More than 30 years in the scene and Jon Stevens still rocks the show. On his upcoming ‘Best of’ tour he’ll be playing songs spanning his entire career, from Noiseworks to INXS, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Dead Daisies and of course his self-titled releases; this tour will truly feature something for everyone.
So tonight kicks off the Best of Jon Stevens tour, and you’ll be playing in Adelaide next week?
Yeah, at The Gov in Adelaide. It’s a great venue, I’ll be there on Thursday the fifteenth. Tonight I’m playing at The Palms in Melbourne.
Cool! Are you looking forward to beginning your four month ‘Best of Jon Stevens’ tour and getting to travel around Australia to play all of your classics?
Yeah I’m very excited, I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. It’s been quite a revelation, looking back through my catalogue and picking out a set list. It’s made me think about all the things I’ve done, the ‘then’ and ‘now’ I suppose. There’s been a lot of change since the beginning, and there’s a lot of songs there.
I can imagine there’d be a lot of songs to go through, are you just putting a bit of everything in there?
Yeah, definitely a bit of everything. There’s something for everyone!
Awesome! If you could form a band including any musicians you like, dead or alive, who would they be?
I don’t know man, I’ve had the opportunity to play with so many great musicians in my time! Not only great musicians, but great people. As long as they’re authentic and they’re good people, I enjoy working with them. My Australian band that I play with are amazing though, I think they are my dream band.
You’ve worked with some great musicians over the years, and you seem to be working with some amazing musicians right now, I heard you’re working with Orianthi and Richie Sambora?
I work with different people all the time, but Orianthi has played on my most recent album. I’ve also been working with Dave Stewart from Eurythmics, we wrote a lot of the songs together. I’m a huge fan of his, so I really enjoyed working with him, he’s a great bloke. Sometimes you get this idea in your head of what people will be like, but then when you meet them in person and they disappoint. That certainly wasn’t the case with Dave, he was fantastic to work with and a real gentleman. In the past I’ve worked with Slash, which was phenomenal. He’s a very humble man and it was a very humbling experience. I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling the world, and I’ve met so many musicians. At the end of the day, we’re all just human. Most of the big names out there that I’ve met have been lovely people.
What has been your favourite live performance in Australia? Have there been any shows that you’ve done that have really stood out, a show that you’ll never forget?
*laughs* That’s a hard one to answer. It would have to be one of the shows I’ve done in a stadium or arena. It’s a bit nerve-wracking when there’s an arena full of people out there, but it’s an amazing feeling. I guess I could say my favourite show is whichever show I’ve got coming up, because you never know what’s going to happen. That’s the beauty of live music!
So after all of these years performing, do you still get nervous before going on stage?
I wouldn’t say I get nervous. When I was younger, my nerves used to get to me a lot and take over, which isn’t a great feeling. I’ve learned to curb that nervousness, and turn it into excitement. Because that’s what it really is, excitement and anticipation. I don’t want to waste my energy, I want to feel that adrenalin and roll with it.
That’s a pretty awesome way of dealing with nerves. What was it like playing with INXS, filling in for the Michael Hutchence?
We were all mates, Michael was a friend of mine too. Obviously I can’t be him, but I’m confident that I did my best. I toured around the world with those guys for four years, and we all had an amazing time! They’re one of the greatest Australian bands of all time, and I was really honoured to get to play those songs with them.
What a fantastic opportunity! INXS fans will be in awe to hear you play some of their songs!
What are some of the biggest changes in the music industry that you’ve noticed over the years?
Well an obvious change is the beginning of online streaming. It really makes music so much more accessible to so many more people, it’s fantastic. Obviously there’s the downside, people download music illegally, but most people do the right thing. The internet has made things a lot crazier, but once you work it all out it’s great. There’s been a lot of changes, but I think they’re all for good. No matter what happens, nothing will ever replace the feeling of going to a live show. You can’t download that. New technology also means that there’s a lot more musicians out there being heard. I have a huge appreciation of all types of music, no matter where it comes from.
Yeah that’s true. Music is so vast these days, it’s truly amazing!
There are so many opportunities out there for musicians! You just gotta keep writing and going for it, you’ve gotta chase those dreams!
With new releases in 2017 and no signs of slowing down, it seems the best of Jon Stevens may still be yet to come.
By Jonathan Matthews
Thursday 15th February 2018 The Gov, ADELAIDE SA www.thegov.com.au
Friday 16th February 2018 VAT2 Beach Party, BUNBURY WA www.vat2.com.au
Saturday 17th February 2018 Charles Hotel, PERTH WA www.charleshotel.com.au
More dates below