DEUS do Down Un­der

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music -

IT’S a funny story, how DEUS have spent 21 years to­gether but never made it to Australia.

‘‘ The first time we were in­vited by PJ Har­vey, this was ’ 95, a fan­tas­tic pe­riod for her when she was re­ally hap­pen­ing. But our bass player didn’t want to go be­cause his side- project had to do a tour in Hol­land or some­thing, I dunno,’’ re­calls singer Tom Barman with a rue­ful laugh.

‘‘ The next time we were gonna come to Australia with Blur, but then the record com­pany didn’t wanna give us tour sup­port, so that didn’t hap­pen.’’

DEUS fi­nally reach our shores in May on the back of the be­lated Aus­tralian re­lease of their sixth al­bum, Keep You Close, ‘‘ although it’s not a tour,’’ Barman points out, ‘‘ it’s just a cou­ple of dates’’.

Still, a cou­ple of dates ( in Syd­ney and Melbourne) is bet­ter than none from Bel­gium’s big­gest band ( be­sides Soul­wax).

The fact DEUS have been able to tour con­stantly around Europe since the re­lease of their first al­bum Worst Case Sce­nario in 1994 is no mean feat, given the, er, arti­ness of some of their mu­sic. On record they flit from freeform jazz to off- kil­ter rock to the most sub­lime bal­lads.

It’s lit­tle won­der Barman says the band’s mu­sic has to be ‘‘ mul­ti­func­tional’’, given the di­ver­sity of au­di­ences they at­tract.

They count among their ad­mir­ers REM’S Michael Stipe, Some­thing For Kate’s Paul Dempsey, El­bow’s Guy Gar­vey ( who sang on their 2008 al­bum, Van­tage Point ) and Muse’s Matthew Bel­lamy.

But while DEUS have rather suc­cess­fully eaten up half of his life, Barman still gets the feel­ing he should be some­where else.

‘‘ I wanted to be a film di­rec­tor and I still do. I had ab­so­lutely noth­ing in mind,’’ he says of the band’s be­gin­nings.

‘‘ I was just hav­ing a good time, I was 21 and I was in a band like the rest of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, I guess. Then next thing you know we got signed to Is­land and I started tour­ing. Ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pened since was not fore­seen.

‘‘ Of course there be­comes a cer­tain am­bi­tion . . . But I’m strug­gling ev­ery day with, you know, this is not what I was meant to be do­ing!’’

Barman has a rep­u­ta­tion in Bel­gium as a man who has, shall we say, en­joyed his suc­cess. He agrees there would be ‘‘ a good film, or at least in­spi­ra­tion’’ in the story of DEUS, but he isn’t about to make such a film him­self.

‘‘ And any­ways, who’s wait­ing for a film about a rock band? ‘‘ We have Al­most Fa­mous and Spinal Tap and that old rocker film with Billy Con­nolly, what’s it called? I don’t re­mem­ber. So, no, I don’t think so.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.