you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

11 February 2011

A Short Q & A: Steve Kilbey of The Church.

When The Sun Hits is ecstatic to present Steve Kilbey, the bassist/vocalist of long standing Australian dream pop band The Church. From the early days of post punk through late 80's post modernism, from 90's grunge and into today's shoegaze/dream pop revival, The Church have continued to make brilliant, stand alone music and be the common bond for smart, discerning music fans the world over. From the stoner Pink Floyd fan in the southern United States, the melancholy Cure lover in Estonia, the smart Radiohead fan in England, to the noise enthusiast My Bloody Valentine shoegazer in Malaysia, The Church are one of the few bands we all agree on. There aren't many like The Church, or like Steve Kilbey. He is a rare being, a true gentleman and a real renaissance man - musician, poet, producer and painter (his piece "Painkiller" is pictured above left): Mr. Steve Kilbey.

The Church. The Unguarded Moment.

1. Steve, how was the band formed?

We were formed by Peter (Peter Koppes, guitarist) and we knew each other from an old band and the others came by chance...

2. Where did the name "The Church" come from (sorry, generic question!)?

It was from a line by David Bowie : "The church of mad love is such a holy place to be." (From the song "Moonage Daydream" to be exact, taken from the famed LP The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.)

David Bowie. Moonage Daydream.

3. Do you feel like you and the The Church get the recognition/respect you deserve by modern artists and critics?

I dunno and I don't really care ... we do get superlative reviews from time to time, which helps morale.

4. What have you been listening to/reading/watching lately? Any new bands that you like?

I just mainly stick to the classics, but I am enjoying Angus and Julia Stones album. I don't catch a lot of new stuff.

5. How does it feel to have been inducted into the Aria Hall of Fame? (Your speech was AMAZING!)

It was good to finally get in there. My speech was just an off the cuff thing and I got lucky with it. It could have been a shocker, but it worked out alright. That's the luck of public speaking I guess.

The Church. Sisters.

6. When can we expect a new Church/Steve Kilbey release?

Yeah, new Church next year and I've got some collaborations due soonish...

7. Steve, you are a highly influential bassist, songwriter, poet, producer and painter. What keeps you going and excited about art? What/who is your muse?

Yeah, I just have a good relationship with my creativity, I guess. I know when to push it and when to take it easy. I've got my modus operandi and it's always worked for me. I never sweat it and I just let it all come.

The Church. Tantalized.

8. What is the most important piece of gear for your sound ? Any particular guitar/pedals/amps you prefer?

I love Fender electric guitars. To me they are superior instruments, especially the old ones.

9. Which artists have most influenced your work?

10. What do you think of the state of the music industry today? How do you feel about free downloading?

Don't mind free downloading myself that much, but it is ruining business.

What was the impetus for doing this latest Church tour and playing the three albums: Starfish, Priest+Aura (My favorite of the three!) and #23?

Just to see if we could do it. The 2000's, the 1990's, and 1980's - all represented.

What song do you think best represents you and/or the band?

Hard to narrow it down to one song, but I like "Myrrh" off Heyday. (Heyday is actually my favorite Church album.~Danny)

13. What is your philosophy on life, if any, that you live by?

My philosophy is I have no real philosophy. I just meander like a river.

Taken from Steve Kilbey's website The Time Being:

December 26, 2010~"THE IMPERFECTIONIST":

the male fire penetrates the female earth the elusive ether trembles above the submissive invisible air
the water as rain
falling falling oh falling down
no one would believe this life i dont
the morning wakes up and says im sore!
the night says why, where are you sore dear thing?
the morning says everywhere
tiny cold drops on my skin blow in thru the window
i type type type because that is what i do
the rain becomes insistent but what exactly is it insisting on
i remember deep in the night of love i remember how lost i was
i must be stumbling round in my own head
i cant believe the things i hear myself saying
at least im indoors at least im just dreaming
the cool rain is real but nothing more
steve kilbey is elsewhere
all of his voices get to roam free now
we jostle forwards demanding a platform
we start to kick up a clamour
we insist upon the gory details
we weasel and connive and we wriggle about
christmas day is over it exploded behind my eyes so pleasantly
at 3 a.m. i’m in a dream dressed in a towel
the street is very very quiet
not a breath of air the temperature is perfect
the future around the corner
i move thru darkness like shark
in my mind i see red
swimming up the blood dimmed tide
but in my strangest dreams i am the one who is bitten
on film i see my shoulders tense and relax
still i move thru the dark summer air like neptune come to life
down by the frothy shore the wavelets danced to their own tune
and the old stings of monstrous jellyfish suddenly flared upon my belly
the salty night air all pierced now with rain
but i never finish what i’m saying.....

Painting by Steve Kilbey.