"Four-Armed, Four-Legged, One-Brain Machine" Jackson Firebird Are Also Bros-In-Law

17 November 2015 | 1:46 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"We sorta just turn into one brain. Even on the road we start eatin' the same food, which really scares me."

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We find one half of Jackson Firebird, Brendan Harvey, in Williamstown. "I'm going for a bit of a fish, don't tell anyone," he chuckles. But we can't help ourselves. He's from Mildura, so it kinda makes sense. "I grew up on a river so I don't mind a bit of a fish just to chill out and [have] a quiet beer," he confirms. "I'm actually a boat builder by trade, so if I'm just out muckin' around on a boat I'm happy."

The boys have been playing together for nine years, which Harvey admits is "pretty scary". "So we're either sucking at it or it's just gone really quickly," he laughs. Even scarier for the frontman is the amount of years the duo has spent "jamming instruments together". "I think it's nearly 20 years!" he estimates. "We were kids, I think I was, like, 13 when I contacted Dale [Hudak] to see if he could drum in a band and we were sort of the only two rockin' up to band practice." The pair's intuitive playing is pretty much why Jackson Firebird wound up as a two-piece. "We tried to get the bass player and the singer and the lead guitarist, and it just never gelled," Harvey reveals. "And the two of us have been bashing our heads together for that long that we just know when we're gonna change, like, in a riff...  We sorta just turn into one brain. Even on the road we start eatin' the same food, which really scares me. It's just really weird: you turn into this four-armed, four-legged, one-brain machine." 

"Even on the road we start eatin' the same food, which really scares me."

He had The Master's Apprentices on high rotation in high school and Harvey admits to being "massively into The Easybeats" as well. "I had one tape - I think it was in Year 11 - and I used to sorta freak people out 'cause they'd be, 'Oh, what're you listening to?' and, you know, I'd [have] The Easybeats on one side of my tape and then I'd have Pantera Vulgar Display Of Power on the other side. And even still today I freak Dale out because I always just put The Easybeats on in the ute while we're drivin' and I just sing the back-ups. All the, 'Bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-bop,' but it's awesome fun."

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His bandmate is also his brother-in-law so we've just gotta know when Hudak started dating Harvey's sister. "Oh, I don't wanna know," he cringes. "I think they'd hooked up pre-band just for a, you know, a bit of the old..." When Harvey took over the lease for a house his parents had rented for years ("which I got thrown out of through excessive partying") he reckons Hudak and his sister "really hooked up and got very serious". "And I think not that long after that, I was standing there as one of the best men in the wedding party thinkin', 'This is too weird.'" So did he try to turn a blind eye and hope that it wouldn't work at first? "Ah, no, I just thought it was cool 'cause, you know, he wasn't a dick," he laughs, "and we got along pretty well... And he's got a coupla kids now so I'm the crazy uncle and, yeah! It's good fun."