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Tex Perkins Interview


Tex Perkins in undoubtedly one of the major talents in the Australian music scene and a true survivor. He has been a busy man in the past 18 months and will be traveling to what is one of his favourite live venues in the country the Tanks ASrts Centre to play with his band The Dark Horses.

We talk to him about what he has been up to and what his new album and show will be like.

Where are we talking to you today?

I’m at home, same place I have lived for the past 15 years I have a property in the country in northern NSW and it’s what most people would describe as a lovely spring day but we are running low on water so I would like to see a bit of rain really.

In the past 18 months you have been going non-stop this time has seen you do The Man in Black, a Tex Perkins Album, a Tex Perkins and The Band of Gold album and now a dark horses album- what has spurred on this increase in creative output?

I don’t know – as I am getting older I just have an increased anxiety to not waste any time. Time grows short for all of us I guess and I just don’t want to waste any days. As far as recording music goes at the beginning of the year I was writing for “The Cruel Sea”, “Tex, Don and Charlie” and The Dark Horses and I expected to make records with all of those people during the year but all I could manage to organise was The Dark Horses…mainly it’s about organising people and finding gaps in people’s lives so all I could truly get together was a Dark Horses record and I really do have a constant anxiety to get shit done now that I am 47.

How do you differentiate between what songs go with which band?

The Dark Horses stuff is generally stuff I work on with particular people. Mainly Murray Patterson mostly who was my chief collaborator and Charlie Owen and Joel Silvestre so they are my main dark horses. The Cruel Sea, I write stuff for it but generally the actual band is in the writing process jamming, getting things in the groove and stuff like that and Tex, Don and Charlie is another one again. Tex , Don and Charlie is more of an old school traditional story telling narrative kid of songs, dark horses has a more of a folk rock root to it. I think The Dark Horses is far more experimental there is a willingness to push the envelope a bit there.

Where does a song come from for Tex Perkins?

Murray Patterson and I sometimes just sit around together with guitars and just see what happens. A lot of the other time Murray will just casually record little bits of riffs and guitar feels and he will just hand me a cd every now and then with a little bunch of these things on them and I’ll just listen to them or play along with them and see what my mind comes up with when I am hearing his stuff and that’s the same with Charlie and Joel  but mainly its Murray and as I said he is my chief collaborator …it can come when the band gets together and starts playing something and me as the chief lyricist or a chief arranger…it’s all about listening….listening your bloody head off and constantly trying to picture where this might go…you always try and look at the details of it. It can happen in many different ways you have to be prepared to catch these things in all sorts of ways…There’s more than one way to catch a fish.

You are headed to Tanks on this Dark Horses tour, will the set be a Dark Horses set from the 3 albums or will it be drawn from your career?

We love the Tanks that’s a great gig – we are really particularly looking forward to that one as The Tanks is probably one of my favourite venues in the whole country. The Dark Horses now truly owns its own sound. It started as my backing band for my solo albums, but by now The Dark Horses have really grown into something of its own and rather than do bits and pieces of The Cruel Sea and Beasts or whatever, I think it’s important to help developing this band and its sound….so it will be Dark Horses all the way.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

I wouldn’t be, I couldn’t be anything else but I don’t think I would choose to be anything else either….basically the best thing about something like this is you are doing, making a life and career out of something you love, listening playing and writing music that’s totally enjoyable to me…its actually what I am and how I feed my family amazingly. Being your own boss and doing something you truly love I guess is the bottom line greatest thing about it.

What’s the worst thing about being a musician?

It’s one of the best things as well but travel can be a great thing but it can end up being a drag….I tend to drag the family with me which they are getting a bit sick of. I really can’t spend too much time whinging about my lot I am pretty lucky.

What’s your favourite place to be and why?

I think home is my favourite place to be. I have a great home and a great partner, she is a captain of industry and she is always bossing a bunch of workmen around getting them to build things.
Our latest project was we bought an old chapel that was going to be demolished and we bought it to our property and been putting that back together again. It will be a kind of….I am reluctant to call it a studio but certainly a place where I can play music.

What’s the funniest thing to happen on tour?

A lot of my bands but The Dark Horses particularly have some of the funniest people I have ever met in my life in it.
There is a lot of misadventures that I could probably talk about but most days there is a lot of laughter, one of the 7 or 8 people in the touring party – there are a lot of funny people in my entourage  - I don’t seek the company of people who aren’t funny – if you’re not funny than you just don’t have a lot to offer me, you may be incredibly talented or the most skilled person in whatever you do but if you have got no sense of humour than we have no place for you here.

Tex Perkins and The Dark Horses play Tanks Arts Centre on November Tickets are available through Ticketlink.

There new album is available now. CLICK TO BUY