Uncouth to an unbreakable union: the tale of troubling teens with a meddling frown, Jebediah.

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Uncouth to an unbreakable union: the tale of troubling teens with a meddling frown, Jebediah.

Jebediah, Image Credit Taj O'Halloran
Words by Tammy Walters

“Walking down that road, and you wouldn’t believe the ghosts you meet hiding away down a memory street.” These lyrics are extracted from ‘April Slumber’, a song from Perth band Jebediah’s latest record OIKS.

For Kevin Mitchell, Chris Daymond, Brett Mitchell and Vanessa Thornton, or the collectively umbrella-ed first name of fictional Springfield founding father, Jebediah, the trip down memory lane took some detours. The fifth record in the Jebediah collection is one that revives the band after 13 years but it almost didn’t happen.

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Lead vocals and rhythm guitarist Kevin Mitchell explains, “This Jebs record actually started in 2018 and we were sort of working through it in little blocks right up until 2020 just with the idea – very similar to how we worked on our previous record Kosciuszko – of doing it in blocks of time and piecing it together. We figured it might take about 3 years once we got going, much like Kosciuszko did back in 2011 but then of course 2020 happened and we were making this record in Perth, and Brett and I, my brother, we live in Victoria so for two years we were locked out of WA and couldn’t get in there so that pretty much put everything on hold. Then in 2022 we were able to start going back and able to sort of finish.” 

“It’s been a real labour of love – a long, convoluted process and look, there were times around 2021 where I was thinking “Jesus”. The whole project just seemed to be put on ice and I definitely wondered at times if we would finish it.”


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Working against the odds the band, who shot to fame in 1996 with their first single ‘Jerks of Attention’, rolled with the punches, wrapping everything up into a neat little package. 

“I feel like sometimes we were successful creativity in spite of what was going on – there were a lot of things working against it and the creativity bubbled to the surface in spite of that. But then in some ways maybe it helped,” Mitchell ponders.

OIKS delivers eleven stellar tracks of boundless creativity from the alternative rockers, finding the fluidity between the foundational Jenga blocks of Jebediah’s early sound and the towering elevator of evolution that they desperately seek after 30 years. 

“There are songs on this record that do hark back or sound like they could have appeared on previous records – ‘Gum Up The Bearings’ or ‘Motivation’ even, they are songs that I could place into earlier eras if I wanted to, but then there are songs like ‘Rubberman’ that could only have ever happened on this record. I think that’s important too, at this stage in our career and our lives, that when we make a record, we’re putting stuff out that sounds like us now. There’s got to be a reason for people to want to listen to this,” he says. 

“I just thought if we’re going to make another record we have to offer something that we haven’t offered before otherwise what’s the point…I think I was really attracted to this idea, this experiment and I presented it to the guys as almost a conceptual way of making a record and they were all willing to dive in and give it a go and it worked out.”

It’s part of the reason Jebediah has remained active over the years. Even though there have been hiatus’, lengthy periods between album releases and side projects, the band are intrinsically connected and motivated to continue on, to adventure into unknown territories together, and to journey on as Jebediah.

“Part of the reason the record is called OIKS is reference to this gang mentality. We’ve grown up together, we’ve lived a life together and I don’t know if it more closely resembles a family or maybe more closely resembles a marriage but the band is so deeply woven into our lives, it’s the kind of thing you don’t want to turn your back on. I guess from a personal point of view we still enjoy spending time together, we still enjoy hanging out – that makes a reason to tour. From a creative perspective of making a record, I’m still excited about where we can push things and with this record it demonstrates more of an attitude of openness from everyone to try new things.” 

Good thing the company is still comforting. The foursome will be uniting on the road for a run of shows from July through to September including a stop in to Torquay Hotel on Friday 2 August. They will be joined by fellow Australia rock relics and music industry mainstays, Magic Dirt.

Tickets are available via oztix.