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Steve talks about Gold Afternoon Fix Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 April 1990

Steve describes some of the ideas/puns behind Terra Nova Cain and Metropolis and mentions his approaches to solo work vs. working with The Church.


Unorthodox twist for The Church

Much-worshipped Australian band The church delivers the unholy trinity of sex and drugs and rock'n'roll on their new album, Gold Afternoon Fix, but their version is hardly orthodox.

Take for example the intriguing track Terra Nova Cain, which somehow manages to combine sex, drugs, religion, aliens and space travel in one song.

There was only one person with the cosmic code to this sci-fi cypher - its author Steve Kilbey, the expanded consciousness on which The Church was founded.

Last week while the singer-songwriter and bass player was in Sydney producing a single for local band Bhagavad Guitars, I asked him about the title's not-so-obscure drug reference.
"It could be a unearthly kind of drug that's available somewhere else," he said. "But Terra Nova is the new Earth and Cain is obviously the biblical character.
"If you put those together you do get a pun that ends up being that (Novocaine). I had the piece of music and that phrase just came into my head for some reason. The whole pun just sprang into my mind.
"I got the music home about ten minutes after Marty (Willson-Piper) and I wrote it, and the first line just insisted itself into the song: 'Turn down the gravity, this is all too heavy' and then the song turned into a tune about a guy who's kidnapped by alines.
"I guess they gave him something that he can't do without. Once they've brough him back again, he misses the whole thing. But it's just a quick pop song, it's not a science fiction book."

Meanwhile, the single from the album, Metropolis, is more of a comic strip - Superman.

"To me, Metropolis has always been the city where Superman lives, I always imagine that black and white, 1950s New the TV show with George Reeves," Kilbey said.
"I never realized that was New York when I was a kid. I thought there was a real city called Metropolis.
"I've spent a lot of time in New York, but this song isn't about New York by any means. It's a song of general longing...about a city and its inhabitants and stuff."

The Church spent from August to October last year in another metropolis, Los Angeles, recording the group's seventh album. Meanwhile, Steve Kilbey has worked on several solo projects, the latest being his intriguing double album Remindlessness on Red Eye Records.

Is his solo work for love, and the vastly more commercial Church material, for money?

"They're both for money and love, but I guess the solo stuff's got more love than money involved and The Church has more money than love," Kilbey replied. "But also I love money, that's just a joke.
"I didn't get involved in music for the money.
"When I do the Church stuff, the only difference is there is a lot more responsibility to shoulder because it's a lot more serious, there's a lot more money involved. it costs a lot of money to record the albums and there's lots of people's careers hanging on the thread.
"With my own thing it really doesn't matter, there aren't any vast costs.
"I don't sit down with dollar signs in my eyes when I'm writing the Church stuff by any means and I put just as much work and love into both of them."
"Any album I do is just a snapshot of what was in my brain in the three minutes it took me to write the lyrics."

The album's title, by the way, is a stockmarket phrase referring to the gold price set at the end of day's trading...but of course to Kilbey it has other more obscure connotations.

Now the album is out, The Church will embark on a worldwide crusade to push their fame fortune. But first they'll play the Enmore Theatre on Friday April 6 and Saturday April 7 with guest Violinda.


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