Phil Jamieson – Grinspoon

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Legendary Australian rockband Grinspoon have received global accolades throughout their 12 years in the music industry limelight.

Currently touring for their latest album ‘Six to Midnight’, they will be stopping by the home shores of Port Macquarie to give the fans a little of what they have been missing. Louise Beaumont chats with frontman Phil Jameison and talks touring, his home and all things influential.

> So, you guys are on the ‘Six to Midnight’ tour at the moment?

Um, yeah, well … ish. It hasn’t really started, but it hasn’t stopped.

> You are coming back to Port Macquarie in August?

I believe August the 19th. I think it’s a Thursday evening, and I believe it is at Port Macquarie Panthers.

> How long has it been since you have been back to the area, back home?

Since the band played in the area? I reckon we played three, maybe four years ago?

> Why so long between shows?

That’s about the cycle we do. It takes that long to record, it’s just the way it works out. We don’t deliberately do it – it just takes a while to get around to see everyone.

> Are you looking forward to coming back and playing for the locals?

I think it should be good. It’s going to be nice to play concerts again. I like touring – it’s kind of what this band has been built on. I think we play Newcastle the night before and maybe Tamworth the night after, so it’ll be good, really good. The first time we played in Port we played downstairs, the Atlantis room? That was fun as well.

> Tell us about the new Album.

The album was released on September 11, 2009. Because it will be August when we come through, we will be playing a fair few tunes off that – it’s kind of coming to the end of the touring cycle for this record. The tour keeps on going until October, and then we will probably go and write another record, record it and get that out and then do the whole thing over again.

> Back in 2006 you did the closing gig at the MCG at the Commonwealth Games?

Yes, we did. There were a lot of people watching. It was quite intimidating, to be honest. We did our best, played some songs, I think I wore something cool … that’s the main thing, right? I look good.

> Just recently you have toured with Chris Chaney and You Am I’s Tim Rogers. Tell us about that; what was that gig like?

That was with Josh Pyke too; he’s a singer songwriter dude from Sydney. We did the ‘White Album’ tour and it was basically the Beatles, the 30th anniversary of the ‘White Album’ release or something. So me and Tim and Chris and Josh all did tours around the country singing songs off the ‘White Album’. It was really fun; I loved it.

> Tell us five things we don’t know about Phil Jameison?

Five things you don’t know about Phil Jamieson are: I love boogyboarding, and I’m really good at dropfoot. My favourite break in Port Macquarie is LHB, which stands for Lighthouse Beach. My favourite place for coffee in Port Macquarie is The Corner, which is debatable, because Milkbar is coming up there quite strong … but I’m still sticking with The Corner. I am a Ford guy, not a Holden guy, and my favourite restaurant in Port Macquarie is The Stunned Mullet.

I thought I would give five things you don’t know about me as far as my local heritage goes.

> Back to music: are your influences still the same as when you started the band?

I have absolutely no idea. It’s very hard to quantify what my influences are. My influences are sometimes like palm trees and caffeine, so it’s very hard to know what my influences are on the spot right now.

I just listened to the new Tame and Parlour record in the car. I think that’s really good, but influences can arise from anything. From standing in the queue, to having a flight delayed, to seeing a piece of art or piece of graffiti on the wall, to going to Darwin – your whole world is an influence. It doesn’t have to be musical; it can be a book, or it could be television or a film.

So it’s quite broad, to know what I was doing when I was 17 and thinking of what it was back then. Of course it’s changed, and of course I’m older now, and things are different. So it’s a really interesting question, but I can’t really quantify it with words.

> Tell us about the backup groups who’ll be on tour with you?

Ah, the support groups. We’ve got the Snowdroppers; they’re from Sydney and have lovely tattoos, and they’re very handsome. And we’ve got a band called Electric Horse. There was a Gold Coast band a number of years ago called Sunk Loto who were quite popular, and two or three  members of that band have morphed into Electric Horse. They are quite melodic, but I guess a medium to heavy rockband.

The Snowdroppers are like a 1920s banjo influenced, hillbilly style get down and do some line dancing style band. So, it’s pretty broad.

> Thank you Phil.

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