Kris Peter’s catches up with The Screaming Jets Paul Woseen ahead of their gig at Port Douglas on the weekend.
‘Better’, ‘C’mon’, ‘October Grey’, ‘Helping Hand’, ‘Shine Over Me’, ‘Sad Song’ or ‘Tunnel’.
If any or all of these songs mean anything to you then chances are you have been baptised into the world and music of one of Australia’s greatest ever rock bands, the Screaming Jets.
They have been playing their own brand of rock music for a quarter of a century now, from humble beginnings in Newcastle to the leader of the pack Australia wide.
While their music is infectious, their live performances are in another league altogether, with their stage show and banter from front man Dave Gleeson almost legendary. If you could bundle up all the energy and enthusiasm from one live concert and sell it on the street you would make a killing, a fact not lost on anyone who has ever seen them play live.
In this, their 25th year, bass player Paul Woseen sees the reason behind the bands longstanding success and popularity as simple. “We’ve done gigs all over the world and just the camaraderie of the band is the best thing about it,” he explained.
“Every time we do a show together it’s fantastic. The vibe we get off doing a good show and having punters loving it is pretty much what keeps driving us. I think part of the reason we are still around too is because we are real people. We’re just normal blokes who happen to be great musicians who love what they do.”
Aside from a brief tour last year, the Screaming Jets have been barely heard of in recent times, but that is about to change this year, with a full schedule culminating in a national tour towards the end of the year.
“We’ve had a bit of a hiatus except for a bit of a tour at the end of last year,” Paul agreed. “Dave’s been doing the Angels and I’ve been doing some Rose Tattoo stuff and also some solo stuff and writing material for a new Jets record that were hopefully going to go into the studio with at the end of July.”
When asked if he thought that band members having other commitments was possibly affecting the work of the main band, Paul was quickly dismissive. “At this point of our lives that’s what’s actually going to give us more longetivity,” he stressed.
“Years ago the whole focus was the band but now we’re all 10 years older and we’ve had all different stuff happen in our personal world and when you go away from something for a little while and then go back to it you go ‘fuck, how awesome is this!!!’”
Paul recently released his first solo album, simply titled ‘Bombino’ and is a collection of new songs plus some of the Jets greatest hits that he penned. “I tried to record the whole process as authentically as possible,” he said proudly. “It’s an acoustic record and there’s only my voice and my guitar on it and I pretty much did the whole thing in one take over three days.”
While a lot of people with Paul’s experience and notoriety in the music world would have chosen to enlist help from their famous buddies for a venture like this, for the first album Paul decided to keep things in house. “I wanted the first one to be just me,” he said.
“I will be doing another one in August I think, after we do the Jets record, and I might just put a little three piece together and rock out or I might just go acoustic again, I haven’t decided yet.”
This weekend the Screaming Jets headline the Port Douglas Food and Wine Festival, an experience that Paul believes is a first for the band. “Yeah, we’ve never done a food and wine festival before,” he laughed. But when pressed if the band still got nervous being the headliner and backbone of an event like this Paul was typically nonchalant. “Nah,” he said, “we’ve been around for 25 years now and we’re still the same band we’ve always been. We don’t feel the pressure of anything, except the pressure we put on ourselves to do a good show.” “But maybe it would be fun since we’re playing at a food and wine festival to start a bit of a food fight…….”