The Superjesus

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The Superjesus
Also known as Hell's Kitchen
Origin Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Genres
Years active
  • 1994–2004
  • 2013–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website thesuperjesus.com
Members
Past members

The Superjesus are an Australian rock band formed in Adelaide in late 1994. Their debut album, Sumo (February 1998), peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart, their second album, Jet Age (October 2000) reached No. 5 and their third album, Rock Music (May 2003) got to No. 14. Their singles include "Shut My Eyes" (1996), "Down Again" (1997), "Gravity" (2000) and "Secret Agent Man" (2001). At the ARIA Music Awards of 1997 they won Best New Talent for Eight Step Rail (their debut extended play, May 1996) and Breakthrough Artist – Single for "Shut My Eyes". The group disbanded in mid-2004 and reunited in 2013 with mainstay members Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

History[edit]

The Superjesus formed in late 1994 as Hell's Kitchen in Adelaide by Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod (ex-Fallen Down Monster) on lead vocals and guitar, Stuart Rudd on bass guitar and Chris Tennent on lead guitar.[1][2][3] Rudd and Tennent had been jamming together for about a year when Rudd tried out for McLeod's latest band.[2] Tennent was McLeod's guitar teacher at the time and a veteran of the Adelaide music scene, having played in various bands since the 1980s.[2][4] Paul Berryman successfully auditioned for the group and they started rehearsing for over a year before their first gig.[1][2]

Hell's Kitchen changed their name to the Superjesus on the eve of the Big Day Out in Adelaide on Australia Day long-weekend, January 1996.[1] Tennent provided the new name.[2] Berryman explained, "It was basically just a piss-take on commonly used words in the '90s. Like The Jesus and Mary Chain, "Jesus Built My Hotrod", the Jesus Lizard, Jesus Jones; there's just heaps of Jesus' out there in the music world so we thought we would have that and super was kind of like a '90s catch word." Their debut five-track extended play, Eight Step Rail, was released in August 1996 on Aloha Records.[1][3] It spent a couple of months on top of the Australian Independent charts.

Eight Step Rail reached the ARIA Singles Chart Top 50 in the following February.[5] Its feature track, "Shut My Eyes", received high rotation on national youth radio station, Triple J – it was listed at No. 81 on the station's Hottest 100 for 1996.[1][6] AllMusic's Jonathan Lewis described how "their wall of guitar noise (somewhat reminiscent of Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins) made them an overnight success on Australian radio. Sounding like a cross between Liz Phair and Catatonia's Cerys Matthews, McLeod's voice was a major drawcard; strong, confident and rarely lapsing into the girlishness that characterized some of the Superjesus' contemporaries."[7] Jasper Cooper of Oz Music Project felt that on the EP, "Musically, the band inherited much from contemporaries such as the Smashing Pumpkins, but McLeod's appeal at the band's fore, lent The Superjesus their own niche and stature. The single track 'Shut My Eyes' was the band's tour de force, something that was still unmatched in their latter albums."[8]

They followed with a tour of Australia's east coast, then supported shows by Clouds, Hoodoo Gurus and United Kingdom band, Bush.[1] As songwriters, Tennent typically composed the music and McLeod supplied the lyrics – the pair had also developed a personal relationship.[2] In January 1997 the Superjesus appeared at the Big Day Out and, in April, they travelled to Triclops Sound Studios, Atlanta to record their debut album, Sumo, with Matt Serletic (Collective Soul) producing and Jeff Tomei (Smashing Pumpkins, Hole) as audio engineer.[1][3] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1997 they won Best New Talent for Eight Step Rail and Breakthrough Artist – Single for "Shut My Eyes".[9][10] McLeod and Tennent's personal relationship had ended and late that year; he temporarily left the group.[2][11] Aaron Tokona (of Weta) filled in on guitar when the Superjesus toured New Zealand.[11] Tokona turned down the offer to become a permanent member and remained with Weta.[11]

