Touring in support of their latest album, Black Rabbits, Grinspoon hit the Astor Theatre this Friday, August 23, and Port Hedland’s North West Festival this Saturday, August 24. BOB GORDON checks in with vocalist, Phil Jamieson.
Phil Jamieson is quite at home being at home.
He’s in his car; his cousin, Danno, is driving. He’s on the corner of Pacific Drive & William St, in the Mid North Coast town of Port Macquarie.
“I’m looking over Town Beach, on the Pacific Ocean, it’s a beautiful crisp winter’s day here,” he says in a very capable Breakfast Announcer’s voice. “It’s maybe a top of 18 degrees.
“I’ve got to get home and get the washing in. At the moment my wife is overseas for five weeks, so I’m currently being Hero Single Dad and just being awesome. Danno’s scored himself a takeaway flat white, and we’re going home to watch a horror movie, No One Lives, while I fold the washing. So I’m living the dream, basically.”
It’s a fairly rare moment of domestic bliss in 2013 for Jamieson and Grinspoon. The band have already rounded off on a huge regional tour, which took in Esperance, Albany, Margaret River, Bunbury and Mandurah in WA alone. Such is his geographic familiarity with this wide brown land – not to mention a sturdy broadcast voice – one might think Jamieson would be a good fit on a show like Getaway.
“Well that’s very nice of you to say,” he laughs, “but unfortunately I’m just a little bit too cynical and honest for media. I’ve been caught in a few traps on TV where I’ve just said the truth. With media you’ve got to play by the book, I think.
“I would love to be paid what those Getaway people get paid to travel around the fucking world. But not for me at this point in time; I like the freedom of rock’n’roll too much.”
Mainstream media’s loss, however, seems to be Twitter’s gain. Jamieson’s pretty handy with the odd tweet.
“Yeah, thank you. I do love the written word. I like words, that’s why I’m not much into Instagram. I also get inspired by following people on Twitter. I really enjoy that community. I think there’s 12,000 people who wanna listen to what I’ve got to say, which is very flattering. I haven’t bought any followers, unlike some people I know (laughs).”
Formed way back in 1995, Grinspoon have seen many fellow bands come and go (and come again) in their time. Recently The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod commented to X-Press that she admired the staying power of The Living End and Grinspoon, saying that the latter’s ability to always up front with each other was probably why they’d lasted so long with the original – and only – line-up.
“That’s quite an interesting observation,” Jamieson reflects. “I don’t really ponder the ‘90s, or our longevity, or being all the same dudes. I think it just is what it is. There might be a good case in that, if there’s some sort of disagreement we’re pretty much open about it.
“It’s really difficult for me to be self-analytical, unfortunately, but we just kind of exist where we are and it’s nice of her to say that. The Living End are another great band and it’s nice to be included with them as our contemporaries and peers as well.”