Home' Rhythms Magazine : 2016 Nov-Dec Contents 70 Rhythms
Coming off the back of their successful seventh studio
album “Chrome” and still in the midst of an australian-
wide tour which is packing houses, you could almost say
the screaming Jets are having somewhat of a comeback.
the truth is they never went away. like the Baby animals,
they were part of a “second wave” of aussie pub-rock
bands whose ilk don’t really exist in today’s climate
but are just as popular as ever with live audiences who
are still craving honest homegrown hard rock. and
including his other gig with the angels, it is hard to find
a contemporary front man as energetic and talented as
I caught up with Jimi Hocking, one of the band’s double-
guitar attack (along with Scott Kingman) who it turns out is a
bit of goldmine of musical diversity.
I started by asking Jimi what the source of his musical
diversity was; ranging from the heavy electrics of the Jets
to his more laidback blues playing and his mastery of the
“Well my Dad was very musical and the music I was hearing
growing up around my house was always very varied in
styles, so I never had the mindset that you should have
to stick to one particular form of music, which greatly
influenced my approach when I first started playing myself,
even in my punk phase (laughs). Wearing many hats has
actually worked out quite well for me.”
Jimi has actually been in the Jets twice, and after his first
departure he ventured over to new York and became
involved in the bluegrass/roots scene (mostly jams in Irish
bars on a Monday or Tuesday night), where he caught the
bug for playing mandolin. A fact he passed on was that
the world’s currently most respected mandolin builder is a
guy called Stephen Gilchrist from Australia(!) who is quite
revered in the States and other countries.
In regards to the Jets touring future (The Chrome tour
resolves at the Hope Estate on nov 26) Jimi said they
had festivals and another tour planned early next year.
Obviously they have to juggle a little with the Angels being
Gleeson’s other gig (by the way it was Doc neeson who
insisted Hocking persist with one of his nicknames, “Jimi the
Human”, apparently conceived because he could play every
guitar style known to man).
Like the Angels and other long-lasting acts, radio seems
to refuse to acknowledge any of their material in the past
two decades, despite the quality of much of it. Aside from
“Better” and “Helping Hand” you won’t be hearing anything
else from a band that has released five albums since those
songs came out.
Surely this is a source of frustration?
“Even now, when we go to play on Sunrise and all these
shows, they won’t let us play anything from the last 20 years.
Triple M have been great sponsors of ours in many ways,
but same thing. The program directors dictate. So yeah it
can get a little frustrating, especially when you have a great
new album that is doing pretty well and crowds are loving it.
Same thing with some great young bands such as Tracer and
Stonefield, they absolutely cannot get any airplay here so
they have to go over to Europe, where they end up becoming
very popular. It’s a sad indictment of the Australian media
Talking of the next Jets record, are you guys likely to do one
next year or ...?
“I really don’t know, the band are famous for not having any
concrete plans...we still sell out venues...you’ve got to start
re-addressing what commercial success is in an era where
commercialism is rampant. We might sell out ten times more
venues than the current flavour of the month, despite their
Jimi himself has no shortage of up coming projects: he’s
working on a jazz album with his father, an acoustic/
mandolin- based record and another electric blues album
(blues being his constant love).
But it’s safe to say that the Jets aren’t going anywhere and
will keep rocking up a storm well into the future. Like The
Stones, bands of their kind are starting to become our natural
treasures. And that is no ageist insult, because they still rock
as hard as they ever did.
As Dave Gleeson often quotes, “Rock On!”
THE SCREAMInG JETS
Links Archive 2016 Sept-Oct 2017 Jan-Feb Navigation Previous Page Next Page