INTERVIEW: JEFF ROSENSTOCK RETURNS TO ADELAIDE TO MAKE ART, MISTAKES AND SWEAT

New Yorker Jeff Rosenstock is heading back down under this month for an 11-date national tour to promote his latest solo album We Cool?

Supported by his other band, Antarctigo Vespucci, Melbourne’s Camp Cope and Adelaide’s Stabbitha & The Knifey Wifeys, this is Jeff’s fourth time in Australia and he loves it here, particularly our sky.

“Everyone is really nice and chilled. It’s a lot better there. Maybe it’s because whenever I go there, it’s summer there and winter here so it seems so much nicer, but I just really like Jeff Rosenstock Tour Poster March 2016it. I like my friends there, I like people at shows; the sky is way better – you guys have better stars than us. I’m stoked to get to look at the sky. You guys have more stars. I don’t know whether you know that, but it’s true,” he says from his home in Brooklyn.

After doing a series of shows in Australia with his band, Bomb The Music Industry in 2012 and 2013, Jeff came back again to produce The Smith Street Band’s third album Throw Me In The River in 2014, which is an experience he remembers fondly.

“It was fun. It was crazy. It was one of the best times ever. It was f*cking awesome. It was cool to hang out with my friends from Australia that I don’t normally get to see for that long. I got to live in a house with them for a month,” he says.

“I’m also stoked to have a record turned out, so that was fun. It’s the first time I’ve done something like that so I’m stoked to have been able to do it. We were living in the woods for a month and it was so cool to wake up in the morning and there were cockatoos and galahs on the porch. We were feeding them birdseed, drinking coffee and it was just great.”

His memories of Adelaide, however, aren’t quite as fond.

“I’ve been to Adelaide once. I had gotten into a bike accident after a couple of days off on tour and I went to hospital in Adelaide and they didn’t help me. The show was really awesome and fun, though, and everyone was really patient with me because I was covered in bandages and I couldn’t jump around. But hey, who am I to complain about another country’s health system!” he jokes.

Playing at Enigma Bar on March 3, Jeff says he might not get a chance to get involved in the Mad March hysteria, but he is keen to get in on the act.

“We always try to make time to get out and do something while we’re on tour. I don’t know if we’ll have time to see a play or a car race, but we’ll sure try to get some beers, walk around town and make mistakes. When we make mistakes in our show, we’ll just say it’s a Fringe performance, and if you don’t like it, you just don’t get it, man. You just don’t understand our art,” he laughs.

Touring with Antarctigo Vespucci, his band with Fake Problems’ frontman Chris Farren, which also includes members of the band of his solo act, Jeff admits he’s essentially his own opening act.

“It’s two separate bands; we have a lot of the same members at the same time, but it’s totally two separate bands. It’s either weird, or it’s cool that we get to have both of our bands tour Australia; all we have to do is pay for one extra flight,” he says.

“I’ll be sweaty and disgusting by the time we play. Usually I’m sweaty and disgusting three minutes into playing but with this line up, I’m sweaty and disgusting right off the bat. But I’ll just try and get drier as the show goes on. That will be our performance art.”

Having just returned from a tour with a fellow U.S band, Jeff is looking forward to playing intimate venues like Enigma.

“I like playing everywhere. It’s always the people who run the venue who can make it, or make it terrible. I like playing small places, it’s fun. We just got off a tour with Modern Baseball which was big rooms and stuff like that, so I think it will be nice to get back to smaller places, which is where we feel more comfortable and more at home, because, you know, not that many people like us. We like places that only hold ten people so we can say, ‘Yeah, man! Packed house tonight!’” he laughs.

You can catch the utterly hilarious and totally rocking Jeff Rosenstock on March 3 at Enigma Bar, with tickets available here.

By Libby Parker

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