Get excited Magic Dirt fans! Ma. gic Dirt have joined illustrious company such as You Am I, Grinspoon, Frenzal Rhomb, Regurgitator and many more awesome Aussie bands that make up Spring Loaded 2021. Hi Fi Way had an awesome chat with Adalita about what in means to be playing live shows after a tough 2020 for the industry, reissues and what lies ahead for this much loved band. There is a real sense of excitement in the Magic Dirt camp and Adalita gave some insights to the Sticky Fingers show that hits Adelaide in July.
It’s fantastic that Magic Dirt are apart of Spring Loaded. How much are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, we can’t wait. It has been a while since we’ve gigged. I think the last time was in Brisbane in early February of 2020. It’s been a while, but we have been busy behind the scenes working on some exciting things. There’s always stuff to do. We’re always busy behind the scenes that’s for sure. So it’s still been quite hectic with everything that’s going on. No rest for the wicked as they say.
Playing Spring Loaded must feel like a Big Day Out/ Home Bake alumni reunion?
It definitely feels like a little Big Day Out. It’s so good. It’s so good. I did not foresee this, that we would still be able to be playing our songs and bringing up those same feelings that we had all those years ago when we were younger. Doing our thing and having a great time in the 90s, in the 2000s. It’s great. It’s unbelievable really. Absolutely love it.
Do you think the passion for your Magic Dirt songs, particularly as a band playing them now is stronger than it ever has been before?
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Just because we’re so much older, now we’ve all grown and things have changed, but we still have this legacy of these songs that we created together in the fire of the times and we still have that. I feel really proud and lucky that we have this amazing material, these things we created, and we can play them and it gets people excited again. We’ve even got new fans, so it’s crazy. It’s so great. I feel we’re the kind of gatekeepers, we’re holding these songs close. I have a lot of respect for the stuff we did and I feel very protective, but at the same time, and at the same time should say, very proud and wanting to share it again.
It must be an absolute challenge as well to work out what you’re going to be able to play in forty five to fifty minutes?
Oh mate, I’ll tell you what, that has been yeah, really tough to work out what the hell are we going to play. Because there’s so many songs we want to play and there’s so many incarnations of the band and themes and albums. We’ve gone through so many different vibes. There’s lots to choose from, which is a great problem to have. We’ve really have had to whittle things down and we’ll play the Magic Dirt’s hits and things like that. But then we’ve chosen the ones, like some really old ones that we haven’t played for a while and just by feel, just had a list and then tried out the ones that jumped out to us. Then out of that lot, we picked the ones that we were playing the best that sort of clicked in the now. We’re definitely going to play a couple of old ones that we haven’t played for a very, very long time.
I did speak to a Jay from Frenzal Rhomb and he did say that there was going to be some scores to settle. It sounds like there will be all sorts of mayhem and high jinx. Hopefully the Magic Dirt aren’t in the firing line!
I Love Jay! He’s hilarious. Yeah. No, I hope so. I think so. Yeah. I think we’ll be right.
Maybe papa Tim Rogers might have to rule with an iron fist or something like that?
Yeah! So I can imagine Tim being a good Papa. He’s a good Papa! I just saw Timmy, on the weekend. We did a Rolling Stones tribute show together with Tex and Phil from Grinspoon. We’re all saying that we’ll see you at Spring Loaded. So we’re going to be seeing each other a lot because we’re doing the Stones show in July, Spring Loaded in June. We were kind of joking that we should have our own special little tent, like our own private dressing room, just for the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers crew. It’s pretty loaded!
Somewhere for the private jets and the limos to pull up!
Yeah, exactly! Exactly. Maybe Jay will have something to say about that! But I don’t mind. He can keep me in line, that’s cool!
I guess this is the closest it’s going to get to recreating the Big Day Out, it seems to have that feel about it, which is great. Great from a fan perspective as well.
