and I was playing in a different band with Kav, (who is our lead singer) and we were both a little unsatisfied with the music we were playing in that band and Stu and Kav were playing in café's and they were looking for a drummer...We started jamming together and all kind of worked, the music was cool and there was a good chemistry.
At the time I was studying at university in 1997 and there was a thing called the Campus Band Competition, which I thought was a good way to actually do a gig.
We went into the competition and ended up winning the whole thing. So there we were, we were a band.
When did you feel it was your big break?
The first time we heard a song of ours on the radio, it was pretty surreal.
Triple JJJ picked up a song of ours called 'Sweater' in 1998. We didn't even know they had the CD... it was an amazing thing. It wasn't like we made it but it did give us a glimmer of hope that we could possibly do this as a career.
How has music changed since you first began in 1997.
The music industry has changed heaps. There are a lot bands out there making a lot of great music but the whole way it is structured, like the record business, is very much influx and no one really knows where it is going to end up going. ... it is difficult to know whether people are buying music or not, they are definitely listening to it but it is hard to gauge where you are at. Whereas back in 1997 people where buying CD's in record numbers and you knew exactly where you were at. But the industry is definitely in state of flux.
What drives you to keep going?
Music makes me tick. It is the last thing I think about. I can't help but to make music. It is the thing that drives me.
The Gorgeous Festival is coming up, what are you most excited about?
Festivals are such great fun. You have this readymade audience ready to roll. They are kind of amped up and it's just great fun.
How has the new album been received?
It was sort of like a risky album for us. We have pushed our sound to a very different place. There will be fans that go with it and some that don't and there will be new fans that jump on board.
What influenced your decision to create a new sound and move into a new direction?
We had made five records and we had become really good at making 'Eskimo Joe Records'. It became easy and that kind of became an enemy as far as the creativity side goes.
Whereas with this album we tried to get away from that and get out of our comfort zone and that is why we changed direction.
When we went into the studio we didn't know what it was going to sound like at the end. We just thought anything goes and we just let it all go.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?
It changes all the time, but the last track on the album called Last Beacon Light, or track two Not Alone are my favourites.
What is your favourite thing about performing?
It is interacting with the crowd. We spent our days in the studio making this music and you put it out there, but you can't sit in people's lounge rooms while they are listening to it and see their reaction but when you play live, it's instant gratification and you can see how the audience is responding to your music.
That is the best part.
Do you have a favourite audience worldwide that you have performed for?
Yes, it is probably Switzerland. We have played there only twice and they do this amazing thing for an encore where they all face the stage and get a low note going. It is like a groan, and it is a little spooky [he laughs] and they are all pointing their fingers at the stage and wiggling them while they are doing this low whoooo sound and that is how they ask for an encore. And when you walk on they lift their hands all as one and let out this loud whoooo. It is bizarre and it is the only place in the world where I have seen that happen.
What is one thing that the music industry has taught you?
Being in this industry has taught me that you need this really good work ethic to be able to making a living out of it.
What advice do you have for people wanting to break into industry?
Keep writing songs. It is really important to work hard at that. Write as many songs as you can, because the more you write the better you will get at it.
What's next for Eskimo Joe?
We will be doing lots of touring. We are going to be playing lots of shows.