COLD CHISEL

On the road again.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page - ROSS PURDIE COLD CHISEL will play Blues­fest, By­ron Bay, on April 5; San­dal­ford Es­tate, Perth, on April 7; Melbourne’s Fes­ti­val Hall on April 12; and Syd­ney’s Hordern Pav­il­ion on April 18.

COLD Chisel is plan­ning an­other hia­tus, ad­mit­ting the record- break­ing run of shows dur­ing last year’s Light The Nitro tour will be im­pos­si­ble to beat.

The reformed rock­ers are re­leas­ing their new al­bum No Plans on Fri­day on April 6 and will cel­e­brate with two launch shows and fes­ti­val dates be­fore a po­ten­tial swan- song con­cert in London.

But then there re­ally are no plans for Cold Chisel – Jimmy Barnes, Don Walker, Ian Moss, Phil Small and re­place­ment drum­mer Charley Dray­ton – set to go their sep­a­rate ways.

‘‘ I’d say that Cold Chisel won’t play for a while af­ter­wards, but prob­a­bly not seven or 10 years like last time,’’ Walker says.

‘‘ It will prob­a­bly be at least a year or 18 months be­fore we de­cide what to do next.’’

No Plans is the first Cold Chisel al­bum in 14 years and fea­tures the final recorded per­for­mances by drum­mer Steve Prest­wich, who died in Jan­uary 2011.

The clos­ing song, I Got Things To Do, was writ­ten by Prest­wich and fea­tures him singing, de­spite ini­tially be­ing in­tended for lead singer Jimmy Barnes.

The switch was made by pro­ducer Kevin Shirley, who chanced upon the vo­cal in the band’s ar­chive while mix­ing the al­bum last year.

‘‘ We didn’t know there was a Steve vo­cal for this song un­til Kevin was do­ing the mix in Los An­ge­les us­ing the song with the Jim [ Barnes] vo­cal on it,’’ Walker says.

‘‘ Sud­denly he came across the Steve vo­cal, so we heard it and ob­vi­ously there’s a per­sonal el­e­ment in that for all of us.

‘‘ Steve is a great singer, so we thought it should see the light of day.’’

All but three of the songs on No Plans were writ­ten by Walker, who is re­spon­si­ble for hits such as Khe Sanh and Cheap Wine.

Sev­eral new songs, in­clud­ing the Troy Cas­sar- Da­ley co- writ­ten HQ454 Mon­roe and forth­com­ing sin­gle Ev­ery­body, have been float­ing around since the 1990s. Oth­ers like All For You and the open­ing track No Plans are re­cent cre­ations, but none of the songs were de­lib­er­ately writ­ten for the al­bum.

‘‘ I don’t think an­other Cold Chisel al­bum has ever been des­tined,’’ Walker says.

‘‘ If you’d asked me three years ago if there’d be an­other Cold Chisel al­bum, I’d have said un­likely.’’

The band’s re­union fol­lowed their one- off show in 2009 at the Syd­ney V8 Su­per­cars, which per­suaded Cold Chisel to con­sider a more per­ma­nent fu­ture.

They signed a man­age­ment deal with Syd­ney- based mu­sic com­pany Eleven, which of­fered the band a shot at their big­gest Aus­tralian tour and a new stu­dio al­bum.

But plans were halted by the tragic death of Prest­wich, who never re­gained con­scious­ness af­ter un­der­go­ing surgery for a brain tu­mour.

‘‘ Sud­denly the floor dropped out from the whole thing and we didn’t even know if we had a band or if we wanted to do any­thing,’’ Walker says.

‘‘ We were deal­ing with the per­sonal as­pects of it rather than the fu­ture or the mu­sic.’’

Af­ter sev­eral months of re­flec­tion and doubt, the re­main­ing four mem­bers de­cided to carry on and hired Dray­ton, for­merly of The Divinyls, to take over on drums.

The suc­cess of Cold Chisel’s 26- date Light The Nitro tour reaf­firmed their decision to carry on and the band have shaken off past dif­fer­ences.

Re­al­is­ing that noth­ing lasts for­ever, they’re tak­ing noth­ing for granted. ‘‘ We are at this point lov­ing each other in a sickening fash­ion,’’ Walker says.

‘‘ It’s like we can’t have a fight be­cause Steve’s not here. He’d be miss­ing out.’’

MORE TO COME: Orig­i­nal mem­bers Phil Small, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and Don Walker.

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