READY TO ROCK: Phil Stack, Rai Thistlethwayte and Matt Smith are Thirsty Merc. They'll be performing at the Rush Festival Concert next weekend.
READY TO ROCK: Phil Stack, Rai Thistlethwayte and Matt Smith are Thirsty Merc. They'll be performing at the Rush Festival Concert next weekend. CONTRIBUTED

Still Thirsty nearly fifteen years later

IF Jimmy Barnes and the Black Sorrows weren't enough to entice you to head to next weekend's Rush Concert, there may be hope for you yet.

After all, Thirsty Merc have just been announced on the bill - a line-up almost guaranteed to get Aussie rock fans chomping at the bit.

Coinciding with a huge nation-wide tour to celebrate 15 years since first getting together, lead singer Rai Thistlethwayte said the band had formed in a very different time for the Australian music industry.

"A lot of the big changes have been technological advancements really, and the adjustment phase of going through that incrementally,” he said.

"It was an important time for technology and a very interesting time for creative professionals I think.”

Despite the early 2000s often being touted as an age of great panic for the music business, Mr Thistlethwayte takes a brighter view of how technology shaped Thirsty Merc's early days.

"It sort of decentralised business in a lot of places, like the major record labels and artists who were able to do whatever they wanted,” he said.

"And you had a new way getting creative information out to anybody.”

Fundamentally, he added, the real beating heart of what he does - getting into a room and playing music - has remained the same for the past 15 years.

Thirsty Merc's longevity has often been attributed to their lack of pretension, with Mr Thistlethwayte saying he's always attempted to present himself and his music with this clarity.

"I try to be straight ahead, logical and rational about most things,” he said.

"I like eccentric people, quirky people and artists who are larger than life - but I've been around long enough to know there's human experience behind this stuff.

"It all comes back to truth at the end of the day.”

The 'Take Me Back' tour is as much a retrospective for the band as it is a celebration of what's to come.

"We haven't had a linear career you know, it's been all different directions,” he said.

"But even if you're holding it together by glad-wrap, 15 years together is definitely something to celebrate.

"And that's what we realised as a band, beyond any accolades or chart positions or bank account numbers - there's a bit of beauty in that.”

Thirsty Merc will be playing at the Rush Festival concert on October 14 from 6pm.

Tickets are $10 each.

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