Success snuck up on Michael Spiby and his band The Badloves in the 1990s.
Their debut album Get On Board (1993) spent 69 weeks in the charts, peaking at number five, and went on to achieve double-platinum sales. The album also delivered four hit singles: Lost, Memphis, I Remember and Green Limousine. The band then went on to be nominated for five ARIA awards, winning two: Breakthrough Artist - Album and Breakthrough Artist - Single.
"It didn't really make sense to us. Things were such a blur because we worked so hard and had travelled so extensively," Spiby says.
"It felt like a very slow impact into the market so we didn't really notice it. We weren't watching charts or anything. But more people started to come to our shows. That's what made me go 'Hang on, what's going on here?'.
"I don't remember any one event that led to the extra people at shows but before too long each show was sold out."
The Badloves signed with Mushroom Records in 1992 and were allocated a studio - and then were left to their own devices. Spiby describes it as "a blessing".
"We'd been playing for years and years without any attention from anyone, including audiences," he says, laughing.
"We were quite happy because we realised that if no one was paying attention, we could just carry on doing what we pleased without worrying about the market or our label.
"We were given a very light touch from Mushroom - they pretty much let us do what we wanted to do which again was fabulous because they just weighed in at the end of the recording process."
When they did have their say, it was to tell the band that Green Limousine had to go. It didn't have a place on the album.
"We told them we were quite happy with that one and they said 'Nah, it's a good song but you've got these other ones'. But we stood our ground with it and they were fantastic. They listened to us and they included us."
Green Limousine stayed.
The Badloves' line-up has changed over the years but a constant has been the respect for musicianship and a focus on the music.
"Everyone who's ever played with the band - and it has been a bit of a revolving door - have been driven," Spiby says.
"In the '80s everything was very choreographed and structured in general popular music. With The Badloves, the idea was to continue all the good stuff from the '60s and '70s when you could hear personalities in the music and everyone played expressively.
"We weren't just playing robotic parts. And when we played a song once that wasn't how it had to be played from that moment on.
"When writing the songs we'd structure them so they allowed for people's personalities and musicianship to come out - not to impress or be flashy, but to improve the song by keeping it alive.
"You can't play things 2000 times and still have them sound exactly the same, it needs to be fresh and reinterpreted."
In that regard Spiby is thrilled that Get On Board has been released on vinyl for the first time. He actually listened to the album from start to finish for the first time in years on his 1960s-era record player.
"Listening to it in on vinyl for some reason made me hear it as an audience member rather than the author," he says.
"It was interesting to get a fresh perspective on it.
"These are simple arrangements played simply by real instruments. That recipe has never changed in 30 years of the band playing."
The Badloves released their second album in 1995, Holy Roadside, followed by a 2019 single soulbrothertruckinsong and 2020's Tribal.
Spiby, who lives on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, wrote Tribal on the basis of a recurring dream.
He has been riding a creative wave of late, and says he is struggling to "get it all down on paper".
"The flow of ideas is constant," he says.
"I don't usually remember dreams, they're so hard to catch. But often enough I wake up disturbed by this one recurring theme ... how will I keep my little tribe together in tough times, am I up to the task? 'Tribal' is my recurring dream, caught in the light of day.
"I am having to restructure my working process as a writer, which is kind of alarming. I don't have the time that I used to have but the ideas are pursuing me. I'm having to get them all out quickly so I can move on."
Will this result in another album from The Badloves? Time will tell.
"I'm very excited about the tour and will put my focus on that for now," he says.
"While on tour you spend 24 hours on the road and you're only on stage for two of them, so it's great to like the people you're on the road with. The band are all independent musicians in their own right with their own projects as well, which works wonderfully well."