THE solely one who wasn’t shocked when Phil Jamieson accepted the invitation to enter the world of musical theatre was the Grinspoon frontman.
When he bought the provide to play St Jimmy within the Green Day musical American Idiot, Jamieson gave a convincing “Hell yeah!” whilst his crew raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“I said ‘We are doing this!’ Some people were a bit dumbfounded by that. The fact I was asked suggested people are willing to take a risk,” he says.
The danger paid off when Jamieson shared the pivotal position with The Living End’s Chris Cheney within the premiere manufacturing of American Idiot in Brisbane earlier this yr.
It has now been booked for a national tour which kicks off on the Sydney Opera House in January.
Cheney isn’t obtainable for the tour so Jamieson owns the position within the award-winning manufacturing’s national run subsequent yr.
The revered rocker mentioned he was initially terrified by the challenges of the transfer from the live performance stage to the theatre.
“Rock’n’roll isn’t particularly disciplined and I haven’t been in the past,” he says, laughing.
“There’s warming up your voice and warming down and actually not a drop of alcohol backstage.
“Learning to play a personality was one other self-discipline and there was a bit of a steep studying curve about props.
“In rock’n’roll, the highlight follows you however in theatre, the highlight stays fastened and you must hit your mark.”
Jamieson suspects Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong all the time meant for their 2004 punk opera document to change into a musical.
That formidable opus arrived at a time when punk rock songs ran simply over a pair of minutes. Armstrong challenged the established order with Jesus Of Suburbia and Homecoming which ran over 9 minutes and featured 5 actions. It was as near a classical piece as punk rock may get.
The musical takes these songs and others from the American band’s appreciable repertoire to inform the story of three lifelong pals Johnny, Will and Tunny who’re struggling to interrupt out of their suburban rut.
“When you see it on stage, you wonder if it was in the back of Billie Joe’s mind the while time,” he says.
“It was obviously a rock opera originally and to see it come to life, it is pretty mind-blowing that he had the tenacity and the balls to write that record at a time when punk rock was doing two minute songs and he was doing nine minutes and all those different parts.”
Armstrong wrote the document as a submit 9/11 response to the conservative politics of President George W. Bush. Its Australian manufacturing arrives because the world struggles to barter the chaos of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Jamieson says there is no such thing as a method to keep away from the political undercurrents of this story of three misplaced souls attempting to barter life within the media-saturated new millennium.
“This was written around the George W. Bush administration and anyone could draw parallels between then and now,” he says.
“But I’ll let the audience be the judge of that; I don’t want to give (Trump) more oxygen than he has.”
Jamieson cheekily describes American Idiot as a “gateway musical”, a manufacturing to entice Grinspoon followers to the theatre maybe for the primary time.
Among those that noticed his efficiency within the Brisbane exhibits earlier this yr have been his daughters Lyla and Evita who’re each eager actors of their highschool musicals.
While he tries his greatest to maintain his swearing to a minimal when he’s at house, there’s the occasional four-latter phrase within the Green Day present.
“I didn’t know if I would ever get an opportunity like this again so I wanted them to see it. Yeah, it’s a bit confronting in spots but we did warn them,” he says.
“They thought it was one of the best factor ever and I believe it inspired them to get extra into musicals at college this yr.
“And I don’t assume I swear that usually.”
But as St Jimmy, Jamieson performs American Idiot’s “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” character. He is aware of what you might be interested by that and he appreciates he has sure expertise at taking part in the provocateur. His character’s position is to entice the directionless Johnny right into a downward spiral earlier than he decides to wash up his act.
“Well, yes, St Jimmy does embrace the hedonistic lifestyle and encourages Johnny to do so,” Jamieson says.
“Whether I had to do a lot of character research for the role, I will let you be the judge of that.”
Jamieson suggests Silverchair’s fourth album Diorama, launched in 2002, could possibly be excellent for an identical remedy.
“That album has really great wide-screen, musical theatre-style material which could translate,” he says.
‘Even the identify of it seems like a stage present.”
Green Day’s American Idiot runs on the Sydney Opera House on January 11 to 14, Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide, January 19 to 28, Perth’s Crown Theatre, February 2 to 11, Melbourne Comedy Theatre, February 23 to March 11 and Brisbane’s QPAC Playhouse Theatre on April 13 to 21. Tickets on sale from October 9.