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Keeping The Wolves At Bay With KIM SALMON From BEASTS

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“It has endured. I dipped out for a few years, but I’m back.”

Kim Salmon

Australian blues/rock outfit Beasts Of Bourbon have been a mainstay of the Aussie music scene for over 40 years, blending a blues-infused swagger with sleazy rock and tonnes of attitude to create a musical aura that is as much about the musicians who make up the band as it is the music itself.

Originally formed with James Baker on drums (ex-Hoodoo Gurus, The Scientists), Spencer P. Jones on guitar (The Johnnys), Tex Perkins on vocals (Dum Dums), Kim Salmon on guitar and Boris Sujdovic on bass guitar (both ex-The Scientists), the Beasts Of Bourbon went through several line-up changes over the years, with Tex Perkins and Jones being the only regular contributors.

After disbanding in 1985 following their debut album The Axeman’s Jazz it seemed the music of Beasts Of Bourbon would be lost into the channels of Australian history but they reformed just two years later and released a second album Sour Mash the following year.

Several albums followed, culminating in 2007s Little Animals before Beasts Of Bourbon disbanded once more, seemingly for good.

2013 saw a couple of select 30th anniversary shows before another slide into the unknown until 2019 when the band re-emerged under the shortened name of Beasts.

After a new album Still Here came out in 2019 Beasts went back into slumber, resurfacing last year for 40th anniversary celebrations, with the response being so overwhelmingly positive that the band are on the cusp of undertaking a six-date nation tour with the intention of taking their music and legacy even further than the two shows last year allowed.

HEAVY caught up with guitarist Kim Salmon to find out more.

“It has been a while, really, since we’ve done any touring in earnest with this band,” he nodded. “It was just before the pandemic, so probably four years. We did a couple of shows last year with our original drummer James Baker, and we recorded that and we were so excited about that recording that we thought we’d take it out on the road. We’re going to actually release some of this stuff. This is a beauty.

We mention that HEAVY is a big fan of live albums, to which Salmon replied, “me too. There’s been some good ones over the years. There’s also been some less than good ones, but this one I think is… we were gonna call it… Tex and I were talking about it (laughs) and throwing titles around, and we thought how about The Best Live Album Ever Recorded or The Best Live Album Ever, but I had this thing… like there’s Slade Alive and Kiss Alive, so I thought why not Beasts Alive? So we’re putting that out through a French label called Beast Records. But that won’t be out until September, I think. We’ve got a five track 12″ that will only be available at the gig and that’s some tracks taken from that recording.”

In the full interview, Kim talks more about the tour and what to expect, if he still enjoys touring after so much time on the road, the enduring success of Beasts and why, the rocky road to success, changing the band name from Beasts Of Bourbon to Beasts and why, their debut album The Axeman’s Jazz and his thought of it 40 years later, future plans and more.

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