Glenn Richards is one of Australia’s finest songwriters. As well being the front man for Augie March and causing commercial radio to play a half decent song when One Crowded Hour was released, his solo album Glimjack featured members of The Drones and is a much darker listen than his previous work.
He will be joined by Mike Noga and Dan Luscombe for a tour in September where they will play whatever they feel like and the possible audience request. I was lucky enough to speak to Glenn before the run of shows.
How did you get the idea for the upcoming tour?
It really came down to whether we could afford to take the band out on the road and unfortunately we can’t. Dan (Luscombe) and I have done a few of these style shows a few months ago and they went really well. It allowed us to do a lot of Augie March stuff as well and spread the show out and kind of have a bit of fun with it. So I figured, we can’t afford to do the band so we might as well do as decent tour and bring Mike (Noga) along to keep us company. It’s pretty simple really. It’s a good way to get around and people really seem to enjoy the shows and it’s a bit cheaper as well to actually get to the show.
Will you be playing any songs by The Drones seeing that you have two members of The Drones with you?
[Laughs] That’s kind of up to them, but Gareth (Liddiard) is The Drones’ main songwriter and if he was here I guess we would. But I don’t think so. Mike’s got his own album out so he’ll be doing that exclusively and Dan will just be helping me with whatever I want to do.
How did you first meet Dan Luscombe?
When Augie March were doing their sixth or seventh ever gig, about fourteen years ago and we were supporting The Church at the Palace in St Kilda. The other support act was a band called the Black Eyed Susans that Dan had just started playing with. We did our show, came off stage and Dan came up and said “Hey guys that was really messy.”
We thought, “Gee, thanks I guess.” But he actually meant it as a compliment. We got chatting and ended up going out that night. And we became very good friends and we’ve been buddies ever since and happen to play in similar bands.
Did having Dan and Mike play on your album Glinjack influence the sound in any way?
I’ve known those guys for so long, I kind of knew what to expect. I wanted everybody in that band to be multi-instrumental even if they’re crap at something. I want them to be able to do it because sometimes crap is better than good [laughs].
I read you recorded your album in a Fairfield (suburb of Melbourne) warehouse and got sick doing it. What was that like?
We leased a gigantic warehouse in Fairfield and it really helped a little bit with putting it together, particularly the studio aspect of it. It was the same time last year that we did it, so it was the middle of winter, and as you can imagine a place like that is really hard to heat so it was really easy to get sick and really easy to get frozen. It made us work a lot quicker because we just wanted to get it done and sit in front of a heater.
Do you ever resent the success of One Crowded Hour as it’s the only song a lot of people associate you with, or do you see it as a way for people to discover the rest of your music?
It would be foolish to wish a song away like that. We’ve had a problem over the years with the record label we ended up being with just not being able to get the idea of the band across to anybody, even when we’ve had a lot of success. No one knows who we are essentially. They know our songs, but apart from our fans who we’ve been building for years, it is hard for people who’ve heard our music to identify it with anything. But that’s a problem with a lot of Australian bands because we’re not as extroverted as we’re supposed to be, or something. We tend to let the music speak for itself which is a kind of old fashioned way of looking at things but it’s hard to look at it any other way when you grow up that way.
I usually ask bands or musicians what they’re listening to, but since a lot of your music has literary influences, what are you currently reading?
Right now I’m reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, a new one which is kind of enjoyable. As far as what I’m listening to, I just got the Phil Spector box set of pretty much everything he ever produced.
The dates for the upcoming tour are below. All tickets are on sale now.
Thursday 25th August – The Toff in Town, Melbourne
Friday 26th August – Theatre Royale, Castlemaine
Saturday 27th August – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Friday 2nd September – Manhattan Wine Bar, Launceston
Saturday 3rd September – The Grand Poobah, Hobart
Thursday 8th September – Mullum Civic Hall, Mullumbimby
Friday 9th September – Sol Bar, Maroochydore
Saturday 10th September – Old Museum, Brisbane
Thursday 15th September – Lizottes, Dee Why
Friday 16th September – Lizottes, Newcastle
Saturday 17th September – Lizottes, Kincumber
Sunday 18th September – Transit Bar, Canberra
Wednesday 21st September – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide
Friday 23rd September – Bended Elbow, Geelong
Saturday 24th September – Caravan music club, Oakleigh
Thursday 29th September – Brass Monkey, Cronulla
Friday 30th September – Notes, Sydney
Saturday 1st October – Hotel Gearin, Katoomba