Interview: Tex Perkins on Sounds of Spring, Album and Film Scores

Interview: Bek Grealy

Tex PerkinsThe Sounds of Spring line-up reads like a who’s who of Australian music. Tex Perkins is prominent and takes time out to chat to us about the festival, his album and writing film scores.

Bek – Have you checked out the final line up for Sounds of Spring? Are you looking forward to playing alongside some really great bands?
TexNo I don’t know who’s on the line up. Who is??

Bek – Shihad, The Panics, Tim Rogers, The Living End, Josh Pyke and Clare Bowditch – just to name a few – Sounds of Spring looks set to be a massive day, really impressive?
TexYes some of those are my very good friends, so I am really happy to hear that. I’d love to go and watch them when time permits. Yeh fantastic line up.

Bek – With your new Album “My Black Cattle Dog” is that what you will be focusing on for Sounds of Spring Festival?
TexPretty much, yeah, it’s a best of album.

Bek – and what was your inspiration for this album. I know it’s got to do with your tours in the past and a collation of that…
TexWell, it’s because I’ve reached the end of my contract with Universal and it’s pretty much, sort of a good bye letter (laughs), and it’s just wrapping up the last, ah, oo, 17 years with Universal.

Bek – And the guys that are with you as fellow band members, Charlie, James, Joel and Gus, did you go through a process of choosing them, or did you guys just fall together?
TexI’ve never played with this particular line up before, I’ve played with all these people with different things and bands, but never with this particular combination of people. Had to have Charlie because, I mean, he’s played on a lot of this stuff, and he is a real vital member and James Cruikshank, who I played with in the Cruel Sea, he’s a very handy utility player, I call him, if I can use a sporting term. He can play upfront, he can play up back, he can basically do anything, he can play keyboard, guitar, and sing as well, so he’s very handy to have around.

Bek – and I see Tim Rogers isn’t amongst those guys, obviously he has his own pursuits on the go..
TexYeah, he’s got his own thing going on, well, but hey, if you can convince him to come on tour with us, then I’ll be happy to have him on board (laughs).

Bek– he is playing at Sounds of Spring, so…
Texmaybe if schedule allows we can do something together, lure him up on stage, absolutely.

Bek – As you are getting a little older, and I’m not saying you are old, 44 is hardly old..
Tex oh, I am.

Bek – And you are still pumping out the awesome tunes, but what do you have for the future, what do you have planned?
TexDon’t know, um, life is full of unexpected twists and turns and opportunities, and I really haven’t got any plans, beyond the end of this year, but I am sure something interesting will happen and, well, I am not really sure what it is going to be, and to be honest I’m actually pretty happy with that situation really.

Bek– will you be touring across the country for your new Album, “My Black Cattle Dog”, where will this album take you?
TexI am going around Australia over the next few months, periodical shows, here and there, nothing too gruelling, and then heading overseas April next year to Europe and America.

Bek – Tell me a little about Beautiful Kate and the music you compiled for that movie.
TexBeautiful Kate is a new film, a new feature film, with the director Rachel Ward, starring Bbbrian Bbbrown (vibrates lips) and Ben Mendelsohn, and I’ve done the score for it with my friend Murray Patterson. And am very proud of it, very proud of the film, and very proud of the score we provided.

Bek – What’s different compiling the music for a film, as opposed to compiling it for a record?
TexWell the great thing about it, is you don’t need to write words, cause, they’re bastards, as far as making music, I find the hardest work is writing the words. The other thing is you’ve got to sort of learn is the discipline of not being the one that has the final say. You are serving the directors wants, so you’ve got to find a balance between serving the director of the movie and your own instincts.

Bek – and they make the final decision.
Texyeh, you gotta keep throwing music at them until they like it.

Bek – sounds like a laborious set up.
TexEarly on we wrote some music before she even started filming, and she loved it, and 2 of those pieces actually became the major themes in the movie, so we thought, wow, this is going to be Eeeasy. But ah, it became far more laborious and intensive and very specific to her direction after a while.

Bek – so how do you rate the actual film and the finished product
TexI absolutely love it, love it, great movie.