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Augie March.

Augie MarchAugie March’s Adam Donovan gives a startled laugh when I start the interview by bluntly asking where the band have been for the past 18 months. "Um, well," he begins, "after we finished touring the ‘Strange Bird’ CD [in 2002] we went overseas and tried to get a release over in the UK and America, and now we’re back we’re finalising those deals and trying to start a new album - and we’re currently building a studio to start recording. I’ve been pretty busy, actually. Oh, and we played at Meredith a couple of months ago," he points out.

That’s not all that’s been happening in Chez Augie: "We’re putting out a DVD too, with lots of little extras," he adds proudly. "We think that only fans will buy that sort of thing, so we want to make it worthwhile for them. There’ll be clips and live stuff - we’re going to try to put a complete gig from start to finish on there - and we’re about to finish a documentary on the making of [their 2000 debut album] ‘Sunset Studies’ - and there may be a few other things. There’s a whole heap of stuff we want to chuck on there, but we’ll just wait and see." It sounds like a comprehensive piece of work, but Donovan’s determined that we’ll see it sooner rather than later: "I’m hoping the middle of the year," he declares.

As for album number three, there’s no rush as yet. "Glenn [Richards, vocalist/songwriter]’s probably got a whole tonne of songs, but as the whole process unfolds and more people come at it... that’s one of the benefits of having our own studio, that we Can work at our own rate and if something’s ready to go we just go in and do it."

It’s no surprise that the band are building their own place. I’ve always thought that Augie March were a very self-contained band and this development would seem to put their music further under their already-tight control. Donovan agrees: "And we’ve always [co-]produced all our records as well - the people we’ve worked with have just been a sixth wheel, I guess, helping out with their ideas and bringing in what they’ve got. If you work with good people you get a good result, and I think we have done that in the past."

He’s not prepared to speculate on how the album may differ from its predecessors: "We’ve got all year to work on it, so I don’t know how it’s going to turn out," he points out. He also seems nonplussed when I speculate if the new album might showcase a whole new nu-metal direction for the March: "Well, I think you can probably take nu-metal off the table, but that’s probably about it," he chuckles. "It’s just whatever the song needs, that’s always been the way. You get the song and see what it requires, and where it takes you is where it takes you, and sometimes that’s quite wonderful." But what if Glenn comes in with a song that absolutely needs an angry rap over the bridge? "Well..." he pauses, "that mightn’t make the album."

Thus, O-Ball attendees are unlikely to get a taste of any post-‘...Bird’ material at the show: "We’re not going to unleash the new stuff just yet," he explains. "It’ll be the hits and memories and a good night for the uni crowd. As far as the new stuff goes, I think it’s more of a tendency just to wait and not present [the songs] until we’re happy with them."

But that’s off in the future. For the time being, fans have the O-Ball to tide them over and Donovan’s clearly looking forward to it. "Yeah, the lineup looks quite interesting," he says, approvingly. "Obviously you’ve got some good people there organising it."

Augie March headline the Adelaide Uni O-Ball with Little Birdy, Pornland, Epicure, Ground Components, Wolf & Cub and Cookie Baker. It’s all-ages to boot.

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