The Dwarf In Conversation With: Jebediah's Kevin Mitchell

The Dwarf In Conversation With: Jebediah's Kevin Mitchell

The Dwarf had a nice and friendly chat with lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main frontman from Jebediah, Kevin Mitchell. We talked about those special Jeb songs the band will be playing on there sold out National tour, that special connection they have in Melbourne, the band's most memorable moments and lots more.

Twenty years on, you’ve got a 20th anniversary album released and an anniversary tour – firstly, congratulations on the achievement! Could you ever have imagined you’d still be kicking as a band, two decades later?

I suppose I never really look that far ahead. As a band we have never been very strategic or ever planned anything very long term. We've always had a pretty casual approach to things. That attitude has probably worked against us in some areas but has probably helped us out in others, such as not breaking up. The really important thing to me has always been that we are still having fun and we are still showing our audience a good time. When that goes away, it will be time to quit.

Several of the tour dates/shows have sold out – there’s still a lot of love for Jebediah around Australia. How does it feel to know you still have this much support?

It's amazing. We don't take it for granted and often talk about how lucky we are to be in this position so it's certainly not lost on us. A small part of me is proud enough, or perhaps arrogant enough to think that maybe we kind of deserve it too. I mean, you gotta be grateful but you also have to believe that you're worth it as well right? I know we've never been the greatest band in the world but we must have been doing something right all these years.

 Four shows in Melbourne alone – despite being a Perth band, do you have a special connection with Melbourne?

Well it was the first city outside of Perth that really embraced us. That could have been partly a cultural thing too in that Melbourne has always had such a strong live music scene. But I can remember the first time we filled the Punters Club and all of us thinking that Melbourne was starting to warm up to us and that maybe we could replicate what we had in Perth in other cities. As an aside to all of that, I fell in love with a Melbourne girl at one of our shows around this same time and we've been together ever since and I live in Victoria so on a personal level Melbourne has always been a second home.

You’re taking some pretty legendary Australian acts on the road with you – Bodyjar, Adalita, Front End Loader and Beaverloop. Are you looking forward to playing again with them?

Nope. Just kidding. It's a real buzz to have such great guests play these shows. It makes the shows more special and I think the punters are excited by it too. We wanted to do everything we could to make these shows as memorable as possible for people and the bands that are playing with us are all a part of that.

How did you narrow down the list of supports? There’s plenty of new talent coming out of Australia, Perth especially, as well as some classic older bands from your era – was it difficult to choose?

No not really. We just looked at each city and thought about the bands we had worked with, either through putting their records out on Redline or taking on tour with us and started there. Some people we approached couldn't do it, or turned it down for one reason or another...but not many!

The Dwarf In Conversation With: Jebediah's Kevin Mitchell

What are some of the more memorable moments of the band’s lifetime?

Touring overseas because we have only done small bits of it over the years and touring around Australia 100 times means that you are playing the same places a lot over many years and memories start to become a little blurred. Doing the Big Day Out tour, particularly the one in 2000, is a moment in time we all reflect on a bit when asked this sort of question. We were playing on the main stage to such big crowds, I think in retrospect that was probably our popular peak! Luckily for us it was filmed! I can pull it out to play to the kids once a year for the rest of their lives! Of course all the really early days of the band are impossible to forget. We were all having so much fun and success was falling into our laps so quickly I think we all thought we'd been blessed by some divine power!

Are there any moments you’d rather forget?

Oh loads of them! Shows where I've been too intoxicated spring to mind. When you are as young as we were when we first started it's guaranteed you are gonna mess up and do stupid things that you regret. There are a few hairstyles I wish had never happened too. Unfortunately there are also lots of moments I wish I remembered better as well.

What is it about Slightly Odway that is so special to your fans, do you think?

I can't really answer that. All I can do is suggest what has already been suggested by other people and that is that it documents a period of their lives, usually that period that begins with high school ending and ends somewhere in your late twenties. It documents that period of my life too.

Which song(s) are you looking forward to playing the most?

I guess all the non singles from Odway will be fun, like 'Spoil The Show' and 'Blame'. We haven't played them in many many years because we usually just play the ones everybody knows from that album.

How do you think the music industry has changed since you guys first broke onto the scene 20 years ago?

Social media wasn't around when we first started. These days you can get your music to the ears of people almost anywhere in the world. When we first started you needed a team of people to make that happen for you and even then you were lucky if they were successful. So I think it's great that new bands now are thinking about the world for their music rather than just their own country. One downside to this is that stuff burns out so fast and I think it will be a real challenge for bands today to figure out how to build long careers. My advice? Don't break up. The funny thing is that loads of stuff hasn't changed at all! The cacophony of sound coming from a rehearsal studio at 9pm on a Thursday night is exactly the same today as it was in 1995. Venues like the Metro in Sydney, the Corner in Melbourne and the Zoo in Brisbane are exactly the same today as they were when we first played them. Many of the people who were around when we started are still around now, although we've all aged of course and become a bit weirder.

Do you think the tour will reignite the band’s thirst for music? Are we likely to see another album on the horizon?

We could just as easily break up as make a new album at this point in time. Anything is possible. That's not me trying to be aloof or mysterious either. I've actually been thinking about what's next and that's the answer that I've come up with!

‘TWENTY’, the album is now available through Sony Music Australia. It includes twenty songs hand picked by the band, spanning five releases from their 1997 album ‘Slightly Odway’ (their first on Sony’s Murmur label), 1999’s ‘Of Someday Shambles’, 2002’s ‘Jebediah’, 2004’s ‘Braxton Hicks’ and their most recent album release in 2011, ‘Kosciuszko’.

JEBEDIAH – 20th Anniversary tour dates:
Presented by triple j, The Music, Premier Artists and CHM presents

Thur 4 June Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW – 2ND & FINAL SYD SHOW ON SALE NOW
With special guests Bodyjar
Tickets from and

Fri 5 June Metro Theatre, Sydney, NSW – SOLD OUT
With special guests Front End Loader

Fri 12 June The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD SELLING FAST
With special guests Screamfeeder
Tickets from and

Wed 17th June The Corner Hotel, Richmond, VIC – 4TH & FINAL MELB SHOW ON SALE NOW
With special guests Bodyjar
Tickets from

Thurs 18th June The Corner Hotel, Richmond, VIC – 3RD SHOW ON SALE NOW - SELLING FAST
With special guests Adalita (Full Band)
Tickets from

Fri 19th June The Corner Hotel, Richmond, VIC – SOLD OUT
With special guests FUR

Sat 20 June The Corner Hotel, Richmond, VIC – SOLD OUT
With special guests FUR

Thurs 25 June HQ, Adelaide, SA SELLING FAST
With special guests Red Jezebel
Tickets from and

Fri 26 June Astor Theatre, Perth, WA – SOLD OUT
With special guests Turnstyle

Sat 27 June Astor Theatre, Perth, WA – SOLD OUT
With special guests Red Jezebel

Sun 28 June Astor Theatre, Perth, WA – 3RD & FINAL PERTH SHOW ON SALE NOW - SELLING FAST
With special guests Beaverloop
Tickets from

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