Since the release of his third studio album, ambiguously titled Gubba, everything that has been scribed about Northern-Sydney lad Jonathan Boulet has pointed to one factor. When compared to his previous works – 2009’s self-titled debut and 2012’s We Keep the Beat, Found the Sound, See the Need, Start the Heart; his latest effort sounds mildly out of place.
“It’s understandable because generally you don’t expect artists to flip their sounds around,” muses Boulet, hours after touching down in Sydney from London. “The direction I was going this whole time was a bit obvious and predictable. That’s fine, but I guess changing it up doesn’t seem to be as common anymore.”
What has become a common practice is the plethora of labels that have been slapped onto Gubba and Boulet himself. In his own YouTube promo he rattles off these descriptions of himself (“a skate rat, a wunderkind… a sexy motherf***ker, a jack-OFF all trades… a candle in the wind, a d**k waving in the wind…”) and of his latest music (“post-pop-punk, rock, chocolate-chip sludge, crust-pop, rock-pop, pop-cock, cock-stop and the rock block bop.”). It’s any wonder that this talented musician hasn’t rage-quit already.
“You always have to categorise people’s music to understand it,” he reasons. “But when someone puts together a reference that is based on only a couple of things then that gets a little bit annoying. If someone else reads it somewhere and they repeat it, it changes a little bit and it turns into something completely different. The music media side of things is funny to me; it’s like Chinese whispers.”
With the recording process for Gubba executed in Europe, Boulet has returned from his home of the past year to tour this enigmatic LP. Helping deliver this undefined musical creation is artist Steven Tennikov. He worked on the artwork after many discussions with Boulet who wanted to “make some cool shit that is more than just the standard stuff that bands tend to make”, and Tennikov will be on the road creating unique photo booklets for each show.
“It’s mostly going to be Gubba with one or two old songs thrown in,” Boulet says. “I don’t think it’s much of a problem, the new stuff for me is much more exciting, interesting and fun. It’s a new direction, it’s fresh ideas and hopefully I’ll be able to inspire people.” (CD)
Aug 21, Goodgod Small Club, 55 Liverpool St, Sydney, $12+bf, moshtix.com.au
Gubba is out now via Popfrenzy Records