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Grinspoon

Punk/grunge/funk band Grinspoon hail from the North Coast of the State of New South Wales, an area noted for attracting an alternate lifestyle community to its rural seaside setting. Guitarist Pat Davern and bassist Joe Hansen met vocalist Phil Jamieson and drummer Kris Hopes in July 1995 on jam night at The Gollan, the main hotel in Lismore, the major town in the area. They decided to form a band specifically to enter Triple J's inaugral 'Unearthed' a competition to help get regional bands air time and the possibility of a record deal. They won the competition with "Sickfest", the first song the band had ever written. The name Grinspoon comes from pro- marijuana activist Dr. Lester Grinspoon. Dr. Grinspoon supports the use of marijuana for medical purposes, and has shown an interest in the progress of the band.

On the back of their Triple J success - 'Sickfest' became Triple J's number one requested song for 7 weeks - Grinspoon began touring and recorded a self financed five track CD in July 1996. They were then signed to Universal subsidiary Grunge and recorded another six tracks with producer Phil McKellar from JJJ, the basis for the EP "Licker Bottle Cozy" which was released in December 1996. During this busy period the band kept close to their Lismore/Byron Bay North Coast roots by organizing jam nights back at the Gollan, where it all started. This support of the development of other local bands who were getting started has left an indelible mark on North Coast music scene. Grinspoon also insisted on recording their debut album locally in Byron Bay rather than heading for a big city studio. Work was commenced on the album during February 1997, again with Phil McKellar at Byron Bay's Rocking Horse Studios.

At one point they considered calling their debut album 'Sell Your Parents' but eventually opted for 'Guide For Better Living', after a Sunbeam booklet of whitegoods from the 60's..The album reached #3, spent 26 weeks on the national charts, achieved double platinum status, and generating a number of hit singles. During 1998 the band made their first foray into the overseas market when Universal Records in New York picked up the 'Guide To Better Living'. It meant that band spent ten of the next twelve months touring America with bands such as Creed, Lit, Godsmack and Anthrax. To compensate fans at home, between live commitments in the US, Grinspoon recorded two new tracks as the basis for the gold-selling EP 'Pushing Buttons' . It features 'Black Friday', produced by Ulrich Wild.

Work on the band's second album 'Easy' commenced in August '99 with ex-pat American producer Jonathan Burnside (Nirvana, Melvins, Depeche Mode, Meat Beat Manifesto). Recorded in Sydney and mixed in Melbourne, 'Easy' gave the band its second national Top 5 album. In September '01 they started work on the follow-up at Festival Studios in Sydney but were forced to move out, with the album unfinished when the historic studios were closed and the equipment sold. Grinspoon ended up recording the vocals and guitars for the 'New Detention' album in various little studios. Sessions were further interrupted when drummer Kristen Hopes accidentally put his hand through one studio's windows trying to open it. 'New Detention' again landed Grinspoon into the Top 3.

September 04's 'Thrills Kills and Sunday Pills' saw a change in direction. The band worked in L.A. with producer Howard Benson (Motorhead, Sepultura) and deliberately put aside any song that sounded typical Grinspoon, Benson encouraged the band to keep things simple and concentrate on the songs in their own right. The result was the 'Poppy-est" album of Grinspoon's career. They knew that some of their hardcore fans would initially find the album difficult to accept. The band was rewarded with another platinum album, and after nine previous unsuccessful nominations their fist ARIA award, for 'Rock Album Of The Year'.

During 2006 Phil Jamieson formed his own record label, Magic Castle and released an album with his side project The Lost Gospel.

Sessions for Grinspoon's fifth studio album 'Alibis & Lies' were delayed while Phil Jamieson was in rehabilitation due to addiction to crystal methamphetamines. In the end the record took 15 months and 5 studios to complete. After trying hard to please their record company at home and internationally with more recent albums, while it was the final album under their existing contract, this is the album Grinspoon made for themselves. In the process there was some relationship-mending as well as music to be made. Phil's personal problems hung over its creation and then its promotion.

In February 2008, after filling Bill Day Out commitments Phil Jamieson announced the band was going into hiatus. In August 2008 Grinspoon reassembled to begin work towards a new album with songs written by band members in the interim. Through their collective journey the band's personal lives have spread themselves over four cities in two states: Sydney, Wauchope, Coffs Harbour and Brisbane. Meetings and discussions are often conducted over the net, via email. They believe this has ultimately helped ensure their longevity.

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