Rooting Out Grunt Garth Adam | The Thirty
Odd Foot Of Grunts Bassist
Emily Blunt interview
or Thirty Odd Foot of Grunts is a band getting a lot of attention
lately. They are fronted by a bonafide academy award winning
moviestar (Russell Crowe-Lead vocals,
guitar) and contain, also, a group of not as well known Aussie
bandmates-- just as hell-bent on keeping it to the heart and
about the music.
friends, Garth Adam (Bass), Stewart Kirwan (Trumpet, vocals),
Dave Kelly (Drums) Dean Cochran (Lead Guitar), Dave Wilkins
(Guitar, vocals) , along with their now famous leading man,
get together and make their music as often as busy lives allow.
Is it a lark? Can you call it a hobby? Maybe. But, they're pretty
damn good when they sit down together!
caught them live in Austin last year in the blazing Texas sun
at the tiny Stubb's BBQ aka The Snobby Emporium From Hell. Great
brisket though. And a great show, rudely run venue aside.
show was chock-full of high flying energy, frolicking musicianship
and quick witty banter which made the group not only memorable
but diminished the "riding the curtails" stories that
ran throughout the often less-then-kind press. It was obvious
the boys didn't care what the press parasites had to say. For
them it was about having fun, rocking, rolling and performing
for the people who came from , sometimes, thousands of miles
away to hear them. Loyal fans of the band, and yeah, mankebab
fans weathered 100 plus degree sun and packed standing-room-only
conditions to hear them play for a couple of truly entertaining
hours. Thirty Odd Foot of
Grunts (TOFOG) played tons of songs from their cds (or as
they call them, albums<- how precious) and "tested"
the water with some tunes being recorded in Austin that same
month, and that now appear on the new cd Bastard Life or Clarity
by Belinda last month).
Adam, the Bass player and sometimes writer of songs for TOFOG,
agreed to a cyberview. He's a swell fella, not bad on the retina
either. Here's what the lad had to say:
kiddies: The band hosts www.gruntland.com
a Mecca for all things TOFOG. There are plenty of links throughout
for you to all line up and get yourself some gruntings.)
Wow! TOFOG has become quite a little power house. So much press.
Good and not so good. So many new shows. So many exciting places.
How was the private concert this spring in Italy? Any famous
was run by Armani so he and his family were there. Sarah Ferguson
was also there plus assorted fashion people, stick thin of whom
I didn't know. Lovely country though.
Belinda and I have completely different tastes musically. I
was about to dump her roadside on car trip up to the recent
Heavy Metal Awards after she said David
(on Gaslight) was, well, I'll be nice...But she loved just about
every note on Bastard
Life Or Clarity and ranted from Ft Lauderdale to Orlando
( Think Sydney to Cairns) about the differences of audio, lyrical,
congruency and quality. So, my question is: As BLOC was produced/mixed
etc. in legendary recording haven Austin with an extremely tight
group of people in and around the cd do you feel the output
is the finest from the group yet?
the best so far because we finally had a decent amount of time
to spend on it. Everything before was always a bit rushed. This
time we could concentrate on the album without the distraction
of life in Australia, like work and bills etc.
That was a totally unfair question ;) I'm a girl we tend to
be...unfair. The songs Cochran/Crowe, and Crowe in particular,come
up with are often heavy hearted. The ode to Davey on BLOC
is extremely touching if the listeners catch the connection
to Daniel Pollock.(a
brilliant actor who decided to exit, permanently, stage left
from life). Any reason for the flowing sadness. Or is just coincidence.
People love to read into these things ya' know...
Writing is a very individual pursuit and I imagine its given
Russell a chance to express himself in a way that he wouldn't
usually get to do. He believes that music and film are in any
case all equally "creative expression".
Not all songs on BLOC are heavy or deep. Like the cut Somebody
Elses Princess. Every guy in the world can relate to this
one. Sexy baby, has a guy, out-o-luck dude on the outside wishing
he was the smitten one. It has a very different sound, catchy,
raunchy and late night bar-ish. Every song is so infused with
a twinge of difference. Is it possible for you to say then what
is/was TOFOG'S musical influences?
know we can't agree on influences so I believe that we bring
our own tastes to the group, safely unstated. We are so used
to playing with each other we kind of fall into our own familiar
BLOC cd reminds me a Friday night down at Maguire's Irish Pub.
That whole local band Earthy Celtic lyrical almost folksy flare.
Do you think if you all made music a full time gig you'd be
making the pub circuit or rock
are an intimate pub band. I don't think we would look very convincing
as a Bon Jovi kind of band and Russell won't dye his hair blonde
for the stadium rock look.
Hmm. I don't know give him a few Tequila shots and...You brought
back Wendy and Barry Kable on this cd any personal or professional
Russell and Dean believed that we never really did these songs
any justice the first time around. They thought the new treatment
of Barry was more in keeping with the sentiment of the lyrics.
