The Hot Seat: Mark Seymour

Ten quick questions on life with Mark Seymour.

Author: Nathan David Kelly, The Big Issue.

Date: July 8 – July 23, 2002.

Original URL:

(c) Nathan Kelly / The Big Issue, Australia.


Article Text

The hot seat: Mark Seymour

You know you’ve made it in Oz rock when your band gets a catchy colloquial abbreviation. Silverchair are the Chair, Grinspoon the Grinners; rose tattoo the Tatts. And of course, Hunters & Collectors were the Hunnaz. Mate.

Starting as a bunch of inner-city hipsters in 1981 and ending as a suburban rock favourite in 1998, the band turned out anthemic hits like the seven-minute epic “Talking to a stranger” (1982), the sing along “Throw Your Arms Around Me” (1984) and the lighters up ballad “Holy grail”(1993).

Since leaving Hunnaz, singer Mark Seymour has released three solo albums- King Without a Clue, One Eyed Man, and this year, live effort, Ballad Of The One Eyed Man, recorded at Sydney venue the Basement.

Q. What achievement are you most proud of?

A. My family, my relationship with my daughters and a successful marriage – it all works.

Q. Your claim to fame at school was?

A. I was really good at art and drawing.

Q. What makes you happy?

A. Surfing.

Q. What makes you angry?

A. John Howard, he has no vision and is just following a long Australian tradition of leaders. I am a big admirer of Helen Clark, the New Zealand Prime Minister. She has the Backing of three million people. Why can’t John Howard show the same kind of leadership?

Q. When was the last time you made a fool of yourself?

A. I do it quite often really.

Q. Name your least favourite cliche and why you dislike it?

A. ‘Love your work’. People who say that to me are the ones who have never listened to anything I have done.

Q. What was the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

A. Rabbit Proof Fence. I loved it. It made me cry.

Q. Describe the last dream you remember having?

A. I dream all the time , but I just can’t remember my last one. But probably some typical male dream about a girl I will never have ( that being said, I am happy where I am at life now).

Q. What’s the biggest issue facing this country at the moment? Why is it so important?

A. Immigration. Australia has to come to grips with its past. We have to be honest with the rest of the world or we will always be regarded as a selfish people. We need to convince the rest of the world that we are reconciled with our past.

Q. If you were prime minister what are the first things you would put in place to improve Australia?

A. I would set in motion a plan to get rid of detention centres.

Q. Any gratuitous plugs?

A. Yes. Join the Western Bulldogs football club!



Nathan conducted this interview with Mark after his Manly gig on Friday the 14th of June 2002. Nathan was the guy with the photo of Mark and Nick Seymour together that Mark noted during the gig.