Header image  
what's happening in your town  

Kav from Eskimo Joe Interview


We caught up with Kav from Eskimo Joe ahead of the release of their 6th studio album and their national tour which sees them playing at tanks in November…

Hi Kav where are we talking to you today?

I am a bit tired we have had a bit of a whirlwind day today of doing lots of bits and pieces now we are just about to jump on a plane and head back to Perth…but we are in Melbourne at the moment.
This is your 6th studio album- did you think when you were recording your debut album that you would still be doing this 10 years later?
I hoped we would be making music…I feel really lucky that we have made it this far and people are still interested in what we do and I also feel lucky that we are still really good friends and enjoy hanging out and doing this stuff together as I think that’s a really large part of it you know. Bands that tend to not get over these issues and are all bands have issues they just kind of fall apart so I feel lucky…but I don’t know what I thought I would be doing at this point in time. I hoped I would still be making music in some form.

You had a side project “The Basement Birds”. Do you think that reinvigorates you by doing something else and then coming back to Eskimo Joe?

Yeah absolutely that stuff is like going on a little holiday all I had to do was come up with 3 or 4 songs and then the rest of it was all taken care of…It would be really good to do it again but everyone has pretty busy schedules. We actually recorded toured and promoted that album in 8 months so it was a bit of a whirlwind but it was a real blast.

You guys crowd funded your latest album and I wanted to ask you what lead the group to crowd funding and how you found the experience?

We had been doing the record company thing for a few years now and met lots of cool people and all the rest of it but we were a bit sick of the format of having the big machine between you and the fans so we were pretty keen to go independent so we had kind of been watching what other bands had been doing in the US and a lot of bigger bands had been crowd funding. There seemed to be a really interesting new wave of bands go out and make quality albums without the big machine behind them so we did it and we didn’t know if it was going to blow up in our face.

You need to identify a certain amount of money and if you don’t reach that target then you don’t get any of it. We sort pledges totalling $40,000. If you make 99.9% of that you actually don’t get any of the money….so it can blow up in your face but really essentially what you’re doing is creating packages or products that people can buy via pre-order so it’s a great show of faith between you and the fans and we were really humbled and quite honoured that everyone got on board.

It was amazing we developed this whole new relationship with fans; some of the packages are listening parties so we will be doing some of these things and it really takes some of the preciousness out of it. I think when you have the record company involved you get precious a lot of the time you can’t go and meet people over there, it’s really hard and it’s a load of bollocks…these are the people buying your album they are the first people you should be going over too…to say thank you and crowd funding pretty much puts you directly in that position getting people on board and everyone feels like they are invested in something and it’s a really cool thing to do and I would highly recommend it to any other band…it’s great.

I checked it out at the time…was one of the things a BBQ?

It was actually a private concert at someone’s house but in the Australian tradition it sold as a BBQ, we put about 4 of these on and we could have sold about 20 of them because everyone wanted a BBQ. I think if we had let that puppy go we would be doing BBQ’s for the rest of our lives. The plan is that we would do the cooking so we would rock up and cook the sausages play some songs acoustically for everybody and have some fun.

I caught you show last time you were in Cairns at Brother’s leagues club and it went off what can the audience at Tanks expect?

Yeah I think it will go off. The shows going to be a little different, we went out and played some of the old songs next to the new songs at regional shows in WA and the new songs went down probably better than the new songs. I think it’s going to be a great time, we like to party when we get the chance and I don’t know what it is maybe it’s the weird tropical climate but it always goes a bit bananas every time we get up there. That’s certainly what it feels like when you play up there, but it’s not even the show you always end up going out afterwards or even going and having some crazy adventure every single time.

What’s the song writing process like for Eskimo Joe?

Generally what happens especially in the past it’s just been me coming up with basic chord ideas and lyrics and then we workshop the song together until it becomes an Eskimo Joe song. This time round Joel came up with a couple of great ideas as well one of which is “Got What You Need” and generally what happens for instance with “Got What You Need” he had a bit of a verse and half the chorus and then we got together and wrote some more lyrics and a bridge and complete the chorus and just jammed it until it sounded great so it’s a pretty collaborative experience writing, but generally one person will come in with some lyrics.

Best thing about being a musician?

If you are lucky enough to be in a position like us where we make a living out of it and I think there is a lot of pride that you are creating these ideas out of your mind and people are buying it and helping you support your family and live a life and I am very proud of the fact that I’m able to make a living through music.
What’s the Worst Thing about being a musician?
Well you miss everyone’s birthdays, weddings and when stuff has to happen you just have to drop everything and do it so you are always letting a lot of people down. But there is lots of free tickets and booze for everyone that’s a bit upset with you.

What advice would you give a young musician?

It’s a very different world and marketplace now, the fact that we are crowd funding an album would never have happened back in the days when we formed (1997).

I think the advice I would give would be just stick to the fundamentals by writing the best songs you can. Focus on being a great band and having a great relationship with each other and then go out and play gigs and I think the rest will take care of itself – If you’re really good at what you do which are the fundamentals of writing and performing

What’s the funniest thing that has happened on tour that you can tell us?

That’s the difficult one because there are lots of things that happen that we have to censor and there are lots of others that are like really band In-jokes that we find funny because we have heard them so many times that we just find them funny…when we tell other people we find they are not really funny. But I will tell you one of the really funny ones…. There is place called Bulla winery and we were doing a show there. They had hired a car to take us from the hotel out to the show and back and it was kind of like an 80’s stretched limo. I had brought my little recording set up so on the drive back after we were all boozed up on all the wine we recorded this rap song in the limousine…it was the funniest and coolest thing we have ever done just sitting in the limo passing a mic around coming up with really bad rhymes. We got back home and recorded it properly and made it sound cool and stuff. When our manager asked us what our new album might be like we gave her that track and she wasn’t very impressed.

Eskimo Joe’s new album is out now

They will be also be performing at Tanks on the 2nd of November