With Tennent back on board they released Sumo in February 1998 through EastWest/Warner Music Australasia, which peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified platinum by ARIA for shipment of 70,000 copies.[1][5][12] Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described it as "a big sounding album backed by a generous budget."[1] Its local success led to a United States version – with an altered track listing – being issued in June.[1][3][13] Lewis felt that they "show that guitar rock with McLeod's vocals soaring over the top is definitely their strength. Unfortunately, it is also their weakness, with Sumo containing too little variation in style."[13] An extended version, including a bonus seven-track enhanced CD of live performances, It's not over Till the Fat Sumo Sings, appeared in October as Sumo II.[1][3] At the ARIA Music Awards of 1998 Sumo had them nominated for Best Group, Breakthrough Artist – Album and Best Cover Art (artwork by Chris and William Tennent).[9]

In January 1999 they appeared at the Big Day Out, again, and then took a few months off.[1] Chris Tennent left the Superjesus permanently in mid-1999 when they were due to resume.[1][10] The group relocated to Melbourne in November where they recruited Tim Henwood (ex-Jen Anderson Band, Supermann, Plasticine, Barker) on guitar.[1][3] Henwood and McLeod became the principal songwriters.[2] The band released their second album, Jet Age, in October 2000, which was produced by Ed Buller (Psychedelic Furs, Suede, Ben Lee) and peaked at No. 5.[3][5] Louise Buckingham of femail.com.au noticed that the group's "rock engine is winding up and are fuelled to commence take-off down the runway of Australian rock music. With the recent release of blazing new album Jet Age and with the hit-single 'Gravity' now a friend to the radio waves, The Superjesus have proved they are keen to move into a new musical era."[10] Amazon.com's editorial reviewer declared that it was an "intelligent, mature, sophisticated" release.[14] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001, Jet Age was nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Cover Art (Darren Glindemann).[9]

Henwood left in mid-2001 and eventually formed The Androids (he later joined Rogue Traders).[2][15] McLeod considered disbanding the Superjesus but took up lead guitar while working for their third album as a trio, Rock Music (May 2003), with Marc Waterman producing,[2][3] which reached No. 14.[5] Patch Brown had replaced Henwood, but due to stylistic differences during recording, he was replaced in turn by Jason Slack, a Slippery Rock Graduate. Tim Cashmere of Undercover felt that "they are just as powerful as before" with McLeod "singing better than ever over her chunkier-than-ever riffs."[16] MediaSearch's Carmine Pascuzzi cautioned that "Those who have been ready to write them off should rethink as Sarah McLeod sings beautifully and the band work in harness efficiently to produce a strong effort. The riffs and tenacity are very much on show... They still have a knack for really rocking out, yet indulging in some slower ballads."[17]

In June 2004 the Superjesus split with Warner Music Australasia as the members took time off to pursue other projects. McLeod worked on a solo album, Beauty Was a Tiger. She then fronted the Sydney-based three-piece band, Screaming Bikini. On 27 November 2012 McLeod announced on radio station MMM in Adelaide and her Facebook page that there would be a one-off reunion show in that city on 1 February 2013. The band, with the line-up of Berryman, Henwood, McLeod and Rudd, played at the Stone Music Festival with Van Halen and Aerosmith in Sydney in April, before embarking on their first national tour in 10 years – The Resurrection Tour – in May and June.[18]

In early 2015 the Superjesus undertook the She Who Rocks Tour sharing the stage with the Baby Animals, fronted by Suze DeMarchi.[19] In June that year the Superjesus released their first single in over a decade, "The Setting Sun".[20] In November they followed with "St. Peters Lane", and embarked on The Setting Sun Tour.[21] In December, Henwood departed to return to The Androids and was replaced with former member, Jason Slack [22] and in April 2016, drummer Paul Berryman departed due to family commitments and residing in the United States. Meanwhile, McLeod traveled to New York City for three months to write new material for a planned fourth album.

In August 2016, the band released their EP, entitled Love and Violence, released through Golden Robot Records, as a lead up to their album release in the coming months. To promote the EP release, TSJ embarked on a national tour in October with special guests The Art and Moon*.

