Good evening, Rumjacks! This is Crystal from Metal Invader, Greece here. How have you all been?
Johnny: Hi Crystal! Nice to meet you. We are all good. Currently driving to our next show in Po-land. Apart from us all being a little bit tired, we are doing great.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the band’s existence, which is due to be celebrated with “Saints Preserve Us”. Who are those saints for you, apart from St. Patrick obviously?
Johnny: Biggest saint I would have to say would be my mother…’Angela the Saint of enduring my childhood’ haha.
It all started with “An Irish Pub Song”, which was included in 2010’s “Gangs Of New Holland”. This video conquered the world and as a consequence, you conquered the stages all over the world. Did you ever expect that? How did that feel in the beginning?
Johnny: When we were recording the song we obviously liked it, but I don’t think any of us expected it to go as big as it did. I think we were out and about one night and our label guy told me how many views it had and I didn’t believe him. After that I guess we started to watch the view count rise a bit closer. Was crazy to see. I guess a lot of people around the world can relate to the song and plastic ‘Irish Pubs’ everywhere.
Right before that, you had two E.P.’s out in 2009, called “Hung, Drawn & Portered” and “Sound as a Pound” respectively. When you started the band what did you have in mind? What were your ambitions?
Johnny: This is about the time that every band answers ‘We never thought this would ever happy’, ‘We never thought we would ever leave our town’ etc etc. Which is absolute bullshit. Any kid that picks up a guitar and plays it every day, puts posters on their walls of musicians they adore etc, they ALL dream of playing music to people all over the world. When we started I guess we didn’t know how ‘big’ any of it would go, but from the very beginning we all worked our arses off for it and wanted to make something of it, so in a way it’s not so much as a ‘surprise’ to us, just more a reflection on the hard work we have (and still do) put in.
Let’s discuss “Sober & Godless”, since it is my favorite Rumjacks record so far. I can sense that so-briety is a little far from Rumjacks’ attitude, but I wonder, what about religion and atheism? Since, you know, St. Patrick plays a major role here… Anyway, what are your personal views on religion?
Johnny: Religion. Now we’re getting heavy. Haha. I can only speak for myself with this question, but the short answer is, no. I don’t believe in God. I believe everyone should have the ability and the right to believe in and worship what ever they want, it’s just not for me. I believe in the people around me, how people treat each other and their actions. I believe in my own accountability.
How are things currently in Australia, regarding the music industry? Are there any good bands and festival popping up today?
Johnny: Long answer short. Dying. Venues are closing, people can’t even be bothered to come to shows. The Australian government has zero interest in investing or helping live music and pass laws that make it near impossible for venues to stay alive. There are good bands and people who want to do well in the industry it’s just very hard to do so.
What has been the worst moment of the band so far?
Johnny: Ending a tour.
What should someone expect from a Rumjacks’ show?
Johnny: As much energy as possible. As many songs as we can play in 90 minutes and sweet sweet beverages had by all.
You played in Los Almiros 2016, a small festival held in a forest in Volos, as well as the Streetmode Festival in Thessaloniki last year. Also you did a headline show in Gagarin, Athens. What are your expectations from the greek audiences since you’re due to land once more in here in November?
Johnny: Every show we have played in Greece have been crazy. Loads of people going wild every time. I expect that and a bit more, again. Haha. The Greeks know how to have a good time and I like that.
Any last words? And I swear, this is not a warning! Thank you for your time, though! See you in Thessaloniki.
Johnny: Can someone please bring me some ouzo to the show?