The former Hunters & Collectors frontman chats to us about his new band, new album, new tour… and what to always remember in a fist fight
G’day, Mark, what have you been up to in recent years?
I’ve been a bit quiet for the last two or three months but we released an album about 20 months ago and I toured really steadily. Mayday was my last studio album, and we toured it pretty heavily, but over the last few years we’ve been constantly playing as often as we can. We slowed down recently, just to get some breathing space before this new record was released last month but there’s definitely no lack of work.
You’re an Australian icon. How do you feel about this moniker?
Well, it’s kind of… it is what it is, isn’t it? It kind of has a lot of connotations but I look back on how long I’ve been doing this and sometimes it occurs to me, “Well, I’ve made a series of decisions at certain points in my career and some have been the right ones and some have been not so good.” And the underlying constant has been the fact I really enjoy singing onstage — it’s just a really simple physical transaction with an audience and it’s kept me interested in it.
What are some of the not-so-good decisions you’ve made?
Oh, just sort of episodically. Like, if you think about it, it’s been 35 years but I could still pin them down. The first big one was screwing up the deal with Virgin Records in 1984 — that really set the tone. Then the next big shift was Human Frailty, and that was a good move making that record but my shift into a solo career wasn’t particularly the right call. I don’t think I made the right decision initially. I’ve made a couple of albums that really didn’t resonate with the Australian public.
How did you deal with this?
I gradually recovered from it but when I look at the long story I just think my career has always been on the periphery of central commercial success — I’ve never really been sort of it in the middle of it all and in a really weird way I’m still not really a mainstream act. I mean, even though I’m well known for two or three famous Hunters & Collectors songs, that’s really only come about through constant exposure onstage and touring.
Was it a strange process going solo after being the face, literally, of Hunters & Collectors?
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