Romantic At Heart

An interview with Mark as he brings his music to the Kimberleys in West Australia.

Author: Natalie Rogers, Forte Magazine.

Date: 17 May 2013.

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Mark Seymour is a romantic at heart. Touring nationally with his band known as Mark Seymour and the Undertow, he plans to showcase his latest album Seventh Heaven Club. “It’s a collection of love songs that have been selected from material that ranges over forty years playing music. It’s a concept album I suppose. We covered songs by Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Neil Young among others, and we will be doing a fair whack of it at those shows and it’s pretty exciting … We have had a great reaction to it,” Mark told Forte Mag recently.

Since going it alone after his first band (Aussie Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer’s) Hunters and Collectors called it a day in 1998, Mark has continued to make music and tour, often appearing solo or as part of a group. “The big difference musically between what I did with Hunters and Collectors and what I do now, is when H and C played it was always the same basic format of a seven-piece rock band going out and doing a specific set of songs; whereas now I tend to mix it up. I have got a much bigger repertoire and a number of different formats,” Mark explained. “I perform on my own or as a duo, and with my band.”

After years of bumping into each other at gigs and playing together on and off, Mark realised together they had the makings of a first-rate band. “They are guys I have been playing with for many years, but we wanted to consolidate it because I decided that instead of going away and demoing everything on my own, why don’t I bring this stuff to them. So the guys got creatively involved together in a rehearsal room and we called it a band. It’s John Favaro playing bass; he was in The Bad Loves, Pete Maslen on the drums; he’s in Boom Crash Opera and Cameron McKenzie on guitars; he used to be in a group called Horsehead, and he also produces our records. They have all been in the music industry for years; they are seasoned players. As a band we have heaps of energy and a very clean simple sound. This is our second record together (they released a self-titled album in 2011) and hopefully there will be more.”

While Mark prefers to focus on the future and his side projects – at the time of interviewing he was in Adelaide performing in Dust! The Story Of Asbestos. “I write songs for theatre. It’s something I have been doing for a few years now and this is just one among many” – he knows he will never truly escape his past and the constant requests for Hunters and Collectors biggest hits; known not only by diehard fans, but by the general population of Australia (with odds that on any given Saturday night around the country you will hear ‘Holy Grail’ or ‘Throw Your Hands Around Me’ being belted out by a bunch of friends in a pub). “We always play Hunters stuff!,” Mark laughed. “I know how much they mean to people.”

Forte Vox Pop: Mark, what is your favourite movie of all time? Million Dollar Baby

When & Where: The Sphinx, Geelong – May 18