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JEBEDIAH
Jebediah ImageOn this page:

*Jebediah interview (with Chris)
*Jebediah Discography (all available on Whammo)
*Jebediah Australian Tour dates


JEBEDIAH - THE WHAMMO INTERVIEW - JUNE 30, 2004

Australian music tends to surge and boom once every decade and those times of prosperity are never powered by pop; they're the result of like-minded acts bubbling to the surface at the right time. The last real boom occurred in the mid-90s after grunge had prepared the music market for heavier guitar sounds. Festivals, labels and fresh rosters were established on a foundation of commercial viability that no one really expected. At early gigs by Spiderbait, Tumbleweed, Magic Dirt and The Superjesus, who would have thought that these great pub acts could fill a festival like Homebake? It was the best possible surprise and Perth's premier guitar act, Jebediah, were the juniors of that clan, instantly gaining a following and becoming one of the few acts to retain a loyal core unit of devotees. So, here we are a decade later and unless you've had your head in the sand for the last 12 months, you've probably noticed that we're approaching another boom. This time the major labels aren't involved; Jebediah becoming another high profile casualty of corporate record companies' inability to understand their rosters, along with The Superjesus and You Am I. That means only the most sellable survivors of that era are considered to be marketable. What the fat-cat companies fail to recognise is this: when rock bands start shifting large amounts of units, the 'majors' won't be getting a cut. John Butler's success is a great example. Now, the Jebs are following suit and not only have they decided to fund and promote their latest album, but they've also teamed up with Naked Ape Management to create Redline Records, which now boasts one of the finest rosters in the country. Ten years of persistent quality has also led to another strange development that can be attributed to Jebediah; emerging bands from the west coast are showing signs of the Jebs' influence. You can hear it the vocal style of many fresh acts and the infusion of pop sensibilities, which is a trademark of this seminal act's appeal. So, armed with Braxton Hicks - a set of new tracks that are devoid of any outside influence - the rejuvenated 4-piece have been touring the country, showing off fresh tunes and getting reacquainted with their fans. I recently caught up with Chris (guitar) for a chat about Jebediah's new era as an independent act...

Whammo: This must be exciting for you; you're back to indie status. Well, actually...did you ever have an indie status? You kind of skipped that.
Chris: I guess we did. Even our very first EP came out through Murmur. Right from the very start we never really self-financed any of our early material. Obviously with this record (Braxton Hicks) we've saved up and paid for it already. Thinking about it now, over the years, a lot of being in a band - for us - is touring and playing the shows; that's always done independently anyway (laughs). In the sense of a record contract, yeah, finally we're putting out an independent record, nine years into our career, but we've spent a lot of our earnings on getting around and playing shows; the stuff where you don't get record company finance.
Whammo: I don't want to pry, but was that the reason for going independent or was it just the right time to end things with Sony.
Chris: It seemed like the time to end the relationship on a high note. I think it was hard for them to predict what our next record was going to be like. We'd written a few new songs that they may have heard when we toured the Big Day Out, but yeah, I think they were a bit unsure of the direction Jebediah as a band were going to head. I think they knew that we were looking to do something a little different. As a company they'd just gone through some major infrastructure changes in the last few years and I think by talking to us and realising that we were maybe not as happy as we were on the label when we signed - that the label had changed a lot and the roster was completely different; the people that were working there when we started were no longer working there, I think they realised "the band are gonna be unhappy trying to work another record with us and we don't really know what's going to happen, so maybe it's a good point to say: it's been good so far, so let's just call it a day".
Whammo: I think it's a good thing. There's a general low opinion of most of the major labels at the moment. They simply don't care enough about their local rosters; not enough for it to be of value to the bands.
