Ryhmes With Purple Or Orange
Have a listen
to Tim Rogers' work with the Twin Set, titled What Rhymes
With Cars and Girls, and you'll see that it's not You Am
I's #5 Record. It has a bit of country flavour to it, and
is not as straight up rock 'n' roll as You Am I's efforts.
It's more of an acoustic based album, with Tim packing away
the distortion pedal and electric guitar. Not that Tim will
be taking it easier playing live with the less raucous Twin
Set material. "Nope. No way. If people pay their money
to see some rangy young kid give it his all they're gonna
get it," Rogers proclaims.
How Rogers came to be doing a solo record
was a mixture of things.
"I had some time alone and I found
myself writing some songs and then I just thought, well
it looks like You Am I's not going to be recording for a
while, while we're waiting for albums to come out overseas,
so I wanna make a record," Rogers recalls. "So
I really started writing gung ho and then about the same
time Jen's (Anderson) studio was available so I went in
and did it with the idea of just having it as a tape or
CD to sell at shows. But then a lot of really good musicians
came in and helped out, we had a good time, so it's got
a little bit more serious."
One of the protagonists in the Twin Set
is Jen Anderson, late of Weddings Parties Anything. It turns
out that around the same time as Rogers was looking at doing
solo material, WPA were on the verge of calling it a day.
Anderson has a big influence on the record, not only by
playing (listen to how much her work adds to the songs),
but also getting heavily involved in other parts of the
project, sometimes with even more vigour than Rogers himeself.
"She pressed a lot of buttons,"
Rogers says of Anderson's involvement. "We talked a
little about the songs. I think she was just more enthusiastic,
and getting me in contact with a bunch of other musicians.
I don't really feel like pursuing people and Jen was very
good in getting people and making sure they were available.
Just putting out the initial word."
Anderson made a very good choice because
the Twin Set came together comfortably. "I guess I
just started with the general flavour of the songs I had
and I knew what sort of a feel I wanted, and then when I
bought the other musicians in they could kind of pick up
the sense of what I was after or what I was heading towards.
I just give them a general idea and see where it goes from
there but it's definitely been pushed into a certain area
by the time they come in. I think just with Stuey the bassplayer
in particular, he definitely pushed it further in the directions
we wanted," Rogers says, making reference to bassplayer
Stuart Speed, who's currently with Paul Kelly.
The album does have a bit of a country
feel, but is not a country album as such. "It's not
really a country style of songwriting, I don't think. It
ain't bluegrass. It ain't Western swing. It's a kind of
pretty pallid country music really which is just folk pop
chords. I think people are being a bit... thinking it's
got a G-chord in it, it's got a country feel. Where as rock
bands posing as country rock bands are just like Bread,
the band Bread that is, kind of pop music with instruments
that give it an extra bit of flavouring, makes it a bit
more exotic. I think real country music tends to have a
bit of melodrama and melancholy. You know, suicide, death,
bestiality, and I don't hear that," Rogers admits.
Musically, the record doesn't quite fit
the You Am I mould, but then Rogers thinks that You Am I
doesn't necessarily have a mould. "I think with You
Am I, I feel like we could do anything at this stage,"
he explains. "I mean the pressure's off as far as delivering
a certain type of song goes. There's a couple of other songs
that were going to be on this record that are now You Am
I songs in different ways, but not much in a different way.
I think Russ and Andy would like to get their claws into
a softer track and work with it. But I think this record
in a way is pretty much them anyway. It's definitely different
people playing on it, but we're pretty sentimental guys
when we get together and they could have played all over
these songs and it was just timing and circumstace that
And the reason that this album is Tim
Rogers and the Twin Set and not You Am I is simple. "They're
about 800 miles away and we'd done alot of touring and we
just needed a break from each other," Rogers says.
"I think they needed a break from me more than I needed
a break from them. I'm interested by other people's playing,
just because they play different instruments. The three
of us together have a limited instrumentige and I just wanted
to hear different instruments. I was interested in the way
my voice would work with them and the way the songs would
work with them."
Going for a more acoustic-based album
was founded on Rogers' predilection for its simplicity,
which can also come across live. "I like the troubadouring
spirit really, that you don't need to carry along lots of
equipment and I just find acoustic intsruments verey appealing
because of that. You don't need a lot of time to set up
and a lot od space to pack up amplifiers and the like. I
just want to chuck the guitar in the back and go,"
When they do venture to our parts to play
live, you'll find the live band is the same merry bunch
that appears on the album. It might be a different bunch
of people with him, but you can still expect the same level
of showmanship you have always encountered from Mr Rogers.
"Well I really have set a standard haven't I? I hope
so. There's a few more people on stage and we've got to
make up for a lot of volume," he remarks.
There's two launches for the album in
Drum land, at the Basement and Goldmans. The former is not
the type of venue you'd expect to find Rogers performing
in, especially as part of You Am I. "I've seen a lot
of really good shows there just thought it might be appropriate
to give people the opportunity if they want to go to a venue
like that or somewhere that's more like a pub to give me
the opportunity to do that really," Rogers says of
the Basement. There's also a weird kind of symmetry about
the gig at Goldmans. He's officially opening it only a couple
of weeks after he closed the Annandale with You Am I. "Who'd
have thought it, huh? Anyone who saw that band in 1990 wouldn't
see that," Rogers muses.