Cel­e­brat­ing one mean ca­reer

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - SAM KEL­TON

SHI­HAD has al­ways been a rock ’ n’ roll band that doesn’t do things by halves.

So it comes as no sur­prise that its best- of col­lec­tion, The Mean­est Hits, con­tains a huge 38 tracks.

The New Zealand rock­ers have taken their time to put this ca­reer- span­ning col­lec­tion to­gether and front­man Jon Too­good ad­mits the band has fended off pres­sure to do it ear­lier for more than five years.

‘‘ Ev­ery time we made a new stu­dio record for the last four or five we’d get ‘ yeah it’s great but let’s do this great­est hits’,’’ he says.

‘‘ We weren’t re­ally in­ter­ested in the idea but I think be­cause we made the movie we were forced to think about our past, and I was like ‘ we’ve got eight records?’

‘‘ We should be able to put a good com­pi­la­tion to­gether.’’

The movie in ques­tion that ac­com­pa­nies The Mean­est Hits, a gritty and re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary on the band, pre­miered last month at Splen­dour in the Grass.

‘‘ The movie is made about us by some­one else, so it’s not a puff piece,’’ Too­good says with a laugh.

‘‘ It’s pretty bru­tally hon­est and doesn’t shy away from any of the mis­takes we’ve made and also it’s done with a lot of care.

‘‘ It’s life about peo­ple that have worked to­gether for years and the re­la­tion­ships that go along with it.’’

So they’ve got a movie and a great­est hits col­lec­tion, but wait, there’s more.

Shi­had will per­form these hits in each state with a huge 90- minute set, which finds Too­good truly at home on the live stage.

‘‘ I’m home – I’m ac­tu­ally do­ing ex­actly what I want to be do­ing and right where I want to be,’’ he says.

‘‘ I give it all be­cause it feels good. I like watch­ing peo­ple smile and jump up and down to our mu­sic.’’

Be­ing one of the hard­est work­ing acts on the live stage, Too­good drew in­spi­ra­tion from one of the best and re­mem­bers the mo­ment that helped shape him into the rock star he is to­day.

Head­ing to a gig many years ago to see his then- idol Jimmy Barnes, it was a sup­port act that Too­good was un­fa­mil­iar with that changed his ca­reer tra­jec­tory.

‘‘ Be­cause I was 14 years old at the time and all I wanted to see was Work­ing Class Man,’’ he says with a laugh.

‘‘ I’d heard of Iggy Pop but I didn’t know who he was un­til he came out on­stage. He de­stroyed the stage and I was like ‘ whoa, that guy is re­ally skinny and he is rock ’ n’ roll’.’’

THE MEAN­EST HITS out now ( Warner Mu­sic)

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