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Interview: Philadelphia Grand Jury Talk About Their New Single ‘Nervous Breakdown’

Aussie indie legends Philadelphia Grand Jury have returned with their endearing new single ‘Nervous Breakdown’ – produced and mixed by frontman Simon Berckelman (The Internet, Lime Cordiale, Dune Rats) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Lana Del Ray). To celebrate their return to the scene we were luck enough to catch up with them!

Huge congratulations on the new single ‘Nervous Breakdown’. The track sounds pretty emotional, where did you get your inspiration for this one?

Thanks! At its core it’s about being in love and how scary that can be. I guess it’s also about mental health and the question of at what point you need to share what you’re going through. As a musician I’m lucky to get free therapy via my creative expression, but there a lot of people in our community who are quietly suffering.

How have you guys been keeping busy in isolation? Have you gained any new skills? Written more new music

I live a lot of my life in isolation. I love to write and learn and one of my favourite things in the world is fixing and saving things, so I have had plenty of time to do that. I think the other guys are struggling more. Dan our drummer is a social boy and he actually got Covid a while back so that was scary.

When the pandemic is over can we expect some shows? What can we expect at a Philadelphia Grand Jury live show? Help us get excited!

Yeah the booking agent won’t let us announce the dates just in case it all goes belly up, but we have the venues on hold for a tour at the end of the year. We have been experimenting a lot with playing some of the songs with beats coming out of an old Akai MPC drum machine and into a big distorted amplifier. That gives new and different life to some of the tunes. Drum machine punk. We’d like to road-test that further.


What do you guys like to get up to when you’re not writing? Do you share any interests outside of music?

MC Bad Genius loves statistics. Seriously. He has charts of all sorts of weird things that have happened. He also gets out in the surf although he’s pretty terrible. I’m getting better at surfing down at my local break of Maroubra. Been trying to change the racist, bro energy down there. The whole “locals only” thing. Someone painted that on the cliff and I want to change it to “yokels only”. Dan recently did a woodworking course. He’s pretty stoked on making things.

If you guys could choose to be stuck in isolation with any artist dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Tom Waits. He seems like a good hang and we could just make albums with him banging on stuff in the apartment.

Written by John Zebra