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