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Peter Koppes talks to Highwire Daze after Hologram of Baal Print E-mail
Thursday, 01 October 1998
Originally published at

The Church are back complete with three of the original members. Joining forces again are Steve Kilbey, Marty Willson-Piper, and Peter Koppes. Now on a new label, Hologram Of Baal has been released, with a second CD contained in limited edition. Prior to their House Of Blues show in Hollywood, we had a chance to speak with founding member Peter Koppes.

Highwire Daze: So have you joined up with The Church on a full time or per project basis?

Peter Koppes: At first we really didn't talk about it, but we need each other.

HD: Well that's nice to hear. So who is the new drummer and where did you find him?

Peter: His name is Tim Powles and he's been a stand-in drummer on call when they did Sometime Anywhere, and he played on a couple of tracks when they needed a real drummer. And then he's been working with Steve regularly on any of his solo projects that he does and with other people. He basically runs Steve's studio as well, being a producer himself. And we ended up doing an album called The Refo:ma-tion with Steve, me and Tim. He was on the Magician Amongst The Spirits album and I wrote a couple of songs with him for that album. And it just became obvious that The Church should get back together. He did a couple of live tours with The Church three years ago and another one a year ago just in Australia. The writing has been really good. On the new album we did, we wrote with Tim as well. So it's been an obvious progression.

HD: What is the single going to be?

Peter: They really don't do singles in America apparently. They do have emphasis tracks, and Louisiana is the emphasis track. It's the single in Australia and probably in England. There's two extra b-sides on the Australia single.

HD: What's your favorite new songs on the album?

Peter: Buffalo and Tranquility. They're just rich evocative songs. Its like Pink Floyd-y kind of music, which is the direction I want to make. It's the kind of music I want to make more than pop music.

HD: You haven't toured here in America in more than five years. What are you looking forward to the most?

Peter: Seeing some of my old friends. Basically seeing if anyone has missed us musically.

HD: I certainly think so.

Peter: Oh, they have, don't you worry. Our record company is very surprised. We always surprised people through-out our career. We're the most underrated band in the world, I reckon. It does seem to be a classic thing that all the musicians kind of know about us and the public and the media know about it, but not the industry.

HD: Explain how your music has changed over the last few albums.

Peter: Priest = Aura was a transitional album and it was heading somewhere and then Marty and Steve went off and did loopy kind of stuff with Sometime Anywhere. And Magician Amongst The Spirits was a funny album and not really focused at all. And the new album is a consolidation of a lot of stuff. You have to hear The Reformation, because basically Priest = Aura and Reformation were the two stepping stones to this album. And I hope the next album would have the Sometime Anywhere style departure incorporated as well. We've sort of fractured into two different directions at the same time.

HD: Are you guys going to ever release a live video or album?

Peter: Yeah, we recorded one in Australia on the last tour. We havent decided how we're going to put it out. It needs a lot of work and we need investment. When you talk about videos and film and we got seven cameras and a lot of hours of footage and it takes a lot of work to do it properly.

HD: So how are you guys getting along nowadays?

Peter: Um, fine. We work together. We always have different interests and we always have clashes, but we're pretty responsible human beings these days.

HD: Do you have any solo material coming out soon?

Peter: Yeah, I've got an album out on my own record label in Australia. The label is called Emotion and it's got The Reformation album, it's got my album called Love-era and it's sort of a double title album because it's also called Irony.

HD: Could you explain what we'll find on the bonus CD Bastard Universe?

Peter: It's a 79 minute jam of instantaneous music. It should probably be in the Guinness Book of Records because I don't think anything has ever been released like that. We had to actually cut a couple of minutes out of it to fit in on a CD. But it's a continuous musical evolution and it's like a prog-rock piece. It's an instrumental and it's got indexing on the CD but it's a continuous 79 minute piece of music spontaneously created.

HD: Do you have any messages for your fans?

Peter: We know who you are and why you are. And we like that obviously!

Check out A Box Of Birds, the new album by The Church, available from Thirsty Ear Records. The Church is on tour for A Box Of Birds. They currently performed at The House Of Blues in Hollywood on September 15, 1999. Some solo material includes Manchild & Myth (1988) and From The Well (1989).

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