Jack and Brendan interview each other

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Australian dreamboats Brendan Maclean and (Somethingyousaid.com’s own) Jack Colwell are playing on the same excellent bill at Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory on Thursday. As an appetite whetter, we thought we’d get them to interview each other. Here goes…


Do you remember why we hated each other when we first met?
Partially. We met back in 2007 when we were both called in to do an article for BENT Magazine about ‘young gay singer/songwriters’. I was finishing my HSC and had never done any kind of media before, I’ll admit meeting you for the first time was quite intimidating – although, I have to say, you’re a much better dresser now. Mind you, I was covered in fake tan and was straightening my hair within an inch of its life. I also wore a shirt with a deep V. Gross.

I think I tried to be friendly and you were really pissed off because originally the article was meant to be about you, which in retrospect I can understand. I’m pretty sure 17-year-old Jack Colwell had a crush – you were a bit of a babe – but we were coming from different angles, both wildly ambitious and doing everything we could to get out there I suppose.

We tried to forge a friendship initially after, I think we had some late night MSN Messenger conversations, (remember MSN?!) and then after some time, you blocked me (lol). It wasn’t until perhaps a couple of years later when I was a band booker for World Bar/FBi Radio that I really needed someone to fill in a spot and swallowed my pride – but I’m glad I did because our friendship since then has been really great. It’s nice to have your support both professionally and, over the last few years, personally. Maybe we’ve just come to realise we aren’t as different as we once thought. I’m especially fond of the time we toured to Melbourne for our ‘Pigeons & Peacocks’ show and got really shitfaced at that weird lesbian party for ‘Midsumma Festival’ and I had to mop up the paint Josh Thomas spilt on his nice brown blazer; He gave me a really big thank-you years later. I distinctly remember on the day we weren’t sure if we had sold enough tickets so we took to Grindr to invite people to the show. It worked, The Butterfly Club was 90% full. P.S FRIDAY I’M THE QUEEN! lol

Do you hate the pop angle I’m going down as compared to when I tried to do the Rufus Wainwright stuff?
Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. nnnooooopppppeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Not at all!

I think people feel like I ‘hate’ pop music because I don’t write it, but secretly, it’s just because I couldn’t be a pop artist. I don’t have the voice, or the look, or the magic to do it. If I did, I’d probably give pop writing a go; but I just don’t think it’s who I am.

It’s interesting to watch you evolve as an artist – sometimes when I talk to people they feel like ‘Brendan Maclean’, the Sydney gay pop entity, just appeared that way. That you were always on JJJ or always associated with Baz and had 22,000 twitter followers. But I remember a Brendan who would carry his keyboard to a train station and travel three hours to play a show in Wollongong, or crash on a mattress in Newcastle after playing a laughable show to eight people. You’ve worked really hard to get to the point in your career that you’re at and pop music is just as serious as the Rufus stuff, babe. I think you’re just a bigger, shinier, glossier version of you… and your piano skills are much better now too. Besides, the ‘pop angle’ has heaps of musical credibility. You write the songs yourself and you work fucking hard at it. I’ve seen all that garage band stuff that you showed me at Paul Mac’s house – that’s a skill I don’t have. You were nominated as a SOYA top 10 finalist this year and I was ‘Highly Commended’; I might have a pedigree in classical music and be able to really play the piano when I put my mind to it, but people are drawn to your pop sound and you’ve created that. *raises champagne glass* Toast, to Stupid.

brendan jack textAre you alright today?
Thanks for asking! It’s been a tough year for me, as you know. I am at this point in time, ‘okay’, my heart is still pretty bruised but I’m feeling much much better, aaaannnnnddddddddd I’ve worked a bit more on my new song, it’s still a downer – not to mention watching countless hours of ‘The Nanny’ which you insisted would cheer me up and help. (Grandma yetta, enough said). However, I don’t know what I was meant to do with those Anal Beads you sent me in the post. You weren’t serious were you? Might regift for X-mas. Oh, P.S Did I tell you I’m going on a date next week? Don’t be jelly. He’ll probably just accept my offer to help him move house and then say he’s seeing someone else before sending me off home without even offering a glass of water… still going to have to get a back, crack and sack though. It’s been a few months. Might use the place you recommended. Thanks, Doll. x

You’re on a train, making a video-clip in your head. What’s playing?
It’s me. I’m singing a cover of ‘Why Does It Always Rain on Me?’ by Travis and I’m wearing something amazing, but indie, like a refashioned and bedazzled black heshen sack with leather pockets, and I’m stepping off a bus but there is a huge Godzilla-size penis flying overhead that’s just jizzing like crazy, like, it’s so big they can’t even censor it on RAGE, and I am just running around with Noni Hazelhurst screaming into my phone “WHY DOES IT ALWAYS RAIN ON ME” and the song doesn’t even sound like the song, but like something Xiu Xiu would write and at the end it goes into this post apocalyptic version of Donna Summer’s ‘Bad Girls’, because, gay, but Noni (pronounced, non-e) does a rap on it in an Eve-feat-Gwen-Stefani kind of way, not like Blondie ‘Rapture’, and the cover fails to chart and it’s basically just another breakup song. So um, yeah. Kewl story.

Have you had sex with ‘Total Bore‘ yet?
No babe, not for want of trying. But I thought you had? Wanna threeway? I’ll give him a call now. Bring amyl.



We’ve known each other for seven years now, what Jack Colwell + Brendan Maclean moments stick out in your mind?
I remember the first time you invited me to the Oxford Arts Factory when I’d been dumped by that cheating **** of a boyfriend, you went in for a party pash which was cool, but then you totally tried to get busy with me on the dance floor.

Is there anything from my catalogue of work you wish you had written? And if you could give me some advice for my next step what would it be?
Captain’s Melody. Fucking great track. Always loved being the backing vocals bitch for that one. As for advice, well, stealing the directors of my video-clips was a great idea. So I’m sure that’ll get a few more eyes on the next release.

It’s cool, Brian and Karl told me they actually picked you. Bitches.

Are YOU okay today?
Nah, pretty shit today. I moved to Melbourne and I’m sick when I’m meant to be in the studio with Muscles. Also the guy I was seeing totally called me out for my bullshitty codepency shit I put him through, which is fair enough, but I’m no good by myself.

We all know you’ve used it. What’s it like being Brendan Maclean on Grindr?
Grindr really fucked up my last relationship so it’s been awhile since I have been on it now. It’s fine, I’m not Josh Thomas or anything and I’m awful at one night stands so the whole concept really falls apart when someone asks to turn the flirting into a reality. I’ve been on one Grindr date, I took the guy to a gallery and then said, “Thanks, that was nice.”

Who is ‘Stupid‘ really about?
Tom Ballard.

Jack and Brendan play at Oxford Art Factory on Thursday 7th November. Tickets are a ludicrously cheap $10 so if that doesn’t appeal to you then you really need to have a long, hard think about your life choices. More details of the gig can be found here.