Tag Archives: 76 Club

Ed Keupper

Ed Keupper’s Seminal band The Saint’s influenced a generation of overseas punk bands including the Sex pistols. His later bands laughing Clowns and the Aints are also legends on the Australian musical landscape. He has also enjoyed a long and prolific solo career, winning Aria awards for his albums Black Ticket Day and Serene Machine. After touring Europe & the US with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Ed is back solo and acoustic in support of his latest album, “Return Of The Mail-Order Bridegroom”. NQMP’s Todd Macalpine chats to the Saints founder ahead of his show at the Tanks Art’s Centre on the 1st of August.

Ed Kuepper AcousticNQMP:- Your latest tour is a by request style show, what brought that about, and how does it work?

Ed Keupper:- Usually really well. After doing the world tour with the Bad Seeds which is a fairly tightly choreographed show from night to night, to break out of that, what I wanted to do was to go out and do a totally spontaneous kind of show. I basically turn up with my guitars and then ask the audience what they want to hear.

NQMP:- Do you get audience members abusing this privilidge and yelling out for stupid stuff?

Ed Keupper:- Yeah occasionally, but most people kind of know about it and get into the concept. If people call out something really dopey I just call them up onto stage and ask them to mime the name of the song, if they can do that adequately, well, we’ll see what happens! No one has actually taken me up on that yet. I don’t give them a list of songs, they can choose whatever they want from my catalogue. The only qualification I give is that I’m not going to play the songs the way they are on the record. It’s not a nostalgic event, it’s kind of an interactive thing with me and the audience. One of the things that comes out of this is it draws attention to the way the songs work. So far people have been really great about it.

NQMP:- You have quite an expansive catalogue, you must have a really good memory to be able to recall a lot of that material on the spot..

Ed Kuepper:- Sometimes I can’t remember, occasionally I just have to say “sorry I can’t remember, but if you can, I’ll make something up!”.

NQMP:- You mentioned the Bad Seeds Tour earlier, how did that go, and are you planning on working with Nick Cave again?

Ed Keupper:- I don’t know, I’ve been doing a solo tour for the last year or so, it’s been a while. Look, probably not, I’ll be doing my own stuff again, but who knows what the future will bring? My intention at the moment is to get stuck back into doing my own stuff.

NQMP:- Do you prefer playing solo to playing with a band?

Ed Keupper:- They are really different sort of things. I think in a way I do. I like the kind of flexibility it gives me. To some extent, touring in a band is kind of like what you do in high school! Playing solo gives me a lot of room, and I’m not just talking about the extra room it gives me on stage. It gives me a lot of space to do things musically that sometimes aren’t possible in a band. I do enjoy the solo shows, it still is a really full sound.

NQMP:- The music industry has been through fairly turbulent times in recent years with downloads affecting CD sales and various other changes. Where does Ed Kuepper sit in the current state of the music industry?

Ed Keupper:- It’s always been a turbulent industry for artists, and never been a particularly smooth ride. Even in the hey day of CD Sales you would still have problems getting paid by the distributors and all that sort of thing. It’s always been a problem making money out of the business. One of the things that still works for the most part is playing live. There’s the immediacy and uniqueness of it. In a way these shows are all different from each other, even though the concept is kind of the same, it’s different by virtue of the fact that I don’t play songs in the same way. I’m not complaining, there’s pros and cons about the way the internet has affected the business.

NQMP:- I know locally that a lot of the smaller more interesting indie bands have found getting gigs in the traditional manner a challenge due to lots of venues closing their doors to live entertainment for various reasons. Local collectives like MOFO and the Arthouse have been putting on shows at houses, and out of the way places, and they seem to be generally well attended, there’s definitely still an audience hungry for live music. Is the kind of thing the Saints were doing back in the day with the legendary “76 Club”?

Ed Keupper:- Yeah, it was basically a house where a couple of the band members were living. You did it because you wanted to play, and if you don’t have people offering you the shows you find a way that circumvents the usual avenues I guess. I’d be disappointed if people weren’t still taking the initiative, it’s kind of what you have to do.

NQMP:- So what’s next for Ed Keupper?

Ed Keupper:- After this tour finishes I start work on a music soundtrack called “last Cab to Darwin” which is a major Australian feature film, and will be the first major feature film I’ve done a sound track to, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve also just found out that I will be doing a theatrical piece with journalist and author Matt Condon. It’s kind of set in the 1970s pre Fitzgerald enquiry era Brisbane. I’ll be doing the music for that. Those two projects will be fairly time consuming for me for a while..

Todd Macalpine

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