Chris: Sure, I agree, I can understand that they have rosters that are made up of bands from us to Something For Kate to Delta Goodrem and often it's one guy that's trying to work with all the bands. You need someone who has a focus on your particular ambitions as a band rather than the music industry in general. I think it's important to have someone in a record label working with a band who has a really definite set idea of what the band wants to achieve and what they can achieve with the band and that wasn't communicated well enough with our last label. It's extremely exciting for us now to be working the record ourselves. I think the most exciting time is when the record will be in stores and we can see whether or not people have been anticipating it like we hope they have or how fast people start listening to it and really getting into it and how fast the word spreads because we don't have the backing of a major label to promote it. We're hoping that by getting back on the road and doing a 40 date national tour and being able to sell this disc as we go; we're looking forward to seeing how well we can push our product.
Whammo: I sense a rebirth and you guys must sense it too because you've said that you wish you'd saved the self-title for now. It does seem like a born again situation.
Chris: Yeah, it does. I think we had to make very positive decisions; whether or not we thought - as a band - that we still have got what it takes, in our hearts, to take the band as far as it can go. There's nothing we'd rather be doing than giving it another crack, especially in the international market, so by putting an independent record out, we've given ourselves the best chance to put it out overseas and get licensing deals because we don't have to negotiate with a third party.
Whammo: I didn't even think of that. It's such a good advantage. There won't be any hurdles when you're striking overseas deals.
Chris: Yeah, because we've definitely faced them in the past. There have been times, especially after Someday Shambles, when our popularity in Australia had really surprised us and we were playing to huge crowds at the Big Day Out and we'd had two really successful records. We were a little dismayed as to why we couldn't push it further into the overseas area. Unfortunately it seemed to be the politics of working with a record on a major label that held us back. It's not much of an incentive for a label overseas to make you a priority if a lot of the profit is going back to the company where the band is from. I think that's why, these days, you see a lot of Australian rock bands that are getting big record deals signing straight to an overseas label.
Whammo: Well, that's one of our missions: to promote Aussie acts overseas. I'm telling you, it's very disturbing to see the amount of Jimmy Barnes fans in Alaska. That shit keeps me awake at night.
Chris: (laughs) Well, they're all working class folks aren't they?
Whammo: That's so true. They've all got the 'freight-train heart'. Well, we'll run out of time, so we'd better talk about the music!
Chris: (laughs) Yeah.
Whammo: This is the best Jebediah album for ages. I mean, all four tracks on the single, First Time, were very strong and the last song on the album, Nothing - because I like my guitars to be heavy - is an awesome track.
Chris: It's a song that people wouldn't expect us to put out as a single, but maybe if we did...
Whammo: Oh, I reckon it's a single...big time!
Chris: That's really cool, because that's also the opinion of one of the longest running members of our crew. He’s said that to us as well. He said, "it's Jebediah but it's so much better than anything you've heard before". It's also quite different; not your typical pop song. It's hard to pin down, but it's really infectious. It was one of my favourites when we were recording. That's why I'm so excited to get this record out because, to me, you put out the first single and you want people to get excited about the record by playing them one or two songs but to actually have people hear the whole record - if you're proud of everything on it - I can't wait till the record comes out, to hear more people like yourself saying "I really like song #8; or song #10 is the best Jebs song you've done". We spent a lot of time debating and being critical of ourselves during the writing process of this new record. We only recorded the songs that were going to make it onto the record. We didn't really record any b-sides or record 16 songs then choose 10 or 12. We only wanted to focus on the ones that were going to make up the record, Braxton Hicks. Every single person in the band had to be happy with every song before we went ahead and actually did it. We ended up having only 10 or 11 songs to record but I think that was the best way to do it. Every song was given a lot of attention. I think it's come together really well.
Whammo: I guess that if you decide to leave it open and record too many songs, when you're recording you may have the thought in the back of your mind that the song you're playing may not make it onto the album.
Chris: Certainly. That has been a stumbling block for us in the past when we've been recording; not having a completely planned and focussed track listing of the record before it's recorded. This time around we'd pretty much written the track listing and order before it was done. Because it was self-produced as well, there was no one in the producer's chair to tie the whole thing together. We've had to do that ourselves. We're a very close band but it was even more of a bonding experience in the recording studio, where we had to motivate each other to do our best and I think it's paid off.
