With legendary Aussie rockers Grinspoon’s ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour booked in for the latter half of the year, it makes sense that the band had some time off to kick start the year. But what is it that musicians do on their holidays?
“I don’t know what it is yet!” laughs the groups’ frontman Phil Jamieson. “I’m not good at writing for specific things. I just kind of write and let the music be the music.
“I did a bit of recording in May which was fun, just on my own. At this point in time, I’m really not sure what it’ll be for, but as a songwriter, you kind of just always want to write; that’s what you do. So whether it’s for solo, or for somebody else, or for Grinspoon, I kind of let other people decide that in a way.
“What I can say is the new stuff is a bit wordier, actually it’s a lot wordier so I don’t know where it will take it. There’s a lot of stuff that has a purpose and I think that’s really important in this day and age, to have music with a purpose.
“I’m doing six solo shows before the whole Grinspoon thing happens in October as well!” He excitedly and comedically continues, “it’s a bit different from when I play with Grinspoon because firstly when I’m on stage I’m not playing with Grinspoon, so that’s a bit different.
“Secondly, there are no flashing lights, which I quite like but at the same time I wouldn’t mind having lights and a smoke machine for a solo show,” he laughs.
The ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour will mark the release of Grinspoon’s ‘Chemical Hearts’ Vinyl, a greatest hits LP delivering some of the Grinners best tracks on some hot wax, but interestingly enough, some of the bands biggest songs and undoubtedly fan favourites, never actually made the charts.
“Well charts are a funny thing,” Jamieson reflects, “because ‘More Than You Are’, ‘Dead Cat (DCX3)’ and ‘Champion’ all didn’t chart, which was the same for ‘Post Enebriated Anxiety’.
“‘More Than You Are’ is definitely one of my favourites because it was written in our band’s infancy and still flows really well with our sets now and it’s a song with purpose as well,” he laughs.
“In terms of what made it on the Chemical Hearts vinyl, a lot had to be dropped, jostled and altered around. I really like that ‘Black Friday’ made it on there; it’s a fucking cracking song and because it’s just off an EP and never a proper record it’s maybe been a bit lost in the mire over time. ‘More Than You Are’ was never on a studio album either so I’m really happy they both made it. They are kind of the ones that stick out to me.
“The ’90s was a weird place Alex,” Jamieson says. “It was weird back then with charts and singles; people were crazy. We kind of found our way through triple j and shows like Recovery where you could actually premiere a new song with you on stage playing it live, that was a fun way to do things.”
Grinspoon’s ‘Chemical Hearts’ tour will be hitting up Forum Melbourne on October 15 & 16. Tickets via ticketmaster.com.au.
‘Chemical Hearts’ tour vinyl (featuring the bands favourite singles and set list for the tour) will be released October 11.
Written by Alex Callan