2019 has ended momentously for Kim Salmon with a book launch for Nine Parts Water One Part Sand. Kim Salmon And The Formula For Grunge, an Induction into the WA Music Hall Of Fame for his old band the Scientists, two new Kim Salmon singles – the US release Lets All Get Destroyed/ Unadulterated and the local Kim Salmon/ Scientists split single The Poison Pen/ Dissonance, a second Art Exhibition at Mario’s and to round it all off a national Beasts tour.
2020 is set to be huge with Kim taking the book and the singles out on the road. Kim answers some questions for Hi Fi Way about what’s in store for 2020.
Happy New Year Kim, you must be quite optimistic and excited with your plans this year?
Well yes! Plans are in essence optimistic and I have plenty of those – solo tour, new Scientists album getting its finishing touches with a video for it, Scientists touring USA again round September, ideas for paintings, even a Beasts stint round Europe… but it’s always healthy to temper optimism with a measure of pessimism and at the moment there are enough reasons in the world for pessimism. I’m very pessimistic about the choices that the voters have repeatedly made over the decades and I’m pessimistic about the consequences of those choices!
Was it quite the juggle with a book, art exhibition, new single and a tour with The Beasts in 2019?
Haha, you left out two trips to the USA with Scientists… but really, surviving in the arts is ALL about adapting and doing more than one specific thing.
Do you write specifically for yourself or The Scientists or another project you might be working on?
Generally I just tend to write using the ideas I come up with at the time but writing for the Scientists has become a very specific thing with its own strange process – due to the geographic distance between us all and having to remain true to what the band is while challenging the parameters set by that. For our new album I would jam away on the drums until I’d have a new groove that I thought would fit. I’d memo that and send it over to Tony in London. He’d make a riff to go over that and send it back and I’d try and turn that into a song. Leanne and Boris would then come down from Sydney and we’d knock those songs into shape.
Is it always an exciting time when The Scientists get together to make new music?
Yes indeed! It’s always an exciting time creating ANYTHING new in art! If it’s not you’re doing it for the wrong reasons and it probably doesn’t belong. But all aspects of the return of the Scientists have been exciting and it’s especially so because the band seems to have stayed relevant… ’vital’ dare I say!
Did the Kim Salmon singles fit a special release right now rather than an album later on?
I always just write at the time with what’s in my mind. Having said that, some ideas stay around for a long time, some go away and come back later and some appear to come out of nowhere, although in reality that can’t be possible.
How did you find time to be involved with the book?
How does anybody find the time for a brunch appointment? Doug would invite me to Brunch, shout me that and get me talking about myself. It was awful!
Were you surprised with how much from your life you were able to remember?
Probably more shocked about how much I’ve forgotten or more precisely how apparent it becomes that things change with time in people’s memories and how apparent that becomes with different peoples accounts of the same events, which often seem to be entirely different events.
What is your favourite moment that is documented in your book?
I don’t know about ‘favourite’ but one that always pops up is that one at the beginning of the book where I drive over a hill in Memphis Tennessee and see a full size pyramid emerging from the mist.
What’s the plan for Kim Salmon beyond the tour?
Well beyond what I said in the first question, I’m about to turn 63 and watching people around me getting sick and dying, watching my folks getting old, I’m very conscious of staying in shape to be able to keep on enjoying my life the way I have done so far which I think involves NOT retiring and continuing to learn new things which I must admit is becoming increasingly a challenge for an old dog like myself.
Will The Beasts continue to simmer away in the background?
I really don’t know. It’s really up to our singer. Like with most bands he is our voice, but then, in actual fact we are his voice. It really depends on if we have anything to say… or sing about. Obviously with Beasts Still Here we had something to say.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Kim Salmon on the following dates…
Friday 31st January 2020 – Mona, Hobart TAS
Friday 31st January 2020 – Republic, Hobart TAS – Tickets
Saturday 1st February 2020 – Mona, Hobart TAS
Kim Salmon solo
Friday 7th February 2020 – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide SA – Tickets
Kim, Claire Burchall, Pete Howlett, Shakey McGee, Amr Zaid
Friday 14th February 2020 – The Tote, Melbourne VIC – Tickets
Kim, Claire Burchall, Douglas Galbraith, Jeff Hooker
Thursday 20th February 2020 – Smith’s, Canberra ACT – Tickets
Friday 21st February 2020 – Union, Sydney NSW
Kim, Claire Burchall, Douglas Galbraith, Sam Worrad
Saturday 22nd February 2020 – Junk Bar, Brisbane QLD – Tickets
Kim Salmon Solo
Saturday 29th February 2020 – Tanswells Commercial Hotel, Beechworth VIC
Kim Salmon Solo
More info at https://www.facebook.com/KimSalmonOfficial/