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Steve talks to The Age about his long career Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 January 2006

I can't find a link to the original article on the age's website, but thank you to miloguidosmom for posting this on Hotelwomb.

Double Exposure - STEVE KILBEY Musician

Author: Chris Beck
Date: 07/01/2006
       
LAST YEAR, STEVE Kilbey, front man for the Church, played their first hit The Unguarded Moment live for the first time in ages.

"I didn't know when I was 24 and wrote Unguarded Moment that I was expected to sing it forever," he says, "It was something I knocked off one morning before I went shopping."

Kilbey, 51, was arrested while shopping for drugs in New York in 1999. "A drug bust is something every ageing rock star should have under his belt," he said at the time. An intelligent, funny and thoughtful man, he admits to being almost always stoned. "I love to play and write on (marijuana). It puts me into a detached place where my ego can step out of the way and let my subconscious do the talking," he says.

"I'm doing enough swimming and yoga to make up for three joints and five chocolate bars a day."

Kilbey, a vegan, views it as his responsibility to the fans to put on the best show he can, not offer a tribute to his past.
"In 1964, people probably thought they wanted the Beatles to keep on playing She Loves You and I Wanna Hold Your Hand. They didn't know that something better was to come."

As a teenager he idolised David Bowie and Marc Bolan. But since being mauled at Festival Hall in 1981, he has shied away from adulation.

"It's a strange feeling - of being so embarrassed and also frightened at the same time - disappearing under a welter of teenage girls, all pulling at me hysterically."

When a 15-year-old fan recently asked him to sign a CD, he was dumbfounded. "I was surprised because when I was 15 I doubt whether I would have been a fan of someone who was 50," he says.

"When I was 15, I'd rather have had a 20-year-old imbecile as a hero than a 40-year-old genius. On the other hand, when I was a teenager, music had suddenly changed from my father's generation to mine. He didn't like electric guitars and he didn't understand the aesthetic. There has been no revolution since when I (started with the Church). Nothing has changed. If you went back to 1980 and played people the records that are around now, people would go, 'Jesus, is that it?' It would be profoundly disappointing."

He admits that the lack of the revolution he perhaps hoped for at least gives the Church a lifeline to a long career.

"But part of rock's manifesto is novelty and newness. When you've been around for 25 years you have to accept that that's one thing you haven't got any more."

He is now playing some of the old material including Unguarded Moment and Almost With You after releasing El Momento Descuidado, an acoustic album of Church songs. He enjoys people's appreciation of his music but views fame for its own sake as society's "mistake".

"Edward Gibbon wrote in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that one of the symptoms of a society in decay is when fame and money is the most important thing regardless of whether the fame is actually infamy, and the money was gotten by dishonest means," Kilbey explains.

"He said you could see this in the fall of Rome. It's happening now. We don't care what anybody did except that they are famous. And because they are famous, there are people setting them up, knocking them down, hounding them. Why? I don't know."

Another Face: Sam Sejavka, the playwright. He is extraordinarily handsome and charismatic.

Mistaken Identity: David Cassidy. Brian Mannix from Uncanny X Men - a funny little fellow - once said on stage that the Church was like the Partridge Family on Mandrax.
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