Q&A

singer-song­writer

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - In­ter­view by KATHY MCCABE Can­did Cam­era. The All Crawl tour starts Au­gust 4 in Mel­bourne; james­reyne.com.au.

James Reyne on re­vis­it­ing the past and why he’s a big fan of kaf­tans.

Peo­ple may not be aware that you mar­ried your part­ner, Leanne Wool­rich, in May. Con­grat­u­la­tions on keep­ing it so quiet. We were on a friend’s prop­erty in the bush down on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula; there were a cou­ple of paps tres­pass­ing about a kilo­me­tre away. A few young boys at the wed­ding got an old Land Rover, bailed them up and started ques­tion­ing their morals – that was quite funny. They didn’t get one shot. I think they might have been there to get a cou­ple of our guests. If I’m at some­thing, I will al­ways stand in front of them and they never take my photo. I tell friends who don’t want a photo to stand next to me. Leanne in­tro­duced you to kaf­tans, and you’ve said they’re the per­fect at­tire for a 60-year-old man like your­self to wear about the house. Please ex­plain. They are! It was my last birthday present from her. She sourced a pat­tern from the ’70s and went to a dress­maker. It is re­ally com­fort­able and warm. When I’m hav­ing a night in, there’s a fire go­ing and we’re watch­ing some­thing, I put on my kaf­tan. It is the most com­fort­able men’s ap­parel I have ever worn. You haven’t al­ways been so keen to re­visit your mu­si­cal past. So why is your up­com­ing tour fo­cus­ing on your hits with Aus­tralian Crawl? Why not give peo­ple what they want? It did so well last time. I think a cou­ple of songs are a bit silly… ‘Hoochie Gucci Fiorucci Mama’ is crap, but we will do it. I was 17 or some­thing when I wrote it. It is the sound of a young man try­ing much too hard. But peo­ple love it. Which Crawl songs do you love? Some we play all the time: ‘Er­rol’, ‘The Boys Light Up’, ‘Oh No Not You Again’. And since ev­ery­one started com­ment­ing about whether or not Guns N’ Roses ripped off ‘Un­pub­lished Crit­ics’ for ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’, we do it with [that] riff. We’re hams, re­ally. Your de­but on Count­down with both arms in plas­ter re­mains one of the show’s most mem­o­rable mo­ments. I re­mem­ber us say­ing back­stage: “Well, if the band never does more than one ap­pear­ance on Count­down, at least we will be re­mem­bered for the singer with plas­ter on both arms!” It ended up be­ing a gim­mick… even though it wasn’t. Why do you think Crawl songs hold such af­fec­tion in peo­ple’s lives? For peo­ple of a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion, it trig­gers things from a for­ma­tive pe­riod. The mu­sic you lis­ten to as a teenager tends to stick for the rest of your life. It’s the same when I hear Van Mor­ri­son’s Moon­dance or Neil Young’s Har­vest. You’ve re­leased more than 10 solo stu­dio al­bums since 1987. Is there a de­sire for that mu­sic to be given the same recog­ni­tion as your Crawl work? Part of me does… I ac­cept and un­der­stand the na­ture of the in­dus­try. I carry on, any­way – be­cause that’s what I do and I like do­ing it. I’ve been luck­ier than most; I’ve had two bites at the cherry. I have a great au­di­ence who sing

“For peo­ple of a cer­tain gen­er­a­tion, our mu­sic trig­gers things from a for­ma­tive pe­riod”

along pas­sion­ately to my solo songs. It can be frus­trat­ing that peo­ple don’t get to hear my newer work. I don’t have the sound ra­dio wants to play. I don’t sound like Child­ish Gam­bino or Bey­oncé or Ed Sheeran. Although, I’m not too far from Ed. But a 16-year-old isn’t go­ing to re­late to me. I don’t look like Harry Styles any­more – and I did used to have a lux­u­ri­ous mane. Has life on the road changed from when you were with Crawl? We cer­tainly look af­ter our­selves bet­ter. When we were 20, we were get­ting hang­overs all the time. But I can’t deal with it now, so I don’t drink at all when I’m work­ing. If we’ve done a few shows in a row, at the end of the last night I’ll have a cou­ple of whiskeys back in the ho­tel. [But] water is bet­ter for the voice and the mind and the body. Your son JR is a singer and he was in the drama se­ries The Se­cret Daugh­ter. How do you feel about his de­ci­sion to join the fam­ily busi­ness? My mum had an agent; she was an ac­tress the whole time we were grow­ing up, in plays and mu­si­cals. She still sings at 88. My fa­ther was quite a good, if frus­trated, ac­tor. So I’m not sur­prised the whole fam­ily is [in­volved] in it. Let’s go back to be­ing a new­ly­wed. How are love and mar­riage dif­fer­ent at this age? Ev­ery­thing is dif­fer­ent. Women are dif­fer­ent, love af­fairs are dif­fer­ent. They are unique, and have their own char­ac­ter – their own foibles and ups and downs. Mostly ups. I was quite happy to roll along; I was OK with my own com­pany. It al­ways hap­pens when you least ex­pect it. Like

``i don´t look like harry styles any­more´´

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