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Sold on Sweden - Steve prepares to leave Australia in 1997 Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 October 1997
Steve calmly reflects on what was and the "last" Church album.



WC 697 words

PD 16 October 1997

SN Daily Telegraph


PG 67

LA English

CY (c) 1997 Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd


THE sign outside Steve Kilbey's house at Rozelle tells the story in one word: "Sold."

Inside, the long-time leader of The Church is busy packing up 20 years of memories in preparation for a permanent move next month to Sweden, home of his twin girls.



"I've got these daughters and they're six years old and they're really lovely kids," explained Kilbey.

"Their mother's Swedish and she chose to move back to Sweden. And, really, if I want to be an active father and take control of their upbringing - which I do want to do - I've got to go there. So that's what I'm going to do."

The doting daddy stops himself for a moment and lets out a laugh.

"It's really boring reading about rockers talking about their kids - I used to hate it - but they're the most important thing I have. They're the most real thing.

"Groups and records and careers and all that, they're not real. They're just ideas. Like the idea of a career is not something you can sit down and give a cuddle to.

"A kid is a real thing. The kids give me a lot of love and a lot of inspiration and I just want to be there with them all the time. It's not much fun seeing them once in a blue moon and the last time I was there, saying goodbye was just too much."

Aside from packing up the house, there's a few other things Kilbey has to wrap up before taking off to start his new life.

On top of the agenda is, of course, The Church.

"We're going to do our last ever album," declared the singer. "I'm hoping to call it Au Revoir Per Favore.

"The last record [Magician Among The Spirits] should have been the last one but I don't think it was good enough to be that. So I'd just like to finish off on a really good record.

"And I've got a real feeling in my bones that this is going to be a good record. Everyone's really up for it." At this stage, Kilbey still has no idea what shape this last ever Church album will take, and he sort of likes things that way.

"People in the band say to me, `What do you think it's going to be like?' I don't know what it's going to be like. I think that's the exciting thing. It could go anywhere.

"It could be really retro or it could be really experimental electronic. Don't know. Just see what happens."

Ironically, the imminent end of The Church comes at one of the most harmonious points of the enigmatic outfit's often turbulent history.

After surviving as just the duo of Kilbey and guitarist Marty Willson-Piper for a few years, The Church is now a full band once again. Co-founder Peter Koppes has returned to the fold after bailing out following the release of 1992's Priest = Aura. There's also a permanent drummer - Tim Powles - for the first time in ages.

"I think everybody really likes playing with each other," said Kilbey.

"I'd rather play with them than anybody else.

"But the interest has gone away from The Church now. I feel that even if we made the greatest record ever possible in the history of rock music, it wouldn't get a fair shake of the stick.

"Also, purely selfishly, I feel that as long as The Church is going, anything I do by myself is a bit second best to that."

Of course, the final days of such a great outfit forces reflection on opportunities lost. There was a time not too long ago when it seemed The Church was poised to take over the world. But things didn't pan out that way and, according to Kilbey, it was all their own fault.

"We blew it," he offered nonchalantly. "It's like many are called but few are chosen."

(c) Nationwide News Proprietary Ltd, 1997.

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