LIVE: Music nerds collide

WHEN  self-confessed ‘‘music nerds’’, You Am I’s Tim Rogers and The Bamboos’ Lance Ferguson, met it was only a matter of time before they started making music together.

First, they collaborated on The Bamboos track I Got Burned and are now heading on the road for a tour tagged Tim Rogers with The Bamboos.

‘‘We met backstage and it was really just a matter of music nerds getting together and talking about old records that we loved. We seemed to enjoy some of the same tastes and same records and it was really just a whole lot of discussion of music,’’ Ferguson explained. 

‘‘From there, I had the idea to involve Tim on a Bamboos song, which Tim was well, well into, and what came out of it was I Got Burned, which is The Bamboos’ most successful song. So we just thought that aside from the personal affinity that we had struck up, there was something musically exciting as well, and we had to explore it further.

‘‘Tim’s so great, not only as a songwriter and a guitarist and vocalist, but also his stage presence and what he does on stage is just berserk so it’s great to work with him.’’

Rogers will join the nine-piece band on stage for some original tracks, some Bamboos songs and even some ‘‘hand-picked really cool cover versions’’ he and Ferguson will be arranging.

‘‘We’ve picked a whole bunch of things. There is some New Orleans stuff, some which are more raucous and rocky, but I think we’ve covered all bases,’’ Ferguson said.

‘‘I think Tim – what he does on stage and what he does vocally – brings such a strong individual sound to it so that, even if we take a classic, people know it’s going to be reinvented in Tim’s hands.’’

Adding Rogers to the already bursting live line-up of The Bamboos will certainly make for a crowded stage but Ferguson wouldn’t have it any other way.

‘‘We’ve got a pretty big band anyway – the standard Bamboos line-up is nine  with a three-piece horn section. So The Bamboos live is usually a bit more muscular and stripped back because we don’t have the strings and the layering of stuff [that we have in the studio],’’ he explained. 

‘‘You know, we like to play absolutely live, we don’t like to run tracks or backing tracks, which is absolutely fine. I play in some bands that do do that, it’s not that I’m against that. But with this particular band, we come out and do it all in the room, as it were.’’

In the studio, on the other hand, there’s no holds barred.

‘‘I’m the kind of person who likes to experiment in the studio and go crazy doing stuff. I mean, I get strings in, French horns and this singer and that singer,’’ Ferguson said. 

‘‘I’m just struck with the problem of how am I going to take this live, but I try not to let that limit or constrict myself too much because it seems like you should just kind of throw it all against the wall and not hold back.’’

It’s obvious Ferguson has equal passion for playing live and recording, whereas many artists often comment that playing live is their true passion.

‘‘I do view them as two very different worlds but I do love each one equally,’’ he said. 

‘‘I think if I was trapped in the studio all the time I’d go crazy, but then I think if I was on the road all the time I’d go crazy too. 

‘‘I really do love both things and I think they go hand-in-hand. Especially these days with recorded material, you can lose ownership of it with downloads and all that sort of stuff, so I think what you do live, you have to hold dearly because no one can take that from you.’’

So much is his passion for recording,  he’s already thinking of the next  release.

‘‘I’m really hanging out for that because you make a record and talk to everyone about it and then play the songs a million times and that’s the process, but I’m always looking forward to the next record,’’ he said. ‘‘When Medicine Man came out, I’d delivered it to the label six months before  so I’ve been living with these songs for so long now that I’m ready to write  new ones.’’

Tim Rogers and The Bamboos play at the Cambridge on March 8. Tickets at

Australian rock legend Tim Rogers will team up with soul-funk outfit The Bamboos.

Australian rock legend Tim Rogers will team up with soul-funk outfit The Bamboos.


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