Jonathan Matthews interview with Adam Thompson of Chocolate Starfish on behalf of Glam Adelaide discussing the newly released album “Spider” and the ongoing tour to back it.
After over a decade since a release, the boys are back with a vengeance.
How’s everything been going since the kick-off of the newly released album “Spider”?
It’s been fantastic actually. We’re a part of the Red Hot Summer Tour. We did a couple of songs and it went so well that we pretty much sold out of all our albums. We’re now going out to do a national launch of our own.
Did you play at Mannum for Sounds by the River recently?
Yeah we did, it was the second concert of the Red Hot Summer Tour.
Did you play any of those new songs then?
Yeah, we played the first single off the album ‘Farmer Loretta’ and ‘Bad Dog’ which is track two off of the new album as well.
And was the crowd pretty responsive to hearing those new songs?
Yeah they were. The Red Hot Summer crowd is a good one, a great demographic of rockers. They’re not only interested in the classic hits, they’re quite open to hearing bands recent releases.
I read about an almost metaphysical feeling that you have since the passing of your good friend Zoran in the bands original line-up. A sort of ‘guidance from beyond’ that you said you feel sometimes. I wanted to touch base on that feeling, is it while you’re Songwriting, or playing? And do you still get that feeling?
Yeah it was probably strongest while writing the new album. There was a period there where I didn’t even know if the band would do any more songwriting. The new tracks just came to me pretty strongly. Quite often his image and vision, not a literal vision of him, but just something in my mind’s eye, I guess it was his presence I felt. While I was recording the songs I definitely felt his spirit around. It wasn’t a scary thing, it was positive actually.
What’s your favourite song off the new album?
Look, it’s like a parent being asked who their favourite child is. One of the songs on the album called ‘Heavyweight’ was written about ten years ago during a period when Zoran was sick. It’s definitely a favourite for that reason. Another favourite is ‘Bad Dog’, I really like its vibe. We’re going to do a music video for that track soon, and get people to send in videos of their dog being bad. I think that’ll be awesome!
That sounds great! Do you feel like there’s been much change in the sound?
I think we’ve always had that raw, rocky sound. To be honest I think our sound has changed a little, but for the better. I don’t think we’ve really captured the spirit of what we were back in the nineties, but that’s not a bad thing. We’re never gonna create ourselves into Kanye or Drake or anything like that, but we still want to be mindful of not just being stuck in the nineties. I think we’ve achieved that, we sound a lot more spontaneous and edgy.
Nice! In terms of evolution, what’s next for you guys?
We’ll be touring and playing Spider for three months across the country and then we are back on the Red Hot Summer Tour next year. In between then we’re doing something called ‘rock the boat’ with a bunch of other bands which is going to be pretty awesome.
That sounds sweet, and of course you’re stopping over in Adelaide and playing at the Gov April 13
Yeah that’s right. I absolutely love the Gov, and I’m really looking forward to it!
What’s your favourite memory from playing in Adelaide?
Well actually, at the very last Adelaide Grand Prix before it changed to Melbourne in 1997, and we were playing with Hunters and Collectors. There was a cherry picker that goes up and fixes the power poles. I managed to coax him down, this was way before OH & S was a thing, and I hung upside down about half a kilometre above the audience from the cherry picker. That is a beautiful memory of Adelaide.
That’s awesome! Will you be playing the new album back to back at the Gov?
No, not back to back, we’re doing probably about two thirds of the album, then songs from the first couple of albums as well. It will be good to honour some of the older fans that will come.
Alright, final question, are there any big changes in the music industry that you’ve faced?
I’ve only recently come back into it. Obviously as an older band we’re generally independent and doing a lot of it ourselves. The biggest thing is the quantity of sales just isn’t there. Spotify and other mediums are a big plus for the listener but not for the artist. If we were relying on sales from Spotify we would never make another album again. It’s a plus to be out touring so much, a lot of young bands just don’t have that experience. But I think that live music will always flourish.
Thanks for the chat, I can’t wait to see you at the Gov in Adelaide!
Check out SPIDER by CHOCOLATE STARFISH the newly released album after ten years of rest, and also their April 13th show at The Gov.
By Jonathan Matthews