? I’m not sure.

To find out more about Grinspoon’s upcoming tour, please visit www.grinspoon.com.

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