James Reyne has been a major part of the Australian musical landscape for over three decades, as a founding member of Australian Crawl in the 1980s, and through his solo career which has seen eight studio alums.
James will be taking part in the Mornington Peninsula’s best, annual music festival Between the Bays.”We will be doing a good cross section of everything I’ve been known for [Australian] Crawl stuff, solo stuff, right across the whole gambit”, said James. “It’s a great festival and it’s a fantastic day out! My daughter went to the school and I know the people and they’re lovely people and run it well. They raise money for the Wugularr community in Katherine so it’s a good cause. It’s a fantastic day for the family. Great food, great wine, lots of stuff for kids to do.”
Along side James is a line up of iconic Australian musicians. “Wagons are on, Mark Seymour is on, I like all those bands. I’ll be having fun and they’re on before and after me so I’m in the perfect spot!”
This will be the fifth appearance at the festival for James, who also lives in the Mornington Peninsula “I grew up down here, and about 15 years ago when our daughter was born we just thought it was a nice place for her to grow up”, said James. “It’s just a good place to be. We’ve got the beach on one side and the surf on the other so it’s the best of both worlds! It’s just a nice area.”
Following the festival James will be heading to the studio to put together a new album. “It’s going to be under the name Me and the Magnificent Few”, said James. “It’s in a song I wrote, Love in a strange strange land and it talks about about certain people and it says was he this guy was he that guy or was he part of the magnificent few and I thought ‘that’s a good name for a band, some tongue and check’. When you get to a certain age you can get away with calling yourself magnificent.”
While there are plans for the new band and album, there is little certainty in how they will sound. “We haven’t recorded yet, so it’ll be interested to see how it goes. The thing is I’ve got all the songs and we’re going to do it old school. We going to walk into a rehearsal room and I’ll just come in with an acoustic guitar or a piano and go ‘righto off we go let’s see what we come up with. It interests me to throw the songs to everybody and see what everybody comes up with.”
The album will be in part funded through a Pledge campaign. “I’m going to pay for the recording but we’re going to raise money, not only for the promotion but at least 20 per cent of it is going to go to the Leukemia Foundation. I’ve been associated with them for a long time and they’re a great organisation. It feels like people can be more involved and there are some nice incentives. There are limited edition t-shirts, and from the Plays Australian Craw shows we have the backdrop from that and the drum skins which had a nice painting on it.”
In addition to making music, James has also been involved in a number of TV shows over the years. The most recent of these was as a host on Max TV. “It’s a bit funny, the ones I was doing were like the top 20 hair bands of the 80s which, to be honest, didn’t thrill me. But you try to have a bit of fun with it and get the information across and if you need to have your tongue in your cheek a bit that’s okay. They’re nice people to work with, but I don’t think I’ll be doing much more of that.”
While James Reyne has been putting out music for over three decades, he isn’t quite sure how he’s kept going for so long. “I guess it’s all I know how to do. I’m always writing songs and I get satisfaction out of doing it when they work. I’ve never really thought about it I just do it.”
James Reyne will be performing at the Between the Bays festival on Saturday 28 February 2015 along side Mark Seymour, Custard, Wagons, Sweet Jean, Combo La Revelcion, Indigenous Hip Hop Projects & The Billabong Boys. Check out the festival’s website to find out more!
Check out the Pledge page to find out more about James Reyne’s upcoming album with the Magnificent Few!