It’s No Longer Personal For Rock Frontman

Mark reflects on life at the time of his “Westgate” launch.

Author: The Glebe.

Date: 13 June 2007.

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FORMER Hunters and Collectors frontman Mark Seymour has a theory about Australian politics.

“The problem with politics in Australia is that people are frightened of talking about it,” Seymour said.

“We think it’s too personal. We’re talk about each other’s football teams and tell people they’re full of shit, and I don’t see the difference. I think politics is just as tribal.”

Seymour believes if people would just start talking about it, the political landscape may change.

“What concerns me is that people don’t actually make a decision until they get to the polling booth,” he said.

“I’d like to say to people, don’t be afraid.”

Seymour certainly isn’t afraid when it comes to giving his opinion on most topics.

Whether it be politics, religion or the media, Seymour has a strong and thoughtful response to most issues.

Many of them are addressed on his new album, Westgate, being launched in Rozelle tomorrow.

Gone are the deeply personal lyrics of his Australian classic, Throw Your Arms Around Me. Instead, Seymour has told other people’s stories.

“This is outside the boundaries of what people expect from Mark Seymour,” he said.

“The shift in this record is that I’ve paid less attention to myself. I’m more interested in storytelling and commonplace events in history.”

One of the few personal moments on the album has Seymour questioning his own mortality.

“A lot of the material is quite confronting,” he said.

“It’s for an older audience. There’s very little going on in my life which would appeal to kids. I’m not drinking to excess and bonking everyone. “There’s come a point when you ask: what have I got to say that’s worth listening to?”

Seymour agrees, to a certain extent, with what Midnight Oil drummer Rob Hirst said at last year’s ARIAs about young musicians not being political enough.

However Seymour also has a theory on this issue.

“The Vietnam War brought about death to so many people that there was this cultural momentum that resounded down the years and continued to occupy our culture,” he said.

“Kids aren’t being drafted today, so it’s difficult to make a connection. “If you’re going to do it, you’ve got to be interested in it.

“I’m very reluctant to brow-beat a generation.”

Where: The Bridge Hotel, 135 Victoria Rd, Rozelle

When: Friday, June 15

Tickets: 9810 1260