inn at the eep end

He may always take the weather with him but he's left the band at home. NEIL FINN ponders past, present and

future. Words: Damien Love

In a hotel on the edge of Denyer. .\'eil liinn sits trying to remember the things that journalists always used to ask him. "‘How‘d you get the name?" That was one.‘ he recalls. ‘At least I'm not having to answer that one now. Then. “How is this album different from the last one?” Oh. and l was usually asked about my brother. But that's cool. There are different ways of finding your way around those questions.‘

This time around. though. no one is questioning firm on any of these subjects. 'l‘here‘s a new topic up for consideration and eycryone asks about that instead: limi‘ (/()('.\ ll /('('/ It) /)(' ii/i \'()lll' iin‘ii.’

It‘s been two years since Finn took us by surprise and announced the annulment of his pan-global. chart- dey'ouring tnelodic juggernaut. Crowded House. He seryed ten years with brother Tim‘s combo. Split linx. before assembling the House in NM. The dissolution of the group in Noyember two marked the end of twenty years of band-life for .\'ei| l-‘inn. and it's still slightly strange to see him standing before us a man alone. So. how does it feel'.’ Has he got the hang of being a solo artist yet'.’

’l'm not quite sure what it means. exactly. other

than l’ye got the freedom to mine without consultation.’ he considers. ‘And the potential to Pla.‘ with a lot of different musicians. Beyond that. I'm not sure. Being "solo" has a weird sound about 11 that

’Being "solo" has a weird sound about it that I’ve not got quite used to. It's kind of a psychological thing, though. There’s just as much collaboration involved now as there ever was with Crowded House.’ Neil Finn

Neil Finn: not so crowded in his house any more

I've not got quite used to. It's kind of a psychological thing. more than an actual reality. There’s just as much collaboration involved now as there ever was with Crowded House. In many ways. some things don‘t change.’

Anyone pining for the old days will be relieved to learn that one of these things is l’inn‘s penchant for The (iood 'l‘une. He has in the past wilfully demonstrated his demonic abilities in the field of catchiness. conjuring songs that insinuated themselyes seemineg by osmosis. a force against which the immune system was utterly defenceless. ()n the ey'idence of his debut solo album. 'l'i-y' II'liisi/iiie This. this quality remains intact.

l-‘inn cites the contrasting eny‘ironments surrounding the records recording —— the empty beaches outside .»\uckland. the intense throng of

downtown New York -— as the major influences on its

final shape: ultimately. though. it's sort of like Crowded House. liycept different. Which seryes as a good summary of l’inn's current liy'e philosophy. too.

‘I w as concerned not to try and recreate a ('row'dcd House eny'ironnient.’ he explains. ‘but part of that is in me. I’m inclined to want the shows to hayc a . . looseness. But the humour and the patter that used to go between Paul and Nick and myself. l wouldn‘t try to recreate tliat.‘

With the promotional trail stretching before him. liinn casts a brief look back: "l'he good things about being in a band in many ways related to the business of doing promotion. Sharing out the intery'iews. sending it tip when you're doing it together. getting a laugh out of it. Haying said that. it was also one of the things that created the most stress for the band. l’aul Hester. our drummer. just lost it in terms of being able to cope with doing promotion. He couldn’t stand doing that whole thing anymore. I'm okay about it. I regard it as being part of the thing. If you're a pluinber.‘ .\'eil l-'inn. () concludes. ‘you haye to shoyel shit halfof the time. \"knowy‘

Neil Finn plays Clyde Auditorium, Wed 30 Sep

preview MUSIC


Yet more celebrity quotes stolen from other mags.

'lf Scandinavia was a person, it would be a schoolmaster with a dildo in one hand, pickled herring in the other and he’d be contemplating suicide.’

Placebos Brian Mo/ko contemplates the great broadening of horizons which foreign travel can bring.

When I was writing these songs I was trying to pray. But I don't know how to pray, that's why I was singing. I thought I was going to be killed that night. These demons were surrounding my house.’

Chan Marsha/l lets NME in on the secret of her muse

'The whole place went up it was really just an excuse for loads of lads to kick into each other. 'Cos l was in the middle of it, I got dragged off by the dibble (police). I ended up puking on one. To be fair I did pre-warn him.’ The inimitable Bez tel/s Select about how he inst/gated his ground-breaking police/community relations programme.

’Culture Club was a particularly gimpy looking band. Jon was short, with a scarface, Roy was just gimpy, there was a drag queen, and then me, a fat girl. It wasn't exactly Duran Duran.’

Helen Terry; former/y Culture Club's barking ginger, rem/ls the glamour and the gig? of the eighties

‘If you get the feeling that I must have been a pain in the arse, wise arse kid - that's exactly what I was and it got me into a lot of trouble. I was given kind of a choice between the Marines and working with people making big rocks into little rocks so I figured I would be a Marine.’

Huey of the Fun Lown’ Criminals explains the best decision he ever made

'I just sank down, till I felt like my arse was slipping through the gap in the seat. I thought my arse was like two sausages falling down through the seat. At the time I was going around in a US army hat.’

lu/ian Cope oblique/v explains to Select why people think he’s a few sanrlwmhes short of a picnic

M Sep—8 Oct 1998 THE lIST 39