Family Matters

Tim Rogers and his Berlin Highchair

On the phone from his Melbourne home, one of Australia's most charismatic and famously wild rock & roll frontmen, You Am I's Tim Rogers, has a problem.

"It's all bumps and groans at the moment," the singer explains in a surprisingly soft voice. "I'm trying to fix my little girl some breakfast so if the phone cuts out, you're going to have to excuse me."

The Image of Rogers up to his armpits in Heinz egg custard is slightly incongruent with the more familiar picture of the nice suit and smooth swagger that has graced Australian stages for years. Still, as You Am I prepare to release their sixth album, Deliverance, Rogers' "little girl" Ruby is starting to settle into rock & roll life.

"The past year has been so beautifully chaotic," Rogers laughs. "Ruby has grown up, we've released two records - and I guess that's just the way the family lives its life. I suppose if Ruby gets mentioned a couple of times on the album, that's just because she's the prime concern of our lives."

With his girl as a recurring theme, Deliverance is a very relaxed record. It's the sound of Rogers and bandmates David Lane, Rusty Hopkinson and Andy Kent enjoying themselves more than ever. As the frontman offers a candid self-assessment of his changing situation, you sense that it's all part and parcel of the same big picture.

"I'm beginning to realise for the first time in 10 years of the band's life, how selfish I was about it; that it was the only thing I was concerned with," he says. "Relationships with people like family and friends became - well, not superfluous, but very conditional on what I was doing. I think I'm just an obsessive person really, but now I'm obsessive about our daughter."

And for those who suggest that family life is the antithesis of rock & roll, Rogers paints a very different picture. Not only has he succeeded in balancing breakfast duties with the task of making another fine album, he also shows that ability to succeed at either endeavour can stem from the same source.

"To play rock & roll, the kind that we play, you have to have this dedication and real love for it," he states. "You can't be cynical; we're not a real cynical bunch. I think when you fall in love, and commit yourself to being with someone, it's a similar sort of thing. It's about doing it for more than just the parties and the wild times."


Dan Lander