Jon Stevens wants to stick around for a while longer
AT 54, Caloundra Music Festival headliner Jon Stevens is enjoying his biggest chart success as a solo artist.
His album Starlight, released in March this year, has become the former Noiseworks and INXS frontman's highest charting album in Australia.
But these days the only opinions that matters to the seasoned rocker are those of his grandkids.
"My granddaughter, who's five, has only just realised what I do,” he said.
"She said to me, 'Papa, you're the best singer ever'. I said, 'Oh darling, you just know all the right things to say'.
"I've been a musician all my life. I love what I do.
"It's great fun but when you see that little face looking at you, that's the end of it. I want to be around as long as I can.”
Stevens underwent open-heart surgery in 2009 and he hasn't taken a day for granted since.
"What's inspiring? Waking up every day going 'Sh*t I'm still here',” he said.
"My kids and grandkids get me a bit longer.”
Stevens recorded Starlight with producer Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame. It peaked at No.16 on the ARIA chart and thanks to Stewart, Ringo Starr, Richie Sambora and Orianthi all guest star on the album.
"We're brothers joined in song,” Stevens said of Stewart.
"It was a great experience working together. We really had fantastic chemistry songwriting-wise. We certainly hope to do some more of that further down the track.”
Stevens' Caloundra set comes hot off the heels of a special show in London to celebrate Stewart's 65th birthday.
"That was a fantastic night,” Stevens said.
"It was a few of his mates, people from The Pretenders, Blondie, Dave and me - all sorts of people from weird and wacky places.
"What can I say about Dave? He's a little magic man. Everyone loves him and everyone shows up for him.”
So how will Stevens follow up such a successful, star-studded album?
"I'll probably make an EDM (electronic dance music) record or something - work with some computers,” he laughed.
On a serious note, he is already hard at work on new material which will form his next album.
"I made Starlight last year. You're always creating,” he said.
"I'll start recording another record next year.
"I've got a lot of ideas and songs I want to record. It never stops.”
Festival-goers can expect a high-energy, pub rock set from Stevens as he closes out the four-day event on the Monday night.
"I played there in 2010 and 2012, so it's been five years ... that's five years too long. I should be playing there every year,” he said.
"My album just came out in the UK so I've been over there playing over the past month. It's good to come home and do some shows.”
Jon Stevens plays the Surf stage at the Caloundra Music Festival on Monday, October 2, at 7.15pm.