The re-formed rockers are releasing their new album No Plans on April 6 and will celebrate with two launch shows and festival dates before a potential swan-song concert in London.
Then there really are no plans for Cold Chisel – Jimmy Barnes, Don Walker, Ian Moss, Phil Small and replacement drummer Charley Drayton will go their separate ways.
“I’d say that Cold Chisel won’t play for a while afterwards but probably not seven or ten years like last time,” said Walker.
“It will probably be at least a year or 18 months before we decide what to do next.”
No Plans is the first Cold Chisel album in 14 years and features the final recorded performances by drummer Steve Prestwich who died in January 2011.
Closing song I Got Things To Do was written by Prestwich and features him singing, despite initially being intended for lead singer Jimmy Barnes.
The switch was made by producer Kevin Shirley who chanced upon the vocal in the band’s archive while mixing the album last year.
“We didn’t know there was a Steve vocal for this song until Kevin was doing the mix in Los Angeles using the song with the Jim (Barnes) vocal on it,” says Walker.
“Suddenly he came across the Steve vocal so we heard it and obviously there’s a personal element in that for all of us.
“Steve is a great singer so we thought it should see the light of day.”
All but three of the songs on No Plans were written by Walker, who is responsible for hits of old, such as Khe Sanh and Cheap Wine.
Several new songs, including the Troy Cassar-Daley co-write HQ454 Monroe and forthcoming single Everybody, have been floating around since the 1990s.
Others like All For You and the opening track No Plans are recent creations, but none of the songs were deliberately written for the album.
“I don’t think another Cold Chisel album has ever been destined,” says Walker.
“If you’d asked me three years ago if there’d be another Cold Chisel album I’d have said unlikely.”
The band’s reunion followed their one-off show in 2009 at the Sydney V8 Supercars, which persuaded Cold Chisel into considering a more permanent future.
They signed a management deal with Sydney-based music company Eleven who offered the band a shot at their biggest Australian tour and a new studio album.
But plans were halted by the untimely and tragic death of Prestwich, who never regained consciousness after undergoing surgery for a brain tumour.
“Suddenly the floor dropped out from the whole thing and we didn’t even know if we had a band or if we wanted to do anything,” says Walker.
“We were dealing with the personal aspects of it rather than the future or the music.”
After several months of reflection and doubt, the remaining four members decided to carry on and hired Drayton, formerly of the Divinyls, to take over on drums.
The success of Cold Chisel’s 26-date Light The Nitro tour reaffirmed their decision to carry on and the band have shaken off past differences.
Realising that nothing lasts forever, they’re taking nothing for granted.
“We are at this point loving each other in a sickening fashion,” says Walker. “It’s like we can’t have a fight because Steve’s not here. He’d be missing out.”