Stu Macleod

Stu Macleod

Eskimo Joe

Stu plays:

"I have my AES1500 at home in my living room - I can't sit on my couch without playing it. It feels like I've owned it for years, it plays so naturally. And plugging it in on stage, you feel like you're the only one in the room, even if there's 5000 people there. The sustain is incredible, and I can control the feedback with the Bigsby for hours on end."

Youthful naivety can produce flashes of rock & roll excitement, but genuine experience and the passage of time can turn a good band into a truly great one. Now, eight years on from when the young Fremantle trio leapt onto the national stage, Eskimo Joe are taking a big, bold step towards Australian music greatness with their third album, "Black Fingernails, Red Wine". 'Black Fingernails, Red Wine' is a brazen step forward for a band borne of a scene that doesn't always encourage grand statements. But Kav Temperley, Stu MacLeod and Joel Quartermain have never been ones to ascribe to the status quo. Now more than ever at home in their own skin, the trio raise the bar set by 2004's double-platinum, ARIA Award-winning "A Song is a City" with a new album that soars with unashamed, unguarded personality. Armed with fully realised demos of songs written over the past, the trio spent half of summer 2005 at The Grove Studios, in remote bushland on the N.S.W. Central Coast, crafting an album from their solid blueprints. Enlisting the talented engineer Matt Lovell (The Mess Hall, Jebediah, Sleepy Jackson), Eskimo Joe also stepped up to the desk and took on production duties for the first time.

"It took a bit for all three of us to come around to that idea, because it's a bit more responsibility," admits Quartermain. "But in the end we backed ourselves and it worked well." As such, the 12 tracks of "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" not only showcase a startling development in Temperley's songwriting, but shine the spotlight on the entire band's expertise with arrangements. No track is given more than it needs; it's a captivating and complete listen. So, after eight years together, some lesser bands may ponder what roads are left to travel. As Eskimo Joe prove, there's a whole world of possibilities to explore if you simply follow your heart, listen to your muse and make the most of your talent. And "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" is the ambitious sound of a trio that has grown, both inside the studio and out. |