Grenadiers wrestle with love

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Grenadiers wrestle with love

With spot-on guitar tones, frontman Jesse Coulter’s characteristic whiskey’n’smokes growl, and an escalating maelstrom of fist-pumping, sing-along punky rock, Grenadiers are a live force to be reckoned with. Last year the Adelaide outfit released their third album Find Something You Love and Let it Kill You and are just about to a head out on a number of headline dates to spruik it to the masses. We chat to Coulter ahead of their tour.
Hey thanks for chatting to Forté. You had a massive 2017, releasing your third LP ‘Find Something You Love and Let It Kill You’. How are you finding the reception so far?
It’s been pretty positive and it’s nice to just have it out as it took a lot longer than we’d hoped for. Ultimately the biggest satisfaction for us is having the album out and finished and feeling good about it. Honestly, someone’s review is their opinion and if they want to hate on something we’ve done then that’s their prerogative and they are very welcome to it. I always welcome a diversity of opinion. I always find it funny when someone is ripping on our band – I remember when we did ‘Triple J’s Like a Version’ and just reading the comments on that, I just found it absolutely hilarious. There was shit like ‘Nice try boys, go back to the garage’, like ‘Kill yourself’ and ‘That’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard’. So, you know, I just thought it was hilarious. I’m definitely not thin-skinned when it comes to bad reviews, but luckily the ones that we’ve had have all been positive.
Your 2nd LP Summer was anointed triple j feature album status in 2016, how has the accomplishment affected you as a band? Does it give you more confidence, or is it just something to add to the list?
It’s a little bit from Column A and a little bit from Column B. It has definitely assisted us in a massive way; it’s grown our fan base a fair bit and exposed us to whole new listenership that we didn’t previously have. Having said that, we’re not really a “triple j band”, we’re definitely more of that underground pub rock that goes out and hits the road and develops our own fan-base. There’s definitely a core fan-base there, but we now have that triple j listenership which has been really awesome for us. It is a cool thing to have achieved for the resume – not that there are any resumes in rock ’n’ roll, but just something that you can look back on when it’s all said and done and go ‘Hey, that was a cool time to be around.

You got to tour nationally with Millencolin and Shihad. How was the experience in being able to tour with artists of that ilk?

Great. We’ve done a lot of supports, ranging from four or five shows with our friends Bad//Dreems and around twenty-one shows supporting British India which was a shitload of fun. Those guys are really great folks and we played a lot of unconventional places like Dunsborough and Geelong, places that you don’t always get to go to, so that was a lot of fun. And then touring with bands like Unwritten Law and Millencolin as you mentioned, which is a fun time because they are bands that we listened to when we were 14 years old and here you are touring with them. They’re always accommodating people and a lot of fun and good times are had – also playing in front of a crowd that may not have heard of you before and playing some big venues that you may not get the opportunity to play in. It’s just part of the whole experience, isn’t it?
Do you find that it’s a bit of a trip that you get to play with the bands that you listened to growing up? Do you find that you build a good rapport and friendship on the road?
I definitely find that you build a good rapport on the road with these people, especially people with that punk-rock or pub-rock and just rock ‘n’ roll kind of background, don’t get to that heady ‘Look at me, I’m fucking awesome’ kind of status. They come from playing in people’s garages and house parties and then they come up and tour wherever they’re from, playing to fucking five people for years and then they grow into it. But it’s not actually that much of a trip to play with these guys and it comes from the fact we’ve also been going around and doing the touring thing for years. The more you do it the more you realise that anyone in any band are there, maybe not The Beatles, but if you’re selling 5,000 tickets or 2,000 tickets or 150, they’ve all done the same stuff. The only difference in the size of the rooms and the quality of the equipment. You realise that they’re normal people, which builds the rapport as well, and you realise that it’s just dudes or girls on the road having a good time.
You have a good amount of shows lined up in early 2018 to promote the album tour – with such grunt and energy on stage, how do you gear up mentally and physically for a tour like this?
I do a lot of lifting with my right arm, namely stubby to mouth to table and there’s a bit of that pre-show too. There’s the three-beer-buzz, which I think is an essential part of the whole process and not to be underestimated. I mean, we’re not singing any fucking arias, in the opera sense, we’re not out there doing the ring cycle, or playing some Who-esque craziness, we’re out there playing a 40-minute song instead of three-minute songs and getting a bit sweaty and that’s pretty much it. We’re not over-thinking it.

Do you find by the end of a tour and ending a tour bittersweet? Are you happy to go home, or does it suck that it’s over?

Both. It is the exact definition of bittersweet. You know, in some ways it’s like ‘Fuck, its so good to sleep in my own bed again’ and ‘Fuck it’s good to not have to play a show tonight’ or ‘Hey, it’s so nice to have a weekend where I can hang out with my girlfriend and my dogs’ or whatever it is, or just stay at home and watch Netflix. But on the other hand it’s just so much fun being on the road – it is a little bit bitter, along with the sweet. You meet a lot of cool people, you see a lot of cool places and you have a lot of fun. Bittersweet is pretty much the perfect way to describe it, because it is both. You have your luxuries again but its sad to end the fun.
After releasing ‘Find Something You Love and Let It Kill You’ and the subsequent tour, have you had time to think about what’s next for Grenadiers, or are you happy to sit back for a little bit and enjoy the fruits of labour?
Not at all man, we are already hard at work on the next release. We’ve got a few songs written and we’ve demoed them and we’re working towards the next thing. We’ve been a little notorious for having big gaps between releases and we’re really endeavouring for that not to be the case for the next thing. We have no intentions in becoming the biggest band in the world, we just want to put out songs we think are really good, and keep going and keep playing to the people who want to hear it and that’s what we’re going to do.
When & Where: The Eastern, Ballarat – February 8 & Workers Club, Melbourne – February 9
In the meantime, best take Grenadiers’ advice. ‘Find Something You Love and Let It Kill You’ immediately via
Written by Daniel Jubb