We’re counting it down for when Eskimo Joe play in Adelaide at HQ Complex on Thursday 23 January. It definitely has been a long time over due since the Eskies have played their own headline show here. There is plenty to look forward to this year for Eskimo Joe fans as Stuart ‘Stu’ MacLeod revealed that there is a bigger announcement coming later in the year.
It’s great that Eskimo Joe are heading back to Adelaide for your own headline show, it seems like it has been far too long?
It’s been a while! It definitely has been a while!
It might be the Chinese year of the pig but I think it might Eskimo Joe’s year this year?
I hope so!
Are there some plans for new music in 2020?
We’ve got some news for later on in the year and we are working on writing some new stuff. At this stage it is pretty casual to be honest and just flicking around ideas here and there. There’s nothing to bank on at this stage but we’re trying to organise something for later on in the year in terms of an announcement and some news. It’s all pretty much under the covers at this stage.
Do you think the next release will be pretty much do it yourself?
We’ve always been producers at heart and love getting in the studio figuring out different ways to make the song work and what the song actually wants. There’s a number of different ways you can dress up a song, some songs we re-recorded four times and each with a completely different feel. That is a really fun moment for us when we are in the studio discovering what the song is going to sound like. We’d be keen to produce anything ourselves definitely.
What has it been like just to jam casually at the moment to see what you come up with and reconnecting at that level?
The pressure is off and we’re just having fun at this stage. Whatever comes out of it, we’re just in it to have some fun.
Do you feel like over the last twelve months particularly with all the vinyl releases that the band is really starting to build momentum?
We’re not trying to draw up any major grand plans and dominate the world again but we’re just keen to continue on what we have created. It is a pretty rare thing that you get a chance to make music your career on a broad scale, we’re just going to keep on enjoying what we have created basically.
Playing all these big festivals over the last year you must be happy that there’s still plenty of love out there for Eskimo Joe?
I think we have rekindled that love of performing live. We had a couple of years off where we only played a handful of shows through 2015, 2016 and 2017. We all had a lot of other stuff going on in our lives… kids, jobs and that sort of thing. 2019 we really ramped up the touring and played some cracking shows. We’re keen to continue that momentum.
Has that been really important for everyone to have had the chance to go off to do other things and live life?
Definitely, we started the band when we were twenty. That’s all of our twenties and thirties devoted to touring and recording with very little down time in between. It was good to try something new using other parts of our brain that had been laying dormant.
I still remember when Eskimo Joe supported The Offspring back in the day and since then seeing how the hairstyles and fashion have changed.
Yeah, you don’t realise how much time has actually passed. It has seemed like our entire life but it has also felt like it has gone pretty quick.
Did you find that when you weren’t touring as much you missed it?
When we put a pause on it, it really is that cycle which is what we needed a break from. The cycle of writing, recording, then hitting the road, marketing, hitting the road and then touring. As soon as you finished touring we would be back in the studio writing. Twenty years of that, as much fun as it all is, it was a good idea for us to try more than one thing in our life. The year’s away from routine have made us miss it again, we’re really enjoying being back on the road. We’ve been playing smaller pub shows at the end of last year which felt great just to get back to the roots and reconnect with people in the outer suburbs we hadn’t really given any love for a while.
Did you feel like a proud parent seeing all the Eskimo Joe albums released on vinyl?
Definitely, we’re big vinyl fans, we love holding an album in our hands. Personally, I love art work on an art particularly when a band has put a lot of energy and love in to it. It makes me appreciate the whole offering a lot more and it becomes a piece of art rather than a piece of music.
Will Wastelands get re-released of vinyl?
It was originally released on vinyl, so I don’t know about a re-release. We do have some frigging great demos and b-sides that never made it and some of the lost songs. We recorded some songs four times and it would be good to show people that journey on a release at some stage. We still have plenty of stuff on our hard drives put it that way.
Can you say much about the set list for the Adelaide show? A cover? A new song maybe?
I’m always trying to find new ways to make the set exciting for us as well as the audience. I’m keen to throw in something whether it is an older song or something we haven’t played live before or a cheeky cover might be fun as well.
Do you have a favourite tour story from Adelaide?
We did a show in Adelaide with Alex Lloyd and on his rider he had requested a four litre jug of tomato salsa as a joke but they actually gave it to him which ended up going on the tour with us. They actually checked it in as baggage. It actually had a baggage tag and came out on a baggage trolley and I’m pretty sure we stole it in Adelaide and held on to it for the whole tour. At the last gig we put it back in his dressing room and he was most impressed.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Eskimo Joe at HQ in Adelaide on Thursday 23 January has been cancelled, contact MoshTix for refunds…