You Am I guitarist
almost walked away
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
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
But there's nothing like performing to an Australian audience
of die-hard fans, particularly at the summer music festivals,
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'."