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Embracing The Journey With KAV TEMPERLEY From ESKIMO JOE

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“In the past – and I think most band will tell you the same thing – you always kick against the last record that you do.”

Kav Temperley

Eskimo Joe are in the rare and elite class of Australian bands who could probably never make another album again, but still draw people to their shows based solely on the quality of material they have released thus far.

Two songs in particular – Love Is A Drug and Black Fingernails, Red Wine – have etched Eskimo Joe into Australian music folklore, but their 27-year journey has seen many more highlights and relatable songs.

The band built their reputation playing festivals such as Big Day Out and Splendour In The Grass, but of late have been playing nostalgia-type festivals featuring classic bands from the past few decades that are still going strong.

The most recent of which was Lookout Festival which featured Incubus, Live, Eskimo Joe, The Superjesus and Birds Of Tokyo. It was a series of concerts that drew consistently high numbers and reaffirmed Eskimo Joe’s standing amongst the country’s elite live bands, despite having not released a full album since Wastelands in 2013.

With the release of their first single since 99 Ways in 2021 – a nostalgic number called The First Time – Eskimo Joe are embarking on a new chapter of their careers and learning to embrace the very fabric of music that excited them nearly three decades ago.

HEAVY caught up with bass guitar/keyboards/vocals Kav Temperley to find out more.

“This is certainly the first song we’ve put out post-COVID where we’ve actually played some shows in front of people and then recorded a song, which is a very different feeling,” he said. “I think we’ve hit a real purple patch. Since we saw you at Sandstone Point, all of the shows that we have been playing have been these big, almost nostalgia fests. We’ve noticed that the gigs are filled with people who are in their early 20s to their 60s and 70s. They are people who would have been 5 or 6 when Black Fingernails, Red Wine first came out, and people who would have discovered us when we first put out Sweater. We’ve kind of hit this really interesting place where we’re not cool or uncool anymore, we just occupy this Eskimo Joe shaped hole in the music industry, which is great. Putting out a new song has been wicked. Definitely the best pickup we’ve had at radio since 2010 I guess, but everyone is receiving it really well.”

In the full interview, Kav talks more about The First Time and its sonic direction, the film clip that traces the history of the band over the last 20-odd years, if it is a stand-alone track or part of something bigger, the shows with Live and Incubus, some things they have learnt about themselves and their bandmates over 20 plus years of touring, the just started National Acoustic Theatre Tour and what to expect, playing the more intimate shows and the higher level of fan interaction, future plans and more.

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