> interview <|
May 1998 EMI/Parlophone Press Release
Q - The title of the album "Try Whistling This" brings a grin to my face.
Neil - "There's a certain humor to it, yes," laughs Neil Finn. "I always get tagged with this 'pop craftsman' thing and there's still a feeling that rocking out is somehow cooler or more subversive. Well, as I always say, there's nothing tougher than a good tune."
Q - This project is far closer to Neil Finn solo than a new band, have you moved away from the "group" tag?
Neil - "I love bands. They're a great invention and always more than the sum of their parts. Remember I joined Split Enz when I was a teenager. I've spent half my life in bands and though life as a solo artist can be solitary, there's also something quite liberating about being an individual and being responsible only to myself and my family."
Q - After the Crowdies split were you tempted to give the musical spotlight a long break.
Neil - " A friend of mine, Robert Moore, said we should just go and stand in the middle of a paddock for a few weeks and just paint. It was good advice at the time, stop thinking about music and what to do next, let it slip in the back door. At night, after a day's splashing paint around, Robert and me would have a jam. The first night a song popped out which seemed to be telling me something - '...there's a hunger inside, it won't go away....the longer you hide, the more you deny.' (Low World) I got to a point, not long after, where I realised that I'm driven to get out and play music, and it's ingrained. It would be madness to deny it."
Q - We notice that on some cds you do not include the lyrics, do people still pursue you about what your songs are about?
Neil - " The sound of the words is as important as what they're saying. When a song comes, you get given certain lines and you have to go with it. That's how songs are....it's a mysterious thing I can't explain."
Q - Tell us about New York.
Neil - "I'd never worked their before and felt it would be a good contrast to the South Pacific feel of home. I wanted the music to have a world rather than just a private context. It was a fantastic and productive period; walking to work (at Phillip Glass's Looking Glass Studios in Soho) through the mayhem of the streets and hearing a bit more zip coming out of the speakers."
Q - Not long till the tour starts?
Mitchell Froom (former C.H. producer) and Pete Thomas came and played on a couple of songs. Also Sebastian Steinberg, bass player with Soul Coughing. The album was mixed in L.A. with Tchad Blake and finished off with a couple of remixes. ("Twisty Bass" .....which is available on this website.....and "Sinner" the first single for parts of the world).
Neil - "You know, the flight durations from New Zealand are the most intimidating aspect. I'm looking forward to people's reactions and getting back on the road. I know pop music is a fickle business but I sense a lot of goodwill out there. And I have this delicious sense that anything's possible."
Special thanks to EMI/Parlophone for the use of their Press Release.
They said to remind you that TRY WHISTLING THIS is out June 15th/16th.