SAVOUR THE LOCAL FLAVOUR

Trinity College year 11 and 12 students took part in the annual fundraising day. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo d400869
Trinity College year 11 and 12 students took part in the annual fundraising day. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo d400869

Entering their third decade, the four-piece ” WA-born singer/guitarist Tim Rogers, drummer Rusty Hopkinson, bassist Andy Kent and 15-year ‘new guy’ Davey Lane ” are hitting the road, playing their two best-loved albums Hi Fi Way and Hourly Daily back to back at the Astor Theatre in July.

The bio for You Am I’s latest tour labels Hopkinson as an indie-rock journeyman, but if you think that sounds unfair, be careful before you point the finger at a lazy PR person.

It turns out Rusty wrote the bio, as well as the liner notes on for the reissue of You Am I’s first album ” the only album he didn’t play on ” Sound As Ever.

The album that gave the world Berlin Chair is being reissued with YAI’s unmistakeably Australian aforementioned albums.

It almost didn’t happen for Rusty. After an acrimonious split from Melbourne hardcore band Nursery Crimes in 1992, he had resigned himself to the fact he’d had his shot at having a career as a musician, until he received an unexpected call from New York that his instincts told him to dismiss.

‘I’d been playing with Nursery Crimes and I got fired from that, and I took it pretty hard because I’d put a lot of effort into that group, so I moved to Sydney and started working for this record company,’ he said.

‘It was a cool job, I helped put together the first Front End Loader album and the first Screamfeeder album, but one day I got a call from New York and it was Tim, and he said ‘look, we’re not going to play with Mark (Tunaley, drummer) any more, we’ve made this album and when we get back we want you to play in our band’, and I said, ‘cool’.

‘I then immediately thought, ‘nah, that’s not going to happen, and my boss said, ‘listen, don’t hold your breath because they’re on tour and these things get sorted out,’ but when they got back, Tim got the record company to send me the album, and it was good. I had one jam session and I was in the band.’

Following the release of Sound As Ever, the band began touring non-stop, first a US tour in 1994 with Soundgarden at the peak of their powers that resulted in Hi Fi Way, which was quickly followed the next year by their undisputed classic, Hourly Daily.

Frontman Tim Rogers’ reaction to being nominated for six ARIA awards for Hourly Daily made headlines across Australia as he described it, in his own unmistakeable fashion, as like being invited to a party he didn’t want to attend in the first place.

‘There’s an idea somehow that those awards define you, which I think is what Tim was objecting to and I think we all felt the same way and still do,’ Rusty said.

‘We didn’t rely on record companies though, we were always pretty self-sufficient, but one thing that happened was on the night of the ARIA awards our distributer, Shock, was bought out by BMG, so suddenly we’re on a major label and that isn’t where we wanted to be.

‘I’m not sure we resented it, we just weren’t that interested in being part of the industry.’

The idea of bands playing classic albums in full has made a resurgence in recent years, and with the Hi Fi Daily Double tour, Rusty said it was something the band had been urged to do before.

‘It’s going to be about celebrating those albums,’ he said.