At the end of the year, Greg returns to Australia for a string of intimate, live acoustic performances that will feature songs from Stone Age Man's first two albums as well as the recent recording sessions Greg undertook with legendary producer Rob Fraboni (Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones).
What can audiences expect from your upcoming solo shows?
[Greg] Audiences can expect intimate, stripped-down performances of the songs from the first two Stone Age Man releases as well as new material and some select covers all interspersed with stories about the songs and characters that inspired them.
How does your solo work differ from what you do with Stone Age Man?
Stone Age Man’s full line-up includes three vocalists as part of an eight-piece line-up that gets pretty crazy at times.
The songs though are written and broken in as solo pieces in front of more intimate, local audiences where the focus is on the lyrics and guitar playing. This allows me to hone the songs before bringing them to the band. I’m excited to bring my local, solo show back to my original locales in Australia.
Do you have any special guests joining you for the tour?
Yes. In Melbourne my opening act is Duo Novo, a Brazilian duo consisting of vocalist Jolene Moran and my old friend and guitarist, Oscar Poncell. In Brisbane my old friend from my early '90s band Kaffeine, Richard Triggs is the opening act.
You were born in Brisbane and was based in Melbourne for a time; what inspired your move to Canada?
I left Melbourne in 2009 for a 12-month sabbatical from my role as Director of Music at Brighton Secondary College.
My wife is Canadian and we figured it would be fun to go for a year to check it out and make some connections in North America. During that year we decided that we weren’t done with Canada yet and decided to stay on.
I’ve always moved around a lot and tend to move to new places every so often. I may be getting itchy feet again after this trip.
Have you found a lot of similarities between the music cultures of Australia and Canada?
Australia and Canada are both large countries with relatively small populations and there are a lot of similarities between the two.
Both have strong, indigenous cultures whose music is very unique and both have massive, iconic bands that never really became hugely popular outside of their home countries such as Midnight Oil and The Tragically Hip.
Having relocated to Canada, do you ever feel nervous or reticent about coming back to Australia?
No. I’m really looking forward to bringing my Canadian music to Australian audiences. Given that I am an Aussie, but something of a naturalised Canadian now, I feel like Stone Age Man straddles the two countries in many ways.
Who are some of your favourite Canadian artists at the moment?
My favourite established Canadian acts are Souljazz Orchestra, Whitehorse and Amelia Curran. SJO are friends of mine who are total bad-asses!
Whitehorse are just super cool and Amelia Curran is a true poet songwriter in the classic Leonard Cohen style. I also love some of my friends' local Wakefield bands such as Tractor and Rebelle.
How will you be spending Christmas and New Year's? Do you have some time off you're looking forward to?
I’m planning on spending the holidays with my family in Brisbane. I’m really looking forward to an Aussie Christmas. Snow and mistletoe is all well and good but I’ll take the beach and the barbecue any day.
What can we expect from you in terms of new music, either in your capacity as a solo artist or with Stone Age Man?
I’m currently planning two new recordings for 2018. One is a new Stone Age Man release featuring some new material that I’ll be performing on the solo Australian tour.
The other is a Stone Age Man side project called The CrimeTrack, which is an album of original, vintage-styled crime in the style of scores by Lalo Schifrin for the Dirty Harry movies. Stone Age Man often perform this in disguise as an opening act for ourselves.
Will Stone Age Man the group be doing an Australian tour anytime soon?
Part of my reasoning for doing this solo tour is to look at the feasibility of bringing some form of Stone Age Man to Australia in the next year or two. We perform as anything from a trio to a nine-piece band so I’m hoping that we can make it work somehow.
What comes next for you as we head into 2018?
I’m looking to get back into the studio in the new year to knock out a new Stone Age Man album. I’m almost finished recording an album with a new Latin Afrobeat band from Ottawa, Tropikombo, that features members of the legendary Ottawa band, Souljazz Orchestra.
I also play in a bunch of other bands that are either touring or releasing and recording new music such as alt-country local heroes Tractor and jazz-pop chanteuse Angele Desbois.
Stone Age Man Solo ShowsThu 30 Nov – Open Studio (Melbourne)
Fri 8 Dec – The Front Gallery (Canberra)
Wed 13 Dec – Elements Bar (Coffs Harbour)
Sun 17 Dec – The Bearded Lady (Brisbane)