Centered around the prolific songwriting skills of singer/guitarist Tim Rogers, You Am I is one of the most successful and internationally admired Australian bands of the 1990s.
Rogers formed You Am I in December 1989 with school friend Nick Tischler and older brother Jaimme Rogers. Mixing the gritty early 70s raunch of The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Faces with the frenzied attack of The Clash, The Jam and The Replacements, the band gained valuable experience playing support gigs to Sydney contemporaries like The Falling Joys and The Hard-Ons.
Jaimme Rogers left at the end of 1990 and was replaced by Mark Tunaley. By April 1992 Tischler had also left the band and was replaced on bass by the band’s sound mixer, Andy Kent. In May they released a five-track EP, Goddamn.
By mid-1992 they had signed with independent label, rooArt Records and released their third EP, Can’t Get Started.
Striking up a friendship with Sonic Youth, You Am I travelled to Cannon Falls, Minnesota, to use Sonic Youth’s Pachyderm Recording Studios where Lee Ranaldo produced their debut album, Sound as Ever (November 1993).
The album provided three singles; Adam’s Ribs (October 1993), Berlin Chair (February 1994) and Jaimme’s Got a Gal (May 1994). Drummer Mark Tunaley was fired from the band and Tim Rogers initially considered disbanding the group but continued with Russell Hopkinson on drums.
Their second album, Hi-Fi Way (February 1995) was recorded in New York with Cathy’s Clown released as a single. By April, the group had added Greg Hitchcock as an auxiliary member on guitar and keyboards.
You Am I’s third album, Hourly, Daily (July 1996), was produced by the group and recorded in Sydney in December 1995. The album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Charts and earned the band six Aria Awards – for Album of the Year, Best Group, Best Independent Release, Producer of the Year, Best Video and Engineer of the Year.
Subtle country influences were apparent on fourth album #4 Record (April 1998) and accompanying singles What I Don’t Know ’bout You (February), Rumble (April) and Heavy Heart (July). By July 1999 the line-up of the group was augmented by Davey Lane on second guitar.
After a three year gap between studio albums, You Am I released Dress Me Slowly in April 2001. It debuted at #3 on the ARIA Albums Chart and spawned three singles; Damage (October 2000), Get Up (March 2001) and Kick a Hole in the Sky (July).
You Am I’s sixth studio album, Deliverance, was recorded in January 2002 and released in September but did not receive the critical and commercial success that the band’s earlier work had enjoyed.
In September 2003, You Am I were dropped by their record label (BMG) when the company refused to support a tour of the US. In late 2005, the band recorded their seventh studio album (Convicts) on their new label, Virgin.
Dilettantes was released in September 2008, debuting at #1 on the ARIA Australian Music charts.
The band’s self-titled album (their ninth LP) was released in October 2010.