Way back in 1998 the band Fuel released their hugely popular album Sunburn. The album featured the hits “Sunburn”, “Bittersweet”, “Jesus or a gun” and the eternal crowd favourite “shimmer”. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the album the band are headed down to Australia to play the album in full. We were lucky enough to chat with Fuel vocalist Brett Scallions as he shares his excitement for the upcoming Australian tour.

SCENEzine
Firstly how’s 2017 been treating you?

Brett Scallions
Not bad you know it’s been a fun year I did a lot of touring this summer. I’ve been home quite a bit lately which is nice I get to catch up on things around the house and be a dad. We are finishing out the year by coming to see you guys in Australia.

SCENEzine
Can you believe that it’s creeping up on twenty years since the album Sunburn was released?

Brett Scallions
Well officially the Sunburn album came out in March of 1998. But we are going to start the celebration a few months early and kick it off their in Australia and we are going to play the entire Sunburn album.

SCENEzine
Sunburn was such a solid album start to finish. What are your memories from finishing the recording process for the album?

Brett Scallions
I definitely have memories of making the actual album. We recorded the album in North Brookflield Massachusetts on a big 1500 acre working horse ranch. The main studio was in this enormous red barn. We would be in there five or six days a week working on the record and we were there for like two or three months. Going back and thinking about the process of making that record and being on that farm for that amount of time it was really an incredible moment in my life. We did that record on two inch, we didn’t do it on pro tools it was really nice to catch the warmth of the two inch and actually be able to make a record that way, you don’t see that very often anymore.

SCENEzine
The song “shimmer” became ridiculously popular worldwide. Did you have a feeling you’d struck gold with that one?

Brett Scallions
We already had a good track record with that song before we recorded it for the Sunburn album. We had a version that was on a early demo the record was called Porcelain. Before we signed on with epic I’d been taking the demo around for “shimmer” and had given it to a number of different radio stations. They had started playing it and got a positive response and reaction from the local fans. So we were just building up steam right there before we even had a record label. We had the number one most requested song and we had no record label yet so the sharks started to swim so to speak. Next thing you knew long story short we were with epic and made the record with them.

SCENEzine
It must be crazy to think with a song like “shimmer” at any bar in the world right now or on any radio station it could be playing?

Brett Scallions
It’s funny because that really has happened there’s been times where I’ve been in places in Europe or even Australia, Canada, South America, Mexico and the song will come on and people start singing along. It cracks me up because sometimes they don’t even know I’m in the room. I’m just watching everyone sing along to the song (laughs) it’s fun.

SCENEzine
How did it come about choosing Australia to kick off the Sunburn anniversary tour?

Brett Scallions
Well we’ve been trying to get back to Australia for years now. I’ve been talking with my manager for quite a few years saying lets figure out an Australian tour lets try and get over there he had spoken with some of the promoters but it never seemed to happen. Finally this year we did it. We found the right people to be able to do it with we are so excited man to be able to get back down under again and play some shows for you guys.

SCENEzine
Do you have any memories of you very first Australian visit?

Brett Scallions
The people! So incredibly nice and hospitable. We had a number of fans years ago that booked seats on our flights and followed us from show to show. It was awesome.

SCENEzine
Do you have a favourite Australian beer?

Brett Scallions
I drink Cascade whenever I’m in Australia or New Zealand. So delicious. Can’t get it here in the states.

SCENEzine
Are you bringing your family over for the tour?

Brett Scallions
Unfortunately the family won’t make this trip. 2 weeks out of school is no bueno.

SCENEzine
Are there any particular tracks from Sunburn your looking forward to playing live?

Brett Scallions
There are a few songs that I haven’t played in years that I’m excited about such as Hideaway and Ozone. Will be nice to feel those songs again.

SCENEzine
If you could go back to the 1997 version of Brett is there any advice you would give him?

Brett Scallions
Pay attention to your surroundings more. Sometimes ,when you have a hit song, the world goes by so quickly that you don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers. My advice? Stop and smell the flowers.

SCENEzine
We are big fans of your song “won’t back down” the video for that song features footage from Daredevil. Is must be cool to know you’re associated with comic book films way before it was as popular as it is today?

Brett Scallions
I grew up reading comics and loving superheroes too! It was an honor to contribute music to Daredevil as well as Godzilla!

SCENEzine
Do you have a favourite superhero?

Brett Scallions
Superman. He’s every other superhero rolled into one.

SCENEzine
Lastly can you give us a message for all the Aussie fans stoked for the tour?

Brett Scallions
Here we come. The wait is over. I’m as excited as you are!

(interview by Christian Ross)

*Fuel photo credit Jena Ardell

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