Early 2020 was a different time – gigs were at full capacity, workplaces hadn't been abandoned, and international acts were heading down under to entertain their Australian fan bases.
One of those international acts was comedian, musician and actor Creed Bratton – most would know him from his time on the US series of 'The Office', playing a character of the same name.
We spoke to Creed at the precipice of the global pandemic, in February 2020 – when his planned visit to Australia was to take place in June of that year. How naïve we all were.
Well, with things finally looking up and Creed's venture to Australia set for October this year, the man of many talents is looking forward to heading here for this run of shows which are set to include anecdotes from his time on 'The Office', some laughs in the form of stand-up comedy, and a bit of music.
"Normally I'm a little reticent about getting on stage so I walk out and I do half a joke, and then I'll run to the side of the stage and peek out to see how they took it. If I see a few chuckles or guffaws then I'll run back and complete the joke. Same way with the songs, I test the waters and then I proceed," Creed says.
Creed's career began in the music business, which might be a surprise to some younger 'The Office' fanatics.
“By the time I'm [in Australia] my ninth studio album will be released, called 'Slightly Altered', which is a departure from my folky days."
Creed's 'folky days' include a few years on lead guitar and vocals in American rock band The Grass Roots, followed by a number of solo releases.
“My grandparents always played music, my parents. . . My mother and my stepdad, everybody played an instrument. So it was in my DNA.
“It's not like an actor who gets on a show and decides he's going to go his extra count, I've done this since I was a kid.”
Creed has no less than three decades of musical memories, including performances to pretty impressive crowd numbers and his fair share of festival appearances. . . Some of which more memorable than others. . . For various reasons. Creed reflects on his fondest live music memories.
“I guess for me the very first one that left the biggest impression on me was Mount Tamalpais, had to be 1967, and everybody was on acid. I remember seeing Janis Joplin come up to the stage on the back of a motorcycle with the Hells Angels there. Miami Pop Festival, 50,000, we did the Devonshire Downs, everybody played, Hendrix, everybody. Just looking out over the sea of faces. That's heavy stuff when you're in your 20s,” Creed says.
I mention Billie Eilish to Creed, and her meteoric rise to fame at a young age, as an example of someone in the same position today.
“I just met Billie Eilish the other night,” Creed exclaims. “She's a big 'Office' fan so I got invited to the show and I met her and Finneas. They're so talented, I really like them both.”
Meanwhile, there'll be no shortage of 'The Office' content at the show for fans of the mung bean-scented character with whom Creed shared a name with and so lovingly embraced for eight years on our screens. It's clear that those chasing nostalgia and a look back on the critically-acclaimed series won't be disappointed.
The actor lists a few of his favourite moments on set.
“Getting to play the manager was obviously a lot of fun, driving the Porsche, talking in tongues, doing the 'bobody' thing, that was pretty great. Playing my song for the finale was a memorable moment, my original song 'All The Faces'. A lot of people don't know that I actually wrote that song.”
“The one that really warms my heart is that after the Halloween episode [one of the first proper looks at Creed's character], it aired on a Thursday in the United States, then Friday morning I was on craft service and we were working, and in came Rainn [Wilson] and John Krasinski, and they saw me, ran over to me and just gave me a big hug and just said 'you knocked it out of the park, man'.”
Ahead of Creed's venture down under, I can't help but wonder what 'The Office' version of Creed would think of Australians.
“I think he'd probably find ways to scam them,” Creed laughs. “Some scheme, maybe he found 'the last white koala bear' that he can donate to the zoo and take their money, something like that, that's what Creed would do.”
Creed Bratton Tour Dates
14 October – The Triffid (Brisbane) 15 October – The Corner (Melbourne) 16 October – The Factory (Sydney) 18 October – Fiction (Canberra) 19 October – Freo Social (Perth)