Tumbleweed and a new sort of vitality as a band

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Tumbleweed and a new sort of vitality as a band

Despite the many ups and downs over their almost thirty-year career, musical legends and purveyors of ‘90s stoner rock Tumbleweed reunite this year in support of fellow Australian rockers and long-time friends Spiderbait, who are touring their third and most celebrated album Ivy and the Big Apples.

“They’re wrapping up the Ivy and The Big Apples and they’re just trying to stay true to the time. When they were putting the album together, I was hanging out with Kram a lot, and was there enduring that whole writing process of that record, but as far as us getting involved in it, we sort of didn’t really think we were going to be playing again, we hadn’t had plans to play again ever really,” Tumbleweed’s vocalist Richie Lewis explains. “Then Kram contacted me and said he’d really like us to be a part of it and we thought ‘okay yeah it would be nice to catch up and see old friends’.”

In the face of several line-up changes, disbanding in 2003 for six years, and suffering the sudden passing of bassist Jason (Jay) Curley in 2014, Tumbleweed still haven’t lost their rock and roll spirit or their love for the music.

“Since Jay died, we did a last tour to wrap things up and have a bit of closure on things, but we didn’t want to go through the process of replacing a bass player so we just put it on hold and just got on with our lives,” Lewis says, “the idea of getting back together again now was to just support some friends. They did sort of persuade us, and so with that start to it, it’s kind of spawned some new sort of vitality in the band.

“It’s kind of like a drug, and you sort of give it up, and then you have one more practice and you’re back in. It’s hard to lay aside forever. Now we’re quite open to stuff and we’ll just see what happens.”

Touring alongside Spiderbait back in 1995, the Wollongong band are most famous for supporting Nirvana in 1992, along with their classic second album Galactaphonic (1995). More than 20 years later, the album still enjoys a strong legacy with fans and music lovers alike.

“For many of them [their fans], it was a period in many of our lives that was really special, the early mid ‘90s. And playing as a coming of age, it was like a golden age and people look back at that time fondly so it became a part of their soundtrack to their youth,” Lewis says.

“For that, I’m grateful. We loved it, we put 100% into it. As an artist who is interested in creating, it’s sometimes a bit limiting to have to do your best of hits, but I still enjoy the songs and I’ve played in a few bands since, and never really had the same momentum or following, so it’s nice to get out and play in front of people who are passionate and love it.”

With their Galactaphonic-era tracks making up a big portion of the band’s live show, Lewis says that fans can expect a few new tracks from the band at their upcoming shows.

“The best way to explain it would be a mixture of the first two albums, and we’ll be doing a couple of surprises, songs we haven’t done before – ever,” he says, “it will be cool because we have to get Steve [drums] and Paul [guitar] to learn a couple of songs that they weren’t part of, so it will be great to hear them put their own feel and individuality into it and give it new life.”

When & Where: The Corner Hotel, Melbourne – April 28 & 29

Written by Talia Rinaldo