002 The Detonators and Rockbottom James

A showman onstage and a cool gentleman off, Rockbottom James is the lead singer and blues harpman for The Detonators.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, The Detonators tour both nationally and internationaly, so you are likely to be able to catch them somewhere near you soon. I caught up with them at Sydney’s RocknRoll & Alternative Market at Sydney Uni’s Manning Bar.



Video Adventures




[Car engine starts and revs…]

[Theme music]

Safari: Hi. I’m Safari Lee and this is Sidestreeters – a podcast about people, places and adventures that are a little bit different from the mainstream.

[End Intro]

Safari: Thanks for joining me for another edition of Sidestreeters. This episode features The Detonators – a  band which hails from Melbourne Australia and their musical style is described as roots and rockers.

I recently caught up with Rockbottom James, who is lead singer and blues harp wrangler of The Detonators at one of Sydney’s rock ‘n’ roll and alternative markets at the Manning Bar. They’d just come off stage having performed to an absolutely jam-packed dance floor, where lots of people were dancing in the style of rockabilly and swing.

[Theme music fades]

[The Detonators music]

Rockbottom James: Oh hello there. I’m Rockbottom James from The Detonators and we’ve just done a show here at um, the University of Sydney in the big rumpus room on rock ‘n’ roll Sundays.

[Detonators music]

Rockbottom James: Myself and the other boys there in The Detonators – Mr Doghouse Dave on double bass, Mr Craig Hadlow on drums and Mr Pauly The Kid on guitar, all plateauing at the same time. Four like-minded men sharing the same simple brain on stage is pretty much what it is. Not rocket science. Tried that once. Wasn’t my skill set.

[The Detonators music]

Safari: This band has lots of followers and they tour both locally and overseas.

Rockbottom James: We play where we can. All over Australia it’s taken us. We’ve got a ahh, European tour happening again next year… ahhh… About seven weeks I think.

[The Detonators music]

Safari: I asked Rockbottom whether The Detonators were recording a new album in time for their tour.

Rockbottom James: (laughs) We’re racing ahead of ourselves, Safari. Well hopefully, yeah… I’d like to say “yes” but we haven’t ahh, we haven’t put on the thinking caps yet for another one but maybe, maybe… umm.  yeah… We should… We should do we’re…  because it’s, I think it’s our 20th year next year so we’re looking at putting a sort of… ahhh a compilation sort of… this and that and some other ahh, maybe hidden stuff we haven’t found yet.

[The Detonators music]

Safari: Rockbottom James has performed on stage for many years as well as writing and recording albums so I asked if he has any advice for new musicians

Rockbottom James: You’ve gotta believe in yourself to start with. Develop your chops. Develop your musical chops. Do a lot of listening. Go and see acts, I guess. Ahh.. it’s about, it’s all about being comfortable in who you are and not afraid to make a boo-boo or a mistake I guess, is the other thing.

Thank you so much and thank you to all the listeners out there ahh… Maybe we’ll see you on the road somewhere.

[The Detonators music]

Safari: So rock on over to the Detonators website at detonators.com.au to check out their albums that you can buy from the site as well as other merchandise like their super cool “Monster In A Box” T-shirt.

[The Detonators music to fade]


[Theme music]

Safari: Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of Sidestreeters as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. Be sure to stop by the Sidestreeters website – Sidestreeters.com – to discover more people, places and adventures that are a little bit different from the mainstream.

[Car revs engine. Tyres squeal. Car drives away]