Words By: Laurent Shervington
Hey Dom, how’s it going?
I’m going well.
The last few years haven’t been too bad in terms of reunion shows for The Stems, what makes you keep coming back to a live format?
We haven’t done a whole lot of late. The last time we played was ‘The State of the Art’ show in 2014. Before that The Sunnyboys reunion shows and Dig it Up. Ash Naylor (Even, Paul Kelly, Rock-Wiz) joining the band in 2010 has really bolstered the line-up. It’s always been a good live band, but Ash joining has given it a new lease of life and class, making it an enjoyable experience playing in a band like the Stems.
You’ve recruited founding members Julian Matthews and Dave Shaw, what’s it like to play with them again?
I wouldn’t say recruited. Julian, Dave and I are original members of The Stems and have been there all along. It’s always great to play with them. They are great musicians and I hope we can keep the good vibes going.
Any grand plans for what the set-list will look like?
I don’t want to give too much away. The fans will be more than satisfied. There will be a few surprises.
You’ve been touring a fair bit with Datura4 recently, how would you compare a Stems and Datura4 show?
Two completely different bands, both are great in their own way. One is more about playing well arranged pop rock songs. The other is looser, heavier and a more jam oriented experience.
How do you think the Perth scene has changed over time? What makes it so unique?
There are more bands than ever, fewer venues than there was say 20 years ago, but there are a lot of other things, other forms of entertainment out there that are competing with live bands. Music trends and bands seem to come and go a lot quicker and there doesn’t seem to be any real longevity for bands or artists, but that’s the music scene the world over, but having said that – for a small and isolated city like Perth, it really punches above its weight. There have been some notable bands that have achieved international success. Perth is not as isolated as it used be thanks to the internet.
What lies in the future for you and The Stems?
Datura4 have just released a new album ‘Hairy Mountain’. The last one
did quite well, so we’re hoping this one will at least repeat the same success or do even better. Hopefully we’ll take it to Europe next year. The Stems? – it’s hard to say. I guess while there still seems to be interest in the band we’ll consider each opportunity to play, and if the stars align then we’ll be playing in your town.