Whammo: When you're self-producing, do you have to look in the mirror occasionally and just give yourself shit?
Chris: (laughs) I definitely need a lot of kicking in the arse to get things done, but you need your different attitudes in a band to keep it going, I think; to keep it interesting.
Whammo: That's one of the positive things about Jebediah that clearly comes through: your mateship. The music seems like an organic and natural expression of that. I also think that it's something you share with your fans. You seem to retain fans.
Chris: I definitely think that fans that have stuck with us have been part of the growth of the band. It's because we have those fans that we feel that we owe them a bit as well. In a way, this record was written to please ourselves but because we're grateful to have fans that are very understanding, we're very honest about what we say and what we do. We're not the greatest musicians on earth, but they still love our band and it gives us a lot of heart. I can see that it's not something that will change very quickly for us.
Whammo: I hope not. Miss Terri, who does our Tours section and has a column, has mentioned that you have a new image. She keeps holding up a piece of paper saying 'Queer Eye For The Straight Guy'.
Chris: My manager gives me the same sort of shit about what he calls my 'fake mohawk'. It depends on whether she thinks it's for the better or worse.
Whammo: Is it for the better or worse? Well, she's held up her thumb, so it's all good. I guess I can't be too unhappy with that. Even if the album doesn't get the reviews I expect, your hair will probably get a few favourable reviews.
Chris: Yeah, I think it's the most marketable hairstyle in the band.
Whammo: Woah, that's a big claim. So, you've done a single tour, now you'll do an album tour.
Chris: Yeah, 45 shows.
Whammo: Wow. Are you excited about that or thinking 'how are we going to feel by the 40th show'?
Chris: A bit of both. Playing six shows a week is going to be pretty knackering but it's also exciting because touring is a shitload of fun really. We'll just have to exercise a little bit of restraint and not booze up too hard every night. I think we'll be fine. Being on the road is a lot of fun but it's like being in a family that travels around; there's just as many crew in the Jebediah family as there are band members and everyone gets along. Not only are you travelling around but you're meeting new people every day. I'm really looking forward to having the record there at the shows and saying "here's some new songs and you can take them home tonight if you get a CD". Also, selling our t-shirts which we've never been able to do before because, being on a major label, everything has to be through a chart store. Your CD has to be sold through a store so they can get it on the Aria charts. But with an independent record, if you want to sell it at your t-shirt stand, you can.
Whammo: Yeah, maximise the profit because who made the music? You did.
Chris: For sure.
Whammo: That's the other thing I wanted to mention. You guys set up Redline records, right?
Chris: Yeah with Heath (Naked Ape Management).
Whammo: Well, that's one of the best labels in Australia right now.
Chris: Oh, thank you.
Whammo: Just objectively have a look at your roster. Adam Said Galore is one of the finest acts in Australia.
Chris: I totally agree. Unfortunately they're still sitting under the radar. It might be where they always sit but I don't think it matters much to them or their fans. They make amazing music and they blow you away. To be a part of their record label is a hugely fantastic feeling to have. Shit, we should be taking them on the road with us!
Whammo: Jebediah were the younger crew among those bands that represented a huge push for Australian music in the mid 90s.
Chris: Right.
Whammo: So, now you're one of the few survivors of that era.
Chris: (laughs)
Whammo: It's interesting to see the bands that have survived. I think they're the acts that have a good bond between band members.
Chris: Definitely. Music tastes are very fickle out there. You have to really rely on each other. You have to have your own motivation for what you want to do, if you want to get something out of it. I know it's hard for Australian bands to keep building once they've reached a certain level in Australia. If you can't make it work overseas then you hit a plateau. No matter how hard you try in a market like Australia's, you do tend to exhaust your abilities to tour. You can really only do a big tour once or maybe twice a year, but that doesn't sustain the band; it doesn't give them enough income. When outside pressures come into it, you can see why bands find it hard to stay together as long as we have.
