MEN­TAL BRIL­LIANCE

AUSSIE ROCK­ERS SHOW OFF THEIR TAL­ENTS AT THE NEW KINGSCLIFF PUB ON SUN­DAY

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - JESSE KUCH

Chat­ting with An­drew “Greedy” Smith from Men­tal as Any­thing is a bit like tak­ing a trip back in time to Aus­tralian rock mu­sic’s golden era.

From their for­ma­tive years in the 1970s, to the ex­cesses of the ’80s, the tur­bu­lence of the ’90s and right up un­til now, Men­tal as Any­thing have pro­vided a rock­ing (al­beit quirky) back­drop to life in mod­ern Aus­tralia.

Con­tin­u­ing to tour fre­quently, Greedy says so far it’s been “one wild ride” for the band.

“I re­cently wrote a blog about my first day in London in 1980,” he says.

“For some rea­son, our record la­bel Vir­gin chose me to be the spokesman of the band. I got over there and got taken to the restau­rant Bon Scott died in three days be­fore and on the same night went and saw Joy Di­vi­sion play, three weeks be­fore Ian Cur­tis com­mit­ted sui­cide. I ended by hang­ing out with XTC and Lemmy from Mo­tor­head as well. It was like tick­ing off my life’s bucket list at the time, all in one day!”

While Greedy says he and the rest of the Men­tals have “def­i­nitely” calmed down since those crazy times, some­thing that hasn’t gone the way of the great gig in the sky is their work ethic.

The new wave quin­tet are head­ing just south of the Gold Coast this week­end as part of the en­ter­tain­ment line-up for the grand open­ing of the re­fur­bished Kingscliff Beach Ho­tel.

Singer-song­writer Diana Anaid will chris­ten the new out­door stage on Satur­day, fol­lowed by live shows from James Reyne and Wolf­mother.

Men­tal as Any­thing will play the huge fam­ily fun day on Sun­day.

Greedy says the band still play more than 100 shows a year and show no signs of slow­ing down any­time soon.

“Ev­ery week­end we’re trav­el­ling in­ter­state on planes, and when I’m not, I’m work­ing in the back­ground, re­vamp­ing the web­site and try­ing to get peo­ple to sign up to our mail­ing list,” he says.

“We’ve still got a lot hap­pen­ing and I don’t re­ally know how that all works. I just started read­ing Richard Clap­ton’s book The Best Years

Of Our Lives and I fig­ure there has been a bit of a resur­gence of in­ter­est in us old blokes.

“I think a big part of why we’ve never re­ally stopped is that we’ve got a record­ing con­tract, which has been go­ing

WE KNOW GIGS, WE KNOW HOW TO PLAY OUR GIGS AND THAT’S WHAT’S KEPT US TO­GETHER AND WORK­ING AS A BAND

on for a long time. Ev­ery­thing has changed through that time, but through it all, the live scene is what Martin and I, the two orig­i­nal mem­bers of the band, do best. We know gigs, we know how to play our gigs and that’s what’s kept us to­gether and work­ing as a band.”

With a cou­ple of years since the band’s last stu­dio al­bum

Tents Up, Greedy says there will be another record from the Men­tals at some point, but they are tak­ing it slow.

“We’ve been try­ing out our new songs live,” he says.

“We’ve got a new gui­tarist, Martin Cilia, who played with The At­lantics for the last 15 years, and be­fore that, Dave Warner From The Sub­urbs. Martin’s got a record­ing setup, so we’re putting it back to­gether now and there has been mum­blings about want­ing to record again.

“Martin (Plaza) had a kid­ney re­moved re­cently and has sur­vived an aw­ful lot in the last twelve months, so it’s hap­pen­ing but we don’t know when.

Most of our fans just want to hear our old stuff any­way,” he said.

Men­tal as Any­thing, Kingscliff Beach Ho­tel, Sun­day at 5pm (QLD time).

Men­tal as Any­thing are per­form­ing at the newly re­fur­bished Kingscliff Beach Ho­tel this Sun­day.

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