Bodyjar - History


The lineup at the time Bodyjar disbanded included only two original members - vocalist/guitarist Cameron Baines and bassist Grant Relf. Guitarist Tom Read and drummer Shane Wakker completed the line up. Tom replaced founding member Ben Petterson who left before How It Works and in early 2004 Shane replaced long-time drummer Ross Hetherington who had been with the band since original drummer Charles Zerafa left after the recording of Take A Look Inside.

Bodyjar gained universal recognition as early as 1995, while touring with Pennywise and Blink-182. The band followed up with a tour of Canada, Japan, and the U.S. the following year, promoting the 'Rimshot' album. Their third album, 'No Touch Red' was recorded the following year in Montreal over 12 days. Guitarist Ben Peterson left the band following the 1999 Big Day Out Festival. Facing an impending breakup, the band added Tom Read of 180 Discord to the lineup. That year Bodyjar signed with EMI/Capitol, having completed 33 song demos for their upcoming release. Though independent for the majority of their career, Bodyjar released two studio albums for EMI/Capitol in the early 2000s. The first album for the major label, How It Works, reached the top 20 on the Australian ARIAnet albums chart in 2000 and achieved gold sales (35,000 copies). The album’s first single "Not the Same" was also featured in a Pepsi campaign and the video games Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and MX Superfly. After their second major label album Plastic Skies and the retrospective Jarchives, featuring new and rare material, failed to build on the success of How It Works. Bodyjar begun anew with their old label Shock Records, starting in 2004 with their 2005 release self-titled album. In May 2004, however, Ross Hetherington left the band while on tour with The Offspring. Hetherington was temporarily replaced for the tour's duration by Gordy Forman of Frenzal Rhomb. The roll was then filled by Shane Wakker of the band Channel 3 and dance troop named 'The Nazi Synthesizers'. Shane from the Victorian town of Moe, was named the group's permanent drummer later that year.

Despite having their commercial peak seemingly behind them, Bodyjar remained a major attraction on the all-ages circuit in Australia, and continued to tour and play festivals. Selections from their discography have also been repackaged and released for the American and Japanese markets, where they have consolidated live followings.

At the beginning of 2007, Baines and Wakker launched their new harder-edged side project now called Cola Wars, a moniker which Baines has used for various projects since 1999. Mark Brunott (Automan/The Volume10/Steelbirds) and Mikey Juler (ex-For Amusement Only) complete the lineup. The band have played under other pseudonyms over the last year including Daughters of the Rich and William Shatner's Dacks.

Also Read and Relf, have their own side project known as Burn The City. Partnered with Harish Chabria and Pete Cerni, their debut self titled album was released through Dstar records.

Despite an announcement on the official Bodyjar website, as of 10 January 2008, a new album "looks to be shaping up for late in the year". However, the band announced on 4 September 2009 they would be calling it quits after a farewell tour.

The band however reformed for a one off gig in April 2011 to celebrate the Royal Artillery Hotel (The Arthouse) last drinks calendar in April.

Bodyjar will reunite in March 2012 to perform No Touch Red in its entirety at Melbourne's Corner Hotel. Also featuring will be former tour mates One Dollar Short and Antiskeptic. Of the show, bassist Granto remarked “when a good friend of Bodyjar’s says they want to start a label and release one of your old albums on vinyl, you don’t have to think too long or too hard about the response. No Touch Red kicked some arse back in the day and still holds it’s head up high all these years later, so I say let there be vinyl and a show to boot!"

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