While cleaning out my computer, I found this audio grab floating around. Turns out it was one of the interviews I’ve done with one of my favourite bands I’m a tad obsessed with, from 2004.
Spiderbait were doing a tour to promote their at-the-time newly released album Tonight Alright. I had never seen them live before, and my first gig was seeing them perform at University of Wollongong with a few friends. A few days later, an announcement of more shows were happening, at Penrith Panthers Leagues Club and Sweeney’s At Scenic Hills Riding Ranch.
Of course, I attended the shows.
At the Panthers gig, while waiting to go in, I noticed Whitt and Kram casually hitting the pokies and having a beer before they were doing their set. As I was in community radio at the time, I thought this was the best time to approach them to see if I could arrange an interview down the track. The guys were more than happy to chat, so Whitt gave me his number to contact them later on. I was over the moon! I called Whitt 3 days later, and organised an interview with my dodgy mini-disc recorder and tiny microphone at their next gig near me – Sweeney’s. But this time, they were supporting Hoodoo Gurus so there was a lot of noise.
Unfortunately for me the day before, I developed laryngitis and lost my voice. I was going to use my friend Katherine as a backup, but she told me not to sing/talk during the concert. She was right. I gained some of my vocal tones back… just not enough when I did the interview. Being extremely determined, I pushed on anyway. For the embarrassment and entertainment, here’s the uncut version. Whitt, Janet and occasionally Kram walking by (it was his birthday so he was moving around). Warts and all.
A few months flew by – Black Betty had hit Number 1 on the ARIA charts, the album went gangbusters, and the Hoodoo Gurus / Spiderbait tour was wrapping up. One of the last shows was going to be held at Penrith Panthers again, so I thought I’d do a ‘catch-up’ interview with Whitt and Janet to see how the success was. With mini-disc recorder in hand and questions prepped, everything was sweet. What was meant to be a 5 minute interview, went for about 20 minutes. I had only asked 2 scripted questions, and the rest was me improvising the interview and getting down-right personal and fan-boying out. It was going to be fantastic.
But something went wrong.
In order for the mini-disc recorder to work, I had to hold my thumb down hard in the middle of the player. After chatting with them for so long, my thumb went numb and I lost grip, wiping the entire recording. I shat myself – I panicked and was about to cry. I explained to them what had happened. They were due on stage in 2 minutes. Whitt patted me on the shoulder and said “Don’t stress! Fix it back up and we’ll start the interview again. Easy!”
“No it isn’t! This recorder is a piece of crap… It’s over.. I don’t want you to be late for your show!” I replied, feeling devo.
“You’ll be fine! Turn it back on and we’ll chat more!” said Janet, nice and calmingly.
So I started it back up again, frustrated, holding my thumb on the cover, and started again… with this raw uncut audio as the end result.
After the interview, I thanked them again and went into the concert hall, knowing that everything will be right in the world, and I’ll look back on this in an amusing way.