If you were to ask Tim Rogers about what he has achieved in a career now motoring along in its third unique decade, he would probably talk about favourite songs, transcendent performances and the many productive relationships he’s enjoyed with fellow musicians along the way. The focus would be everything and everyone bar himself.
Plaques, fancy award statues and notable achievements in multiple disciplines wouldn’t come to mind, and that’s more than fine because it’s that same selflessness and dedication to his art that’s made Tim Rogers one of a handful of crucial Australian singer-songwriters and performers over the last 20 odd years. But it’s clear that Rogers – whose new album Rogers Sings Rogerstein is released August 24 by ABC Music – has carved out an oversized place in the Australian music scene, one that the 42-year-old has maintained with an increasingly eclectic body of work.
As the frontman of You Am I, one of the essential Australian rock n’ roll bands, Rogers has released 10 studio albums, three of which have debuted at number one in consecutive order – 1995’s Hi Fi Way, 1996’s Hourly, Daily and 1998’s #4 Record – with the records receiving multiple platinum and gold awards for commercial sales. The band has been released internationally, and toured worldwide, headlining shows across North America and Europe.
Whether as part of You Am I, or a solo artist since 1999, Rogers has received 13 ARIA Awards, including Male Artist of the Year, and his bravura stage presence and generosity of spirit has inspired several generations of young musicians (the chair in Silverchair came from the now classic 1993 You Am I track “Berlin Chair).A You Am I tour remains an event, a night out for fans where they know the band will give their all.
In recent years Rogers’ talent has been recognised with commissions and collaborations in related fields. He’s worked on the score to several films, most recently Kieran Darcy-Smith’s Wish You Were Here, as well as acting in the odd one. In 2009 he made his stage debut in the production of Woyzeck mounted by Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre, while in 2011 he co-wrote, with leading Australian actor Bojana Novakovic, The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself, which enjoyed successful seasons in Melbourne and Sydney via the Ride On theatre company. Rogers has also written, for the likes of The Age newspaper and The Monthly magazine, proving that his way with words doesn’t require a backbeat to translate well.
If someone wanted to coast on past glories, that’s an incredible amount of achievement, but with Tim Rogers it’s always the next song, the next album, the next show that truly matters. And for now that next thing is his new album ‘Rogers Sings Rogerstein’.