You Am I guitarist almost walked away

Playing guitar was all Andy Kent had ever wanted to do but he nearly passed up the chance to join one of Australia's most successful rock bands of the last decade.
The You Am I bass player is pretty glad his mates convinced him to say yes.

You Am I is one of the nation's most enduring and esteemed rock acts after six studio albums, international tours and a host of accolades including seven ARIA awards from 23 nominations.
But their existence could have been very different if Kent had decided to follow his chosen career in sound recording.

Speaking to AAP as the band returned home to Sydney for concert dates promoting their latest album Deliverance, Kent said it had been a tough decision to join the band.
"The band had just started, played a few gigs, and they went to Melbourne for the first time - they left Sydney and that was a big deal and I went down with them to do sound," he recalled.
On the trip, Kent and band frontman Tim Rogers clicked.

"Me and Tim got on pretty well straight away, we started playing music together and he said "Hey, do you wanna join the band?"

Now with the benefit of a crystal ball, Kent might not have stalled.

"I wasn't going to.
"I was sitting at home in Redfern, flatting with some mates and I came home and said, 'They want me to join this band.' They said, 'Oh, what do you reckon?' and I said, "I don't know if I want to do that.'
"They just said, 'you idiot' and so I did."

And he still never lives it down, with one friend constantly calling on Kent to buy him beers for coercing him into the best move of his career.
"My friend Simon, almost every time he sees me he goes, "You almost didn't do it; If it wasn't for me, rah rah rah, you owe me a beer" so I have to buy him beers."

For a band like You Am I, it's mildly insulting hearing the current media tag-line "rock is back."
After all, as true fans know, it never went anywhere.
"It never goes away, a flame is just taken up by a different part of the world," Kent said.
"It's just that every now and then, (the industry's) oversaturated, so someone else out there picks the baton up," he said.

The ever-evolving You Am I has also been impacted by the rock explosion, having recently returned from concerts in the US supporting New York rockers The Strokes.
But there's nothing like performing to an Australian audience of die-hard fans, particularly at the summer music festivals, Kent said.

Their current national tour ends with a spot at the all-Aussie rock festival, Homebake.
And the band's sure to be in the form that gave them their cult-like live following after weeks playing sets of their old favourites and new hits.

"We're very much looking forward to it," he said.
"There's nothing worse than doing a whole tour and ending up in some tiny town somewhere where there's nothing to do after the show and you end up cooped up in a hotel going, `Well, that was interesting'."