INTERVIEW: Stuart Rudd of The Superjesus

The Superjesus worked their way out of Adelaide to become one of Australia’s favourite rock bands in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Featuring one of the country’s most charismatic frontwomen in Sarah McLeod, the band had a slew of hits including ‘Shut My Eyes’, ‘Down Again’, Gravity’, ‘Secret Agent Man’ and ‘Stick Together’.  After releasing three excellent albums they split in 2004.  Luckily, for those of us who missed out on seeing them live the first time around, they recently reformed to tour some of the best music venues in the country once more.  Bassist Stuart Rudd was good enough to take some time out of The Superjesus’ busy Resurrection Tour schedule to answer some questions about what it’s been like getting the band back together after nearly a decade apart.

TSJ mels 2

What was the catalyst for the reunion show at The Gov in February?

Sarah and I had breakfast two years ago and just touched on the idea. Here we are!

There has been such a huge reaction on social media to the hometown show in Adelaide.  Were you prepared for the rabid response from your old fans or did it take you a bit by surprise?

We were not prepared for the response, and yes, we were surprised. It was crazy how fast that show sold out, and the reaction, not only in Adelaide, but around the country was overwhelming.

Mainstream Australian music seems to be dominated by television talent show winners and flimsy dance pop at the moment.  Do you think that 90’s nostalgia has played a part in the reception to news of The Superjesus reforming, or are we lacking in great rock bands right now?

Maybe a bit of both.

 Sarah has had a fairly high profile career, both solo and with Screaming Bikini, and Tim Henwood has played with The Androids and Rogue Traders since The Superjesus first went on hiatus.  You and Paul Berryman have flown under the radar a bit.  What have you both been up to?

Paul has been in Australian band Faker, writing and touring, while I have been recording with my band Southpoor, and also playing with Australian singer and songwriter, Nick Barker.

Was there ever any suggestion of getting Chris Tennent back on board in some capacity when the idea of a reunion was floated?

There was, and I think it may have come from Tim. The idea of having a couple guitars. But that’s about as far as it went I think.

 What was it like getting back into a rehearsal room together?  Was there a particular moment when you realised the magic was still there?

The first day was magic. It was crazy. We played those songs like it was yesterday. This band has always worked hard, and it showed as soon as we played. What a buzz. In fact I am still buzzing.

Sumo and Jet Age could be seen as the definitive Superjesus albums, but Rock Music was criminally underrated when it was released.  Is there a record that you’re proudest of?

Sumo was a hell of a lot of hard work, but I am really proud of it the most.

What’s been your favourite Superjesus song to play recently?

Loving all of them, but maybe Shut My Eyes or Down Again.

I assume there will be more time spent on planes and less in vans for this tour than back in the 90’s.  Are there any memories that really stand out from the road trip days?

Always a lot of memories, we managed to film a lot of it too! I think seeing Australia has been a huge highlight, but the moments when you are pushing it all up hill, and manage to come out on top are the best for me, from running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, to doing 72,000 miles in under 6 months across America!

Do you have any plans for the band to release new material in the future?

I hope so.  I would love to see another album or two out of this band.

Personally, I can’t wait to see The Superjesus at The Zoo in Brisbane this weekend.  Having been a fan since I saw their Cold Live At The Chapel performance on TV as a teenager, this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

The Superjesus’ Resurrection Tour is taking in the following dates:

Saturday, April 20 – Stone Music Festival, Sydney
Thursday, May 30 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Friday, May 31 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Saturday, June 1 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday, June 7 – Gershwin Room, Melbourne
Saturday, June 8 – Gershwin Room, Melbourne
Saturday, June 15 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Sunday, June 16 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Friday, June 21 – Amplifier Bar, Perth
Saturday, June 22 – Amplifier Bar, Perth
Friday, June 28 – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday 29th June – The Gov, Adelaide

By: Clint Morrow

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