Jebediah’s 20th Year Tour at the Astor

Last Updated: 27 May 2015
Localista Team

Twenty years?! We know, right – feels like just yesterday we were blasting Harpoon on triple j in the back of mum’s ’92 Commodore. Ahead of Jebediah’s highly anticipated anniversary tour, we chat to bassist Vanessa ‘Ness’ Thornton.

You guys have had to add not one, but two more shows at the Astor Theatre. Obviously the demand has exceeded expectation – that must be quite humbling.
Yes, I think 'humbling' is the most appropriate word to describe the feeling in the Jebediah camp at the moment. When we started playing 20 years ago, we were always so excited for the opportunity to play our songs in front of people, and that has never changed. We feel absolutely blessed that so many people still want to come and see us play, this many years on.

Tell us about the compilation CD Twenty.
We had to wait until we were 20 years old to release this one, otherwise the title wouldn't have made sense, would it? It also has 20 songs on it, a mix of singles, crowd favourites and band favourites. It's quite a trip down memory lane for us – and hopefully for others as well.

Your breakthrough album, Slightly Odway, was released in 1997, with two tracks being selected in triple j's recent hottest 100 of the last 20 years. Does it blow your mind that people are still frothing these tunes?
So many things have blown my mind over the last 20 years! In 1997, we were young, carefree and a bit excited, without mobile phones or internet. We knew very little about the industry we were about to become part of. Those songs really capture the feeling of that time, but we had no idea that they would leave such a lasting impression on a lot of people. We were just doing what came naturally to us and in a sense that's what we still do now, only with slightly wiser heads.

It's no secret that you guys have worked on other projects individually – your bandmate Kevin Mitchell has had great success as Bob Evans, and your own group, Axe Girl, is killing it! Did you ever think it was the end for Jebs?
I'm not even sure there will ever be an end for Jebs. We definitely have periods of inactivity, or even just publicly perceived inactivity, but I can't imagine any of us ever saying that we would never want to play music together again.

After 20 years as a band, you guys must be pretty close. Do you know what the others are thinking at all times?
Not exactly, but we are very close. We were inseparable for the first decade of
our adult lives, so we've been family for a very long time now. Even though we
might not spend as much time together these days, and we have all found other interests outside of Jebs, we are essentially the same people, and that relationship is always there.

We've always wondered – where does the name 'Jebediah' come from?
Back in the 90s a bunch of bands named themselves after characters from The Simpsons. We were one of them.

Astor Theatre, Jun 26-28.

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