Road rest rekin­dles the Stereo­phon­ics sound

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

a train, but at least they weren’t break­ing in, which is half a bonus I sup­pose. Any­way, I went back to bed and got think­ing about what they were do­ing, and why. ‘‘I un­der­stand kids are bored out of their minds. ‘‘We all want to find a way to ex­press our­selves and leave our mark on the world, and I was lucky enough to have mu­sic.

‘‘I ended up think­ing about some­one who might be leav­ing notes for his girl­friend on the morn­ing train.’’

As the al­bum pro­gresses there’s a mar­riage pro­posal, a Romeo and Juliet-style ro­mance and, ul­ti­mately, on Vi­o­lence And Tam­bourines, the death of the pro­tag­o­nist.

‘‘Lots of things started un­fold­ing as I was writ­ing the al­bum,’’ says Jones.

‘‘At the same time I started writ­ing a screen­play about th­ese two kids who leave a small Welsh town to go across Europe to watch bands. There’s an el­e­ment of au­to­bi­og­ra­phy in that be­cause that’s what me, Rich and Stu­art did.

‘‘The two things I was writ­ing sort of bleed into each other. There’s the thread of a story there, it’s not a con­cept as such, and I was tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from one for the other and vice-versa. Plus I’ve got a ready-made sound­track for the film if it gets made.’’

The fi­nal ad­di­tion in that sen­tence is Jones to a tee. He of­ten makes quips and jokes, nor­mally self­dep­re­cat­ing and al­most al­ways when the con­ver­sa­tion has taken a more se­ri­ous turn. For a man so bright and at times deep, he likes to keep con­ver­sa­tion light.

One thing not dis­cussed at much length to­day is the death of Stu­art Ca­ble. Jones sacked his old friend and band­mate in 2003 when his drink and drug abuse be­came prob­lem­atic. The pair patched things up in just over a year and at the time of Ca­ble’s death (he vom­ited in his sleep and choked) they were on good terms again.

Graf­fiti On The Train is the first al­bum since then and an air of mourn­ing runs through­out it, with­out ever deal­ing with the is­sue di­rectly – al­though the fi­nal track, No One’s Per­fect, comes close.

‘‘If he’d lived I think he’d have ended up back in the band,’’ says Jones.

‘‘What hap­pened be­tween us was stupid and if we’d been more pa­tient at the time I think we could’ve ironed things out then. Af­ter all, we’re only a band.’’

They are only a band, ad­mit­tedly, but one that thou­sands of peo­ple want to see.

‘‘We know what it’s like not liv­ing near a big venue, though. No one ever came to our town, so we were al­ways go­ing off some­where to watch a band,’’ Jones says. ‘‘As old-fash­ioned as it sounds, we’re tak­ing mu­sic to peo­ple. That’s how we built the fan­base in the first place, go­ing to small towns and uni­ver­si­ties, and I think that’s why a lot of peo­ple have stuck with us be­cause they re­spect us for that. We’ve got a lot to thank those peo­ple for.’’

Read­ers seek­ing sup­port and in­for­ma­tion about sui­cide preven­tion can con­tact Life­line on 13 11 14. Stereo­phon­ics play The Hi-Fi Bar, Bris­bane, on July 19. Tick­ets go on sale on Mon­day at 10am.

Stereo­phon­ics and (front) Kelly Jones

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