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Getting To Know: Jonathan Boulet

Jonathan Boulet

Keen to more about your favourite up-and-coming bands? Sick of the same ol’ studio questions? From the albums they crank before they head out on stage to their must-have items when the tour van pulls into the service station, we quiz musicians about life on the road and how they came to love what they do. Up next: alt-pop maestro Jonathan Boulet. The singer cut his teeth in Sydney metalcore band City Escape Fire and now deals in blistering lo-fi stoner/garage jams all on his lonesome. This weekend he’ll be opening for legendary post-punk band The Jesus And Mary Chain at this year’s Spectrum Now Festival in Sydney, so there’s no time like the present to get to know more about Mr Boulet.


I first discovered music when…
I was eight years old and I was given the Lou Bega – “Mambo No. 5” single. My best friend and I had it on repeat for a good couple of hours and we got so worked up dancing around the house that I was convinced I could do a backflip. So we put some couch pillows on the floor and I proceeded to attempt a standing backflip. After a few attempts of mostly landing flat on my back and neck, I decided maybe the backflip was for another day.

I realised being in a band was the best way to waste time when…
I realised any chance to play alongside someone was a good time to me. It’s not a waste at all. I spent most of my teenage-hood longing for those extended all day jam sessions.

My first band was…
Called City Escape Fire, after many first band name changes. Other names included: Easy Money, 8 Ball, Askold, The Green Datsun and Brooklyn. We were around during the early 2000s metalcore explosion in Western Sydney. We never quite fit into that scene.

The first show I ever played was…
A charity event, some kind of walk-a-thon thing where people walk around an oval non-stop for hours on end to raise money. City Escape Fire played a variety of top-notch covers, including hits from our emo heroes Thursday and Poison The Well. I remember our bassist climbing onto my bass drum to perform an epic rock jump, as the dwindling crowd cheered on, a solitary “NOOOOOO” resonated across the field – it was my mum.

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
At the local trendy apparel store in Castle Hill. I went in for the interview and it was seemingly all-good, I was to start work ASAP. I was never contacted from that point on and was never once rostered on for a shift.

My favourite band is…
Selvhenter from Denmark. They’re noisy, groovy and know how to improvise.

A band that should never have broken up are…
Grinderman. For selfish reasons; I wanted to see them play again is all.

 

“I remember our bassist climbing onto my bass drum to perform an epic rock jump, as the dwindling crowd cheered on, a solitary “NOOOOOO” resonated across the field – it was my mum.”

 

One album I play before I hit the stage is…
The Stooges’ Fun House. It helps remind you that you don’t have to be uptight on stage. You don’t have to play in time, or shred the guitar, you just need to have a good time.

I love being on stage because…
Live music is a strange middle ground where fantasy and reality meet. When you’re standing side of stage you are just another person within the confounds of our societal values. Once you’re on stage you are allowed a certain degree of flexibility. For a minute you are looking from the outside in. You blend in with the universe. It’s like transcendental meditation. You open your eyes, and suddenly it’s an hour later and you’re covered in sweat.

My favourite tour memory is…
All of them. There are too many to pick just one. Even the shit stuff, like booking wrong flights and people vomiting out of car windows at 110kph while we rush nine hours to the next show. The stage dives, the high fives. Sleeping on people’s floors, the endless search for coffee places…

The worst thing about touring is…
Booking wrong flights, people vomiting out of car windows, sleeping on people’s floors and the endless search for coffee places.

My favourite servo/gas stop purchase is…
Truckin’ Life Magazine. They’ve got great articles about life on the road and the “Rig of The Month” always features some top shelf Aussie rigs.

On the road I can’t live without…
There isn’t much I need while on the road. Once on our way to the airport, my bag was left in the driveway and I went without fresh clothes for our tour. I stank. Couldn’t live without water and a constant supply of snacks. Otherwise I shut down like a dead robot.

My favourite place in the world is…
Sydney, Australia. It’s got beach and it’s got bush.

If I could, I would trade lives with…
An ancient Neanderthal. Those guys had it right. They’d camp out by the fire every night, eat organic free-range bison and drink pure rain water straight from the river. Life was simpler in those days.

Jonathan Boulet @ Spectrum Now Festival

with The Jesus And Mary Chain + Seekae + Alvvays + U.S. Girls

Sat Mar 5th – Big Top @ The Domain, Sydney
Tix: moshtix.com.au

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