Interview by Mary Boukouvalas
James Reyne, ex-frontman of Australian Crawl and soloist in his own right, has a more mellow scene he currently enjoys: sitting in the sun with a good book.
A huge contrast to the hectic life of touring and playing live.
Reyne has been touring for years, clocking up the hours and miles. Reyne says he is “fine” with touring. “Touring is what I do… I am lucky my job is what I like doing. I have done it for so long now, I know how to do it expediently. I know all the pitfalls, how to not wear myself out, and pace myself. Thursday to Monday are travel days. I’m always home on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday”.
As well as touring, Reyne will be starting recording a brand new EP of new music with his band, The Magnificent Few. Reyne will pay for the recording, and then the project will be also be supported through a pledge music campaign. Reyne will use his project to donate 20% of all money raised, after the goal is reached, to the Leukaemia Foundation.
In the meantime, Reyne’s scene is “sitting in the sun, in a nice chair, with a good book. I just finished Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, that’s going to be made into a movie. Reading another book called Gulf Coast Boys, sort of about a tour that Townes Van Zandt did. And I just finished the Eugene O’Neill biography. I’m a huge fan of his plays”.
“I’ve usually got a few books on the go,” continues Reyne. “I’m reading Gulf Coast Boys and I’m reading I Never Met A Story I Didn’t Like by Todd Snider, which is just something light but pretty amusing. There’s a great Tenessee Williams out, Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, also Brewer’s Rogues, Villains & Eccentrics, and another great book, about a guy Willie Donaldson, who is no longer with us, and it’s called You Cannot Live As I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This”.
Well read and intelligent, it is not uncommon to discover hidden layers in Reyne’s lyrics and music, as well as a good sense of humour. When asked how he would describe his sound in food form, Reyne laughed and said: “I don’t know. I always used to describe my sound like a gun fight in a bell factory but that’s not food form. In food form, we’re probably surf and turf, I guess, bit of sea bit of land, bit of land and sand”. Maybe it draws back to his love of west coast music, and his appreciation of Clearance Clearwater Revival, Jackson Browne, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Neil Young when growing up.
Reyne is excited by what the future holds, from continuing to tour with Icehouse, to doing the Rod Stewart tour, to recording in April. More importantly though, Reyne says he’s “here to push Between the Bays, it’s a great day, for all the family, for all ages, from 6 to 106, there’s something for everybody. There’s food, good wine, great music, music for kids early in the day. It’s a beautiful setting and it’s a really nice day out. I can’t encourage people enough to come to it”.
Between The Bays turns TEN this year! This will be Reyne’s fifth appearance at the Between the Bays festival.
James Reyne will be performing at the Between the Bays festival on Saturday 28 February 2015 along side Wagons, Mark Seymour, Custard, Sweet Jean, Combo La Revelcion, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects & The Billabong Boys.
All proceeds raised by Between the Bays go to Penbank School’s partnership with the Wugularr School in the Northern Territory. For more information on Penbank School and the Wugubank Partnership visit: www.penbank.vic.edu.au
For more information, and to buy tickets, visit http://www.betweenthebays.com
For information regarding James Reyne’s pledge project, and limited edition items, visit: http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/jamesreyne