Whammo: I don't know if you guys have noticed, but there are younger acts coming through that have definitely been influenced by Jebediah; especially bands in W.A. It's very flattering.
Chris: It certainly is. That's why I'm very proud of how we've handled our career. We've never bitched and moaned about being in a position where things weren't looking as bright as they were. You've just got to go with that. As of last year, as a band we knew we were writing some of the best stuff we've ever written. There were people asking us "have you guys broken up?" because Kevin brought out his solo record. We said, "certainly not - we'll be back with a vengeance". But yeah, people have looked upon our band and maybe if they weren't influenced by our music then maybe, in a different way, they've seen that you can be nice to people and you don't have to make the headlines by being a pack of cunts. I think you can shoot yourself in the foot within the Australian music scene by big-mouthing yourself. You've certainly got to respect people.
Whammo: I think that's a perfect way to end our little chat.
Chris: (laughs) Yeah, I've got to go do my hair.

BRAXTON HICKS
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I kind of missed the Jebediah phenomenon in the 90s but I'm not only jumping on the bandwagon this time; I'm driving it. Yep, the man who once shrugged his shoulders when folks mentioned the Jebs, is waxing lyrical, gushing compliments and berating anyone who hasn't heard the band. I've become one of those annoying latecomers I usually despise. I don't need to be an old fan to know that the scene just hasn't seemed the same without Jebediah; a band whose influence is now clearly noticeable as younger acts - especially from Western Australia - begin to make an impact. Having shed the dead weight of a major label contract and opting to return to independent status, The Jebs seem reborn and the subsequent autonomy and enthusiasm have combined to deliver the bestest Jebs album in memory: Braxton Hicks. First Time, the first single, was loaded with 4 great tracks, so I've been assuming Braxton Hicks would be a 2004 highlight. I wasn't wrong. The opening track, More Alone, is dripping with that unmistakable Jebs sound: power + melody = joy. Being a worshipper of all things distortion, I love it when this W.A. 4-piece shovel a few coals into the furnace to achieve that locomotive momentum, as on Loaded Gun, but I'm a sucker for a big chorus and the more melodic It's Over completely nailed me, giving me an insight into the type of appeal that has not only attracted a massive fanbase, but - most importantly - retained it. First Time seems like an old friend after spinning in my stereo many times, but I've made a new friend: Nothing, which brutally mashes light riffing with the hardest distorted onslaught on the album. No wonder it ends proceedings. Jebediah have reached that point where every element is under their control - from production to business - and if Braxton Hicks is the end product of that control, every signed band should rip up their major label contracts immediately.
FIRST TIME
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It's been a long time between drinks for Jebediah. It's also been a long time since I heard such an instantly likeable single. First Time is pure pop majestry from a band famous for its consistent songwriting and that endearing quality that keeps the fans coming back for more. A lot has happened since Gleesides and Sparities, their last release through Sony, just before the band and label parted ways. Ah, who needs a major label these days, eh? In fact, it's a over-rated concept in 2004. John Butler didn't need a multinational company to get to the top of the charts and Jebediah, having formed their own label (Redline) and striking a distribution deal with Shock, are well poised to enjoy an independent golden era. The Western Australian pioneers of hook-ridden rock, have been around long enough to master the art of crafting a great arrangement with bucket-loads of dynamic bursts of energy, easily proven on the b-side Worlds Away. I wasn't really much of a fan before this single (note to fans: please don't hurt me) but this has grabbed me by the proverbials and given me an insight into their appeal. If songs like Sound Of Your Life and Dog are any indication of the forthcoming album, get ready to be bombarded by the Jebs as they dominate radio and television playlists. First Time is a gem of a single.
