Phil Jamieson Talks The White Album Concert Tour – Across The Ocean

Phil Jamieson Talks The White Album Concert Tour

Tim Rogers, Chris Cheney, Josh Pyke and Phil Jamieson unite again to take The White Album Concert around the country once more. The 2014 experience promises to be as big and as grand as the 2009 experience as Phil Jamieson mentions as well as giving Across The Ocean a sneak peak at life after Grinspoon while they’re on hiatus and whether there will be a solo release this year.

the white album promo

The White Album Concert series was an awesome experience are you looking forward to being able to do this again?

Um, the producers wanted to do it again! Tim, Josh, Chris and myself are all very busy doing other stuff so it was fortunate that we were allowed the time to be able to commit to that.

What will be different about the experience this time?

I’m not exactly sure to be honest but I would say that my knowledge of The White Album is more finessed that it was back in 2009. I think I have more knowledge and ins and outs of this record this time so my approach would be a little bit different I would imagine but I can’t speak for the other guys. We haven’t got together yet to go through the rehearsals yet so I’m not sure about the overall approach yet.

Have you always been a Beatles fan or is this just another great opportunity as a working musician that fitted in the diary?

It’s a bit of both! I think if you’re a music fan you’ll like The Beatles and I’ve been a fan of them. I get quite a kick out of sharing the stage with Tim, Josh and Chris to be perfectly honest. That as well I find really fun and I’m constantly learning from those guys and they are incredible musicians in the way they shape their craft and the way they record stuff is impressive. On the 2009 tour I learnt a lot from them.

What was the biggest thing you learnt from Tim Rogers who seems perfectly suited to this show?

He definitely has a very musical theatre kind of approach and very much a showbiz guy, has excellent points, and always wears excellent suits. I can’t emulate Tim and I can’t help but be inspired by how he carries himself on stage. His stage craft is impeccable and he is suited to this type of show but we all bring our own charisma to the performance.

A lot of people talk about The White Album as being The Beatles most ambitious album or describing as this big beast, is that how you look at it or is it just another album in their back catalogue?

My take on it is that it probably is their most ambitious record they’ve undertaken given the depth and breadth of the songs on it. From the humour to the satire to the depths it crosses many different genres and many different types of music. It’s a big record, man! It’s a long record, lots of songs so I would say it is an understatement that it’s their most ambitious record. If you can make a two part concert out of it that is pretty ambitious to begin with. So, I would say it is their most ambitious.

Given you have the benefit of experience having done this before do you think there is less pressure and will be a little more relaxed?

I don’t really think about what I have done before, I sung in Grinspoon for eighteen years and I still felt the pressure to perform even though I knew the songs like the back of my hand. Just because the show has been done before doesn’t mean that there is any less pressure or excitement. I wouldn’t call it pressure but more like excitement. But if I’m genuinely excited to do it I’ll get pretty psyched up in myself to try and deliver a good performance, right? The experience may help in making the rehearsals a little shorter because I know all the words now. The last time I did the record I hand wrote out all the lyrics like thirty times so I could learn them all. I’m very familiar with all the lyrics this time round so that won’t be a problem.

Is that a really hard thing learning all the lyrics?

I have a certain system of learning words where I just hand write them out over and over and over again in a note book. That usually gets stuck in your brain whilst listening to the song but it wasn’t that bad because they are memorable and awesome lyrics. If I didn’t like the lyrics they wouldn’t be memorable! When you’re working with something as great as The White Album it is a joy.

Last time there was talk of some sort commemorative release whether that would be a CD or DVD, will that still happen?

There was a DVD recorded at the State Theatre show last time and there is an eighty percent chance that it may be sold at these shows.

Have you been happy with how your own solo shows have been going?

The funny thing about doing solo shows is that it is ‘solo’! There is no one there apart from me, it has been a huge buzz and I have been flattered and a bit overwhelmed by peoples support, it has been very nice. When you’re driving down to Mt Gambier in a van on your own you really do realise that you are by yourself. I’ve been used to sharing a van for so long the real difference is the solo thing. It has been great and I’m about to announce a WA run of dates which will be even longer and more lonely. It has been fantastic and I’m still to release anything solo yet so it is nice that people are taking the plunge and coming along with me anyway.

I know you said you weren’t thinking about a solo release but the big question will be when?

I’m not really all that keen on doing an album as such. I might release a single or I might release an EP but I think it will be slowly, slowly, slowly for me and I grow myself as a solo performer. I want to have fun with it because music has to be fun for me and that’s where I get my kicks. The material has to be right and represents me in the right way. There might be a release later this year, there might not be! One thing is for sure is that it won’t be a full length album. It’s a little too ambitious for me at this time and my attention span is such that if I spend longer than four days in the studio I go mental. If anything it may be a little seven inch.

What’s your plan beyond The White Album tour?

I’ll probably be mowing the lawn a bit, doing the washing and being an excellent dad doing domestic duties because I’m unemployed-ish. I’ll be cruising, hanging out and doing quite a bit of work for charity and writing some songs. 2014 has popped up some great things without too much forward planning. There will be some sort of recording under the solo banner so after Whitie I’ll move in to that and see where that takes me.

Is Grinspoon still on the radar?

We only took a break in December and it’s only May and we’re aiming for a long term indefinite hiatus. The long term thing is probably at least eighteen months to two years until we start looking at each other again. I still keep in touch socially and I’m catching up with Pat and see what he is up to but as far as getting the guitars out and dusting off Dead Cats that’s definitely a long way off.

It’s not quite the same though without the Grinners around.

Look, there’s so much great music out there like Violent Soho, Dune Rats, The Rubens, Tame Impala and plenty other guitar bands coming through and I appreciate that we’re missed but there are a lot of young bands that need a festival spot as well.

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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