Playing to thousands seems to be a common thing for the young Geelong band Where’s Joss? And they’re set for a performance in front of 50,000 as the halftime entertainment for the Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide match. We had a chat to Joss Russell about playing to a big crowd, his side project and going solo.
Hey Joss, thanks for chatting to Forte! How are you and what are you up to at the moment?
No worries Forte, thanks for having me! At the moment I’m in full preparation mode for the Adelaide oval gig that’s coming up. We’ve been rehearsing heaps in the last few weeks making sure all the songs are as tight as possible. I’m also working on a fashion label as a side project, with a great local team from Geelong. It’s called Hammock Islandwear, and it’s a bit of a casual and sporty twist on typical preppy fashion. You can check out some of our designs on Facebook.
We’ve seen you’ve had quite a few gigs since you last graced our cover, how have things been going for you gig-wise?
I’ve been doing a lot of solo stuff, playing at venues like the Peroni Lounge at Simonds Stadium – a nice premium lounge area with great seating in front where you can watch the game and rub shoulders with some of Geelong’s big hitters. I’ve also been doing a lot of gigs for a local company called Plan It Roxie who are doing some awesome stuff around Geelong as well as regular solo gigs at some great pubs in addition to venues in Melbourne. You can catch me playing at Grovedale Hotel and Torquay Hotel about once a month or at the Peroni Lounge at most Geelong Cats home games.
Things are definitely doing well seeing as you’ll be playing as the halftime entertainment for the Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide game. Are you nervous about playing to a crowd of 50,000?
A few months ago when we got confirmation that the gig was booked I immediately got nervous and that still hasn’t subsided. I would say the excitement definitely outweighs the nervousness though. The Rolling Stones played to 53,500 at Adelaide Oval so we’re hoping to beat them!
Does it make it easier that you can’t pick out the faces and they’re just a blur of people as opposed to an intimate gig where you can make some serious eye contact?
Yeah, I think that makes it easier. But most people will be eating pies, talking to their mates and getting ready to watch the footy anyway. Even though they can hear us they won’t be actively critiquing us, and that makes me feel better. But we will have the mosh pit in front of us to draw energy from!
We heard a whisper this might be the last performance for ‘Where’s Joss’, is this true?
Yeah, I decided to leave the band about a month ago for a few reasons. I wanted the added freedom that comes from being a solo musician, in that you can play whichever songs you like, whenever you like, and you can change them up on the spot, adding another chorus or an extra solo or whatever you like. And if my voice is tired at the end of a long weekend of gigs, I can just play in a lower key. The best part though is the simplicity and ease with which you can organise everything.
The boys weren’t happy about me quitting, and when I let them know, a couple of them couldn’t figure out what to say for a couple of days. I think they felt betrayed which really sucks. It’s one of the toughest things about having to work in a professional context with your friends.
We’re expecting there to be a few more big gigs coming up, what’s in store over the next six months?
I pretty much want to play as many solo gigs as I can (hopefully three per weekend) because playing music is what keeps me alive. If you want to come and see me you can check me out on Facebook as ‘Where’s Joss?’ or you can go to my website www.wheresjoss.com.
Thanks again for the chat, is there anything else you’d like to share?
Always a pleasure Forte, thanks for having me.
When&Where: Catch them play at the Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide game via Fox Sports on the day (3pm, May 3).