Q &A with The Superjesus
Twenty years on from their platinum selling album Sumo hitting number two on the ARIA Chart (and with a few ARIA Awards in the trophy cabinet), The Superjesus are back with an anniversary edition of their celebrated 1998 debut, set for release on August 17. And to celebrate, supported by Triple M and New World Artists, The Superjesus will be hitting the road with an epic stack of gig dates in the second half of 2018 – fans had better get ready to get Down Again to the sounds of Adelaide’s finest ‘90s alternative rock band!
We caught up with bassist, Ruddy for a few q's...
Holy crap! Massive happy anniversary to ‘Sumo’! 20 years on and still such a strong album. (I’ve been loving re-visiting this album via the remastered version). It’s also a fantastic reminder that Australia made (and still are making) amazing alternative rock albums. Looking back, did you expect the album to hit as hard as it did?
Hey thanks very much, to say 20 years ago seems like a lifetime, but you know we are still out there rocking some of those tunes, and we love playing them. You know our Australian music scene was kicking some ass through the 90’s, and as you say , still doing well.
Looking back on the album, from today’s standpoint, we had no idea it would go so well, but we knew WE were happy with those songs, and after releasing our EP, we knew there was a vibe that radiated out ,about the band.
It also hit at a time when the festival circuit in Australia was finding its stride, and (I’m going to sound dated here - I was 19 when ‘Sumo’ came out) it was all about THE MUSIC, not about how many likes punters can get on social media for something they wore… at the risk of heading into nostalgia, is there one or two particular memories doing those festival runs that stick out?
Yes the festival circuit was alive and kicking, and I believe we played every major festival in 98 that was going around. Most of the Aussie bands that were on those shows , had played throughout the country in all the clubs and bars, building a following from ground up.
I think playing the Big Day Out festival was a highlight, just the shear amount of music being played all day, over 4 or so stages, by so many national and international bands. Another would be Falls Festival which was always great. Had to lend Iggy Pop my bass on one of those shows!
Rumour has it that you haven’t played some of the tracks off ‘Sumo’ live in years. When you started to rehearse and revisit those songs, with the power of hindsight, how hard is it to resist making changes to songs because you may have discovered something that would have worked better? Or do you just go, ‘nup… this is how these songs were made, and that’s how they stay’?
Some songs live just need a little tweak here and there, it’s just the nature of delivering something that may be powerful or something that’s intimate on a recording, and recapturing the same intensity into a show. For most part though, we play the songs to form.
Alright, you tackled Kylie Minogue’s cracker of a track from her ‘Impossible Princess’ era (still think that album is highly underrated) - ‘Confide In Me’. Such an awesome cover, and I understand the choice behind it (given it’s #1 placement in the ARIA single charts at the same time The Superjesus formed in 1994). Covers can be risky, given that some purists can be overly judgemental of the take of the song. So… has Kylie heard it, and if so, give her take on it?
One thing with this band we have never been afraid to tackle a cover song here or there. The kylie song was actually recorded as a demo back in 95, but we kinda dismissed it and put it on the back burner and forgot all about it. It wasn’t until we were out on the ‘Hotter than Hell’ tour , one night, that we started talking about it, and decided to record it again. I don’t think Kylie has heard it yet,but it would be interesting to see what she thought.
The tour you’re about to head out on to celebrate 20 years of ‘Sumo’ sees you tackle 18 dates over nearly 2 months, going ALL over the countryside. What’s the Superjesus tour prep like these days?
Actually, pretty much the same as its always been. We talk and email , then choose songs that we want to play ,then do homework, then hit rehearsal studios. We would normally block out 2 weeks day and night prior to a tour, this one has an extra week or so given the length and songs we are doing in the rep. That’s about it!
Now, given that we’re a Sunshine Coast-based publication, you’re skipping us on this tour (fans will have to trek down to The Zoo on October 27th)… BUT, you’re coming our way for Under the Southern Stars in January, which teams you up with Hoodoo Gurus, You Am I, British India, and the Getaway Plan (plus some unannounced special guests?). Will we get to see a special Sarah and Tim Rogers team-up? (I’m sorry.. but fuck that would be cool).
That’s right we will be there , it going to be quite busy over the next 4 months. I’m looking forward to playing up there with the guys.
You know what, funny you say that, cause I also had mentioned that would be a great team up! Id love to see it happen.
Thanks for your time, congrats once again on ‘Sumo’ turning 20, have a kick-arse tour, and the Sunny Coast will see you in January!
Thanks again mate , we will be ready to rock the sunny coast in January!
Get your tickets to Under the Southern Stars here, or catch The Superjesus at The Zoo on October 27th.