Monday, July 29, 2013

Grease Is The Word...


By Tim Spencer
July 26th 2013

Anthony Callea has got quite the busy schedule up here in Queensland at the moment. Having just released his new album ‘Thirty’, the former Australian Idol runner up will be taking the album on the road next month, performing shows in Brisbane and the Gold Coast before he returns to the musical theatre stage at QPAC in the smash hit production, Grease. QNews Music Editor, Tim Spencer spoke with Anthony this week to get the low down on all that he’s been up to. 

Firstly, where have we got you? How have you been?

Where am I? I’m at home in Melbourne. Next week I kick off the first show in Melbourne, so just having a real boring week. I’m not going out anywhere, I’m not drinking. I’m locking myself up in my house so I don’t get sick. I’m a little bit nervous to be honest. The first show in a run of shows. I’m nervous but excited.

Is it the same formula each time when you prepared to tour? I mean does it always make you nervous?

I think once you’ve done it a few times, you understand what needs to be done but you still have to execute it. When you’re fronting your own show, it always comes with responsibilities, and you don’t want to disappoint. If you didn’t get nervous and it didn’t affect you in that way, I think something’s telling you that you shouldn’t be doing it and you don’t care enough.

So what can we expect this time. Is it more focusing on Thirty?

Yeah loving myself sounds great (laughs). This tour celebrates the last album Thirty, so a lot of the songs that will be performed are from the album. There are a couple of other songs from past albums and releases. The album was all recorded live, so like the album I didn’t want the vocals over produced. So basically this whole tour is like that, just to keep it real and live. I’ve worked with these musicians and they’ve been in my band for a while now. To produce a show that’s totally live is quite exciting.

To produce the album with all parts performing at the same time, was that a pain?

This was the first time I’ve been part of the process. Singers usually just perform their vocals and then leave. I wanted to be there, I wanted to hear what it sounded like and I wanted to meet them as well. It’s hard to cut strings, so if one of them stuffs up, you basically have to start over again. There was a few times that were like ‘let’s start that one again.’ It was great to sit behind the console and watch and listen to these musicians recording the music. It got me excited to see that it’s all coming to life.

Do you think that’s how you’d do it again or is it too soon?

I’d definitely like to approach the recordings that way. It was a little easier as a lot of my recordings are usually done in Sydney, but I’m not from Sydney. I recorded this in Melbourne and it was great to wake up in my own bed every morning and drive down in my own car and just hang out there. It just made life a lot easier. And because of the style of the album too, it wasn’t a heavily produced electronic album, so it wasn’t just me with a  producer stuck in there for hours at end.

Can you give our readers an insight into what type of material is on the album?

The album is basically a collection of songs that have influenced me over the years, whether it was a songwriter behind the song or artist. Cheap Tricks, The Flame, my dad used to play that all the time and I grew up with that for all these years, I think it was actually released in 1983. There is also two originals on the album as well, and for them to not be overshadowed was important. I think they work really well on this album.

What was it like shooting the film clip for ‘My All’ – a clip that depicts a relationship between a same sex couple?

I see that video clip as a love film clip which celebrates all types of love on an equal level. It was beautiful when the record company said, we need to put a video clip together for one of the songs because we weren’t releasing a single as such. They came to me and asked what track do you want to be your video clip. I asked them what they thought and they all said they wanted me to do My All. I was not expecting that whatsoever. I said I really love that you said that because it’s my first choice as well. We basically came up with the idea straight away, and Tim and I sat down in the house and wrote the storyboard and presented it to the record company. I asked Tim if he was comfortable being a part of it. I wrote it about Tim but also wanted it to be a celebration of love, not just my own. I think we captured that with the beautiful older couple who in real life have been together for 50 years.
Then Andy and Matt who are our friends, I asked them if they wanted to be in the clip because I wanted to catch that realness. And bringing Tim in towards the end, basically summing up what the song means to me.

It’s a really beautiful clip. My hat goes off to you. You are touring QLD at the moment. Broncos leagues Club, Twin Towers Leagues Club are coming up soon.

It’s just the East Coast to be honest. Basically after my last QLD concert, I move into my accommodation for Grease.

Early in your career after Australian Idol, you came out with hits like ‘Falling Like Rain’. Now, almost a decade later, do you ever wish you had changed the lyrics such as ‘I don’t get to hold her tonight.’ to something more like  “I don’t get to hold him tonight.

