Dave Gleeson / The Screaming Jets

Dave Gleeson chats
with Kenneth Beaumont
On the 24th of April crowds will be gathering in Gloucester to witness this seasons newest and most rockin’ event, Groovin’ the Moo. The event boasts the biggest rock-concert ever to be held on the mid-north coast and with headlining acts like The Screaming Jets and Killing Heidi, this day begs to be marked onto the ROCK itinerary for April.

The Screaming Jets are truly relentless, genuine hardworking Aussie blokes. After seven albums and fifteen years on the road the Jets are not set to sit on the back burner any time soon. With an expected July release for their latest studio album, lead vocalist Dave Gleeson tells me, “it’s not going to be one of these projects that takes six months, ‘he says crossing his fingers,’ just because we are notorious for taking a long time to record stuff. We’re going to get in and record it as quick as we can. Not saying that we are going to rush it, but we’re gonna get in there and do it and not f*ck around.”

Groovin’ the Moo is the next big gig for The Jets and Dave says “it’s great to be doing a festival up there, especially with good names like Killing Heidi and Evermore. There’s some great bands going around at the moment. I think that it will help reinforce the fact that The Jets aren’t some spent force, we’re out there, still on the circuit gunning for our next f*ckin’ big go.”

Heart of the Matter, their most recent release is the first E.P. the band has delivered in thirteen years. The E.P. serves as a taster for the new album, it also stands as an independent release; if you’re unsure what it means to be releasing independently don’t fret because Dave explains “that you don’t have some pencil neck telling you that he thinks that the snare sound on the third song isn’t good. We don’t have to have audiences of people who really don’t know much about music coming in and having their two bobs worth.”

I Quiz Dave for further insights into the pros and cons of releasing independently, the new album is also expected to be unleashed the same way and after fifteen years in the music industry the boys certainly have a good idea of what the advantages are of releasing in this manner. “I always used to get in trouble with record companies because when we used to have blow ups I’d say ‘Don’t think you’re involved in this, you’re just a f*cking bank.’ And they don’t take kindly to that, however it is true, that’s what record companies should remember. However, having said that, I don’t want to pick on them too bad because they’re all on the way out, all the record companies are going under and there’s no doubt about that. On the con side of it is that you have to come up with your own money to do all of your own marketing. You have to come up with your own budgets to get the word on the street that there’s an album out there which is a fairly costly exercise.”

With the new album will come another new drummer. No matter how many line up changes The Screaming Jets incur nothing seems to slow them down. I’m curious to know whether Dave is ever phased by this anymore or if it’s just an expected part of the job. “On a personal level I always am because I take things personally. I’m a blood and guts, warts and all kind of bloke and when everyone’s in there, everyone’s respected as an equal member and it kinda hurts a bit when people say that they don’t want to be involved in it because you believe so strongly in it. Having said that, you try to just get the next guy. The good thing when you do have a line up change is that you can get that reinvigoration.”

That reinvigoration fuelled the latest run down the east coast with legendary rockers Velvet Revolver. “After the last show we had a quiet drinking session with Slash. Nothing too rowdy, just sitting around having a drink, shooting the shit. I was telling him, ‘You know what I love about you mate? It’s that not only have you saved rock once, you’re doing it again!’ He’s going, ‘Don’t go there man, I don’t wanna know.’ Twice in a lifetime to save rock, it’s just out of control really.”

After countless shows nationally and internationally, memorable stage antics have accumulated to the zenith degree. Some will be shared while others will remain twisting and turning uncomfortably in the past.

“Wildest on stage moment would have to be turning around on stage in Germany, I was singing don’t change with INXS on a stage in front of sixty thousand people and I turned around and all the members except for the drummer of course were on their knees doing the ‘we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy, we’re not worthy’ salute at me. And that’s it, it’s in my mind forever.”

You’re an opinionated man Dave Gleeson; who’s pissing you off at the moment, who’s baking your biscuit?

“Ah well, Peter Costello and Tony Abbot, the silent Christian alliance, they’re just very fucking scary to me. Their boss, Pope John Howard Winston III, I hate all this biasness that they go on with and obviously George W. Bush is probably top of the order.”

What’s your favourite drink? Beer. New.
Dream meal? Baked dinner.
Pet hate? Australian Idol.
True love? My wife Katie.
Your worst feature? Big mouth.
And what’s your best personality trait? I can be a funny prick.

Catch the funny prick rockin’ out at Groovin’ the Moo, an outdoor rock concert that will present a variety of food, artist merchandise, fresh country air, a great atmosphere and awesome Australian music to be enjoyed by all.