Next year is set to be a big year for Australian rockers the Hoodoo Gurus, with the band planning on releasing a new album and also coming to Mornington as part of the Red Hot Summer tour on January 11.

The Hoodoo Gurus released their first album in 1984 after the success of their first single Leilani in 1982. They’ve followed this up with eight other studio albums, most recently Purity of Essence in 2010 and a greatest hits album Gold Watch: 20 Golden Greats in 2012.

PEARL’s Jessica Mills spoke to Hoodoo Gurus frontman Dave Faulkner about the journey and longevity of the Gurus.

PEARL: It’s been 32 years since Hoodoo Gurus released their first single. Did you ever think you’d be enjoying such success and still touring after all this time?
FAULKNER: No we really were working from record to record and before you know it years later we’re still doing it. There’s been a lot of luck and a lot of hard work along the way.

PEARL: The Hoodoo Gurus had a break for four years before reforming. What was the turning point for getting back together?
FAULKNER: When we played at Homebake in 2001, it was four years after we broke up and that was the gig that led to us reforming. When we played together again after four years apart it was amazing to witness the energy, it was the same spirit and connection and that was a real eye opener for me.

PEARL: You’re coming to Mornington to perform in January, what can fans look forward to about your show?
FAULKNER: Mostly a pretty high rolling night of rock and roll fun! I’m pretty excited! We’re pretty much known for our live shows, we have quite a few well known songs to draw from that we’ll play.

PEARL: Are you working on any new projects with the Hoodoo Gurus or by yourself at the moment?
FAULKNER: I’ve got a few side projects I’ve been working on- a bit of electronica fun, I’ve dabbled with that all through my career but I’m not known for it. I’m also working on some theatre stuff and last but not least a new Hoodoo Gurus album for next year. I haven’t started serious work on it yet but it’s definitely in my sights. I really want to apply myself to get some songs organised, get into rehearsals and demos and start the whole process again.

PEARL: How do the Hoodoo Gurus make music together? How does the creative process work?
FAULKNER: As a writer you’re always solo, you write the songs that mean something to you and express what you think. Then at the rehearsals with the rest of the band you keep adding to it, giving it character. It’s more about the songs that have come to life and feel natural and real. A song can be a great song but just not work for those particular musicians. You never know until you’ve done it whether it’s going to work or not. Sometimes you get amazed by the results because it becomes twice as exciting as it once was- it’s first rate chemistry when it happens.

PEARL: You’ve penned some of the Hoodoo Gurus’ biggest hits such as What’s My Scene that have become Australian rock and roll anthems, what inspires you as a songwriter?
FAULKNER: Most songwriters start with the music, a lyric or an idea for a story we want to tell. Then you try to figure out how to capture the feeling of that music or topic you want to get off your chest. As far as the theme that you write about you take it from your daily life, observations in society or the world at large. All of us, musician or not we think about things we want to tell people about- our opinions, our feelings, things we hope for or fear. Music to me is having a different format to express how I feel say compared to somebody else writing a letter to the editor.

PEARL: You began songwriting at an early age. As a child what drew you to music and writing? Where did your ideas come from?
FAULKNER: As a kid my first song was about the family dog, I call that my first love song (laughs). Music was just something I really took to; I was really attracted to it. I was a passionate player of piano and later on guitar. I didn’t even know I was writing songs in the beginning, I was just singing words because it made me feel good.

PEARL: How did you get into electronic music?
FAULKNER: Music is music to me. I like opera, I like reggae, I like everything really and as a musician I can find merit in all musical styles. In a lot of ways it’s really about communicating using this beautiful melody that is beyond the lyric that changes from one genre to another. Electronic music is just pop music with different instruments really. Hopefully the electronica stuff will come out next year. It’ll be pretty quiet it’s just a bit of fun but hopefully people enjoy it.

The Gurus are truly known for their fantastic live shows so make sure you get down to Mornington Racecourse on Sunday January 11 to see the magic and chemistry Faulkner describes in person. The Hoodoo Gurus will be joined by James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite and Boom Crash Opera, with special guest The Angels and Diesel. Tickets to the Red Hot Summer show are available from www.ticketmaster.com.au.


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