Charming as ever Q& A
Q: There was a rumour you were contemplating a tour of the Outback. Fact or fiction? A: It was planned, but the offers didn’t cover the travel expenses, so we couldn’t do it. Interestingly, a lot of good offers are coming in this year, which I think is a result of very successful touring. Q: Do you have a favourite Australian animal? A: Eric Bana. Q: Your 2012 world tour has been undertaken with no management, record label or album to promote. The enduring success without these usual tools must be particularly gratifying. A: It’s gratifying but it takes independence a bit too far and it isn’t generally understood or acknowledged. I still dream of a manager who actually manages. But they don’t exist. Managers manage themselves in relation to whatever it is the artist does. Q: You’re between record labels. Is there an update? A: Not really. The horizon remains bleak. But I accept it now. I exist only in the live arena, or on YouTube. Talent is now so artificially shaped that to tour successfully and to have integrity and meaning to whatever you do are utterly foreign commodities to the music industry. Q: A few new songs have been aired live. Is there a new album? A: We were ready to record the album 18 months ago but there were no takers. I was approached by Sony but the offer was so poor I’d end up paying for everything yet splitting the profit with the label. It doesn’t make sense. Q: What are your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook? A: I know nothing about Twitter, and I can only roughly assess Facebook. Twitter seems useful in some ways because you are no longer at the mercy of press interpretation, but Facebook is too self- gratifying. You might think you have 900 friends, but it’s an illusion. To me it seems like the essence of loneliness. Q: Any inside word on your looming autobiography? Does it have a title yet? A: Of course it has a title. Titles are just as important as content. I’ve said almost too much about the book recently – more words than there are in the book itself so I can’t add anything. It will be laid bare soon, to be loved or despised or ignored. Fate will decide. I’ll be in Tibet tapping a singing- bowl. Q: How long did it spend in the mitts of lawyers? A: No lawyers involved and no need for any. If the book expresses events insofar as they affected me on a personal level, then how can such things be disputed? They can’t. Q: Are you a fan of The Killers, who often cite you as an influence? A: The Killers asked me to sing with them this month in New York, but I’m just not the type. Q: What are the elements in your rider [ list of demands]? A: There’s no way I can make this reply sound interesting: water, bread, orange juice, black tea, Duvel, grapes. This is what I am. Are you disappointed?