Mark Seymour Collects His Thoughts
Living Daylight era Canadian article surrounding the launch of the Living Daylight EP.
Author: The Nerve.
Date: May 1987.
Original URL: N/A
Like Bob Mould on Tom Waits, Hunters and Collectors Mark Seymour carries the appellation of an intelligent rock singer with charm and total disregard. His Australian “underground” band has been acclaimed around the world, which they tend to traverse frequently.
This time around (at RPM in June) they’ll be playing songs from the recent Living Daylight EP and a forthcoming album in autumn. If you’ve yet to partake of this unique and compelling blend of hard rhythms, sparkling brass, and clever lyrical punctuation, what are you waiting for? With half a dozen excellent albums out, they’re hard to miss.
That’s me! I’m the singer of Hunters and Collectors, who just went from Northern Ireland to New Zealand, played three nights in a town called Auckland to a bunch of screaming mad people. Then we took a red-eye special across the Pacific, jumped from one island to the next, and arrived in Los Angeles the day before yesterday, not having slept for 40 hours. We went out and got drunk and then yesterday rolled into I.R.S. records and people sort of welcomed us to Sin City. The thing I like about coming out here is you start drinking coffee a lot coz it’s good coffee. They’re into it.
…is what Hunters and Collectors are all about. We basically control it ourselves; it was the first decision we made after we formed a band. We use the live performance as the whole basis behind the image and philosophy of the band. We told our record company we wanted to control artwork, album concepts, image and the way music is conveyed to an audience.
Marriage. I wonder how I said that – I couldn’t have said that! That’s the flip side, the alternative, the b-side of the coin. Temptation has a lot to do with being on the road and going out the front door of my hotel and into a nightclub. It’s a big part of my life, I suppose.
It’s looking into he faces of hundreds of people in front of you and wondering whether they believe what you’re saying or not.
(Pause) Self-respect, Like karma, if it feels right, fits, right with your conscience. Within the band everyone is prodding everyone else all the time. Everyone’s lives are exposed to everyone elses. It’s like a tribe, there’s a real sense of community, and there’re definitely standards to maintain.
A problem. It’s the basic dichotomy of art and money and how you fit the whole process of being creative with making a living out of being creative. Every band faces it. The way I deal with it is, I think: basically you operate within particular framework, an environment. We make music in small clubs in front of 4 or 5 hundred sweaty bodies. And we always keep that as the most obvious, upfront value. We constantly remind ourselves of that, and bring ourselves down to that level. We take the attitude that we’re in the business to survive and as long as the music makes sense on that level, there’s no real problem.
Gospel, and the power of the spoken word, the truth. I think there is an incredible amount of power in what a singer can do and people can be easily convinced. I’m acutely aware of just how unbelievable what you do on stage can be. The more confident you are the more easily you can manipulate the audience. Some singers I like! Tin Turner! I’m only interested in singers who are understandable on a tangible level. And the whole body language is tuned into it. She’s undeniable.
Vodka and ice. It’s very pure. Very pure indeed. It’s great! You should have seen those gigs in New Zealand – I ha d a ball! The crowd went bloody bananas. We’re going back in October. They’re very hospitable, simple people. It’s a very honest place, you get a real sense of release when you’re there. I’ve a fantasy about buying land there and living there forever. It’s incredibly green and uh, that’s where my girlfriend comes from.
I buy papers and magazines wherever I go. It’s a window to culture. And I watch T.V. The one thing that really strikes me about television in America is the numbers of preachers on T.V. all the time! These guys who are like mid-to-late 30’s just screaming at the camera! You have to be shit scared to listen to that stuff.
Light breakfasts in the morning. Long bus rides. Jogging – I go for a jog before and after the ride. Sound checks, beers after the gigs., arguments, lots of abuse – we abuse the hell out of each other, especially at 3:00 in the morning, driving through the Rockies – eight guys in a mini-bus screaming at each other at the top of their voices. A lot of abuse.
Rain. Unpredictable weather. Very flat. Night clubs on Thursday and Tuesday. I live in this really great little bedsit built on the roof of a building. It’s great, it has big windows, it’s all painted white, it’s very mediterranean.
The band really gets along well when we’re there. It’s funny, we irritate the hell out of each other on tour and as soon as we go home we’re really close. It’s always really creative too; you sit back in the rehearsal room, have a drink and just start writing music.
…is about coming back from the Northern Hemisphere into a season, landscape you’re completely familiar with. It’s just a sense of joy and optimism about being in a place you’re very familiar with and that you love. Being in touch with the landscape.
Thankyou to Roger Brown for typing out this article.