Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed

“For a long time I’ve been trying to write lyrics that have summed up what I think about existence and reality. I believe Drop in the Ocean [the new single from 2013’s LP Sounds from the Other Side] is as close as I’ve come to it yet,” remarked Richie Lewis, perfectly articulating his thoughts during what can only be described as a harrowing time for all involved.
Since the unexpected death of Tumbleweed bass player and close friend Jason “Jay” Curley at his home on the 25th of August this year, Richie says everyone has felt a profound loss and they seriously contemplated calling it a day rather than continuing on without one of the band’s founding members.
“We did one show as a tribute to Jay and I’ve got to say it was really hard … really hard to get through,” his voice soft. The pain is still fresh. “But we met a couple of days after we found out that Jay had died and talked about what we were going to do. We had a few shows that were already locked in,” Richie explained. “We weren’t sure if we wanted to do them or not but in the end we thought it would be a good opportunity to have some closure for ourselves and also to give some closure to our friends and fans as well.”
Richie said that they had the idea almost immediately to release a song in his memory, and ‘Drop in the Ocean’ was the obvious choice. “As far as the lyrics of the song go, it’s all about being a part of something bigger than yourself. We’re just one microscopic cog in a catastrophic plan!” he said poetically. “Writing this song was one of those moments of pure honesty. I find they happen so rarely because it’s hard to face our true feelings; we spend our life trying to cloud and obscure them.”
“One thing that has been on my mind a lot since Jay died is that life is short. You’re on this planet for a finite amount of time and you’ve got the choice of how you’re going to spend your time and what you’re going to do with it,” Richie continued candidly, his voice growing stronger as he grew more passionate. “You can live it positively, consciously and make a change.”
With the resolve that something good should come from this tragedy, Tumbleweed chose to package their tribute to Jay with a clip to raise awareness of Sea Shepherd Australia. “Sea Shepherd do great work in our oceans, protecting and conserving it, and it’s not really for the future of the fishies in the sea,” he said with a smile. “It’s for the future of the planet, the future of humanity, you know?” Watch the clip here: youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=IKy__DQBTas
“There’s a very delicate balance to life – you don’t have to walk around like you’re asleep! Speak up about things that you think are important and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. You can make the world a better place!
“That’s what Jay would have wanted, for us to plug ahead. So that’s what we’re doing.”
Check out these inspirational Oz music legends at the River Rocks Festival on November 15. It could be your last chance, as after this date Richie says they’re planning to take time off to heal and reassess their future.
Before we hang up I asked Richie if he’d like to share a favourite memory of Jay. “I’ve got lots because we were friends for so many years, but sometimes the simplest ones can be the best – like just sitting quietly in our kombi van while driving over Sydney Harbour Bridge when we were younger, or some of the funny things he used to do … man, he did some incredibly funny things!” RIP Jay Curley.
When&Where: River Rocks @ The Barwon Club, Geelong – November 15
By Natalie Rogers