Jamie Hutchings is a prolific Australian singer-songwriter perhaps best known for leading the imaginative, genre-defying Bluebottle Kiss for fifteen years, during which time he wrote and released over 130 songs. He will be in Shanghai as part of his China tour, performing at Live Bar and The Melting Pot. Xiao Zhong caught up with him to find out what was on his mind. Turns out it’s UNO cards.
DISCLAIMER: I, the interviewer played a small part in organizing this tour and will be playing a shitty solo set at the Live Bar show. Please don’t hold this against Jamie or his brother.
Do people constantly ask you about Bluebottle Kiss? Is it something you're trying to move past? Will you play any Bluebottle Kiss songs on this China tour?
It's still a big reference point for people who aren't hard-core followers of what I do. Generally I'm pleased if people know about my stuff no matter what mode or period it's from. I wrote all the songs and was the founding member of Bluebottle Kiss, but of course had excellent collaborators through all the different lineups. The more time that goes past though, the more I just view it kind of as one thing. It's all a continuation of my approach to writing and producing music and I'm happy with most of it so I generally draw on whatever in the back catalogue interests me or who I'm playing with so I tend to delve into whatever I feel like from the last 10 years or so of releases.
How is it currently being a musician in Australia? You touring a lot? Good opportunities? How does all the shit in the sunburnt country compare with touring Europe or America?
Yeah it’s ok, I tour a little but it’s a big place with not many people so there’s only so much touring you can do which is why I try to mix it up a bit with overseas touring. In Europe especially there seems to be greater respect for musicians than here, the basic conditions are better, they’re really hospitable and both the States and Europe are more densely populated so there’s more opportunities to play. It’s all fun, it’s all challenging.
Any reason in particular that you're interested in coming to China? What are you hoping for/expecting from the tour?
Playing music and traveling are a good combo I think. To me music is an adventure so playing to different cultures, and even more so to people who have never heard you before can be really inspiring. I figure I should expect the unexpected.
Smart move. Embrace the squat toilet. You're bringing your brother Scott over to hit some drums. What's it like touring with a sibling? Are you a real close unit that communicates through thoughts or is it scrappy, shotgun the top bunk stuff?
Totally, in many ways you don't have to explain much as there's a certain amount of intuitive stuff being siblings but by the same token he's my big brother so he doesn't always take kindly to um...directions. Y'know.
What merch/goody bags are you bringing over?
I'm gonna bring CD’s, my three solo releases and if I've got space a little bit of Bluebottle Kiss stuff. Plus an email list, I don't know how I'll go interpreting Chinese though if people add their details to that.
How are you going to occupy your brain on the long flight over here? Has This Town Touring got you on some over night trains? Tom loves them.
I'll have to resurrect my Ipod which I never use. I've invested in a bunch of reading too. As for trains etc I'm still waiting on that from Tom to see what the go is. Maybe I'll have to buy a pack of UNO playing cards.