Jebediah have made a scorching return to the spotlight with their first new tune in more than a decade, Gum Up The Bearings.
The legendary Boorloo/Perth band have kept mostly quiet since they released their fifth album, Kosciuszko, in April of 2011. As frontman Kevin Mitchell explained in a press release, work on Gum Up The Bearings started some seven years later in 2018, and only paid off thanks to Jebediah’s defiant persistence.
“It doesn’t feel like that many years have passed since Kosciuszko,” he said, “but that’s part of the phenomenon of becoming middle-aged, I suppose. In some respects, it’s quite a relief, as we started working on new music back in 2018 and then so much happened during the ensuing years that could have easily just killed the whole project altogether. However, I think maybe sheer tenacity won out in the end, and here we are with a brand new song, some five years later.
“Apart from being a relief, it also feels like an accomplishment for Jebediah to still be creating new music after nearly 30 years together – we’re not ready to be a nostalgia act just yet.”
As for the song’s background, Mitchell said of its origin story: “Chris [Daymond, lead guitar] mentioned something about gumming up the bearings on his skateboard. He would often skate to the studio. Anyway, we must have been coming up with the song at the time and I was searching for something to sing and those words just fitted perfectly with the noise we were making.
Don’t miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
“The song’s a bit tongue-in-cheek really, and doesn’t warrant a great deal of analysis. It’s just the sound of the band making noise again after a really long time away. We recorded a long outro to it which we thought might just fade out but then we had the genius idea of adding saxophone to it, which is played on the record by Thea who plays in a couple of other bands with Vanessa [Thornton, bass]. It was too good to fade out after that.”
Gum Up The Bearings arrives alongside a music video directed by longtime collaborator Arlo Cook, who pieced it together using footage of the band shot from 2015 onwards. “He has followed us everywhere,” Mitchell said, “to gigs all across Australia as well as the many studio sessions over the years. The song is very much a snapshot of what the band is in its purest and most raw form so the video clip is designed to reflect that.”
Have a look at the video below:
Before taking to the stage at this year’s Good Things festival, Jebediah will launch Gum Up The Bearings with a run of intimate headline shows, starting in Kaurna/Adelaide on Saturday November 4. From there they’ll head to Meanjin/Brisbane, Naarm/Melbourne and Eora/Sydney, before wrapping up with a hometown Perth show on Friday November 17. See the full list of tour dates below, and find tickets to all the shows here.
A day before that final show (November 16), Jebediah will appear at this year’s edition of the WA Music Awards, where they’ll be inducted into the WAM Hall Of Fame. Commemorating the honour, Mitchell said of the band’s undying resolve: “As Brett [Mitchell, drums] put it some time ago, the secret to longevity as a band is not to break up. I’m sure we have had just as many reasons as any other band to break up at various points in our career but we just have always decided to keep going. If the band was purely a business for us then we would have shut up shop by now. But Jebediah is family to the four of us.
“We have all grown up together since we were babies. It’s not something we have ever wanted to walk away from. Besides that, there is a small army of loyal supporters who have stuck with us along the way which gives us a reason to keep going out and playing shows. We are also not ready to settle into the comfy armchair of pure nostalgia, so creating new music has become a really important reason for the band to continue. We still enjoy getting out and playing shows in front of people but we are also curious to see where we can push the band creatively so I suppose those are the two vital ingredients for us at the moment.”
2023 AUSTRALIAN TOUR
Saturday November 4 – Kaurna/Adelaide, Lion Arts Factory
Thursday November 9 – Meanjin/Brisbane,The Zoo
Friday November 10 – Naarm/Melbourne, Espy Gershwin
Saturday November 11 – Eora/Sydney, Crowbar
Friday November 17 – Boorloo/Perth, The Rechabite
Friday December 1 – Naarm/Melbourne, Good Things Festival
Saturday December 2 – Eora/Sydney, Good Things Festival
Sunday December 3 – Meanjin/Brisbane, Good Things Festival