I caught up with Sarah McLeod who was literally on the streets after packing up house and home into shipping containers in order to gallivant around the country for an indefinite period of time. The multi-ARIA award winner and long time front woman of the Super Jesus was now unreservedly embracing the bohemian lifestyle, along with her dog Chachi. “I just packed up my house this morning and put all my shit in storage…I don’t know where I’m going to live next, and I don’t care”.
McLeod is about to embark on a 3 month tour in support of her latest studio album Rocky’s Diner, which was written in New York under frosty, locked in weather conditions. McLeod will be touring with drummer Mick Skelton and simultaneously playing bass and guitar while delivering her punchy yet husky signature vocals. “I learn something new at every gig, you can do a thousand rehearsals but they are not as beneficial as one show…every night we get better…I’ve designed a guitar where I’ve put a bass pick up in it [what a legend]…I had to rewrite all the songs and how I play all the parts so I could hold down the bass parts and play the licks and rhythm at the same time [seriously, what a legend]”.
Coming back to Adelaide for the former crow eater is always a unique moment on McLeod’s tours and the powerful lady of rock relishes in the memories. “All my school friends, who I love to death…they always come out to the shows, and my mum comes out, all the Super Jesus guys come out…it’s like a beautiful reunion that happens to have a gig involved in the middle of it”.
The Adelaide show will have McLeod grace the stage of Jive, on Hindley street, which is a great venue but a far cry from the days when Super Jesus played the Thebarton Theatre. “My favourite gig in Adelaide was Thebbie…that’s what I aspire too…growing up in Adelaide, Thebbie is the be all and end all of rock’n’roll, I saw everyone that came through town…even driving past Thebbie as an adult it makes me excited…I played there twice…all I remember is we had a masseuse back stage”.
A recent collaboration with Jeff Martin of the Tea Party is another project McLeod has in the pipeline and one to watch out for. “We wrote a couple of songs together then we decided to do a national tour together, since then we’ve made a whole album together with Mick Skelton”.
A now defunct restaurant called ‘Rockys’ in Little Italy (New York) with charming waiters as well as the complete Sly Stallone Rocky series which McLeod watched before heading to New York were perhaps behind the inspiration for the album title. “It [Rocky’s Diner] was more of a concept I came up with…all those restaurants in Little Italy are the same, they all have red and white table cloths, you get greeted at the door by an old Italian man in an apron, they are very attentive to the women in a very flattering way which I love…you end up telling them your life story, that’s why I had this imagery of the restaurant being a lonely hearts club…I had this idea that this album was the big fight of my life, like Rocky”.
McLeod even ended up writing a book on the process of making Rocky’s Diner, so make sure you get along to Jive on November 5 and grab an album while pestering her to print this elusive extrapolation of one woman’s journey towards artistic, nay, rock expression.