19-Twenty have been whipping up a frenzy on the festival scene. They are electric – an infectious riff and groove based blue-billy-grass-rockin’-roots band. FOCUS caught up with front man Kane Dennelly and found out more about the band …
Hi guys. Give us a bit of a background about 19Twenty; how did you all meet and form the band?
Thievery! After a solo European tour, Kane was on the lookout for a new band. He saw both Syd and John playing for other acts, and poached them good and proper.
Who makes up the band, and what roles do you play?
Johnny G – double bass.
Syd Green – drums.
Kane Dennelly – the fool.
You’ve played sold out festivals, packed out venues and toured both nationally and internationally. What is it about you guys that people love most?
Two reasons. We pay a LOT of people a LOT of money to talk us up! Well, mainly just Mum and GMA – fake it before you make it! Also, we break down the fourth wall and allow people in. Our show is very dependent on the audience being involved. We will get them singing with us, on stage dancing with us and generally having a great time. At the end of the week, we all need to forget, turn off and get rowdy. We are more than happy to facilitate that!
How would you describe your onstage vibe?
Sweaty, rowdy, infectious! Three best mates having the times of their lives! We never have a set list, so we never know what to expect – and neither does the audience. As a result, there is a tension that anything could go wrong – and sometimes it does! Like watching a car crash; you don’t want to look, but can’t look away. It isn’t that crazy to see our drummer surfing on the double bass or swinging from the rafters. For John to play his bass upside down or for me to be crowd surfing or jumping into massive speaker stacks. Ask for forgiveness – not for permission!
Most memorable moment to date?
Too many to mention! In five years we’ve played hundreds of gigs in every state of Oz. House concerts, sweaty pubs, outback taverns and nearly 30 festivals! We are always pinching ourselves and truly believe we have the best job in the world! The most memorable festival moment would either be National Folk Festival in Canberra or Blues at Bridgetown. The crowds were MASSIVE! It is pretty amazing to play to 2,000 people dancing and singing your songs.
Earlier this year you released your third studio album, Triad. What was the recording and production process like, and how do you feel you’ve grown as a band since earlier material?
This was actually the hardest of all four albums we have done! For some reason we decided we needed a new album right smack bang in the middle of a crazy tour schedule and hectic home lives! Turns out punters think it’s our best, so maybe there is something in having that tension in the studio. Our sound currently is a lot heavier and dance based. As a result of all the festival spots we have played, we have tried to nail the sound to tape of what gets folks grooving. I think it’s pretty close.
You’re currently on a huge tour, hitting many popular venues along the way – however, we have you stopping off at the little town of Bellingen. What do you like about playing these smaller unique venues?
They are REAL! There is no hiding in those sort of venues. We play a lot of small out of the way hall gigs and love every single one of them. It’s amazing to see multi generations coming out. It’s a real family event, and we totally dig that! Our grandma, who is 85, still comes to as many gigs of ours as she can and she goes off; our music crosses genres and ages, and we love seeing this in our audiences from the stage.