Be­yond the Milky Way.

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

STEVE Kil­bey is reg­u­larly asked to sign off on The Church’s 1988 hit Un­der the milky

Way for use in TV shows or ad­ver­tise­ments. Some artists are pre­cious about their songs be­ing sold, es­pe­cially with Un­der the

Milky Way once voted the best Aus­tralian song of all time. Not Kil­bey.

‘‘ There is al­most noth­ing, ex­cept for maybe a cig­a­rette ad, I’d say no to Un­der

the milky Way be­ing used for,’’ Kil­bey says. ‘‘ It was used for a car ad­ver­tise­ment in Amer­ica, very lu­cra­tively for me.

‘‘ You’d think peo­ple would think it’s been overused, but the more it’s used, the more peo­ple seem to want to use it.

‘‘ I’m sign­ing off all the time for TV shows or choco­late bars us­ing it.

‘‘ Sure, have it, it’s just a song, do what­ever you like with it.

‘‘ You can hear it wasn’t writ­ten for profit. It’s an ac­ci­den­tal song I ac­ci­den­tally wrote and ac­ci­den­tally be­came a sin­gle and ac­ci­den­tally be­came a hit.’’ It’s been a nice earner. ‘‘ I’ve writ­ten 2000 songs. Thank God one of them came through!’’ he says.

‘‘ The oth­ers aren’t pulling their weight. ‘‘ They sit and grum­ble about Un­der the

Milky Way and I say, ‘ Well, boys, go out and earn the same dough as that one’.’’ The al­bum that housed Un­der the milky

Way, Starfish, closes The Church’s lat­est show, which they are tour­ing to cel­e­brate their 30th an­niver­sary.

They play Starfish, 1992’ s Priest = Aura and last year’s Un­ti­tled # 23 in full, and in re­verse chrono­log­i­cal or­der. ‘‘ We have to have the lure of hear­ing

Un­der the milky Way to make peo­ple sit through all the other bor­ing songs,’’ Kil­bey ( pic­tured) jokes.

The band have al­ready taken the three­hour ( plus in­ter­vals, ‘‘ so you can get breath­ing space and rush to our merch’ stand’’) con­cert to the US.

‘‘ It re­ally is the best show The Church have ever done,’’ Kil­bey says.

‘‘ It’s a real con­cert, a se­ri­ous con­cert, not a bunch of scruffy old rock­ers com­ing on hav­ing a jam.

‘‘ It goes from the prog- rocky new al­bum, to what fans think is our most es­o­teric and ar­cane al­bum Priest = Aura and then Starfish seems like a car­toon

It’s an ac­ci­den­tal song I ac­ci­den­tally wrote and ac­ci­den­tally be­came a sin­gle and ac­ci­den­tally be­came a hit

re­lief af­ter the weight of those two al­bums.’’

Kil­bey wrote Un­der the milky Way in five min­utes not think­ing it was spe­cial.

‘‘ I think it’s a re­ally good song. Peo­ple are so sur­prised an am­bigu­ous song with loads of mys­tery and in­tegrity can be­come a hit sin­gle.

‘‘ Ev­ery now and again one of them gets through. Like when Creep by Ra­dio­head be­came a hit.

‘‘ Off- cen­tre, off- the- wall songs be­come hits ev­ery now and again and it re­freshes ev­ery­body.

‘‘ I be­lieve that hap­pened with Go­tye [ Some­body That I Used to Know], a song that wasn’t made for money and profit and avarice and greed be­comes a big hit.

‘‘ Lyri­cally, [ Un­der the milky Way] cap­tures a feel­ing of sweet uncer­tainty. ‘‘ I’ve set up a very vague world. ‘‘ Once you en­ter it you pop­u­late it with your own de­tails.

‘‘ It doesn’t mean any­thing but that doesn’t mean it means noth­ing.’’

While it may be the band’s big­gest hit, there’s a large por­tion of Church fans who would be happy for the band not to play it.

‘‘ There’s as much agony caused by us play­ing it as joy,’’ Kil­bey says. ‘‘ It’s on the al­bum we are play­ing in full. ‘‘ There­fore peo­ple who want to hear it know it’s com­ing and don’t have to scream out for it. And the ones who don’t want it know we have to play it.

‘‘ It’s no sur­prise. It’s like a trip to the den­tist – you know it’s com­ing, you just deal with it.’’


are tour­ing, with their next gig at Syd­ney’s Taronga Zoo on Satur­day, Jan­uary 28.

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