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Tim Powles talks to Highwire Daze about Box of Birds Print E-mail
Monday, 20 December 1999
Originally published at http://members.tripod.com/~WRIGHTPRODUCTIONS/timchurch.html
INTERVIEW WITH TIM POWLES OF THE CHURCH

Updated: 12/20/99

The Church were in town recently on tour in support of their cover album entitled A Box Of Birds. We recently had a chance to talk with drummer Tim Powles about life on the road with The Church.

Highwire Daze: Besides Reformation, how come you haven't sang lead or done any back-up vocals for The Church yet?

Tim Powles: I've done a lot of back-up vocals with The Church, but we haven't really gotten into lot of singing for lead vocals. It might arise, but I kind of doubt it. I'm fourth in line there.

HD: Yeah, but you kind of keep them all together, though.

Tim: Yeah, I do. I did a few backing vocals on Hologram -- Steve and I were the only singers on that record.

HD: When choosing songs to be on the cover album Box Of Birds, what songs didn't make it on the album and why?

Tim: It was a bit of hit and miss accidental sort of thing with the band. In some ways, it was the first ten they could learn are the ones they picked out. You have to try and steer the ones you think are right into that first batch. If someone starts playing a song just off the cuff, and it's not a song you think should be in the pool -- you have to stop and discuss it immediately -- otherwise chances are that it will be in there. It's a bit like doing the live show actually.

HD: I've noticed that. Sometimes the songs are right on the money and sometimes you're almost negotiating on stage as you're getting ready to do songs.

Tim: When most of our negotiating is being done, it's not always happy.

HD: There's so much material to chose from (The Church songs and otherwise)...

Tim: Yes, too much...

HD: Maybe that's why the song All Too Much is on A Box Of Birds then...

Tim: We're not playing it live, because we feel that on the record it works with all the percussions and overdubs and things -- but live it's just a big dirge. (On Box Of Birds) we were trying to find a balance of songs they had done before -- it really wasn't suppose to be a cover album, just songs that they had done before.

HD: I understand that you were half way through recording a new record too...

Tim: We had most of one and we scrubbed half of it. We've got some songs. We're playing one in the set called After Everything Now This. It's a good song. It's hard to tell where it's all heading stylistically.

HD: Do you feel that as a producer, working with The Church is an easy task or a hard one?

Tim: Hard! Yep, definitely!

HD: What do you do to try and make it easy on everybody?

Tim: I don't know. There's no simple answer to that. I just really try to learn the way everybody is and reacts and works -- and suggest things to get the best out of everybody the way they are -- as opposed to what might just naturally happen. Because when they're left up to their own devices, they don't always go the best way.

HD: What's your favorite Church album?

Tim: Probably The Blurred Crusade.

HD: Interesting. You guys don't do anything from that in the set at all...

Tim: No, we don't. Not because we haven't tried. If any one member of the band violently objects to a song, it doesn't go in there. We're trying to be democratic in some way. Steven has severe ideas on certain songs not being in there. But sometimes we can through things in. We do change it. It just takes a bit of something in order for it to be changed.

HD: What are your favorite songs of A Box Of Birds and why?

Tim: I like Faith Healer and The Endless Sea in particular, because I'm just glad that we actually managed to learn them.

HD: You seem to have brought a good thing to The Church as a whole...

Tim: I've brought a good energy. I know for some people that when I came on, I didn't necessarily bring in the right style of drumming along. I've definitely brought a good energy and I've kind of saved them for boiling into nothing. But it's hard to be the right musicians in the middle of those three guys.

HD: Would you rather just be the drummer or just the producer for The Church and not both?

Tim: Just generally, I'm more interested in producing records and the art of all that -- putting things together and working with people -- than I am with playing drums. I've been playing drums for a long time and also playing drums in The Church, for me, can be a bit singular. So I'm glad there's more in it for me. I need to be that involved in something -- otherwise I'd be bored. I think I could be bored if I was just a drummer in The Church -- that's a dangerous thing to say -- but it's true.

HD: What is your solo album TYG like?

Tim: It's nothing like The Church at all. It doesn't have any jingly songs, it's not psychedelic in a warm, colorful way. It's darker and fuzzier and it's a lot more heavy. Lyrically it's not abstract at all -- it's very definitely about things. I did everything on it myself, except for the guitar. I rehearsed a band in Australia for it earlier in the year (to tour), but I just didn't have time to do it. I was always slipping off doing Church things...

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