When rock band Kisschasy plays in Wollongong next month as part of their 2023 Aussie tour, it will certainly bring back fond memories.
The band, which formed in Melbourne in 2002 and split in 2015, before getting back together last year, is about to embark on a tour that starts in Brisbane, before heading to Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Wollongong, where they will play at UOW UniBar on Thursday, May 11.
The Wollongong gig is one of only three regional shows, the others being Newcastle and Torquay, but according to band member Joel Vanderuit, the town holds special memories for the band.
"Wollongong was historically at the end of a NSW run of a lot of our tours, so I have distinct memories of not having to be anywhere for a few days so we would have a fun night with whomever was the supports, and any locals game enough, which on more than one occasion ended up watching sunrise near the lighthouse," said Vanderuit, who plays bass and sings backing vocals.
"I can't do all-nighters anymore, so don't expect to find us there on this trip! But we'll still make sure we have a good time on our visit!"
The band, which also includes Darren Cordeux on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Sean Thomas on lead guitar and vocals, and Karl Ammitzboll on drums and vocals, released their first two EPs in 2004, followed by their debut album, United Paper People.
The first single from the album, Do-Do's & Whoh-Oh's, received an ARIA for Breakthrough Artist-Single.
They followed this with a second gold-record album, Hymns for the Nonbeliever. A compilation album followed in May 2008, before their last album, Seizures, in 2009.
The band announced their split in 2015, just after the 10-year anniversary of their debut album, and embarked on a farewell tour.
Fast forward to 2022, and the band announced they were reforming, but the decision was actually made several years earlier, according to Vanderuit.
"From memory, it came up back in 2019, with 2020 being the 15-year anniversary for our first album. I think Darren may have bumped into our old booking agent in LA and the conversation started then," he said.
While they started planning a tour, "the world had different ideas for live events across the globe" due to the onset of COVID-19.
Now, after repeated attempts to reschedule the tour, they are finally ready to hit the road.
Asked about his favourite Kisschasy song, Vanderuit said it is actually one of their B-side tracks, Resolution Wednesday.
"Despite It never making it onto a record, we still played it live on most of our tours I think mainly because we all liked it so much," he said.
He admitted some of the songs they play live "aren't my favourite", but continued to make the cut either because other members of the band love them or they are songs "the audience really enjoy".
"As long as everyone is having a good time, I'm pretty easy," he said.
He said he was not a huge fan of shows such as Australian Idol and The Voice Australia in the earlier days "because I felt that every artist should have to grind it out and earn their way up the ladder".
"Playing to no one, sleeping in vans etc, the way we and many others had done before," he said. "But maybe as I've gotten a little older and separated in some ways from the industry, I've softened to the idea.
"As a new or upcoming artist you have to exploit basically any opportunities that are presented to project your career, and in the current day, this is one of those avenues.
"However, it feels like a lot of the people trying out are using these platforms as their one chance to make it, and if they don't "make it" via a music game show, then they give up. So I think the need to be looked at as one path, but not the only path."
Details: Kisschasy, UOW UniBar on Thursday, May 11. Tickets here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.