Mark My Words

A strict interview with Mark Seymour covering diverse matters.

Author: Monique Budd, Sludge Factory.

Date: October 2010.

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Prolific songwriter, guitarist, vocalist MARK SEYMOUR of HUNTERS & COLLECTORS fame is no stranger to the Australian rock culture. He’s well known for vocalising Say Goodbye, Talking to a Stranger, Throw Your Arms Around Me and Holy Grail as frontman, guitarist and songwriter for Aussie rock band HUNTERS & COLLECTORS. Seymour has maintained a successful solo career. Nominated for two ARIA awards, penned his memoirs, husband and father of two. Mark my words, there is nothing stopping Seymour. Monique Budd had the opportunity to interview the reserved yet witty MARK SEYMOUR.

Even though the question has been asked many times, it still seems to be a very popular one and it was hard to let it slide. Will HUNTERS & COLLECTORS reform again? Seymour boldly answered with a direct “no”. Well you never know, people change their minds, just take a look at Mr Last Stand, John Farnham, he made many last stands. Maybe next year?

For all those who love the Seymour brothers in their own right. I was interested to ask, have you ever entertained the thought of working with your brother Nick? Seymour confirms. “Nick has played bass on two of my solo albums.”

Let’s get back to MARK SEYMOUR. The noted prolific songwriter draws from his everyday life and his imagination for the songs we know and love. Seymour finds inspiration in Russian born, American vocalist, songwriter, guitarist and pianist, Regina Spektor. Spektor is known for her indie rock, pop fusion experimental folk band Blitzen Trapper.

With his extensive touring schedule balanced with being a family man, how does Seymour manage to keep both equally important sides of his life on track? “I’m a professional. I get on with the job at hand and keep my private life to myself.” Seymour adds that keeping a diary is another beneficial requirement.

Seymour is playing at The Rhythms in the Valley Festival; a charitable event with all proceeds going directly to the farmers of the region to assist in drought relief and fire prevention. Performing at such an event holds a profound humanitarian attachment being able to reach people through his music to aid those in crisis. Seymour expresses his feelings on this topic, “regional Victoria has suffered greatly in recent years. It is a privilege to help and connect with local people.” That’s the kind of man he is. The bigger the venue is not of importance, it’s his love is performing. It’s as simple as that. Seymour is keen to add, his favourite venue to play at is Lizotte’s in Newcastle due to its spectacular sound.

Thirteen Tonne Theory is a book penned by Seymour. When asking him of his writing experience and concept, the ever humorous Seymour relates, “it was a yarn…a bush tale, a comedy.” With that said definitely one to add to the book collection for the avid reader.

Going back in time to the great song Talking to a Stranger, how can you forget the catchy melody and lyrics? Being a young teenage fan at the time of the hits release, I always thought it to be cryptic in a sense. All these years later, finally getting to ask MARK SEYMOUR what it’s about, “death at sea,” he answers. And not to forget his original vocal style, listening to him back in the day to present day is as though time has stood still. Seymour admits constant use is how he maintains his voice with his hectic tour schedule and studio work.

His acoustic body of work was put together by Liberation Records. Check out his songs on the website link below. Nearing the close of the interview, I curiously asked Seymour what music equipment he uses and how many guitars would such a musician own? “Five maton acoustics and two fender telecasters,” he replied.

So much more is to come from Seymour confirms. He’s writing and recording and a new album is on the horizon.

For those in Victoria, don’t forget to get behind a great Aussie cause where you can checkout MARK SEYMOUR and a list of bands at the Rhythms in the Valley Festival. It’s all taking place on 24 October 2010. Take in the beautiful countryside, some great Aussie talent and a great family day out. MARK SEYMOUR’s full tour dates can be found on his website.

Catch Mark on Sunday 24 October 2010 at the Rhythms in the Valley Festival, with Ross Wilson, Kate Vigo & The Underground Orchestra, Pete Rowland, The Croakers and Tinderbox