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Interview: Grace Knight

"I was petrified": the Eurogliders singer recalls being afraid to step into the spotlight

Interview from February 2021

You wouldn't think it, but the effervescent singer fronting '80s chart regulars Eurogliders admits to feeling scared and uncertain at many points during her decades-long career, which continues with upcoming gigs and a soon-to-be-released album. In a brand new interview with Chart Beats, Grace Knight talks about joining her then-boyfriend Bernie Lynch's band and what it was like launching their career in Perth (plus a lot more in the full version of our chat).

Much of Eurogliders was formed (albeit under a different name) before you joined. What was it like coming in as lead vocalist?

I was petrified. I’ve been petrified most of my career, to be honest. I had to pretend I was someone who was quite courageous whereas I’m not sure I really am. Bernie Lynch is a fantastic singer, and I could never understand why he wanted someone to sing that was not as good as he was, let alone better. I understand why now — you need a frontperson that is going to command attention. Bernie must have seen that in me, which is why he probably asked me to sing in his band, apart from the fact that we were dating.

And it was also a way to spend more time together.

Ah yeah, I think so.

Among all the male-dominated bands of that era, Eurogliders would have had a point of difference with you out the front.

Yes, in terms of being in a bloke-heavy industry, it really was a point of difference. The other thing was we were very harmony-oriented. Bernie is very good at writing harmonies and backing vocals, so part of Eurogliders’ sound are these layers of vocals that I’m fairly sure a lot of people don’t actually hear. It still blows me away today how many tracks we would record for vocals. Sometimes on one song there would be 50 tracks of recorded vocals. We might just be singing, “Whoo-ooh, aah” and then double tracking that and adding harmonies to it. These harmonies and backing vocals became instrumentation and rhythmic parts within the songs.

We Will Together.jpg

Eurogliders on Chart Beats

What was the music scene like in Perth at that stage?

It was absolutely pumping. Eurogliders would work maybe four or five gigs a week. We constantly toured. Perth had more venues per capita than anywhere in Australia.

Was a move to Sydney inevitable? Or could you have very easily have stayed in Perth the entire time?

No, we couldn’t have. In fact, we were dying to get out of Perth because even though there were a lot of venues, we were considered like an island within an island — we were separated by the Nullarbor. But to get on Countdown and have hit records, one needed to perform in the eastern states, so we were desperate to leave our wonderful home to head over and take it on as a band.

You recorded your debut album, Pink Suit Blue Day, in Manila. What are your enduring memories of that?

Yes, oh my God, it was an absolute nightmare. We tried to record in Australia — that was our first choice — but there were no recording studios available. We had to wait for months and months, and I think we’d all handed in our notice for our rental houses. There was a band in Perth — I can’t remember who they were — and they had already recorded at this studio in Manila, so we said, “We’ll take our tracks and make a detour via Manila, record the album then move to Sydney,” and that’s exactly what we did. But we didn't have the equipment we might have got in Sydney… and it was bizarre. It was still exciting, like, “Hey Mum, look at me. What am I like?” and I wouldn’t change it, but it was an odd thing to do.

Your debut single, "Without You", was a top 40 hit. What did that feel like?

It was very exciting. It was the single that got us on Countdown, and coming from Perth, if you got on Countdown, you’d pretty much made it. That’s what we thought. Of course, we realised that we had to back it up and be really tight and get a groundswell of fans in the eastern states. Because we had worked so much in WA , we were very tight as a unit by the time we hit Sydney. A lot of people thought we’d come from Europe — having the word Euro in the band’s name helped that.

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