Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Rob article

Magnus Holmgren oznut@swipnet.se
Thu, 8 May 2003 17:18:49 +0200

Sorry if this has been posted earlier!


Midnight Oil Are Over But The Band Members May Play On

There will be no farewell tour for Midnight Oil. Following the sudden departure of singer Peter Garrett from the group last December, co-founder Rob Hirst has extinguished the chances of a final lap of the map to farewell fans.

"I'm not really keen to do the lap of myself" Rob tells Undercover News. "I feel like we played to a whole lot of people in 2001 / 2002, people who genuinely wanted to see the band not because we were breaking up but because they loved the band or they got hold of the new album or they remember great shows that we have done. We went to America and four times. Those tours lasted up to 7 weeks in a row. We dropped in on Paris, did a show in London with some other Australian bands called the Fierce Festival. We did over two months in Australia and played everywhere, even places we hadn't got to over 25 years like Geraldton and outback Queensland mining towns. We figured we had pretty much done the map. My own instinct is to move on".

Rob's latest career move was to become an author. He has just released his first book titled 'Willie's Bar and Grill' documenting the last leg of the Midnight Oil career starting with their US tour post-September 11. He is already considering writing another book. "I might even get around to writing something else after 'Willie's' if it really goes well" he says. "What I really need most of all is time-out after a quarter of a century. I actually need to re-acquaint myself with my family before my kids grow up and disappear". 

Midnight Oil lasted 25 years. "We have been going for it pretty hard" he says. "We have been mono-maniacs for a long time. We have been focused, bloody minded, ambitious, determined people and you have to be. It is an extremely competitive business to be in. I don't mean we haven't had our fun and laughs. The book should indicate that. We had this great dynamic as well, which is probably the reason we did last so long. Right now I think after this current book tour and a few upcoming Backsliders shows I think I just want to pot around the garden and spend some time on my fishing boat".

Although Midnight Oil is officially no more, there may be new music from the remaining members sooner than we think. "The plans are definitely to record some more stuff, maybe later this year" Rob says. "It is something else, yet to be determined. I think you can't take any member out of the band, Peter or otherwise, and still call it Midnight Oil. That was that band. This will be something else. The remainder men (that's not a bad name, I quite like that), the remainder men still count amongst their ranks as songwriters, instrumentalists, singers. Jim is a studio wiz. All out skills are still in tact. We will go off on some tangent and see what happens". 

Rob's new book 'Willie's Bar and Grill' is out now through Pan McMillan.

By Paul Cashmere