The Superjesus celebrate 20th Anniversary of Iconic Album Sumo

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The Superjesus celebrate 20th Anniversary of Iconic Album Sumo

Twenty years on from their platinum selling album Sumo hitting number two on the ARIA chart, The Superjesus are still as popular as ever.
Kicking their career off with an album that won multiple ARIA Awards and cemented them as a force of Australian alternative rock, it’s no surprise the Adelaide band have big things planned for Sumo’s big birthday; not only are they celebrating the 1998 debut with an anniversary edition on vinyl and CD (which also features bonus material sourced from triple j’s Live At The Wireless archive, as well as a never before heard studio cover of Kylie Minogue’s Confide In Me) but they’re also heading on an epic 20-gig tour around the country.
“It is a bit surreal [20 years later]. I feel like I’m the same person but I’ve had 10 different lives within my life,” charismatic frontwoman Sarah McLeod reflects. “It’s pretty cool to be able to revisit our debut knowing what I know now. The band know more now because we’ve grown up a bit and we’ve learnt more, we’re more musical and I feel like having the opportunity to go back and play that record – but with our new mindset – is actually quite a lucky thing to be able to do.”
Initially known as Hell’s Kitchen, The Superjesus received national radio play with their debut 1996 EP Eight Step Rail and became a festival favourite at Big Day Out throughout the ‘90s. With 3 x ARIA Awards and multi platinum albums; Sumo, Jetage, Rock Music and hit singles ‘Gravity’, ‘Secret Agent Man’, ‘Shut My Eyes’, ‘Down Again’ and being inducted into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame last year, The Superjesus are no doubt one of Australia’s most successful and respected rock bands. With much to celebrate, mainstay members Paul Berryman, Stuart Rudd and McLeod have decided to do it the way they did in the ’90s – on the road in a tour van.
“We hadn’t really done much touring at all since we reformed a few years back; we’ve only done a couple of festivals and the odd weekend here and there, so we thought we should do it properly – like we did in the 90s and hit every town and go night after night. We want to get in the van,” she smirks. “Normally we’d get in a cab and we’d get on a plane and then we’d get off the plane, but this one we’re going to get in the van and do it old school. I think it will be good for the band, to pick up a bit of momentum – we haven’t had an opportunity to have momentum for a long time.”
With the absolute love of touring running through their veins, it’s clear all their time on the road has only added to the success – and the chemistry – of The Superjesus over the past two decades.
“We were known as a live band first and foremost, but it’s because we just toured around everywhere,” McLeod explains. “We toured non-stop around Australia and then we went to America and we went around America for year; around and around, we played every tiny town, whether there was people there or not, then we did the UK, Europe and back to America – that’s pretty much why we stopped in the end, is because we were just burnt out… But I want to get burnt out again, I can’t wait to get burnt out. Someone bring a match, let’s go. I’ve forgotten the pain of the old fire, I’m ready to re-ignite,” she laughs, before touching on the band’s brief hiatus.
“We all went away on different tangents and learnt different things and then when we came back together we bought all of the things we learnt while we were apart back into our new relationship,” she explains. “It was kind of like having a marriage, breaking up for a while, and dating loads of other people and getting heaps better at being in a relationship and then going back to your old love and being like ‘look at me, I’m fixed’. It’s exactly what it’s like.”

Now they’re bringing this new marriage and unstoppable work ethic to the fans and for this special occasion, The Superjesus have put together a bigger-than-Ben-Hur show that defies the usual channels of conventional touring. In an unprecedented move, The Superjesus will be playing support for themselves, treating audiences to two mammoth sets and playing everything from Sumo, their two-time ARIA award winning EP Eight Step Rail, and a selection of greatest hits spanning over their two decade long career. The band have never performed a show like this before, and never will again – it is a once off, moment in time celebration of all things The Superjesus.
“I’m just keen to hit the road to be honest,” McLeod reveals. “I’m so content with the idea of playing night after night after night.
“When you play night after night for a couple of weeks on a run you start getting really sleek and you look back on what you were doing when you just had a weekend to do one or two shows, and it’s a completely different league. As much as I’m into travelling Australia, I do love that, but my main focus at the moment is just the excitement and promise of what the band can become after cracking the whip.”
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – October 5, Max Watts, Melbourne – October 6 & Taphouse, Bendigo – October 10. Tickets available from