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SCREAMING JETS: ‘ROCK RADIO RIOT’ TOUR INTERVIEW

Next year marks the 30 year milestone for Newcastle’s finest rockers The Screaming Jets, a significant achievement for any band in the music business. For three decades the Jets have inhabited Australia’s record charts and have been a staple for mainstream radio networks such as Triple M. In fact in August 2017, MMM Sydney crowned The Jets’ song “Better” as the most played single by an Australian artist in its 37 year history. “Better” has been played over 5000 times on MMM alone since it’s release 26 years ago. The band’s hunger to tour has never waned over the years and in August this year, The Screaming Jets will once again hit the road on their Rock Radio Riot national tour and this time, 80s pop rockers Book Crash Opera (‘Onion Skin’, ‘Dancing in The Storm’, ‘Great Wall’, ‘Hands Up In The Air’, ‘Get Out Of The House’, ‘The Best Thing’) will be tagging along with them. These shows will see The Jets perform songs from their forthcoming album ‘Gotcha Covered, The Great Australian Songbook’.

AM’s Greg Phillips recently spoke to Jets’ bass player and songwriter Paul Woseen about the upcoming tour.

It would be easy for a band who has played for nearly 30 years to feel jaded but for The Screaming Jets, that’s simply not a problem. They enjoy playing and more importantly, enjoy each other’s company. “We don’t have to think about ways to keep things fresh, they just are because we’re a band that loves to play,” says Paul. “That’s the whole point of being in a band is to play live and we enjoy every minute we are doing it. At some point before the tour, we’ll get together for a few days and nut out some songs. Four of us live in Melbourne now and Dave is in Adelaide. So he’ll fly over here … we’ll go into a rehearsal studio for a few days. We’ll drink some beer and play some rock and out we go!”

The double-header concept is one that has always worked well, particularly for The Jets who recently completed a very successful tour with The Baby Animals. As a teenager Paul recalls seeing some amazing double bills in Newcastle, such as Spy vs Spy with The Sunnyboys or Kevin Borich Express, so he knows what it’s like from the other side of the stage too. “There have been a few great ones for us over the years. Ugly Kid Joe was a lot of fun but The Baby Animals was a wonderful tour. Audiences loved it, we loved it, it was great,” Paul tells me.

The musical relationship between the bass player and the drummer in the band is always special, after all it’s the band’s engine room. Part of the revitalisation of the band is due to the recent inclusion of Mark McLeod as drummer, a musician Paul Woseen has had no trouble locking in with on stage. It’s no surprise, they were both housemates for around 18 months a few years ago. “About 5 or 6 years ago I was between houses,” explains Paul. “You know the old story, you get out of one house and think you’ll be in another in no time. Mark had joined a band I was playing with in Melbourne … with a singer named Daniela Corso, so I met Mark through that. He said I have a spare room, do you want to bunk here? So I ended up sharing a house with him for a year and a half. We both had rigs set up and we’d jam every day before I moved out. So when he joined the Jets, it was pretty easy going to click back in.”

The Jets have been through a few drummers over the years. I wondered how different it can be from one drummer to another? Can a change of drummer make a lot of difference? “Yes, a lot really,” confirms Paul. “It all depends which way they lean! Some drummers are foot-heavy, some are hat-heavy. There are parts of songs which are played as recorded and other parts where you are free to go for it. Once you get to know their personal ticks … their body movements, you know when they are going to do something. Their shoulder moves that way or they blink or whatever. It takes a little while to get used to that but once you know how they swing, things lock in.”

In regard to Paul’s current stage rig, he has set aside his trusty G&L bass in favour of a brand new Fender Jazz. “I have just become a Fender endorsee,” he tells me. “I have a new Fender Jazz, a 2016 American Pro, so I am using that and also taking out a Greco P, which I use as a spare. I have retired the old Jazz. The red G&L is sitting there at home and the electronics look like it’s been sitting in the bay for six months, so I need to get that sorted out. I’m playing through an old GK 800. I love it, it sounds the same everywhere I go. It’s consistent, it’s loud, there’s not a lot of bottom end flap. I can’t say enough about them. Just a little grey 80s box that is fantastic. With pedals, I have been using a thing called the Little Dipper, it’s like an off it’s head envelope filter. It gives you anything from a talk box to a half cocked wah to a full envelope filter, it’s pretty funky. I still use a bass wah and an MXR overdrive pedal and I just picked up a reissue Neutron pedal as well.”

Not only have The Jets been active on the road but they’ve also been consistently writing and recording. Since releasing his solo album Bombido in 2013, Paul has been the most prolific writer in the band and by default has become the main songwriter. “I’ve never really stopped writing,” he says. “Myself and Dave are writing some stuff for a new Jets’ originals album and hopefully we’ll record that at the end of the year or early in the new year. Plus we’re really close to finishing a covers record that we are going to release around June this year It’s like a great Australian songbook. We’re doing 15 or so favourite songs of the band and putting it out. I reckon this is the best lineup of the band we have had and we just want to record and tour. I’m just glad that we are still able to play and we still feel current and that is shown to me by the audiences that we pull.”

ROCK RADIO RIOT TOUR DATES: THE SCREAMING JETS WITH
SPECIAL GUEST BOOM CRASH OPERA

Proudly Supported by the Triple M Network

Friday 3 August Bridge Hotel, Sydney NSW ***
Saturday 4 August Bridge Hotel, Sydney NSW ***
Friday 10 August Shoppingtown Hotel, Doncaster, VIC
Saturday 11 August Village Green Hotel, Mulgrave, VIC
Friday 17 August Kingsford Juniors, Sydney NSW
Saturday 18 August Rooty Hill RSL, NSW
Friday 24 August Parkwood Tavern, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 25 August Hamilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 31 August The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 1 September The Gov, Adelaide, SA
Friday 7 September Ravenswood Hotel, WA

Saturday 8 September Charles Hotel, Perth WA
Friday 14 September Miranda Hotel, Sydney NSW
Saturday 15 September Revesby Workers, Sydney NSW

*** The Screaming Jets only

TICKETING INFORMATION:
 www.thescreamingjets.com.au

 

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