Screaming Jets interview, unpublished for 30 years, shows the Aussie guitar-rockers highly skilled at pissing people off

INTERVIEW CONDUCTED SEPT. 22, 1991; STORY FIRST PUBLISHED MAY 15, 2021 By Steve Newton With a jarring, guitar-heavy sound influenced by such gritty Aussie bands as Angel City, AC/DC, and early Midnight Oil, Newcastle, Australia's Screaming Jets are capable of causing quite a ruckus. They did so on their debut album, All For One, and … Continue reading Screaming Jets interview, unpublished for 30 years, shows the Aussie guitar-rockers highly skilled at pissing people off

That time Steve Kilbey told me that the Church “rocks like a bitch” on the Gold Afternoon Fix Tour

By Steve Newton Back in June of 1990 I interviewed Steve Kilbey of Aussie pop-rock band the Church. The quartet was touring behind its Gold Afternoon Fix, the followup to its hugely successful Starfish album, which you may remember for the catchy tune "Under the Milky Way". At one point in the conversation I asked … Continue reading That time Steve Kilbey told me that the Church “rocks like a bitch” on the Gold Afternoon Fix Tour

That time I asked Jimmy Barnes about his boozer reputation, and why he left Cold Chisel

By Steve Newton When I went to Australia for my little sister's wedding in 1986 I managed to see two wicked Aussie bands--Midnight Oil and the Angels (aka Angel City)--play killer shows in Melbourne-area clubs. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Cold Chisel play a killer show in a Melbourne-area pub because they'd already broken … Continue reading That time I asked Jimmy Barnes about his boozer reputation, and why he left Cold Chisel

That time I asked Midnight Oil’s Rob Hirst if, six weeks after 9/11, “U.S. Forces” was off the setlist

By Steve Newton Sometimes it's fun when you're searching through your stacks of cassettes packed with interviews you've done since 1982 and you find one that captures a crucial moment in history. I just came across an interview I did with Midnight Oil drummer and cosongwriter Rob Hirst that was dated October 26, 2001, which … Continue reading That time I asked Midnight Oil’s Rob Hirst if, six weeks after 9/11, “U.S. Forces” was off the setlist

James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1988 By Steve Newton Have you ever heard of a fellow named James Reyne? Unless you're from Australia--or were a big fan of the now-defunct Australian Crawl--you probably don't recognize the name. But you will in the future, if Reyne's solo career follows the same pattern that … Continue reading James Reyne soars as a solo artist after doing the Australian Crawl

Pseudo Echo rises from Down Under to turn North America into “Funkytown”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1987 By Steve Newton They say that rock 'n' roll is a young man's game, although the number of aging rock stars raking in big bucks today makes you wonder. Still, there are always some fine young whipper-snappers whose youthfulness comes through in the freshness and vitality of their … Continue reading Pseudo Echo rises from Down Under to turn North America into “Funkytown”

Jimmy Barnes goes solo with Canadian connection after Cold Chisel hits its peak

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 6, 1986 By Steve Newton What do you get when you combine the guitarist from Streetheart, the bassist from Headpins, the keyboardist from Sharp Edges, the drummer from the Bryan Adams band, and the lead singer from Cold Chisel? Well, with a little time, you get a pretty … Continue reading Jimmy Barnes goes solo with Canadian connection after Cold Chisel hits its peak

The Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner on junk culture, Aussie rockers, and Mars Needs Guitars!

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1985 By Steve Newton One of the wildest rock and roll sounds to come up from Down Under recently is that of the Hoodoo Gurus. Just last year the Aussie foursome released their debut album, Stoneage Romeos, a thoroughly rocking blend of pop/punk, Merseybeat, and psychedelia--all slapped … Continue reading The Hoodoo Gurus’ Dave Faulkner on junk culture, Aussie rockers, and Mars Needs Guitars!

