Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane – The Colourful Writer.
“Were you neurotic as a child? Did they come around and watch your style? Did you have plans to be a star? Did you have plans to become more than you are? …Maybe rock was in your dreams…” Grinspoon, or as they are affectionately called by many, ‘Grinners’ must have definitely had rock in their dreams as the song More Than You Are says. Since their beginnings of being the very first Triple J Unearthed band, they were indeed, quickly to become much more than they were. Their music is timeless, their fans dedicated and passionate, they are selling out shows and still killing it today as much as they did over 20 years ago. True rock stars with an extreme level of talent and brilliance at what they do. Fans are in for a treat with the upcoming ‘Chemical Hearts Tour’ and the release of their new vinyl. I spoke to drummer, Kris Hopes recently about all this and more…
So around this time, 2 years ago, I interviewed you regarding the ’20 Years Of Better Living Tour’ – which was a huge success!
“Yeah it was a great tour that one! that was our ‘getting back together’ tour after our sort of hiatus thing or whatever, after our break. So yeah that tour was excellent, it went down really well!”
I remember the shows were selling out like hotcakes! they were on sale one minute and gone the next pretty much. The same thing is already happening with your upcoming tour, the ‘Chemical Hearts Tour’ which is set to kick off in October. I notice you’ve already had to add some extra shows, so that’s great news!
“Yeah absolutely, I think Wollongong sold out pretty quick, we’ve added another one there and also Melbourne sold pretty quick. I think we might be announcing some more shows soon. So, there is a nice want for us out there and we get to tour again!”
For this tour, you’ve got three brilliant support bands, The Hard Aches, The Gooch Palms and a Brisbane band we love at Good Call Live, Bugs! You guys seem to be REALLY good at choosing support bands, what’s the process when you are choosing who to take on tour with you?
“Well obviously because we get to hang out with them a lot, we want to pick bands that are fun. Also, we want bands that are going to add to the tour and that are fairly current. We want to pick bands that we enjoy ‘cos we’ve got to hang out with them for months! *laughs* Most tours we’ve got it right and had a great time. You know, we want to keep a good vibe on the tour. When we did the last tour, we brought Hockey Dad along with us and they were awesome, a couple of cool kids from Wollongong way I think. They are touring the world and things now, it’s good to see young bands on the up, we got to do it with a lot of bands when we were young too. But yeah, this is going to be a great tour!”
As we have already touched on a bit, this tour is selling out fast. I recall in our last interview, I asked you about how it felt having such dedicated fans, this tour is clearly proving again how much you are loved! I would imagine that feeling would never grow old?
“Absolutely, it’s great to be loved! *laughs* Apart from having photos on Instagram or getting Facebook likes or something, it’s nice to have people that actually like your music and want to come and see you play. I mean, if we don’t have those people, we don’t get to do it, ya know. So yeah it is a great feeling, people enjoying our music.”
I interviewed Kram from Spiderbait recently and we talked about how much people love and are passionate about the music from a lot of 90’s bands, like Grinners, Spiderbait, Living End, Gurge, Frenzal, etc – it was (and still is) definitely a special time for music in Australia, would you agree?
“Absolutely, yeah, all those bands, we’ve got to play with all those bands over the years. They’re all good people and great music and all that and it was a time, you know, the music festivals around at the time like the Big Day Out and that kind of thing. We got to hang out a lot with all those guys on those tours and it was just a good time for music. Hard to replicate, I think. It’s nice that people enjoyed that time and that we can come back to do it again 20 years down the track, it is a really cool experience.”
Absolutely and it’s definitely a testament to how good the music is from that time, there’s a timelessness about the music. I mean, I love it, I was watching you guys at Livid back then and now I get to see you again now, it’s so great!
“That’s great! That’s awesome. Yeah Livid. That was an awesome festival, it was such a shame to see that one go, we had some great shows at Livid. I remember a few classics. We did one at the showgrounds there at one of the big hangers or whatever it is, big auditorium thing and I remember a guy hanging off the top of the roof, he climbed up there and we had to stop the show. I think he ended up falling off and breaking his arm. By the time we finished the show, he had it all wrapped up in a cast and he was backstage ready for us to sign his cast! So, it all happened pretty quickly for that guy *laughs* – But there was a few memorable Livids and Brisbane has always been great for us and Queensland, it was so good, I ended up moving here! *laughs* “
Oh! Are you based in Brissy!?
“Yeah I am the only one who lives in Brissy but yeah I love Brissy. I moved here 15 years ago. We were here on tour once and my girlfriend at the time and I just went ‘Let’s move to Brissy!’. It’s great with the new venue opening here too that we get to play at on this tour. The guys from Hutchinson builders and obviously Powderfinger, their manager put it all together and that’s going to be a really good one for Brisbane. I am stoked we get to play there in a couple of months.”
You guys have released some gorgeous vinyl over the last few years, beautiful colours and obviously with some of your best music on them, you’ve got a new one available for pre-order now to go along with the Chemical Hearts Tour. How did you choose which tracks to put on this one?
“Well, I think, we released a ‘Best Of’ a few years ago and I think the record company kind of picked most of it, and that’s cool, but we thought for this one we would put our songs that we choose on it to put out on vinyl. Which is pretty cool ‘cos we all own cool vinyl collections these days. So, we got to pick them all and they are arguably our favourite kind of hits from our catalogue. It was more our choice this time which was good, and we did all the art for it and we liked the little package, we will be selling it at shows.”
When you were deciding what songs to put on the vinyl, was there much difference between songs that each band member wanted, like was there any disagreements on what songs to go with? I mean, I manage a local band here and I know there are sometimes disagreements on what songs to put on a set list, etc?
*laughs* “Yeah definitely, there is always arguments! *laughs* there is always arguments, But that is the good thing about it, it is not all one way in our band, it is a four-way decision, our band has always been like that which is great. We all got to pick our choices on there. There was a few we had to vote on, but we got it there in the end and everyone is pretty happy with what we picked. It’s all good!”
You can purchase tickets for the upcoming tour and pre-order the vinyl now!
Grinspoon always deliver an amazing live show, so grab your tickets fast before they all sell out!
GRINSPOON ‘CHEMICAL HEARTS’ NATIONAL TOUR
FRI 11 OCT | METROPOLIS, FREMANTLE WA | 18+
SAT 12 OCT | METRO CITY, PERTH WA | 18+
TUE 15 OCT | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
WED 16 OCT | THE FORUM, MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
THUR 19 OCT | WAVES, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+
FRI 18 OCT | UC REFECTORY, CANBERRA ACT | 18+
WED 23 OCT | ODEON THEATRE, HOBART TAS | 18+
SAT 26 OCT | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE THEATRE, ADELAIDE SA | AA
THURS 31 OCT | WAVES, WOLLONGONG NSW | 18+
FRI 1 NOV | ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, NEWCASTLE NSW | AA
SAT 2 NOV | HORDERN PAVILION, SYDNEY NSW | AA
THURS 7 NOV | THE STAR BROADBEACH, GOLD COAST QLD | 18+
FRI 8 NOV | THE FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL, BRISBANE QLD | 18+