Well, that’s good to hear because I think the Big Day Out was such a huge part of our world for such a long time and it was massive. It’s great to be able to bring that feeling back, the magic and the excitement. Just to sit around and have a beer and just talk about the old days, that’s so much fun. To still be here in the now and kind of bring some of that with us, it’s still here. We’re still the same people with the same songs and people are still enjoying it. So it does feel like that. It really does and backstage is the same. It’s a similar feeling, just really scaled down tiny version of the Big Day Out vibe. We’re all just loving it. You should see us. We’re just loving it.
Is it a different vibe backstage now?
Yeah, mineral water, thank you. There’s definitely some high jinx. There’s still some high jinx left in the old girl yet.
How have those Sticky Fingers shows gone?
Oh, it’s just unreal. We’ve done three already. I’ve been in Queensland and it just went so well. It was so much fun. I’ve never done the Stones songs before, but I love the Stones. I was nervous about how I would go, but it’s just been so much fun and I’m actually quite a bit more relaxed than I thought I’d be. The songs are so amazing and so great that you can’t do anything else but have fun. I’m just really lucky to be able to do it and it’s definitely a bit out of my norm, what I would normally do, but yeah, the audiences have been loving it. They start off the night in their seats, then they get up and they’re dancing by the end of the night. So that’s been unreal. We can’t wait to do it again. I’m like really missing it. The band is fantastic. Oh my God, they’re such a good band and then Tim and Tex and Phil, just watching them every night is a dream. They’re just so amazing.
Tim just seems to be born through musical theatre. I couldn’t picture anyone else doing it quite like he does it and like you said it must be an absolute treat to watch that every night?
It really is. Tim knows the Stones songs very intimately. He just brings them to life like no other. Just some of the versions that everyone’s doing and making them their own is just, oh my God. It’s just unreal. I feel really lucky, really lucky. It’s a dream. It’s a real dream come true.
Do you think with the excitement around the band that might open the door for a Magic Dirt tour later in the year?
We’re chomping at the bit to do our own tour, that’s for sure. Logistically that’s the problem area. We’re very much sort of at the mercy of this pandemic. So we’re really all just playing it day by day at the moment. Planning is a big issue for us musicians. I don’t know at this stage, it’s really hard to plan, but we’d like to. Nothing is in the works at the moment because we’re trying to live through these next few months.
Has the last twelve months tested your own resilience?
For me personally, I’ve been okay. I’ve been busy with the music. I haven’t really had any opportunity or time to decompress or have any rest time or anything like that. I’ve been really busy anyway, despite not gigging. It’s all just been the music throughout the whole lockdowns and throughout 2020. I’ve been working on my solo record and mixing it. I’ve been working on the behind the scenes stuff with Magic Dirt, with reissues and things. There’s always a lot to do. I still haven’t caught up on half of what I’m supposed to have had done. There’s always a mountain of stuff to get through. Thankfully I’ve been employed the whole time via grants and government support, which a lot of musicians have luckily had. I’ve been okay and so has Magic Dirt. It’s been pretty much music the whole time. Just what I normally do, but without the gigs. The worrying bit is when Job Keeper stops and how the next couple of years are going to pan out. That’s really when things are going to start to come to light about what’s going to be going on for musicians, I think from the scene.
Definitely, I think the next six months are going to be quite telling for the industry particularly our venues.
I really felt for the venues. That was so heart breaking during that time, because they rely on bodies in there, walking off the street or whatever, gigs. That’s really sad. I know a lot of the community is so supportive and behind it and trying to do everything we can to help each other. So that’s been a nice uplifting thing that’s come out of this.
There was a mention of reissues, are there more planned?
It’s a little under wraps, but I can say a little bit about it. We’ve been re-issuing out or Au Go Go catalogue that we’ve just recently acquired ourselves. Our first and second long players have never been available on the digital platforms up until now. So we’re up to our third release now, which is not out yet, but it’s coming. We’re working on that behind the scenes. That will be available on vinyl and all the DSPs for the first time, but then vinyl reissue. Then there’s another one after that and probably more. We’ll just keep working on reissuing stuff until it’s all done.
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Magic Dirt at Spring Loaded on the following dates. Tickets from Spring Loaded…
Catch Adalita with Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins and Phil Jamieson playing The Stones’ Sticky Fingers. Tickets from BASS