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Interview: DARYL BRAITHWAITE

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It’s the tour that brought together four legends of Australian rock for four weeks of touring around the country. With a line up featuring Daryl Braithwaite, James Reyne, Joe Camilleri and Ross Wilson, the APIA Time of My Life Tour has been a great success according to Daryl, who recently took some time out to talk to Rock Club 40 about the experience.

“It’s been better than I thought,” he tells me. “I didn’t know what sort of audience we’d be playing to and secondly I didn’t know how we’d all get on and how it would flow but it’s been really, really good. There’s been a lot of happiness. I love having fun anyway on stage but it’s also coming off Joe and Ross and most definitely James. James and I have a lot of fun on stage and the audience, I think, pick up on it as well so it’s great. I guess it’s like anything; if you’re happy, then it does reciprocate sometimes. It does come back and that’s what you want really. You just want something to come back from them, whether it be laughing, smiling or just feeling good about something. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

The concerts were made up of half hour sets from each artist and would finish off with an encore that involved all four singers on stage together, performing a hit from each artist. “And then,” Daryl adds, “if they want more, we go back and give them something else again.”

Daryl says that it was good to be touring with such a large crew again. He estimates that there would have been about sixteen or seventeen people on the road. “So it’s big. It’s like doing those tours again that we used to do when we had songs in the charts so it’s that standard of touring again. We’ve all been doing it long enough to know what we have to do and it’s just a lot of fun. There hasn’t really been one bad moment. All the gigs have been good; some have been better than others and I think that’s mainly to do with the sound coming off the stage or the sound of the room but they’ve all been good.”

I wondered about the concept for the tour and who came up with the line up. “I think the idea came from APIA,” Daryl explains. “I think they also picked the acts they wanted in order to put forward the proposal and we all thought it sounded like a really good idea. To have someone support a tour, it doesn’t really happen that often. We all weighed it all up and looked at a couple of things like the fact that APIA was an insurance company for 50s and over and we thought that would be fine.”

That kind of involvement from a sponsor doesn’t happen very often.

“No, not at all,” Daryl agrees. “I don’t know how long ago they came up with the idea. It might have been a year or so and they thought about it and thought ‘Yeah, this could work. Likewise, when we were approached, we all thought ‘Yeah, that sounds great. I guess it really helps in this day and age to have that monetary support and you know it’s a guarantee. It would be nice to think that, when it’s appropriate, someone like BHP or other companies come into it and think about doing it, not necessarily for us obviously, but for other bands.”

Daryl’s set in the Time of My Life concert includes selections of both his solo material and a few Sherbet songs thrown in for good measure and, speaking of Sherbet, there has been renewed in their music with the news that French electronic music duo, Daft Punk, have chosen to use a sample from The Sherbs’ 1981 release, ‘We Ride Tonight’ as part of the closing track of their new album, Random Access Memories. The track is called ‘Contact’ and The Sherbs song is apparently the only sampling to appear on the album. I asked Daryl how he and his fellow band members felt about the fact that their song had been chosen for the sampling.“We’re stoked that they picked one of our songs and I’m sure they listened to a lot of music but it was a surprise when Garth contacted us about two months ago or maybe longer, and said ‘Daft Punk are possibly going to sample ‘We Ride Tonight’. I thought ‘OK’, not knowing much about Daft Punk anyway but, gee whiz, what a campaign they’ve launched! It’s huge. It really is an honour. It’s the only sample that they’ve done worldwide. It’s off a Sherbs album (‘Defying Gravity’). It’s been lying there dormant and now, all of a sudden, it gets picked up. It will be interesting to see how it goes. It’s a good experience anyway.”

And, as the Time of My Life tour winds up this week, Daryl and his band are already preparing to hit the road again. “We don’t stop,” he says. “We will all just probably have a couple of days off and then continue back into it again. It’s strange to be so busy these days. When you think it would be hard getting gigs, we’ve got an abundance of work and opportunities and God knows what else. God! I’ve been doing it for forty odd years.”

You must be doing something right, I suggest.“I don’t know what it is, let me tell you…” he laughs.

So what else is in store for Daryl Braithwaite this year?

“Just a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with a deal with Sony again,” he reveals. “They heard the new EP and they really liked it. It’s called ‘Forever the Tourist’. I imagine it will come out probably around June or July.” And Daryl will start collaborating on some new material very soon with a couple of other song writers. “So I guess that’s what will be in store for me over the next month or so.” The singer actually finished recording the EP last year and had aimed for a release date at the beginning of 2013. “Then it was around December when Sony came into the picture and to have their support is most certainly a bonus. Whether it will be popular, who knows? At least we’ll give it a shot anyway.”

As for Daryl’s immediate plans? No doubt what is on his mind there. “I’d better go for a surf now,” he tells me with a laugh.

by Sharyn Hamey

 

Copyright © 2013 Sharyn Hamey All Rights Reserved

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