After more than 12 years between drinks, beloved Perth rockers Jebediah have emerged from their slumber, announcing their triumphant return with a bang thanks to new single, Gum Up The Bearings. Their first release in collaboration with Cooking Vinyl Australia, and first piece of new music since the release of 2011’s ‘Kosciuszko’ (which hit #6 on the ARIA charts), Gum Up The Bearings is what fans’ ears have waited years for, with the energetic piece of pop-rock showcasing the group’s classic fun-loving approach to their craft, while providing a look at the musical evolution that has transpired in the years since.
And the band will be honouring the new single in style, announcing a national tour for November hitting Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, also jumping in on the Good Things Festival lineup set for early December.
Describing their new single as being rooted in both the past and the present, Gum Up The Bearings has been a long time coming for Jebediah, who first entered the studio to work on new music back in 2018. Working alongside longtime collaborator – and honorary fifth band member – Dave Parkin (Red Jezebel, Spacey Jane) at his Blackbird Studios in the band’s native Perth, Gum Up The Bearings is the sound of a band who, even after almost three decades in the game, are still making music as fresh and as vibrant as they ever have.
“It doesn’t feel like that many years have passed since ‘Kosciuszko’, but that’s part of the phenomenon of becoming middle aged, I suppose. In some respects, it’s quite a relief, as we started working on new music back in 2018 and then so much happened during the ensuing years that could have easily just killed the whole project altogether. However, I think maybe sheer tenacity won out in the end, and here we are with a brand new song, some five years later. Apart from being a relief, it also feels like an accomplishment for Jebediah to still be creating new music after nearly 30 years together – we’re not ready to be a nostalgia act just yet,” explains guitarist and vocalist Kevin Mitchell.
Unlike much of Jebediah’s previous work, Gum Up The Bearings began life solely in the studio, with the band having entered proceedings with no idea of what they’d want a contemporary version of Jebediah to sound like. With no prior plans, inspirations, or aspirations, the quartet simply began jamming – making music like they used to in their earliest days. The result is a song which captures that sense of wide-eyed wonder that captivated Aussie audiences so swiftly back in the ‘90s, while utilising a progressive lean thanks to new instrumentation, including some expertly-placed sax courtesy of Thea Woodward.
“Chris mentioned something about gumming up the bearings on his skateboard. He would often skate to the studio” recalls Kevin of the song’s origin. “Anyway, we must have been coming up with the song at the time and I was searching for something to sing and those words just fitted perfectly with the noise we were making. The song’s a bit tongue-in-cheek really, and doesn’t warrant a great deal of analysis. It’s just the sound of the band making noise again after a really long time away. We recorded a long outro to it which we thought might just fade out but then we had the genius idea of adding saxophone to it, which is played on the record by Thea who plays in a couple of other bands with Vanessa. It was too good to fade out after that.”
Alongside the release of the track, Gum Up The Bearings also comes accompanied by a video clip directed by the band’s close friend and documentarian Arlo Cook. As with everything Arlo has created for the band over the years, the visual accompaniment is designed to capture the very essence of Jebediah.
As Kevin explains, “Arlo Cook made the clip using footage that he has been taking of the band since 2015. He has followed us everywhere, to gigs all across Australia as well as the many studio sessions over the years. The song is very much a snapshot of what the band is in its purest and most raw form so the video clip is designed to reflect that.”
Most importantly, Gum Up The Bearings is the sound of a band who are still making music in the most genuine and authentic way possible, three decades into their career. Ever since they first formed back in 1995, Jebediah seemed bound for greatness. With 1997’s debut album ‘Slightly Odway’ generating singles like Leaving Home, Jerks Of Attention, and Harpoon, their enigmatic and endearing nature was cemented with 1999’s ‘Of Someday Shambles’. 2001’s ‘Jebediah’ and 2004’s ‘Braxton Hicks‘ further proved their longevity and consistency as artists, before a few years of self-imposed hiatus was broken with the release of ‘Kosciuszko’ in 2011. Fittingly, this iconic Perth band has today been announced to be inducted into the WAM Hall of Fame, to be presented at the WA Music Awards (WAM Awards) on Thursday 16 November.
Though Jebediah haven’t been actively releasing new music across the last 12 years, they’ve not been far from our hearts – or stages. In addition to sporadic tours and frequent live shows, the respective members of Jebediah have remained busy: Vanessa and Brett played in bands, Chris worked at a record store, and Kevin has focused heavily on his Bob Evans project. As Kevin explains though, one of the biggest keys to the group’s enduring status as one of Australia’s most beloved and consistently successful groups is due to their everlasting bond as a humble four-piece, and the friendship and fanbase they’ve forged.
“As Brett put it some time ago, the secret to longevity as a band is not to break up. I’m sure we have had just as many reasons as any other band to break up at various points in our career but we just have always decided to keep going. If the band was purely a business for us then we would have shut up shop by now. But Jebediah is family to the four of us. We have all grown up together since we were babies. It’s not something we have ever wanted to walk away from. Besides that, there is a small army of loyal supporters who have stuck with us along the way which gives us a reason to keep going out and playing shows. We are also not ready to settle into the comfy armchair of pure nostalgia, so creating new music has become a really important reason for the band to continue. We still enjoy getting out and playing shows in front of people but we are also curious to see where we can push the band creatively so I suppose those are the two vital ingredients for us at the moment,” Kevin explains.
To celebrate the release of Gum Up The Bearings, Jebediah will be hitting the road in November for a series of headline shows across capital cities in November, with a handful of appearances at the Good Things Festival set to follow in December.
JEBEDIAH AUSTRALIAN TOUR
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
SAT 4 NOV | LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE SA | 18+
THU 9 NOV | THE ZOO, BRISBANE QLD | 18+
FRI 10 NOV | THE ESPY (GERSHWIN ROOM), MELBOURNE VIC | 18+
SAT 11 NOV | CROWBAR, SYDNEY NSW | 18+
FRI 17 NOV | THE RECHABITE, PERTH WA | 18+
FRI 1 DEC | GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL, MELBOURNE, VIC
SAT 2 DEC | GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL, SYDNEY, NSW
SUN 3 DEC | GOOD THINGS FESTIVAL, BRISBANE, QLD
With thanks to On The Map PR