Formed in 1995 by Kevin Mitchell (Guitar / Vox), Brett Mitchell (Drums), Chris Daymond (Guitar) and Vanessa Thornton (Bass), Jebediah started out playing the normal gigs young bands do. A school ball here, a band comp there. They stood out a little from the Perth band scene at the time as they were a little brasher than most and seemed to worry more about how high and hard they could pogo around the stage than how to hit that note just right. Things started to get a little silly around April 1996, with a bunch of labels chasing the band, and an eventual signing to Murmur Records (home of Ammonia and Silverchair at the time). The momentum grew with some amazing shows supporting bands such as Presidents of the USA and Everclear, and playing at Homebake and The Falls festivals. Late 96 the debut single Jerks of Attention; is released, garners the band its first national radio play and the Jebs start hitting the road properly. They haven’t really stopped since then.
In 1997 the band played over 150 shows with bands like Powderfinger and Bikini Kill and somehow managed to fit in recording a debut album Slighty Odway; which was released in September 97. It scared the crap out of band and label alike by debuting in the national top 10. Slightly Odway was gold by the end of the year, and eventually went on to sell over 150,000 copies in Australia, as well as doing well in Japan and New Zealand.
1998 was business as usual. Three headline tours, a couple of shows with the Smashing Pumpkins, and festivals including Livid, Homebake and Pushover. Some highlights were touring with The Living End in the main support slot, and selling more shirts than The Smashing Pumpkins at their Melbourne show. Jebediah started the new year with their first national Big Day Out run. US Rolling Stone mentions the fact that the band managed to entertain 40,000 people for 10 minutes at the Melbourne BDO without the benefit of a PA. The band managed to get the whole crowd singing the national anthem.
In April 1999 Jebediah entered the studio with US Producer Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182) to record Of Someday Shambles; their follow up to Slightly Odway;. After a difficult birth the band took off to Canada for their first taste of touring in the Northern Hemisphere. Not being ones to mess around they toured NZ for the second time on the way home and hit the road to launch 1st single Animal; on the general populace. Of Someday Shambles was a darker and more emotional album than the bands perky debut, but was well received, debuting at #2 in Australia – just beaten to number 1 by some upstarts from Brisbane called Savage Garden. A second Canadian tour was slotted in just before the launch of OSS, with Jebediah opening for some (at the time!) unknown band called Nickelback.. Like the band members have always said, they will play with anyone as long as there are more people in the audience than there are on stage!
After their exciting flirt with audiences above the equator, 2000 was spent with eyes on overseas climes. After another quick jaunt around the country with the Big Day Out, Jebediah headed out on their biggest tour yet, taking US indie punk band The Get Up Kids out as an opener on “Tour De Shambles”. 31 shows, 30 people on the road, rock and fucking roll. While this tour wended its way around the country a deal was being struck in the US with independent label Big Wheel Recreation to license Of Someday Shambles in the US. As an introduction to North America a split CD and vinyl release with Jimmy Eat World was put out on BWR in September 2000 with a repackaged album hitting the streets in October. The split CD has gone on to sell many thousand worldwide, and Of Someday Shambles made quite an impact at college radio. David Fricke (editor of US Rolling Stone) placed the album in his top releases for the year, and Jebediah toured the release hard with a 3 month US jaunt supporting The Get Up Kids and then Jimmy Eat World. 70+ shows, 36000km, a lot of bad food and cheap bourbon, the tour finishes in LA and then the band take a week off and then do a lap of Australia to celebrate with Sleepy Jackson and Magic Dirt in support.
In 2001 Jebediah spent most of the year writing and recording their self titled 3rd album. The bagpipe driven “Fall Down” was a top 20 hit, and the album debuted at #8 on the ARIA charts when it was released in March 2002. The band toured it hard, finishing their campaign in 2003 with another BDO tour, with the Jebs playing like they had done a deal with the devil.
In October Jebediah had a successful UK tour with headline shows in London and Edinburgh and a few supports for Powderfinger at Shepherds Bush Empire. Refreshed, revitalised, kings of their destiny and with a batch of tunes to make your heart stop, the band entered the Kingdom Studio in January 2004 with engineer Matt Lovell. Taking a month to track and then having the album mixed by Shaun O’Callaghan while the band were on tour, Braxton Hicks was as warm, honest and self assured as the Jebs have ever been. The album was released in July 2004 (April 2005 in Japan) and Jebediah toured Braxton Hicks hard, headlining tours, teaming up with mates Grinspoon for some shows, and popping up at multiple Big Day out shows. Tracks like “No Sleep”; and “First Time”; off Braxton Hicks got a hammering on radio, and had the band stuck in the collective consciousness once more.
In late 2005 Jebediah headed around the nation on their 10th Anniversary tour, playing a set voted by their fans in each city they visited. It was fitting that the band then headed into hibernation, with many jokes made about long service leave. Jebediah took the time to collectively have a rest, catch their breath and assess their career. Time was taken having lives, jobs, and a little holiday from music for most. Kevin headed overseas to make and release his second Bob Evans album, which has been a gold selling success in Australia and he has toured and released it in several territories overseas. Brett moonlighted for awhile in Perth rockers The Fuzz, and Vanessa has been in several musical collaborations, most recently appearing in the star studded backing band for Felicity Groom.
In late 2007 the Jebs made their live comeback with a month long regional tour of Western Australia, “Back in the Saddle Tour”, playing all the old classics as well as come new songs that had been written during the year.
Released in April 2011, and more than five years in the making, the latest Jebediah album Kosciuszko was a journey the four-piece underwent both together and separately. When Kosciuszko started appearing in the horizon the band had a few more of their own tasks to conquer. Frontman Kevin Mitchell was touring his moniker Bob Evans around the country, bassist Vanessa Thornton was in the thick of her nutritionists degree, drummer Brett Mitchell was lending his skills to other local Perth bands and guitarist Chris Daymond, well, it’s been said he used his time wisely.
During this time the band continued to jam together, but a move by Kevin to Melbourne, away from his native west coast city and the rest of the Jebs, hindered the frequency of these sessions. Still they got back in the band room whenever they could with the thought of an album in the back of their mind. During these sessions, they started to write with the spontaneity and relaxed attitude that they hadn’t had the joy of since their inception. The shackles of a label contract was not the only restraint that had been released, the band also had no specific timeline. There was a new sense of freedom found in their rehearsals and writing. They started to feel like themselves again.
Out of the one of the occasional jam sessions the soaring single She’s Like A Comet was born. It only took the group fifteen minutes to write, evidence to the band’s intuitive collaborative abilities. It’s a splash of the feel-good Jebediah, the one that had up to 40,000 people dancing simultaneously at numerous Australian festivals and bagged 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition’s Rock Catagory. Kosciusco spawned a number of singles including Lost My Nerve, Control and Battlesong and the band embarked on a successful Australian tour which took the band right around the country once again and were welcomed by old and new fans alike.