Face to Face: Mark Seymour

Mark Seymour’s about to be in fashion is the USA… apparently.

Author: Eugene J. Patron.

Date: December 1988.


Article Text

Who’s news in rock? Reggae? Country? Blues? IN FASHION previews the smooth grooves, computer disco, folk, punk and pop that’ll be the talk of tune town 1989. From the buzz of Voice of the Beehive to the buzzsaw guitars of Suicidal Tendencies (love those names!) – new age or new rage-tomorrow’s sounds start today on the next page…


Ten months as an English-teacher convinced Mark Seymour that the classroom was not where he wanted to express himself. Maybe it was something in his blood that led the older brother of Crowded House’s Nick Seymour to speak his mind via music.

And how does Fate, the latest release by lead singer Mark Seymour’s group, Hunters & Collectors, fit into the picture? “It’s one of those words that deals with a whole range of human behavior,” Seymour muses. “The way people foresee their destiny is what determines their destiny. Fate is the hidden factor that no one can grasp hold of. I’m a big believer in fate.”

And, if fate would have it, the ruggedly handsome, good-natured Seymour and his group will transcend cult status to achieve the pop success their richly melodic music deserves. Though a proposed tour with Crowded House last year fizzled out, the Hunters are due for an extensive American tour in February.

H & C’s latest effort, according to Seymour, better represents the soul of the band than their previous, more abstract and less commercial works.

“In the very beginning of the band’s career, I realized that sometimes what made the songs really magical was a strong pop sensibility,” Seymour explains. “Unfortunately, though, this sensibility was covered over by all this postmodern imagery, created for us by the people outside of the band – music-video makers and the media. There were moments when something really special happened, but we’ve got to go back and look at what the essence of that was and make it more direct.”

Thirty-two-year-old Seymour and the seven members of the band are as much explorers as they are musicians. “We share everything,” Seymour says. “It’s kind of like the Swiss Family Robinson, except nobody is up in a tree. We’re an urban tribe. With the passing of time, we’ve tried to unravel something about Australian urban life, which has its roots in the landscape.”