GLEESIDES & SPARITIES
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With the most loyal fan-base in the country, Jebediah will once again attract throngs of desperate fans to the 2003 Big Day Out tour. Their frenetic pace and infectious brand of distorted pop is like fuel to the mosh pit and it’s always likely that they’ll throw in a few surprises. Usually those surprises come in the form of cover-version and in the band’s colourful history they’ve delighted audiences with blazing renditions, garnished with the band’s own deft touches. Gleesides and Sparities combines the best b-sides and covers and adds the extra incentive of two fresh, unreleased tracks. For hungry Jebediah fans it will complete their collections and with 18 tracks there’s plenty of fuzzy rock on offer.
JEBEDIAH
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The long awaited follow-up to Jebediah's multi-platinum 'Of Someday Shambles' album. Their eponymously titled third album sees a band in their element, brimming with confidence. Led by the tracks ‘Fall Down’ and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’.
NDC (3TRX)
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SPLIT EP
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Re-released after Jimmy Eat World’s recent success, the Split EP is exactly that: a 50/50 split between two like-minded acts with major cult followings. You won’t find these tracks on any other release, so for eager fans Split is a unique release and excellent entrée to the Big Day Out 2003, where both bands will attract huge crowds.
JEBEDIARIES - JEBEDIAH
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These are the 'Jebediaries' - the handpicked footage contained within is of immeasurable value. With intimacy rarely seen on a compilation video/DVD. It chronicles the visual history of the band so far, it takes us through years of touring, studios and shows, climaxing with 'Orbit' on the main stage at the Big Day Out 2001. Also includes some multi-award winning music videos.

Please note there are no region restrictions on this PAL DVD, and accordingly it will play in the following regions. However please check that your television and DVD player can play PAL format DVDs before ordering as we cannot exchange
1 - US, Canada, US Territories
2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, incl. Egypt
3 - Southeast Asia and East Asia, incl. Hong Kong
4 - Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean
5 - East Europe (former Soviet Union), Indian subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, Mongolia
6 - China
OF SOMEDAY SHAMBLES
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The second album from Perth popsters Jebediah, Of Someday Shambles delivers on the promise of Slightly Odway, which spawned such anthemic singles as Leaving Home. Sophomore effort has the four-piece sporting tonnes more light and shade than their first effort and stretching out in the studio with help from Mark Trombino, the American producer known for his work with Blink 182. First single Animal sets the tone of an album that’s strong but still fun – a real indication of a band honing its craft, growing up in public in the most enviable of ways.
SLIGHTLY ODWAY
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Jebediah recorded its debut album Slightly Odway in Melbourne with producer Neill King (The Smiths, Rancid, Madness, Elvis Costello and US ska-punk sensation Buck O' Nine). The 13 tracks that emerged chart a mature, complete range - from the early-penned punk mayhem of Blame to the delicacy of the Twilight=Dusk, from the dark tones of Jerks of Attention to the bright strains of radio hit Leaving Home. The album does a great job of capturing the amazing live dynamic of the band.
JEBEDIAH: NATIONAL TOUR

* supported by City Lights and The Fuzz
August
4......Uni Club, Rockhampton QLD
5......Across The Waves, Bundaberg QLD
6......The Zoo, Brisbane QLD
7......Troccadero's, Gold Coast QLD
8......Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay NSW
11....Canberra Uni, Canberra ACT
12....Bar on the Hill, Newcastle NSW
13....Ex Services Club, Orange NSW
14....The Metro, Sydney NSW
15....Caringbah Bizzo's, Caringbah NSW
18....Beachcomber, Toukley NSW
19....Bathurst Uni, Bathurst NSW
20....Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW
21....Revesby Workers, Revesby NSW
22....Mona Vale Hotel, Mona Vale NSW
25....Station Resort, Jindabyne NSW
26....Rivcol Uni, Wagga NSW
27....Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully VIC
28....Hi-Fi Bar, Melbourne VIC
29....Freeza at Volt, Werribee VIC
30....The Man, Falls Creek VIC
31....The Man, Falls Creek VIC
September
2......Shadows, Mt Gambier SA
3......Heaven, Adelaide SA
4......Pretoria Hotel, Manum SA
WA Dates in September will be confirmed shortly

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george
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