Lock, (Jeff Rosen)Stock And 42 Smoking Gigs
The artist formerly known as all kinds of things and once again known as Prince recently gave Australian fans all of about two weeks notice for a surprise tour Down Under. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that, in this day and age, we wouldn’t have to register interest in a ticket ballot for a show in two years time, we wouldn’t have to wait (excepting the inevitable glitches on ticketing sites). But it’s not that impressive, it’s only three dates, and how hard can it be for Prince to book a venue, even on short notice?
Jeff Rosenstock, formerly of Bomb The Music Industry! and forever DIYcon, may have given us a few more weeks notice, and a little longer to wait, but his Last Minute World Tour Real Quick is as aptly named as Prince’s Piano & A Microphone tour, and it’s got a hell of a lot more dates: 42 across three continents.
If it seems last minute, that’s because a dying tour van that was emptied of its contents by no-good-nicks during a tour with Modern Baseball, PUP, and Tiny Moving Parts in November almost made sure it didn’t happen at all.
“All this stuff was stuff we were already talking about for a really long time. We were talking to Chris [Cowburn, The Smith Street Band] about booking this trip since September or something, and I was talking to Iona from Great Cynics about doing something in October… Then our van got broken into, all our stuff got stolen, we kinda lost track of things… Forgot everything. The police in San Francisco were incredibly unhelpful. The only thing they did was call me back to interrogate me to see if I was pulling an insurance scam. It was a pretty big bummer, but the outpouring of support afterwards kind of pulled us really quickly out of any sort of self pity, woe is me shit that was going on. We were just like, ‘Oh wow, people are really looking out for us, that’s nice’.
“The police in San Francisco were incredibly unhelpful. The only thing they did was call me back to interrogate me to see if I was pulling an insurance scam.”
“And then one day we were like, ‘Eh, or we could, like, still do it?’ It was a little stressful, but you know, it was possible, and we did it. A lot of people told us we probably shouldn’t try doing it, but I wanted to come back to Australia before we start working on the next record, and I was bummed we didn’t get to come last year.”
When lifetime friend and fellow BtMI! member Matt Keegan made the move to Australia a few years back, it prompted the (completely amicable) disbandment of the band and served as impetus for Rosenstock to turn attention to a follow-up to his first “solo” record: 2012’s I Look Like Shit. Despite still using his name as their moniker, much like BtMI! the cast has grown beyond a lone Rosenstock and a somewhat regular line-up – bassist John DeDominici, guitarist Mike Huguenor and drummer Kevin Higuchi – assembled.
“I know it’s my name right now, that’s just kind of how things happened, like, right now, we are the band, you know what I mean? I guess it is kind of similar to Bomb The Music Industry! in that if any of them were like, ‘Okay, I can’t do this anymore’, we’d be have to be like, ‘Okay’ and figure it out,” Rosenstock explains diplomatically.
It was this band that went into the studio to record last year’s We Cool?, and with whom Rosenstock will record the third album under his name, once again live in the studio with Jack Shirley engineering, once the little matter of their Last Minute World Tour Real Quick has been seen to.
It’s not just the chance to catch up with Keegan that has Rosenstock stoked to be returning to Australia; touring with the likes of The Bennies and The Smith Street Band has meant friendships that make Australia feel like a second home, even if it’s a remote one for the New York native.
“That’s why I’m coming, that’s why I’m doing everything: to play music.”
“I have a really strange relationship with the country because I’ve lived in Australia for a month-and-a-half working on that Smith Street Band record, but I lived somewhere where nobody lives! I lived in the woods! So the place where I feel the strongest connection to, where I feel I know everything, where it kind of feels like home, is a town that a couple hundred people live in, so it’s kind of funny.
“I haven’t lived in the middle of nowhere in America! Living in Forrest for a month is a super unique experience that I feel lucky I got to have. It’s so strange. So I’m so excited about the Weekend at the Wonk show and I’m so excited to see all the people there we would see every night for a month when we would go to drink after finishing recording.”
Not that it’s all about mates – Rosenstock is pulling double duties all tour, performing under his own name and with Chris Farren as Antarctico Vespucci at each show, and he couldn’t be happier.
“When Chris [Cowburn] and [Chris] Bosma were helping us out booking this tour we were trying to think of another support band and I was like, ‘Well if we just flew Chris [Farren] out we’d have another band’ and they were like, ‘That’d be sick!’ I’d rather be playing music than just standing around or staring at my cell phone or whatever, because that’s why I’m coming, that’s why I’m doing everything: to play music.”
Jeff Rosenstock / Antarctigo Vespucci / Camp Cope
Friday March 4th – The Reverence Hotel, Footscray (18+)
Saturday March 5th – The Wonky Donkey, Forrest (18+)
Sunday March 6th – Sydney Road Community School Car Park, Melbourne (AA)
Tuesday March 8th – RAD, Wollongong (18+)
Wednesday March 9th – The Factory Floor, Sydney (18+)
Thursday March 10th – Black Wire Records, Sydney (AA)
Friday March 11th – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle (18+)
Saturday March 12th – Crowbar, Brisbane (18+)
Sunday March 13th – Foundry Records, Brisbane (AA)