Twenty years ago as the grunge era was coming to an end and a new wave of rock was hitting the airwaves, Fuel were riding high on the success of their gold selling album ‘Sunburn’, which saw the band become a household name around the world.
Nev Pearce spoke to frontman Brett Scallions about the band’s upcoming tour to celebrate 20 years of ‘Sunburn’, what it is like to actually have gold and platinum albums and why he thinks Australians have beer breaks during lunch breaks at work.
Fuel will be touring here in December, and as part of that tour, you’ll be playing on the Gold Coast.
You guys still have the rules there in Australia to where everyone is allowed to take a break and drink a beer in the middle of work?
No, I wish!
Maybe it was just a Sony thing or something. I remember touring Australia and going to the Sony offices. They had a bar in their office, and everyone was allowed to take a break one time during the day, and go drink a beer.
2000 was the last time we saw you guys here, which is a really long time ago. What else do you remember from that tour?
Everyone was just incredibly nice, hospitable and just really genuine. You guys live in such a beautiful area. The Gold Coast is amazing, so I’m looking forward to your beaches, and the food, and the beer.
The tour is celebrating 20 years since the ‘Sunburn’ album was released. I remember seeing that album just absolutely everywhere. It must have blown your mind at the time that it was so well received and still to this day. It’s a classic.
We’re very fortunate. To be able to celebrate a 20th anniversary such as this. There’s so few bands and so few artists that are able to do that, so I’m very fortunate to be able to do this. Australia is a major key in that. So, thank you.
Fuel are still getting spun on the radio quite regularly down here. Especially ‘Shimmer’. Have you found that yourself in a situation where you’ve been out and about and someones been jamming on your songs?
There’s been times I’ve walked into places and cover bands will be on the stage and they’ll find out that I’m there so they’ll play it. Or there’s other times that I’ll go there and they don’t know that I’m there at all and they’ll be playing it and I’ll just walk up to them and wave at them and say hi. It’s always fun to mess with people like that.
Not many bands these days know what it’s like to have gold and platinum selling albums. From that time it was such an amazing thing. How does that feel?
Gold and platinum albums are like dinosaurs. It’s incredibly hard for someone to get a platinum record these days. It was a different time 20 years ago. People were buying music. There’s still a love for music these days but it’s a whole different machine now.
Do you still have them hanging up?
Yes, of course. It’s nice wall candy. I have my office at home and I have all my gold and platinum records on the walls so I can puff my chest out a little bit when people come over.
Fuel’s last album ‘Puppet Strings’ came out in 2014, have you got new music in the works?
I’ve been working on some new song ideas. As soon as I get home from this tour I want to sit down and start fleshing out a lot of the details on those song ideas. I’m looking forward to getting back to my studio and being creative again.
I like that last album it was really really good.
Thank you. Putting a record together is always a lot of work but that record for me was really a lot of fun to make and I had a lot of fun. It was a good time. I wrote a few songs on that album that I literally wrote lyrics for the songs two or three times before I finally just went okay I think I got it this time.
Photo by Jenna Ardell