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Hope Rocks: Hoodoo Gurus - Interview With Dave Faulkner

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by Kristy Horn (subscribe)
A freelance writer who lives at beautiful Lake Macquarie - owned by two adorable, very cheeky, spoooilt Labradors.
Interview with a Legend: Dave Faulkner
"...It will always be about the expression - and what the artist is trying to's the sentiment and the melody and the beat and the feeling..." Dave Faulkner.

Hoodoo Gurus - they've been right there with us, seemingly forever, on this bumpy old journey called life, like a dear and faithful friend, a reassuring sound to our ears at almost every twist and turn. In the car, in the '80's - 'What's My Scene' highly likely charged us up and set that 'happy' tone on the way to that weeks' long camping trip, the hypnotic beat and quirky charm of 'Death Defying' most probably had everyone up and dancing around the campfire that very night. In the '90's 'Like Wow - Wipeout' had all that was required to turn your 18th into a real party, and 'My Girl' most likely mopped you up and started your healing process after yet another break up. But just as satisfying, like one of life's ongoing rewards, is the fact that the band's back together, and available, to once again be able to be enjoyed LIVE.

HOODOO GURUS - you've just got to say these words to most people and a cheeky smile usually immediately and involuntarily consumes their face, followed closely by the words "I loove the Hoodoo Gurus" - as though they're conjuring up images and feelings of a lovable, steadfast, genius friend. Such is the magic of music!

And at centre stage of it all, is the one and only Lead Singer / Songwriter / Musician / Supernatural Godsend: DAVE FAULKNER. And as luck would have it, Dave (along with 'that' voice) has been kind enough to take some time out from his effervescent itinerary to 'spill me a sip' of sparkling insight in the run-up to the greatly anticipated The Grape Escape.

Kristy: "Firstly, I have to say I'm a bit excited about the upcoming The Grape Escape Event - it's sounding very impressive - there's some big, beautiful Aussie names there: You Am I, RatCat, Steve Kilbey, GANGgajang, The Allniters, The Kids and headlined, of course, by your very own Hoodoo Gurus, and all at the gorgeous Hunter Valley Hope Estate - you must be starting to look forward to it now"?

Dave Faulkner: "It'll be fun, yeah, You Am I - we haven't played with them for a while, we have a long history together...yeah well, they supported us on one of our earlier tours on their first album, so yeah - we go back a long way.. I love playing the Hunter Valley for a start because I'm a big fan of wine (laughs)... I don't partake until after the show..(laughs) but it's something I look forward to".

Kristy: "O.K Dave, two words: Hoodoo Gurus - hit after hit after hit, decade upon decade upon decade. Head back to 1981 where it all began, and was a younger Dave Faulkner always aware that he possessed such 'magical secret ingredients' I guess, which would form part of something so phenomenal"?

Dave Faulkner: "We obviously had no idea that we'd be around this long, you know, it boggles the mind even to think back on it let alone from back there to try and think this far ahead - we sort of just didn't think about that but um, all along we just had one intention - which was just to make music that excited us, and and we thought if we enjoyed it, then maybe someone else would too... You know, when we started - we didn't think that we'd have much of a chance at cutting through, you know, we were very much out of step with the times, we played guitars and kinda had this rockin' sort of sound... We were just outside the mainstream and we always felt that way and we still feel that way to be honest ... When we made an album - it was always, you know, we thought this was gonna be the last album, record we make... We just made the records we wanted to make right then and you tour that for a while and you suddenly start to go, you know what - I've got some new songs and some new ideas and it might be a music to explore and so you think of a new record but, you know, you don't know if someone's going to give you the opportunity to make it or - it's really the luck of the draw or whatever if people come to the shows or people buy the records or whatever, you know... So we managed to stick around long enough to make quite a few".

Kristy: "'What's My Scene', 'Miss Freelove '69', '1000 Miles Away', 'The Right Time' - you penned every bit of this brilliance (and then some) - classic hits with charismatic film clips to match - what inspires the creative in Dave Faulkner"?

Dave Faulkner: "Well, you know, I love music... You know, I just love hearing other artists.... ...It's a strange idea I guess to have to retire when you're a certain age and move out of the way for the young people to come through - it's not true with music because... well, there's no problem with, there's not a saturation point with music where no new songs are allowed to happen because there's too many already, there's always room for more. We're not taking anyone's place by singing our own songs, there's plenty of room for all of us".

Kristy: "'My Girl' would have to be one of my all time absolute favourites. Goosebump material (and that 'eye roll' in the film clip gets me every single time). Written, of course, by yourself. Do you have a favourite Hoodoo Gurus song that you enjoy performing live"?

Dave Faulkner: "Look, I like singing all of them really, I mean, and they all have different meanings for me and different sort of associations, um and they were all written for a really good reason, sometimes they might have been a bit more light-hearted - not as serious, or not quite as baring your soul but, even just the ones like 'Like Wow - Wipeout' which is just fun..., but 'My Girl' funny enough - you just mentioned that, was one song that I wrote in a way, like a playwright, it was a little idea I had... "

Kristy: "We've lost quite a few brilliant artists in the last little bit: David Bowie, Chuck Berry, Leon Russell (just to name a few) - it can be so easy to think 'Oh I'll have to go and see them perform one day' and before you know it, time has run out and you've missed out. How important is it, do you think - to live in the here and now"?

Dave Faulkner: "Well completely... Leon Russell, I'm glad you mentioned him... And of course, Chuck Berry was such a legend... I never saw Chuck Berry perform, I've seen Little Richard, I'm happy I've seen Little Richard - that was amazing, but um yeah - you just don't get to see everybody, and living in Australia is also a problem for that... yeah, I saw Little Richard when I was in Brazil believe it or not, when we were on tour - we had a night off and ah he was playing in a big club there which was incredible in itself... "

Kristy: "And last but not least, any light-hearted pre-gig rituals that you'd like to share"?

Dave Faulkner: "Um, well to be honest - the main one for me - which is kinda strange to think about - but I always warm up my voice - like a couple of hours before the show or even an hour, depending on how far away the hotel is from the venue... I do it in the hotel room to try and spare the other guys' ears, you know I might use a pillow to muffle my voice so the hotel neighbours don't complain (we laugh) ...but basically I always warm up to Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions and their early hits, a song called 'Gypsy Woman' and things like that - he's one of the most amazing singers, I've been singing that now for decades really... But the main thing I do it for is because it stretches my voice in falsetto ranges and all that..and it's a way of warming up and not like doing scales and being bored out of my mind, so I sing along to that instead - so that's my big ritual and that's every gig... You know, I just love singing, it's funny I was only just thinking about that - I see myself more of a Songwriter but these days I enjoy singing so much that I'm just so happy that I am allowed to do it".

Kristy: "And so are we (laughs) - no, never stop please"!

Kristy: "And on that 'note', thank you so very much for your time Dave Faulkner, what an absolute pleasure".

Dave Faulkner: "Thank you, and thank you for being so aware of the band,..."

For tickets to The Grape Escape, please click here.

Please note: Dave Faulkner's answers have been condensed by the author
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Why? Because everybody needs to FEEL '1000 Miles Away'
When: 2pm
Phone: 1800 777 444
Where: 2213 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2325
Cost: Prices start from $90 (general admission)
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