After 25 years of consistent touring together, earning every accolade and playing every major Australian festival possible Grinspoon has more than earned the right to be known as legends in the Australian rock and roll scene. Earlier this month the group kicked off their Chemical Hearts tour, which is a career retrospective come celebration.
Before the tour arrives in Sydney next month guitarist Pat Davern sat down with City Hub to speak about the journey so far and the future of Grinspoon.
When asked how it felt to be a legend of Aussie rock Davern was incredibly modest.
“As I always tell people, 25 years of being in a band and still being able to tour, have people coming to our shows and be relevant, even if that’s in a nostalgic way, is humbling and we’re obviously eternally grateful and stoked.”
Reflecting on their 25 years together Davern explained that the group has certainly evolved and matured along the way, particularly in regards to their attitude towards live performance.
“Grinspoon used to be a two out of three band, meaning you’d come to three shows and two of them would be good but one might be a train wreck. That was a lot do with the fact that we might have been inebriated a lot more earlier in our career simply because we thought that was the ‘rock and roll way’. These days though we try to put on a good show and take our job very seriously because people are paying their hard-earned money to come to see us. So hopefully now we’re a 10 out of 10 band.”
With that in mind though Davern also explained that Grinspoon likely wouldn’t change their approach if they could do it all over again.
“No, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Davern said with a hearty laugh before continuing, “There shouldn’t be any maturity in rock and roll! We’re a nostalgia act now so we’re allowed to be a bit more civilised. I think if I was 18 and starting out in a band I would probably still want to do whatever it takes to have a good time.”
For Davern, the secret to the band’s longevity rests on two key elements. Firstly, their friendship has been at the core of everything.
“We have a democratic process that we live by when it comes to things dealing with the band but we’re also all good friends and can’t imagine ever being in the band without one another.”
The second element being a unified sense of perseverance and drive to succeed.
“Perseverance is obviously something which is key in the music industry. There’s talent everywhere but it’s perseverance that brings success. So if you’re going to be in a rock band like us you have to surround yourself with people that you know are willing to persevere with you.”
This drive and perseverance has culminated with the band’s current tour/record Chemical Hearts, which Davern described as a ‘Best Of’ compilation.
“It’s definitely not the end of Grinspoon. You never know, there may even be a new song at the show,” Davern quickly added to dispel any fears that a ‘Best Of’ could be signalling the end of Grinspoon. “We won’t ever be doing this type of tour again though, that’s for sure.”
Nov 2. Hordern Pavilion, 1 Driver Ave, Moore Park. $71.30+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.playbillvenues.com.au