PA­JAMA CLUB

Most cou­ples suf­fer­ing from empty nest syn­drome go on a cruise or buy a car­a­van, but not Neil and Sharon Finn. When their two sons moved out of their Auck­land home to pur­sue their own ca­reers in mu­sic, the pro­lific Crowded House front­man and his wife of n

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Finns cre­ate new sound.

Q. Why did you and your wife Sharon make an al­bum?

A. It was just some­thing to do on a quiet night when we had the house to our­selves and we were just about to go to bed. We de­cided to go and make a noise in­stead. It started off as a pretty late night and slightly in­tox­i­cated af­fair. We were de­lighted by how good it felt on drums and bass – nei­ther of us be­ing in the least bit skilled in those ar­eas – but we taped it and kept us en­ter­tained when we played it back. It’s def­i­nitely given us a new lease on life.

Q. One might think you’d be in­dulging your more mel­low, laid­back in­stinct but it’s quite edgy and even men­ac­ing in parts. Where did that come from?

A. It just evolved. We recog­nised that when things start off with drums and bass and they have by and large a pretty up-tempo groove to them that it would be good to serve them with some­thing that has en­ergy and a bit of raw­ness. There are some mel­low mo­ments here and there, but I think gen­er­ally the al­bum is pretty up and we are quite happy it has some rough edges. We didn’t want to make a grown-up record. We are try­ing to deny our ad­vanc­ing years.

Q. What’s it like writ­ing with some­one who knows all your deep­est se­crets al­ready? Can you be at your most hon­est?

A. It’s good to have the art of the with­er­ing look. It’s one of the skills of song­writ­ing that has been pre­vi­ously undis­cov­ered. Noth­ing works bet­ter for get­ting rid of a poor idea than a with­er­ing look.

Q. Pre­sum­ably Sharon didn’t sub­mit to your point of view just be­cause you have been in Split Enz and Crowded House. Did you butt heads at times?

A. Sharon sub­mits to my point of view all the time on ev­ery front re­ally. You can hear her laugh­ing in the back­ground – that’s not some­thing I would have said if she wasn’t in the room. She doesn’t roll over on any­thing but it re­ally came down to whether she could dance to it. She is ac­tu­ally a very good dancer and that’s where her bass play­ing came from.

Q. You two have been mar­ried for close to 30 years in a busi­ness not known for its sta­bil­ity. What’s the se­cret?

A. There is no se­cret to our longevity. It’s just a lot less com­pli­cated to be to­gether. It would be re­ally com­pli­cated if we broke up now, es­pe­cially now that there are song­writ­ing splits that have to be agreed. We’d have to go through the songs line by line, say­ing ‘ I wrote that one’.

Q. Is it im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous to you when you are writ­ing what is go­ing to be a solo song or a Crowded House song or a Finn Broth­ers song or a Pa­jama Club song – or does it de­pend on who else is in the room?

A. It de­pends on who is in the room. Songs have a mys­te­ri­ous lin­ear jour­ney and it de­pends what it’s end­ing up on. The ideas just come. I don’t ever sit down and think ‘ I’m go­ing to write a Crowded House song now’. You are in that sit­u­a­tion and it just goes into the pool and it gets stirred up and dol­loped out into a nice steam­ing hot bowl to be served up at who­ever’s ta­ble is ap­pro­pri­ate.

PA­JAMA CLUB out now ( Lester Records)

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