Bottled Up

21 August 2012 | 7:00 am | Daniel Johnson

"We’re not putting out a new record or anything yet, we’re just clowning around and seeing if we enjoy it enough to keep doing it, and if we do want to keep doing it, we will."

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The original lineup of Bodyjar played their first show together in 1994 and in the 15 years that followed, the band went on to become one of Australia's most popular pop-punk bands. Since disbanding a few years ago, Baines and Bodyjar drummer Shane Wakker have – along with bassist Mike Brunott and ex-For Amusement Only guitarist Mikey Juler – formed a new outfit called Cola Wars, who released their debut full-length in 2010.

Baines and Wakker reunited with bassist Grant Relf and guitarist Tom Read for what was intended to be a one-off show to farewell iconic Melbourne venue the Arthouse in April of last year. That gig went well, so when their friend Brenton at fledgling indie-label Pile of Sand wanted to release No Touch Red on vinyl, they decided to play another show in March. As Baines explains, they didn't initially plan to make it as far as Sydney.

“I think we just sort of thought we'd do a Melbourne show but because it went so well and people bought tickets to it so quickly we thought we'd do another one, and then we did Adelaide. We didn't think we'd be doing Sydney and Brisbane, that's for sure, but after we did the first three we thought everyone had a really good time and enjoyed it so we thought we'd try and do Brisbane and Sydney and see how we go up there.

“It was just one of our friends putting out one of our old records on vinyl, that's what it started off as, then we thought 'oh, we should do a gig because he's paying for it all and we should try and help him move a few' and it's just turned into a bit of a tour.”

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When asked if he looks back on No Touch Red more fondly than some of the Bodyjar's other records, Baines concedes it was “definitely the breakout album, I guess... It was the first album that sold really well for us and I guess a lot of people really remember it as the sort of breakthrough album for the band. I got told that by the guy that does our website, that we should (re-release) No Touch Red and do a tour for that. When I listen to it, it does have a few singles and a few songs we put in the set anyway – You Say, You've Taken Everything and Remote Controller – so it sounded like a pretty good idea.”

When asked if he had any inkling Bodyjar would be reforming a mere three years after their split, Baines says he didn't believe the band would ever play again. “It really genuinely was the end of the line for us; I couldn't picture us ever doing another album at the time. Then I guess having a few years off you sort of realise you miss it a bit and it's been a pretty hard thing to let go of. We've played these shows and we played the Arthouse's last-ever show in Melbourne and I think that's what sort of sparked it off again, just having a jam and thinking 'wow, this isn't that bad' and we had fun doing it. It's not something you can plan, saying 'we're going to break up and then get back together again.' We're just trying to have a bit of fun at the moment. We're not putting out a new record or anything yet, we're just clowning around and seeing if we enjoy it enough to keep doing it, and if we do want to keep doing it, we will.”