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Steve speaks with Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 December 2004

Originally published at

In an ideal world?
The Church by Robert Lukins

With the recent release of limited-pressing album Beside Yourself, The Church have added another sparkling chapter to the band?s already 25-year-old career. However, the media?s love and attention for an anniversary doesn?t sit well with frontman Steve Kilbey.

?I don?t go along with this idea of measuring time and anniversaries,? Kilbey insists. ?I have a real radar for things that aren?t in the real spirit of rock?n?roll. I know that?s a fucking ridiculous, fucking Jack Black kind of silly thing to say ? ?spirit of rock?n?roll? ? but I believe that there is a spirit.

?It was the people?s medium to fucking take control of an art form, imbue it with emotions and do things the other art forms couldn?t do. It blew away the horrible 1950s, showbiz, shallow, greasy, blokes in suits, soft-shoe shuffle, Las Vegas thing. It had this spirit: we?re going to fucking do what we want to do. Of course they had to have dealings with the fucking man. The man had to put the records out and the man certainly fucked it in the end. But there was still this initial spirit and I still adhere to that. And part of that isn?t having anniversaries.

?I have to resist this horrible temptation that is all around me, sucking me in. My mother rings me up and says, ?Why don?t you go and play on that tour with Billy Thorpe and all the others? They?re doing really well?. But once you do that, there?s no going back.?

Kilbey explains that in recent times he has made something of a reluctant truce with the media?s desire to view his band?s career retrospectively. Looking back, Kilbey considers whether he has stayed true to the spirit of rock?n?roll.

?At the beginning of your career? you?ve got it all planned out. [You think] ?I won?t do this, I won?t do that? and ?I won?t let this happen to me?. But if you keep going long enough, everything that can happen to you will happen to you eventually. I still do that; I sit here and say ?I wouldn?t accept an award from a fucking awards ceremony?. But I?m sure if it came along and it was like, an Oscar, I would betray my ideals and do it.?

Considering the spectacular highs and difficult trials of his career, he ponders what the Steve Kilbey of 25 years ago would think of himself circa 2004.

?If I met myself when I first started out, he would have some stark accusations against me. Then I?d have to say, ?Well it?s all very well for you ? you weren?t there at the time?. I was lost or bamboozled or in a fog or had my mind on other things. One thing you can?t accuse me of too much is that I haven?t completely betrayed the rock?n?roll spirit, whatever that is. I haven?t gone and sold out to the man. Give me a chance and I?ll still try to stick it to the man.?

The Church play The Zoo Saturday Nov 20. Beside Yourself out now through Cooking Vinyl/Shock.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 December 2004 )
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