Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Oils in Sunday Mail.

Jim Stanley jim_snappa@hotmail.com
Sun, 17 Feb 2002 20:03:06 +1000

I had a funny feeling that Brisbane's Sunday Mail might have an Oils article 
today because of the album launch next week. Sure enough, here it is...

"The Good oils" By Paul Stewart.

Australia's rugged outback has again inspired and reinvigorated one of our 
most popular and best-loved rock acts, Midnight Oil.
Drummer Rob Hirst said band members had returned to the small Aboriginal 
community of Papunya, in the central desert 240km west of Alice Springs, to 
lay the seeds for their new album, Capricornia.
This location inspired the group's biggest hit, 'Beds Are Burning', off 
their classic 1987 album Diesel And Dust.
"The trip really focused us all back together again", Hirst said. "Even 
though we have not been out there for a while, we still have a good 
relationship with the locals, particularly with the elders and some of our 
friends from the Warumpi Band who now run the community."
"They chose the place where we could set up camp. It was just the band 
members who went, no one else - just a real bonding time."
"There are good and bad things about Papunya, like the tragedy of the 
petrol-sniffing compared to the incredible spiritual heritage of the place."
Hirst said the new album's title had been taken from author and social 
historain Xavier Herbert's 1938 novel about the European settlement of 
northern Australia.
"Some of the band memebers had read the book at school and it was generally 
agreed it contained a lot of fantastic stories, " he said.
"Elements of these have turned up on the new album."
He said that, unlike other Midnight Oil records, the band's latest effort 
was meticulously planned.
"We knew the songs back-to-front by the time we went in to record them. We 
had done demos of them and road tested them for a while around the pubs and 
"Unlike, say, our album Red Sails In The Sunset, which we wrote in the 
studio as we went along, this time around all we tried to do was capture the 
best takes. It might sound funny to say it, but it is an undeniably Midnight 
Oil album.
"There are no special guests, very few overdubs on it and many of the songs 
were recorded in just one take, like we did on tracks on the first albums we 
Hirst said the music and lyrics for the songs had come together in the 
'usual Midnight Oil process' involving, among others, guitarist Jim Moginie 
and singer Peter Garrett.
"Jim and I usually come into the studio with a song and our set of ideas for 
some lyrics," he said.
"Often we go with what is written, or Peter has an alternative set of 
lyrics. We then decide which is the best version."
The Oils remain among the few bands of their era still producing music with 
passion and relevance - another being Irish group U2.
"I think U2 are still travelling remarkably well, " Hirst said.
"Those guys have to be admired because they are always prepared to take 
"Midnight Oil have always followed our instincts. Sometimes we are in vogue, 
sometimes we're not."

On page 76 there's a competition for 'one lucky reader and a friend' to win 
a trip to Melbourne to see the Oils play live for their appearance on Cold 
Live At The Chapel (screens March 2nd).

Photos show the lads looking a bit 80s-ish in almost uniform looking 
clothes, insignias and all. Bring on Capricornia!


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