It’s 1995. A band from Lismore named Grinspoon (named after Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr Lester Grinspoon who supported the medicinal use of marijuana) submitted the track, Sickfest to triple j’s Unearthed national band comp in its inaugural year. To everyone’s amazement, they won - and for the next two months the song was the station’s number one request. Fast forward to September 1997; signed to Universal Music’s Grudge imprint, Grinspoon released their debut album, Guide To Better Living.
Going on to boast double-platinum accreditation on the back of five singles; Pedestrian, DC×3, Repeat, Just Ace and Don't Go Away – Guide To Better Living (GTBL) spent 36 weeks in the ARIA Top 50. The album stands now as a similar coming of age as The Angels’ Face to Face, Cold Chisel’s East and Midnight Oil’s 10, 9, 8… were at the time.
Since then, it’s been a rolling success and yeah, occasionally, excess story with certified sales of well over half a million, seven albums all very familiar with the Top Ten, ARIA Awards, 13 ARIA nominations, more than 1,000 gigs, tens of thousands of international frequent flyer miles, 7 appearances at the Big Day Out as well as slots at Homebake, Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, an NRL Grand Final and a Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony in Melbourne. Not bad for an outfit that formed in Lismore in 1995 after meeting at The Gollan, a local pub on an open stage night.
After taking a breather, June 2002’s New Detention produced by Phil McKellar marked a bold new radio friendly direction but the punt paid off with the lush, now classic single “Chemical Heart” kicking down any remaining doors that were yet to open for the band.
The ‘23 Hours Of Waiting Around’ DVD - distilling on screen the band’s renowned live shows, was issued in 2004; achieving Gold sales. After another successful US mission came September 2004’s Thrills, Kills & Sunday Pills with producer Howard Benson (Motorhead), which again struck platinum sales while taking out the gong for the 2005 'Best Rock Album Award' at the ARIAs.
Best In Show – a retrospective album; compiling Grinspoon’s now impressive string of hits and fan favourites was issued in 2005 – selling over platinum and spending 10 weeks in the Top 40 chart.
Alibis & Other Lies in July 2007 was their farewell to Universal Music and was recorded with Ramesh Sathiah who had worked on their very first EP.
After a break, the band were back with the slamming Six to Midnight in September 2009 on their own label, Chk Chk Boom Records with US producer Rick Will (No Doubt) directing traffic.
September 2012’s Black Rabbits was recorded in LA with producer Dave Schiffman (Weezer, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Bronx) and featured guests and buddies such as Chris Cheney (The Living End), Tim Rogers (You Am I) and Scott Russo (Unwritten Law).
Then it was time for another breather and in December 2013 it was announced that the band would be going on hiatus. But again, not for long.
After all, who says no to Jimmy Barnes and doing seven dates with Cold Chisel? It was a neat closing of the circle, a bringing together of old masters and young disciples. 2017 saw the band emerge again to complete a SOLD OUT national tour alongside the release of a 20th Anniversary deluxe edition of the album that kick started their long-standing music career, Guide To Better Living.
The band will be staying in action over the 2017/18 summer, playing a handful of shows set to feature a sampler of songs from across their albums.
Grinspoon is Phil Jamieson on vocals, Pat Davern on guitar, Joe Hansen on bass and Kristian Hopes on drums.