INXS hitting the studio after summer tour wraps

Published by Reuters


Veteran Aussie rockers INXS is hoping to hit the studio later in the year, with J.D. Fortune slotting back into frontman duties, has learned.

“As soon as our current tour is over, then we’ll basically be writing, to go into the studio at the end of the year, or the beginning of next year,” guitarist Tim Farriss said.

New frontman Fortune has proven to be a perfect fit for INXS, Farriss said. The singer has been with the band since he won his role through the 2005 CBS reality television series “Rock Star: INXS.” The band had been unable to find a permanent replacement for singer Michael Hutchence, who died in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.

“Michael was like a brother. We grew up together,” Farriss said. “And we always said when we tried to find a new singer, that we didn’t want anyone who sounded or looked or acted or was anything like him at all. And then it turns out the fellow we ended up picking is just about as similar as you can possibly imagine.”

In recent years, a string of artists have temporarily assumed the frontman role, including Terence Trent D’Arby, Jimmy Barnes and Jon Stevens. But Fortune apparently has an X factor.

“He is so much like Michael,” Farriss said. “J.D. is always leaving stuff behind and losing stuff. He’s got that devil-may-care thing about possessions. He walks around with a book and he’s constantly writing lyrics, just like Michael used to. It’s really bizarre.”

The new album will follow the group’s 2005 set, “Switch,” which has sold 388,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The band will be on the road hitting venues across Europe and North America through June and July, and may do another couple of weeks in September. INXS will also perform at the exclusive “Concert on the Course” on Wednesday (May 23), to launch the start of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, in England.

Despite reports to the contrary, Farriss said the band is still contracted to Sony BMG. “We have our own label in England, and we’re signed to Sony for the rest of the world,” he said. “It seems to be the way to go (having your own label). Record companies these days seem to be a bit of a non-event.”


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New Order’s Hook drafts stars for new project

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New Order bassist Peter Hook is gathering some famous friends to collaborate on his new project, Freebase.

The group — which comprises Hook, former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke and former Stone Roses/current Primal Scream bassist Mani — will turn the mic over to some of Manchester, England’s best-known frontmen.

“We’ve been working with some great singers. (The Charlatans’) Tim Burgess has done a vocal for us. (Oasis’) Liam Gallagher, I believe, is doing one (song), (Stone Roses’) Ian Brown and (Primal Scream’s) Bobby Gillespie,” Hook told

“We’re going to get them up on stage as well. It’s nice that Mani and I can call in a few favors. We were going to call it ‘Fourbase,’ but it didn’t have the same ring to it,” he said with a laugh.

Hook spoke to Billboard after the recent NME Awards in London, where he presented the best British band trophy to Muse. Although the Freebase project is not yet signed to a label, Hook said, “It’s great to write again. I’m really excited about it.”

Hook, however, remained coy on prospects of a follow-up to New Order’s most recent album, “Waiting for the Siren’s Call.” “Its possible,” he said, “But I’m not too sure the climate is great for (a New Order album) at the moment.”

“Waiting for the Siren’s Call,” the band’s follow-up to 2001’s “Get Ready,” debuted at No. 46 on the U.S. pop album charts in May 2005. It did better in Japan, opening at No. 3, and in Britain, at No. 5.

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