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| 5 December 2015 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

With new album Chrome recorded and ready to release, Newcastle rockers The Screaming Jets bring their Rock n’ Roll Rampage tour out West for four big, big shows. This Thursday, 3rd December, they’re at Bunbury’s Prince Of Wales, before heading south to Margaret River’s Settler’s Tavern on Friday the 4th. Saturday the 5th they’re back in town for a bound-to-sell-out smash at The Charles Hotel, and Sunday the 6th they play The Ravenswood Hotel. SHANE PINNEGAR spoke with bass player Paul Woseen.

Screaming Jets - Paul Woseen

Woseen doesn’t sugar coat his words when asked how the album – their first since 2008’s Do Ya – is sounding, saying simply, “It fucking rocks!” As primary songwriter for the band, he also doesn’t feel daunted by the likelihood of critics comparing their new material with their ‘90s hits.

“I just don’t think of it like that,” he says gruffly. “I don’t think about the big stuff as our big stuff. I just don’t. They’re just songs we do. The songs that have become hits, I don’t think they’re any better quality songs than other songs that we do. It’s just that they’re the ones that people grabbed on to.”

26 years into the band’s history, Woseen is still seeing both well-known and new faces in the crowd when The Screaming Jets play around the country.

“I think we’ve been very lucky and I’m quite humbled by the loyalty and the tenacity, if you want, of our fans,” he says, with feeling. “I look at on this run we’re doing now and I see some faces and I think, fuck I’ve seen you at 40 shows. That’s unreal. There’s been 18, 19 year olds [as well] and I think, ‘fuck, I could be your dad,’ you know? It’s kind of the same thing when I was younger and how I got into this and how I got into that. They heard us through their dads or their older brothers or their friend’s older brother’s record collection, you know. Now they’re old enough to come along and check us out.”

West Aussie fans can expect to hear some of Chrome this weekend.

“Yeah, we’re rotating about 4 or 5 songs per night from the new album,” Woseen explains. “We’re giving them a go and they’re going down really well.”

Although the Jets haven’t been doing much over the past couple of years, the five musicians have all kept busy. Woseen himself released the excellent solo acoustic album Bombido last year, which featured new songs and solo acoustic treatments of a few Jets favourites.

“I just keep playing like I do. Jimmy [‘The Human’ Hocking – guitar]’s constantly playing. Dave [Gleeson – singer]’s playing in The Angels. I do some shows with Rose Tattoo, I’ve been playing with them for about a year. I do solo acoustic stuff around Melbourne and other places, [and] some time in January I’m going to go back into the studio and do another solo record. I’m going to do it with a band this time – a 3 piece band. Totally new material – stuff that I’ve written.”

Screaming Jets 03

Talking of Rose Tattoo, when interviewing singer Angry Anderson early this year he was adamant that the band was all but over. It’s great to see artists the calibre of Woseen helping keep that great Australian band alive.

“I’m not really privy to what goes on around there,” Woseen confesses, before hinting, “I just know there’s talk of a big tour in 2017.”

That’s one to keep an ear out for. When Gleeson started moonlighting with The Angels, was Woseen concerned that his unavailability might harm the Screaming Jets in any way?

“When he’s working with ‘the other band’!” he jests, implying Gleeson’s having an affair on the side. “Yeah, it’s like a bad Hollywood movie. We’re quite modern thinking so we can allow that.”

Screaming Jets - Paul Woseen 2

With the response to Chrome’s new songs nothing but favourable thus far, and the band in shit-hot form, Woseen is already thinking ahead to making another record.

“Can I see us doing another album? I can. I’ve predominantly written this record, all but one track. I’m kind of at a good space writing at the moment – it’s all sort of coming out all ‘bleeeeaagggh’ [makes lots-of-stuff-pouring-out-fast sound] at the moment. Strike while the iron’s hot. We’re going to drop this record, [then] we’ll do a tour in the new year – probably February, March, April. We’ll go from that – I’m ready. I’d like to record again sometime after we finish that tour, [and] just keep smashing them out while we can.”

Screaming Jets 02

Lots of things have changed since the band were having hits with Better and Shivers in the late ‘90s – record sales are no longer a big source of revenue, and Triple J no longer playing rock music like they did when they helped break the band. Thankfully the Screaming Jets still see recording as a viable expense.

“There is a cost… we’ve got access to Scott Kingman [guitarist]’s Yabbie Road studio,” Woseen muses. “We get in there and bash some stuff out. Studio time is quite expensive but we really only need somewhere where we can get band tracks done. Luckily this time we were up at 301 Studios in Byron Bay. Beautiful studio. Great sounding rooms. [But] it’s an expense worth taking.

“I’ve got the mind-set that if we cover our costs, with a little profit, then that’s good. If we cover our costs that means that we can use that and make another one. Anything above that’s just a bonus.”

An edited version of this interview was first published in X-Press Magazine’s 2 December, 2015 issue

Category: Interviews

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