Also this will be our first commercial overseas release so they
wanted these songs to be on the album.
Makes sense. Both were done a justice. Anyone in the group a
full time musician?
yes. Dave Wilkins, Stewart and now Dean only do music.
EB- And yourself? Warum nicht?
is always a maybe. But I myself don't trust the entertainment
business and like to have a career in another area for insurance.
Fair enough. Anybody have any formal musical training?
has to some extent but by far the most trained player is Stewart.
Did you watch Survivor 3?
a big fan of these shows. I wish the crocodiles would win and
take the prize money in chickens.
Survivor (seen it twice under duress) really shows people at
there worst. I'd lose immediately- couldn't play the stab-in-the-back
game. You're all hitting the road
this summer... true?
of August in the USA and maybe Canada at this stage.
I see there's a contest "bring
TOFOG to your town." You have a game plan of the venues
GA-Almost, we are trying to find out where we will be welcome.
I know I'll have you, er, Ft Lauderdale will have you. Avoid
Miami- it's a scary unfriendly place. Austin brought a siege
of TOFOG and Crowe fans to their door. TOFOG got some pretty
awful press a' la musical attacks and bad mouthing from the
angry Austinites with no clue as to your purposes for being
there...You ready for all that again?
unavoidable. Russell's profile brings both good and bad things
to the band . We get known a little faster but at the same time
we always have a fight proving we are credible.
I saw the whole crazy thing that one weekend. Man, it was pretty
hectic. How'd you go back to "life" after all that?
Slowly. It takes awhile to go back to the 9 to 5 but
now I'm back in the suit it's just a fond memory.
With all your lives torn in different directions it's so cool
you're able to keep TOFOG going. How long have you been playing,
I don't know. I'll need a calculator. About 1,000 dog years
MATH! Argh. 7 into 1000...So, 140.285 Years? That's so nice.
You've penned a few of the songs we hear. What drives you to
say "yeah,that would be a great tune."
GA-Just instinct in the end. Something's have promising beginnings
but then transform into the equivalent of a musical turd and
others just come from somewhere in the ether.
EB- What's your Saturday like, 1/2 way across the world, you
wake up, brush the teeth then what?
go for a walk and have lunch. I live in a great neighbourhood.
If money wasn't a necessity what would you do in life?
GA-Travel the world buying all the guitars known to man in all
their weird and wonderful shapes.Also I love finding out about
I am a movie reviewer by trade I've got to ask your favorite
flick. Don't worry Russell wont read this so you can be honest.
a hard one. Can I say that the best movie I have seen in the
last few years is Chocolat. I like Chocolat because
it is about people of all ages being in love. Its about everyday
people rediscovering love and friendship, and, it is cute because
the metaphor that expresses these things is people buying chocolate.
The only film in the history of Cinema I haven't seen. Don't
ask...It's like my voodoo movie. I've tried. I've tried....Who
was your childhood crush?
The girl from the Motels;)
You've traveled a bit with TOFOG. What's been your best experience
I think Austin was the best fun followed by some of the trips
up the north coast of Australia.
What's been the worst?
Without doubt a show in Whyalla in South Australia. That was
depressing or as we say here "the pits"
Whyalla? Why ya alla go there in the first place (<-
I crack myself up...) No seriously, what was so pitsville?
GA- Whyalla is a factory town in the middle of nowhere with
very high unemployment, poverty, social problems and drug addiction.
It was uncomfortable to be in.
A'la Once Were
Warriors land eh? Yeah, that would do it...Have you
ever thought about getting in front of the camera yourself?
Only about getting away from it.
EB- Lol. You had a film crew with you in Austin. What was that
Filming all the shows for a live concert DVD to be released
sometime in the future.
For those who don't understand the name TOFOG, could you explain
came up with it after seeing some film rushes earlier in his
career. The phrase [thirty odd foot of grunts] was on those
rushes. In the meantime we didn't come up with an alternative
so it stuck.
you have it folks a gruop named after sound effects. Tre' cool
or what? Be sure to keep an eye out at both Gruntland
and Maximum Crowe
for the TOFOG's play dates. I'll try and let y'all know...but
I have this busy chickbabe life you know can't be responsible
for missing the ticket sale announcement... As Cochran and Crowe
Just wasting time
High stress situations baby
Never been a friend of mine.
worth the effort, honest. Besides, where you gonna see a gaggle
of Aussie mansteak of this caliber sweating and gyrating for
your musical pleasure without taking a 12 hour flight? Precisely.
The cd's mentioned Bastard Life or Clarity, Gaslight can both,
as well as a bevy of others, be ordered here->
member individual works:
Babies --Dave Wilkin