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Phil Small Interview

We caught up with founding member of Cold Chisel and bass player Phil small to talk Vinyl, Cars, Chisel and their upcoming shows...which includes a show at Cairns Convention Centre on the 5th of November.

Anyone who went to their previous show in 2011 at The Cairns showground know what a powerful show Chisel can put on and their upcoming show will be fantastic in this more intimate space....



Where are you talking to us from today?

At home in Sydney

Cold Chisel didn’t play or record for many years? Do you and the other members of the band regret such a long “Hiatus” and the albums that could’ve been made during that lost time?

We had lived and worked so closely for many years and needed some space. The time away helped us all mature and develop as musicians and writers so I have no regrets.

Tell us about your new album, The Perfect Crime?

For me it's a road trip album. I like to play it when I'm driving. Chisel always had a connection with travelling round the country, paying our dues. 

What was recording the new album like? 

Recording is always a challenge but the process was a lot easier this time round. We recorded most tracks at 301 Alexandria and finished up at Freight Train. Kevin Shirley produced the album and as a fan he got a great sound for everybody.

What is the song writing process like for cold chisel?

We all write individually at home and then bring the songs to the studio. It's pretty hard to compete and get songs on as Don is so good but everyone's stuff sounds better when we all add our own parts and solos etc.

The artwork on the new album is great…whose car is that? And what is the story behind that artwork?

We hired the car.  We wanted a car and a photo that looked very film noir, like it was a poster for a crime novel or a crime film... Something that set the scene for 'The Perfect Crime'. It was concepted and designed by a friend of the band's, Aaron Hayward, and the photos taken by Steve Baccon - the same team that did 'No Plans'

Cold Chisel just released their whole back catalogue on vinyl….it's a beautiful addition to any collection…whose idea was that and how did it come about?

With the resurgence is vinyl it was a project we wanted to do for a long time. Our management went to a lot of trouble to ensure the quality of the collection and part of the process was done overseas.  There's no money in it, it's just something for the fans.

 I saw you play in Cairns last time on a very rainy night but the crowd loved it…what can the audience expect on this tour?  

Well we don't have to worry about the rain for starters. We have a new set list with stuff from the new album, the crowd favourites and some old blasts from the past we haven't played for a while. We haven't had backing singers since The Last Stand and this tour we have Mahalia, Jade and Juanita on board.

Many bands are dipping into their archives and releasing new material….is there a vast archive of unreleased Chisel tracks…we may hear in the future?

We have gradually been releasing stuff from the archives like the live recording from Bombay Rock in Melbourne 1979 but we're pretty busy with this new album and tour. There is always stuff that doesn't make it on the albums so you never know.

Where’s your favourite place and why?

Home is my favourite place because that's where my family is.

What's the funniest thing to happen on a Cold Chisel Tour?

It wasn't funny at the time but having to postpone Light the Nitro shows because Ian's cat bit him on the hand seemed to give the media and fans plenty to joke about.

What’s the worst thing to happen on a Cold Chisel Tour?

Jim getting sick and losing his voice just before Last Stand shows in Sydney .

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Making a living from something creative that you love doing.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

Always thinking you could have done better and the pressure you put on yourself. 

What advice would you give a young musician?

Only go into music if you have the passion as it can be a long hard road. Unfortunately not everyone who is talented gets to make it.

Cold Chisel Play The Cairns Convention Centre on the 5th of November

Tickets are avaliable through TICKETLINK