How I unwind: Mark Seymour

A brief interview with Mark on how he unwinds.

Author:  Roger Ma, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Date: 9 March 2014.

Original URL: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/how-i-unwind-mark-seymour-20140307-34ap7.html

 

Article Text

They’re one of the most influential bands Australia has produced, and it was entirely appropriate that Hunters & Collectors began their highly anticipated reunion tour – their first since 1998 – on the Australia Day long weekend. Inspired by the release of a tribute album, Crucible: The Songs of Hunters & Collectors, with covers by the likes of Eddie Vedder and Neil Finn, Birds of Tokyo and Paul Kelly, the ”Hunnas” are currently touring regional wineries with A Day on the Green and will move on to indoor venues including in Sydney next month.

Ten minutes before going on stage, I …

Try not drink too much. I’m a fairly typical middle-age male rock singer, I’ve been doing it for 32 years and I’m very aware of my health. I do like a beer I have to say, it’s one of my few pleasures left. And I say that with a smile on my face [laughs].

Right after coming off stage …

Generally I like to chill out, drink a lot of water, and I don’t usually like to leave the venue for quite a while afterwards. There’s a lot of childish banter between middle-age men and whoever’s backstage at the time. It’s pretty funny.

What keeps me motivated to play these shows is …

I really enjoy singing, to be honest. I really focus on my voice, and I listen to my voice. It’s a really big part of me, especially in between the band’s retirement in ’98 and now. I’ve spent 15 years just touring, doing other stuff, and the singing has become really important to me on a personal level, so I’m very aware of my voice.

Something that surprises people about me is …

I get extremely nervous before I go on stage. And I’m very aware of it. There’s a lot of adrenalin. I tend to focus on breathing. I do meditate, not before I play … but I tend to do that at times to stay calm; try to sit very still and breathe calmly – often with a beer within arm’s reach.
A big challenge for Hunters & Collectors was …

Not knowing if we were going to cut it or not because it’s an over-two-hour show. It’s a very physical show, a very physical sound. It’s very intense. I work very hard on stage and I was a little bit concerned that I might have been past it, but the evidence is on stage and it hasn’t proven otherwise, which I’m very happy with.
My favourite Hunters & Collectors cover on the Crucible tribute album is …

Emma Donovan singing True Tears of Joy.

The first album I ever owned was …

Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel.

A memorable gig I’ve played was …

The Sound Relief concert in 2009 at the MCG. That was really spectacular: a massive crowd singing, 80,000 people, totally engaged and really unique. It was a really moving event.

My biggest guilty pleasure is …

Alcohol? But I don’t feel guilty about it [laughs]. I’d have to say surfing. I’ve never quite been able to totally embrace it, but I really enjoy it. When I’m away I drive around to the other side of the bay to surf. It consumes a lot of my time and I sort of feel vaguely guilty about that.

I get wound up when …

People ask me if Hunters & Collectors are going to keep going – that winds me up [laughs].

To unwind I like to …

Go down to a little town called Kilcunda in Gippsland – there’s a little cottage down there to stay in. And I usually put in two or three days down there a week. I surf at Kilcunda Trestle Bridge, go for bike rides, barbecue and drink beer.

Hunters & Collectors perform on April 4 and 5 at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney (sold out).

 

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