Seymour Set To Sizzle At Sandhurst

Mark Seymour became a household name as the front man of legendary Australian band Hunters & Collectors in the 80s and 90s. The boy from Benalla became ‘the thinking women’s sex symbol’ with his good looks and ability to write songs that people could not only relate to but also connect with.

“I have to be telling stories that matter to the audience,” said Mark Seymour. “They might love them, they might hate them but they connect with them somehow. Otherwise, for that time I’m on stage most people won’t travel with me unless they believe that what I’m saying has some kind of emotional truth. I have to find that little sweet spot and that’s the mysterious thing about songwriting, you can sort of look at it from so many angles but until you find the sweet spot it just don’t come into being.”

After Hunters & Collectors disbanded in 1998 Seymour went on to enjoy more success as a solo artist. He has released seven solo albums since then and three with The Undertow, his current band that he slowly put together initially to play gigs with him. Mark Seymour and The Undertow are playing two shows at the Sandhurst Club in ‘The Molly Room’, a traveling intimate band room, on Thursday 12 & 19 June.

“I struggled for a long time to get the right balance, just musical chemistry in general,” said Seymour when asked about the beginnings of The Undertow. “We’re in a really good place at the moment working on a new record, where we just get in a room, somewhere in the suburbs and wrestle with my songs. It’s really creative, they’ve got a sound that’s very simple and clean, traditional roots rock and roll, but it’s my songs. There may be a couple new songs in the show, at least one. Its pretty political, every song has to make a political statement about some idea that I’ve got about life, myself and society I live in.”

Seymour doesn’t only just write and sing about political issues, he is also an ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Australia’s largest advocacy and aid organisation for asylum seekers. “As a proud Australian, I believe we are a fundamentally generous, optimistic people who have the capacity to embrace the world around us in a positive and compassionate way. The idea that we should be suspicious of people arriving here uninvited, contradicts the very nature of our origins. We are a nation of immigrants,” said Seymour when pledging his support to the centre.

Hunters & Collectors song Holy Grail is synonymous with sport in particular AFL, yet it was the plight of French military and political leader Napoleon Bonaparte, not sport, that Seymour had in kind when he wrote the song.

“Hunters & Collectors were in the middle of writing and recording an album but the band were fighting. There were these huge ruptures in the group, and I pretty much wrote that song in the studio to try and galvanise people’s enthusiasm. I happened to be reading a book at the time about Napoleon’s march into Russia in 1812 which was a pretty incredible story, and that’s where the lyric came from. A couple of guys in the group didn’t want the song on the album at all and it ended up a radio hit,” said Seymour.

A passion and talent for music clearly runs in the family, Seymour’s daughters Eva and Hannah have a band The Seymour Sisters and have played a few gigs around the Mornington Peninsula. Seymour fans may already be familiar with Hannah’s voice, she provided vocals on the track Lorelei on the album Seventh Heaven Club released by Mark Seymour and The Undertow last year.

“The one piece of advice I gave them, I said if you want to have a career you have to write your own songs or at least write a certain amount of them and they do actually write but they won’t play me anything yet because they’re too self conscious. They think I’ll be really critical but I’m dad so I just stay away from it, but they definitely have something going on, they’re fantastic singers and harmonise really well,” said Seymour. “At the end of the day success in rock and roll is 99% perseverance, you just have to be willing to work hard.”

Mark Seymour is certainly working hard and will be touring across the country playing with The Undertow, as well as another reunion show with Hunters & Collectors supporting The Rolling Stones in New Zealand in November. Stayed tuned for the new album from Mark Seymour and The Undertow, which will be released sometime next year.

Mark Seymour and The Undertow will be supported by Monique Brumby in their performance at The Molly Room at Sandhurst Club on 12 and 19 June. Head to or call 0408 016 665 for tickets.



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