“My Dad died at the beginning of 2011 which coincided with the biggest floods Brisbane has seen. This was something that loomed pretty large for me over the whole writing period of ‘Departures’ and I suppose a song like this was bound to come out. The lyric is talking about the place in Brisbane where I grew up. Toowong, a near city suburb that my Dad also spent his childhood in and ended up being buried in, along with my older brother, who I now happen to be older than.”Bernard Fanning.
Taken from the forthcoming new album ‘Departures’, out Friday 7 June.
Pre-order now: iTunes LP (get ‘Battleships’ straight away) JB Hifi – exclusive Deluxe edition Sanity– signed CD Bernard Fanning Shop– Super Deluxe
Last week we began rehearsal for the upcoming ‘Departures’ Tour. I have a few of my old trusty mates Matt Englebrecht (bass) and Andrew Morris (guitar and insolence) from my last band, The Schoolboy Error, joining me again plus a few new victims. Mark Henman (drums) and Shannon Carrol (guitar) are both guys that have been playing around Brisbane for years in Band of Frequencies, Resin Dogs and Afrodizzyact, amongst others. Also, Lachlan Doley who played keys with The Fingers for the last few years is tinkling the ivories and twiddling synth knobs. This band is provisionally known as Heavy Metal Fullback and is so named after Carles Puyol, right back for both Barcelona FC and the Spanish national selection. He has, quite simply, the best hair in football. Here is a photo :
The man with the hair – Carles Puyol
I have encouraged each of the band members to mimic Carles as closely as possible. So far the results aren’t very promising but there are weeks until the tour.
We’ve been making an enormous racket and I was actually very surprised by how quickly it came together. It was always going to be a good band on paper but once we started playing we knew straight away we had the right combination for this new record. I have been very blessed so far on this project to have such great players alongside me and having an extra guitarist this time leaves lots of room for me to get back to getting around on stage Peter Allen style, with my maracas and tambo. In case you aren’t familiar with Peter Allen, here is a link to a very unique performance…….(hang in there til at least 1.07sec….the man was a genius).
I’m really looking forward to seeing how we blend these two albums together in the live context. The tour went on sale last week and went nuts so we are all excited that there is a lot of anticipation out there with shows selling out in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast and getting close in most other places. I have to say I haven’t been looking forward to touring so much for years.
To any fans in Darwin I want to send my apologies that you weren’t included on this run. The fact is that there wasn’t a suitable venue available at the time we were able to come up there but I assure you we will be up there sometime during this touring cycle. Stay tuned.
So now the album is just a couple of weeks away and people have had a small taste with the release of ‘Battleships’. It’s always interesting to be choosing what will be released first from an album as it is, by nature of being the first thing heard from an artist for a while, a way of sculpting expectations for the remainder of the record. I’m not sure that ‘Battleships’ is necessarily representative of the rest of the album (in fact it’s probably the most pop oriented song on there). When I made my last record ‘Tea and Sympathy’ my producer at the time, Tchad Blake and I were having a conversation about singles. He suggested that a single should really just be thought of as a flyer or an ad for a record. It doesn’t need to be the ‘best’ song, or the even the most likely to be a ‘hit’…………(collective weary sigh from A&R guys around the world). I was very relieved to hear him say that as I had always been a bit anxious about the role of the single and how narrow its scope is. So, in that context, I was speaking to my producer Joe for this album ‘Departures’, and we were discussing how we would set out to make a record where every song was treated with equal love and care and presented to the label as one part of a wider piece of work. A moribund concept if ever there was one given the way that music is being consumed song by song these days. But the idea was that we would be equally proud of each song and if the people that know about the marketing and business blah blah of a record decided they liked something, then so be it. Still that is how we proceeded and considering that I had taken a philosophy of pretty much not meddling with other people’s expertise, that is how ‘Battleships’ ended up being chosen as the first single. I was happy, they were happy and so far most of you seem to be pretty happy with it. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive despite the fact that it is very different from anything we had on ‘Tea and Sympathy’. So thanks.
I have to mention the video for ‘Battleships’ as well. Our old friends Paul and Scotty from 50/50 Films have been at it again. They put together a great vid that has lots of stunning visual effects and some seriously D Grade acting from Yours Truly. I might…..just might, this time fulfill my lifelong fantasy of a Rotten Tomato nomination. Unfortunately when I was in Powderfinger, either Cogs or DZ managed to put in a significantly more wooden performance and squander my dream. Now that I am out on my own I know that no-one can rob me of this precious goal. Lots of people put in stupid amounts of hours sitting in front of a screen for this, so take a look at it here……
We are just about to get cracking on making another vid for the next single and have finished all of the artwork for the CD, the deluxe package and the vinyl issue so look out for it coming your way in early June. Can’t wait to get out there.