TIM rogers on his lonesome

Following a quick, six-week jaunt through the US and Europe with You Am I, Tim Rogers has returned home to embark on a totally solo visit to Adelaide to road test some new songs before relocating with his family to Spain - Tim’s partner is a Spaniard - for much of the remainder of the year. We recently spoke to him over the telephone and began by asking how You Am I’s recent overseas venture had fared.

"Yeah, we went over for almost a couple of months and did pretty well," he stated. "We’re going back to the UK to play again in about three weeks and while the UK has been

really exciting for us, the best thing about touring the US this time was playing smaller venues and catching up with people who used to come and see us in the past. We’ve had some back luck as far as record deals go in the US, but a lot of people over there have kept up with what we’ve been doing over the years. So we can play Cleveland or Chicago and actually get people there to see us. It’s not big-scale but there’s a genuine interest in the band without any of the hype.
"And I’ll be moving to Spain because my wife is working on a film over there," he added. "We thought that while the band were doing stuff in Europe, it would be better for me to be living over there."

Does Tim speak Spanish?
"Enough to get myself out of trouble," he laughed.
"But it’s a beautiful country with lots of history," Tim quickly continued, "and the folk are very friendly. I’ve been there a lot and really enjoy it. It’s a chance to relax, drink and eat but, for me, it’s a family thing - that’s the thing form me.
"Some think that Spain is one great big party," he added, "and while it can be - they love their rock’n’roll - it’s more for family reasons that I’ll be relocating there."

Does Tim find it ironic that the style of music You Am I have been playing for years has recently come back into vogue via bands such as The Vines, The Strokes (who supported You Am I in Australia a couple of years ago), The Datsuns, D4 and the like?
"No, I don’t find it ironic," he reasoned. "If I was to get that kind of feeling I would have to imagine how Radio Birdman would feel. Over the years, so many bands have stolen from Radio Birdman that they would have far greater cause for complaint. So I don’t feel we’ve been hard done by. It’s just that fashion dictates what becomes popular for a year or so and then not for another 10 years, so if we’ve missed the first boat, we’re quite happy with that as it’s probably given us an opportunity to make more records than just one. Look, we’re not going to get on the front cover of The Face, but we’re able to keep doing what we’re doing.
"And all those bands are quite different as far as I’m concerned," he added. "It’s laziness on the part of music journalists to say there’s a new, rock revolution or whatever because The Datsuns are completely different to D4 and The Vines are different again to The Strokes. It’s just that a couple of the musicians have guitars in their hands."

Tim has almost completed work on his second solo album.
"It’s pretty much done," he revealed. "All I need to do now is make it into a record and to make a decision as to whether I embellish it or leave it really raw. It’s just myself and acoustic guitar at the moment, but I may add one or two other musicians."

You Am I will also release a ‘best of’ album, No After You Sir, for overseas consumers in May.
"It’s more a retrospective than a ‘best of’ album," Tim declared. "It’s going to be a compilation of our first five albums and it’ll have album tracks rather than just a bunch of singles. It’ll also give us an opportunity to add a few new songs because I don’t think anyone would be willing to put up the money to put out a brand new You Am I record at the moment.
"It’ll also put a nice little full stop on that era of the band," he continued, "and it’ll come out on a small, UK independent label, Transcopic. It might come out in Australia but I’ve also heard that BMG might want to put out their own You Am I compilation for Australia.
"And there’s a label over in the US that wants to do the same kind of thing as well as release Deliverance, our last album," he added. "And I rather like that idea because a lot of my favourite bands released records haphazardly on different labels. It’s a different way of doing things."

Do You Am I have lots of b-side and outakes in the vaults?
"There’s stack of them," Tim sighed. "They’re all over the place and it’d really be a labour of love for us to put something like that out. There’s some good songs there - mainly covers. There’s a shitload of stuff floating around but I guess until one of us dies, it may not ever happen.
"And it kind of seems like we’ve put out so much stuff over the last couple of years," he concluded.

By Robert Dunstan