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Peter talks to Diane Godley about GAF Print E-mail
Monday, 01 January 1990

TITLE:  ?We Might Go to the Himalayas?
INTERVIEWEE:  Peter Koppes
SUBJECT:  The Church (Gold Afternoon Fix)
AUTHOR:  Diane Godley
DATE:  1990

Where have The Church been hiding since the release of their successful ?Starfish? LP?  Diane Godley spoke to Peter Koppes, the band?s guitarist, at his home in Byron Bay on the north coast of New South Wales.  She found he had a lot to say on Aussies in the US, becoming the next INXS, why he doesn?t like the New Kids and of course, the new Church album, ?Gold Afternoon Fix?!

How different is this new album ?Gold Afternoon Fix? to your last LP?

There?s always growth and sometimes it has to be a reflection with time.  On this album there?s more of a groove, ?Milky Way? was perhaps more complex, but on this one I suppose you can say there?s artistic simplification which sometimes makes it easier for people to feel the essence.  ?Feel the essence??  Can you say that?  You can taste the essence.

Every track is a collaborative effort by at least two members.  Grind was the more popular track, the more universal of the tracks, everyone agrees that they like it, but it?s six minutes so it wouldn?t make a very good single.  We don?t like the idea of editing it down for the sake of making a single.  Metropolis is a good single, but not necessarily the best track on the album.

Is your drummer Richard Ploog still playing with the band?

Well, yeah, sort of.  He plays on four tracks on the album.  We?re using another drummer while touring.  When it comes to the next album, we?ll probably do something different.  We might approach the next album with computers or even go and sit in the Himalayas, just the three of us ? or we might get back down and jam with Richard.  At this time we have no predictions.  We?ll just have to follow our noses.

Where will you be touring?

Everywhere.  And nowhere.  We?ve been nowhere a few times actually.  First of all we?re doing a few stops around Australia, we might be coming back later on in the year, but at this stage it?s just Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.  Then we?re doing England and Europe.  We?ll be doing the States for six weeks and after that Japan, possibly even South America.

Do you think you?ll be the new INXS?

I hope not.  I hope we?re not the new anything.  I hope we?ll be a new entity that might be used as a yard stick for other people.  Like an original entity.  As far as popularity?s concerned, if we sold as many records as them I?d be very happy.  I?d like to be able to keep our own identity.

What do you think about the music on the charts at the moment?  Do you like New Kids On The Block?

No, I don?t like them.  I don?t like a lot of the conservatism in the young pop music that?s coming out.  I?ve never been very keen on dance music but I can see its place.  Music doesn?t necessarily have to be direct entertainment.  It can be something that people can entertain themselves by listening to and dancing to.  I was very prejudiced against dance music and it turned me off a lot of really good people, like Prince, I was really happy to see Sinead O?Connor go to number one with that Prince song.  Milli Vanilli are a funny one, they?re so middle of the road.  Sometimes I think it?s disgusting and then other times I think it?s quite arty.  Acid house music I find quite interesting.  The surreal technology I quite like.  I don?t listen to anyone in particular.  I just went to an acid house party in Sydney and I couldn?t believe some of the things I was hearing!

Are you surprised at the popularity of some of the Australian bands in the US?

To me it was no surprise to see bands like INXS, Icehouse, Midnight Oil, Crowded House and The Church do so well over there.  And it was no surprise either to see Cold Chisel, The Angels and all that sweaty mob ? also Johnny Diesel who?s just copying them ? not doing anything.

In England we do the most outrageous shows we play anywhere.  They?re really packed out, and there?s all this slam dancing and stage diving.  The press there has ignored us, but I?ve been told there?s going to be some press about the new album.  We might get some sort of breakthrough with that.

Transcribed by Marcelo Guevara

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