The Superjesus will be inducted into the South Australian Music Hall Of Fame on March 3rd 2017 at the Mortlock Library, State Library of South Australia.[23]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Sarah McLeod - lead vocals, guitar (1994–2004, 2013–present)
  • Stuart Rudd - bass (1994–2004, 2013–present)
  • Jason Slack - lead guitar (2001–2004, 2015–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Chris Tennent - lead guitar (1994–1997, 1997-1999)
  • Paul Berryman - drums (1994–2004, 2013–2016)
  • Aaron Tokona - lead guitar (1997)
  • Tim Henwood - lead guitar (1999-2001, 2013-2015)
  • Patch Brown - lead guitar (2001)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

EPs and singles[edit]

  • Eight Step Rail EP (05/96) - Peaked at No. 47 on the Australian charts
  • "Down Again" (25/08/97) - Peaked at No. 23 on the Australian charts
  • "Saturation" (11/97) - Peaked at No. 42 on the Australian charts
  • "Now And Then" (04/98) - Peaked at No. 40 on the Australian charts
  • "Ashes" (09/98) - Peaked at No. 66 on the Australian charts
  • "Gravity" (11/09/00) - Peaked at No. 35 on the Australian charts
  • "Secret Agent Man" (12/02/01) - Peaked at No. 43 on the Australian charts
  • "Enough To Know" (20/08/01) - Peaked at No. 42 on the Australian charts
  • "Second Sun" (11/02/02) - Peaked at No. 107 on the Australian charts
  • "Stick Together" (14/04/03) - Peaked at No. 35 on the Australian charts
  • "Over And Out" (07/07/03) - Peaked at No. 53 on the Australian charts
  • "So Lonely" (09/02/04) - Peaked at No. 45 on the Australian charts
  • "The Setting Sun" (June 2015) - Radio release, first new single in over a decade.
  • "St. Peters Lane" (November 2015) - Radio release, second new single.
  • "Love and Violence" EP (August 2016) - Golden Robot Records.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Encyclopedia entry for 'The Superjesus'". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 28 August 2004. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Nimmervoll, Ed. "Superjesus". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 29 January 2005. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Holmgren, Magnus. "Hell's Kitchen/The Superjesus". hem.passagen.se. Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Williamson, Brett (23 August 2011). "Sarah McLeod's New Screaming Bikini". 891 ABC Adelaide (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hung, Steffen. "Discography The Superjesus". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Hottest 100 History 1996". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Lewis, Jonathan. "Eight Step Rail EP – Superjesus | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Cooper, Jasper (Jaz). "Top 100 Australian Albums of the 90s". Oz Music Project. Archived from the original on 7 August 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c ARIA Music Awards for the Superjesus:
    • Search Results 'Superjesus': "Winners by Year: Search Results for 'Superjesus'". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 12 June 2016.  Note: The 2016 ARIA site does not list a second win for 1997: Breakthrough Artist – Single for "Shut My Eyes".
    • 1997 winners and nominees: "Winners by Year 1997". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2016.  Note: The archive copy of the ARIA site lists two wins for 1997, the 2016 copy of the site does not.
    • 1998 winners and nominees: "Winners by Year 1998". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
    • 2001 winners and nominees: "Winners By Year 2001". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c Buckingham, Louise (December 2000). "The Superjesus in the Jet Age". femail.com.au. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Scott, Jennifer (July 2000). "Weta's Winning Ways". New Zealand Musician. 8 (9). 
  12. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Lewis, Jonathan. "Sumo – Superjesus | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Superjesus – Jet Age – Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Rogue Traders – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  16. ^ Cashmere, Tim. "Superjesus, Rock Music". Undercover. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Archived from the original on 29 September 2003. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  17. ^ Pascuzzi, Carmine (2009). "CD Reviews :: Rock Music, The Superjesus". MediaSearch. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  18. ^ Egging, Kiel (7 March 2013). "The Superjesus Announce 'The Resurrection Tour' – May/June 2013 – Music News, Reviews, Interviews and Culture". Music Feeds. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  19. ^ Pinnegar, Shane (22 May 2015). "Interview: Sarah McLeod, The Superjesus". 100% Rock Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  20. ^ Culpan, Troy (4 June 2015). "The Superjesus have signed with Social Family Records and announce their new single, 'The Setting Sun'". May the Rock Be with You. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  21. ^ Cashmere, Paul (25 November 2015). "Music News: The Superjesus Reveal 'St Peters Lane' Video". Noise11. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  22. ^ Canavan, Stacey (19 March 2016). "A Day on the Green – Bryan Adams at Leconfield Wines – Review – Adelaide". Weekend Notes. Retrieved 12 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "AMC SESSIONS AND HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS AT THE MORTLOCK". TryBooking. Retrieved 2016-11-26. 
  24. ^ "The Superjesus - Jet Age (Album)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "The Superjesus - Rock Music (Album)". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 

External links[edit]