No, not at all. I was 21 at the time of putting that album together and I don’t apologise for going through a process of finding myself. Everyone has their own way of dealing with growing up. I had to deal with coming to terms and being comfortable with who I was. I was really lucky that I had supportive friends and family who were around me, and I just did what I thought was right at the time. I think the whole emotional feeling and premise of the song is irrelevant of which gender you’re talking about.

How has it been getting back into the acting arena in Grease?

It’s really not much of an acting role as such. I’m playing the role of Jonny Casino, so we do the big hand jives scene. So it’s going to be a lot of fun. They came to me and asked if I wanted to play the role of Jonny Casino, my ears pricked up. I don’t think I’ve come across anyone that doesn’t like Grease. Everyone’s grown up with the story and the music. It’s a feel good musical great family show.

It’s a show everyone seems to do in high school. Is it a show you’ve been a part of before?

I’ve never actually done a production of Grease before. I never was in musicals in high school. I was more jamming it out with the band. I was a rocker. People are now thinking “how on earth was he a rocker” (laughs)

Thanks so much for giving us the time of day Anthony. It’s been great getting to know you.

Anthony Callea is playing at the Broncos Leagues Club Red Hill Aug 9th and Twin Towers Service Club August 10th and then we will be seeing you in Grease. Don’t get sick now.

original article *HERE*

Friday, July 19, 2013

Newcastle Herald Article

Anthony Callea's new album Thirty

ANTHONY Callea didn't want a big party to celebrate his 30th birthday.
Instead the singer, who placed as runner-up on the 2004 season of Australian Idol, chose to mark his third decade with an album of songs that have inspired him throughout his life.
"I haven't put an album out for a while so I wanted to put an album together and I thought turning 30 was a good excuse to celebrate that milestone," Callea says.
The album (titled Thirty) includes covers of Cheap Trick's The Flame, Heart's Alone and Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross, along with two originals, My All and I'll Be The One, and a couple of Italian songs to pay homage to his family background

"This album was probably one of the easiest albums to put together and I say that in a really good way," Callea says.
"I've lived with these songs for so many years and I wanted to record songs that have somewhat influenced me over the last 30 years.
"These songs have been part of my life and I've sung a lot of them live but I've just never recorded them so it was a great opportunity to sit down and go 'OK what are the songs that really have spoken to me and captured me'.
"It wasn't about recreating these songs at all. It was about just putting my stamp on them and hopefully I've done that without playing around with them too much."
The album was recorded in Callea's home town of Melbourne with all of the strings on the album recorded live.
Releasing the album spells the beginning of a new partnership with ABC Music who released Thirty after Callea approached them with the project earlier this year.
"It was a bit daunting - totally," Callea laughs.
"You want to do this thing so badly and you want these people to come on board and so it's like you need to sell it to them.
"I'm so glad that they understood what I wanted to do with the album from word go."
Callea, who has been chosen as one of the acts to perform at the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle on December 1, is touring the album with a run of dates in Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
The singer says he owes a lot to Australian Idol, conceding that the show was a huge stepping stone in his music career.
"I still get to wake up everyday and say that I'm a singer so it's pretty cool," Callea says.
"I don't have any regrets whatsoever. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing right now if it wasn't for that show.
"It gave me an amazing launch pad and it taught me so many things and I walked away with so many experiences and lessons learnt from that show.
"I was young - I was 21 - and I can only speak from my experience but the hard work definitely starts as soon as that show's over.
"At times it did get a little bit overwhelming but if you don't get lost in the hype of the show and just remember why you actually walked into that audition room in the first place then hopefully you can keep it all together."
As well as the tour, Callea is also appearing in a production of Grease The Musical which kicks off in Brisbane next month.
He says his partner of five years, House Husbands actor Tim Campbell, offers him plenty of tips for the stage.
"I'm the first one to put my hand up and say 'I'm not really the actor, I'm more the singer' [laughs], so living in a household where one's a singer and one's an actor, it's great," Callea says.
"I can give him singing tips and he can give me acting tips, so it's a fair swap. I've saved myself $100 an hour!"
Anthony Callea performs at Belmont 16 Foot Sailing Club on August 3. Bookings online at or phone 49450888.

see article HERE