If you want to know what being a member of a popular Australian rock band is like in 2013, picture Clint Hyndman cutting flowers.
The drummer of Something For Kate is at one of the two restaurants he owns and runs in the downtime between recording and touring, sprucing the place up for the day. It’s as far from the stereotypical rock’n’roll lifestyle as you can imagine, but it’s what pays the bills between gigs and it’s also what keeps Hyndman grounded – especially the flower arranging.
“It’s work but it’s the hour every week that I really enjoy,” he says. “Rather than employing a florist to do it for me I just go in and do it myself. It’s very calming.”
Hyndman started as a restaurateur as a sideline when he bought the Yellowbird Cafe in 2007, but it became an equal focus when SFK frontman Paul Dempsey’s own sideline as a solo performer took off.
“It was that whole thing where we were gonna do another record and then Paul’s record went a lot better than he thought and Yellowbird went a lot better than I thought,” says Hyndman. “The gap got longer and longer. It’s become my main source of income but now, back out touring again, I’m trying to divide up the time between the two, which is quite hard. It’s definitely how I make my living.”
The tour taking over Hyndman’s life includes a spot on the Splendour in the Grass bill. This year’s lineup has been the centre of the usual back-and-forth among music fans, but Hyndman is definitely impressed by it – one inclusion in particular.
“I remember texting Paul in the morning [of the announcement]. I knew we were doing it but I didn’t know who else was playing and I was so excited to see The National are playing the same day we are. They’re one of my all-time favourite bands.”
He’s also excited about TV on the Radio being on the bill, so long as he doesn’t have to follow them again. “One of the Splendours we did we had to play straight after them and no one had really heard of them at that stage but I remember watching them play and it was like, ‘How are we gonna go on after this?’ It was absolutely amazing.”
This tour will focus on their last album, Leave Your Soul to Science, with Hyndman suggesting about half of their sets will be taken up with its songs. SFK have been around for 19 years, though, so there’s a lot of material in the back catalogue to squeeze in. Have they considered playing some of their classic albums in full, like You Am I are doing at Splendour? Will we ever see the Echolalia tour?
“We’ve actually been talking about it a little bit, because we did one of the supports for The Living End when they played all their seven albums,” says Hyndman. “It was great and I think afterwards Paul and I were talking about it. ‘It would be great to do this, play the whole record!’ We’re coming up to our 20th year next year and there’s talk of doing something like that, whether it be the first record or something like that. Then when I saw the You Am I thing pop up I was like, ‘Ah! They’ve got to it first!’
“But yeah, definitely something we are talking about wanting to do. Even with this tour coming up we’re playing four or five really old tracks we haven’t played in ages. It’s been fun playing those again. Rather than look back and cringe you go, ‘you know, these are pretty good songs. We could do this whole album again.’”
BY JODY MACGREGOR
Something For Kate playBar on the Hill, Newcastle on Thursday May 30.