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Love Letter To A Record: The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe On Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Are You Experienced’

Written by Emmy Mack on April 23, 2018

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.


Anton Newcombe, The Brian Jonestown Massacre – The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced

You don’t need to have a favourite album, someone asked me, “What song do you wish you wrote?” Every single song that I love! So, I have a lot of favourite albums.

I was born in the 60’s, so through my parent’s record collection, radio and everything else, I was picking up on all the music of the time. From the time I was two years old I gravitated towards records like [The Beatles’] Rubber Soul, Revolver and things like Simon and Garfunkle’s The Sounds Of Silence, through to surf music and all those things. But technically on the spiritual level and the full spectrum of human emotion I felt that Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced blew the lid off of it.

It’s so iconic in its nature, from ‘Foxy Lady’ through to ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, all that stuff is pretty crazy! It was kaleidoscopic and quite heavy. I think it’s interesting that he was so self-conscious… not of his guitar playing, with that he was so confident, but of his voice and the persona he was presenting.

He didn’t like his voice, but he really couldn’t see that it was so amazing and unique and no one was able to touch that. It’s crazy, I don’t know what he was striving for, like he wasn’t happy with the bass, drums and everything, but it’s absolutely phenomenal and nobody has ever been able to touch that, so I think that that is such a beautiful thing. It retains form over time, which is an amazing thing.

He was extremely experimental with his guitar tones and the backwards stuff on all his records, but to know that he wasn’t into his bass player and drummer, he wasn’t satisfied so one can only imagine what he was searching for!

Someone pointed out that I share that same thing, where it isn’t satisfying for me to just play music, it’s not enjoyable in that sense, but the process of striving to do it is really enjoyable and it’s fascinating to conjure up something from nothing. It’s fascinating to me that you have this magic machine of your feelings, where inspiration is one thing, but people can totally read something else into it.

Catch The Brian Jonestown Massacre touring Australia this June. Dates below.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre 2018 Australian Tour

Tickets on sale now

Saturday, 2nd June

Metropolis, Fremantle

Tickets: OzTix

Sunday, 3rd June

The Gov, Adelaide

Tickets: OzTix

Wednesday, 6th June

The Northern, Byron Bay

Tickets: OzTix

Thursday, 7th June

The Tivoli, Brisbane

Tickets: Ticketmaster

Friday, 8th June

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: Ticketek

Saturday, 9th June — SOLD OUT

Metro Theatre, Sydney

Tickets: Ticketek

Sunday, 10th June — SOLD OUT

Uni Bar, Wollongong

Tickets: OzTix

Tuesday, 12th June

The Basement, Canberra

Tickets: moshtix

Wednesday, 13th June  — SOLD OUT

Theatre Royal, Castlemaine

Tickets: OzTix

Thursday, 14th June — SOLD OUT

The Forum, Melbourne

Tickets: Ticketmaster

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