ABC Embedded Article

Positive Embedded era ABC article from an interview with Mark.

Author: Jane Cowan.

Date: 12 May 2004.

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Article Text

Match fit: Mark Seymour says his priorities have changed but he still likes to keep his voice honed with live performance.

Mark Seymour is mellowing.

You get the sense that the consummate rock veteran is as comfortable in his own skin as in his old black jeans.

The former Hunters and Collectors frontman irks at the millionth request for ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’ but Seymour says the H&C tag is not one he tries to shake. “It’s just one of those things. I was in the band for 17 years. There’s the odd song that I had a lot to do with writing. It’s just become part of the songbook.”

Seymour has fond memories of a childhood growing up in country Victoria, with free rein of the bush. “You just ran around, riding bikes into the scrub, climbing trees, you know. Mates lived on farms. It was a completely different world back then.” But contrary to the stereotype, rock wasn’t something the child Seymour dreamed about. “Absolutely not. I just drifted into it. It wasn’t until age 23 in 1982 that I was seriously singing. It was incredibly surreal.”

Originally trained as an English teacher, the forty-something Seymour is articulate as they come, and very in touch with his roots. Those roots include a strong Catholic upbringing and the ‘lapsed Catholic’ says the religion has definitely impacted upon his music. “Catholicism is a fairly dark religion that inevitably draws a child’s imagination. The concept of sin has always been part of my world. It definitely got me interested in human behaviour. It’s always been a pet subject of mine, just what motivates people. The idea that there are these things called the seven deadly sins that pervade the human mind. There’s some very strange characters that inhabit (my) songs.”

Seymour’s latest album marks a homecoming for Seymour in other ways too. It’s a return to the suburbs from which he escaped in his early twenties. “I think if you want to pursue an artistic life, we all seem to regard the suburbs as a place we had to escape from to achieve those goals. Once you have children and you borrow money from the bank to buy a house you find you’re building up that edifice again. That’s what I’ve done and my life is not particularly exceptional on a personal level. I realised in recent times that if I was going to be true to myself then I was going to make an album that documented and commented on that world.”

Enter Embedded, Seymour’s third solo offering.

While he might be softening on the suburbs, and even religion, Seymour believes sometimes you can say never. Like when it comes to the question of a Hunters reunion.

“It could never happen. I’m not going to let it happen.”