Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit
Jay watson gum apr18

The Jay Watson (Tame Impala, GUM) Guide To Perth, Australia

16 April 2018, 08:35

Jay Watson (Tame Impala, POND) gives us a guided tour of his home city of Perth, Australia as he celebrates the release of his new GUM album The Underdog.

How would you describe Perth to someone who's never been?

A very flat, faraway city on the edge of the bush next to the Indian Ocean. Mediterranean Climate - hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

Who are the key local musicians/bands/labels?

Hmm, I'm a bit out of touch these days... I don't go to many shows. My bandmate Ginoli just put out a record on Good Company, they're a local dance music label. I feel like there's been a real increase in interest in house/techno/disco music in the last few years round town.

What's the best venue to watch live music?

I like Mojos and The Bird. Perth life for me is split up into two sections, Fremantle (where I live sort of) and the City. Mojos is the best venue in Freo and The Bird is the best up in the city. When I started out there were heaps more live music venues, but there have become less and less places to play in the last 10 years.

What's the best club?

Probably Connections. Or Late Night Valentine. Both can be very fun, although I very rarely go out to a club and if I do I don't get blasted anymore anyway so I'm probably not getting the full experience. Wrong guy to ask!

Where's the best place to buy records?

Highgate Continental. Although I rarely buy records because I don't have the space in my lounge room for them or a record player, one day I'll get back into it. I feel like it's a serious investment though, and I'd become addicted like I was when I was 20 or so... but these guys have the best stuff in town I would say.

Best places to eat?

Perth has a bunch of good spots for a Conti Roll (an Italian West Aus sandwich). I dig The Re Store, Galati's, and the best was Di Chiera, RIP (rumoured to be coming back).

How about the best places to drink?

For me it's all about pubs. There are plenty of nice cocktail bars and whatnot, but I'm a pint man. Perth doesn't really have the same charming old pub culture that Melbourne or London or those sort of places have, but there's nothing like having a pint near the Indian Ocean, and we've got loads of those. I like The Local and the SBH near me.

Who are the local heroes?

Heath Ledger, Bon Scott, Nat Fyfe, Nic NatanuiKevin??

Tame Impala's Kevin Parker photographed by Erika Reinsel

Favourite urban legend/myth?

Apparently the guy who invented the Dual-Flush Toilet was from Perth. Sorry, not much of an urban legend - I genuinely don't know any.

What are the best sights to see and places to visit?

I told you already, the pub! Nah it's all about the beaches.

Tell us about your favourite artwork/sculpture/mural in the city.

Has to be the Bon Scott Statue. Although a few years ago at 'Sculptures By The Sea' (a yearly event on Cottesloe Beach) they had a giant silver Goon Bag on the beach. Hard to go past that.

How do you get around Perth? Why?

I walk and get Ubers, with the occasional train from Freo up to the City. Occasionally my girlfriend drives me somewhere (actually very frequently my girlfriend drives me somewhere). I never got my license - my friends say it was coz I was lazy but I maintain it was because I was touring from age 17!

Favourite local slang word? What does it mean?

Ooh that’s hard, so many. Our manager and many other Freo people call things/other people 'mint' or 'mintox' meaning that they’re great or awesome. That one is pretty Perth specific I feel.

Where is the best place to relax? To take a walk?

Anywhere near water is nice. We play tennis at the East Fremantle Tennis Courts a lot and that looks out over the Swan River, pretty bloody lovely!

What's the worst thing about Perth?

I'm a great defender of Perth. I've lived away for four of five years before, so I'm careful these days not to commit the cardinal sin of young people who have lived somewhere else: whinge and carry on about what sucks about the city/country they're from. I guess the fact that it's so conservative can be a bummer; it can be a bit frustrating not being allowed to do things as freely as other countries, drinking/smoking etc. - it's a bit like the US in that regard.

What's the best thing about Perth?

The beautiful beaches. I also like that the sun sets in the West, so we get crazy sunsets. The sky seems really massive here, I'm not quite sure why but we don't have many tall buildings, so maybe that's it?

The Underdog is out now via Spinning Top/Caroline. Watson will be playing a series of shows as GUM in Europe, including a London date on 24 April - find out more.
Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next