W.P.A.’s Mick Thomas recalls seeing AC/DC, Cold Chisel, and Midnight Oil play a pub in Geelong

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 21, 1990 By Steve Newton Halifax, Nova Scotia: Could those three words possibly conjure up images of a city full of alluring possibilities and untold enchantment? Well, when Mick Thomas of Australia’s Weddings, Parties, Anything first heard them, his imagination was piqued, and he couldn’t wait to see … Continue reading W.P.A.’s Mick Thomas recalls seeing AC/DC, Cold Chisel, and Midnight Oil play a pub in Geelong

24-year-old Xavier Rudd wants to touch as many emotions as he can

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 6, 2003 By Steve Newton I remember seeing a one-man band as a kid once, and if memory serves, it was some middle-aged joker in a funny hat, blowing on a horn, fingering a ukulele, manipulating cymbals and a bass drum with his feet. The music scene has … Continue reading 24-year-old Xavier Rudd wants to touch as many emotions as he can

Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton I might not be the most sensitive guy in the world—what Skynyrd-loving bozo ever could be?—but there are certain heart-rending pop songs that can get even my old throat aclenchin’. Neil Finn’s “Lullaby Requiem” is one such pensive tune. It’s included on the … Continue reading Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

The John Butler Trio just said no to American record labels

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 2002 BY STEVE NEWTON It doesn’t take long to figure out that Australian singer-songwriter and slide-guitar ace John Butler is an issue-oriented kinda guy. In the CD booklet that accompanies his trio’s latest disc, Three, one page is loaded with facts detailing the ongoing destruction of his … Continue reading The John Butler Trio just said no to American record labels

Paul Kelly wonders if “Every Fucking City” will go over in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 21, 2002 By Steve Newton There are a couple of favourite things that come to mind when I recall my five-week holiday in Australia in ’86. One is what they called the “drive-in bottleshops”. You could just pull in off the street and have some guy hand you … Continue reading Paul Kelly wonders if “Every Fucking City” will go over in Vancouver

Midnight Oil won’t forgo antinationalist songs in wake of 9/11

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 15, 2001 By Steve Newton Midnight Oil is one of the most politically motivated and socially conscious guitar-rock bands in the world. Although best known for embracing Aboriginal land-rights issues in its native Australia via the 1988 hit “Beds Are Burning”, the quintet has always kept an eye … Continue reading Midnight Oil won’t forgo antinationalist songs in wake of 9/11

The Hoodoo Gurus’ Brad Shepherd talks Aussie rock and Magnum Cum Louder

By Steve Newton Twenty-five years ago today--on November 5, 1989--the Hoodoo Gurus played the first of two shows at Vancouver's 86 Street Music Hall. I'd been a fan of the Aussie guitar-rockers since their Stoneage Romeos debut album of '84. They wrote catchy, jangley tunes; didn't take themselves too seriously. They were a lotta fun, and apparently … Continue reading The Hoodoo Gurus’ Brad Shepherd talks Aussie rock and Magnum Cum Louder

Martin Bryant’s rampage inspired Jeff Lang’s gun-control plea on Cedar Grove

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 25, 1999 Two years ago I was offered a free trip to Toronto to interview Aerosmith, who were tirelessly promoting their then-new CD Nine Lives. Since I’d never been to T.O., I put on my Media Slut From Hell cap and agreed to spend some of Sony Music’s … Continue reading Martin Bryant’s rampage inspired Jeff Lang’s gun-control plea on Cedar Grove

Steve Kilbey says his band feels like the Church again

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 24, 1998 By Steve Newton That big old vinyl collection of mine sure comes in handy sometimes. Up until last week I had no idea that it included anything by the Church, but in preparation for a chat with singer-bassist Steven Kilbey, I took a hopeful meander through … Continue reading Steve Kilbey says his band feels like the Church again

Neil Finn makes his solo debut with Try Whistling This

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 9, 1998 After making the agonizing decision in 1996 to break up his world-famous Kiwi pop combo Crowded House, Neil Finn wasn’t exactly sure what to do next. An Aussie artist-musician friend of his suggested Finn try painting, so he spent two weeks at a beachside location doing … Continue reading Neil Finn makes his solo debut with Try Whistling This