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At a Glance

Formed: 1985 (29 years ago)


Biography

"Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, you are charged that in the year 1985 in the city of Melbourne you did form a four-piece group called The Mullanes which within a year was a three-piece group called Crowded House who had a couple of hits in America, before becoming in 1991 a four-piece involving Neil's brother Tim who left soon afterwards just as you were having your biggest British hits in the shape of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, and furthermore that by breaking up in 1996 just as people were getting to know who you were via your greatest hits album ‘Recurring Dream’ and ... Read more

"Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, you are charged that in the year 1985 in the city of Melbourne you did form a four-piece group called The Mullanes which within a year was a three-piece group called Crowded House who had a couple of hits in America, before becoming in 1991 a four-piece involving Neil's brother Tim who left soon afterwards just as you were having your biggest British hits in the shape of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, and furthermore that by breaking up in 1996 just as people were getting to know who you were via your greatest hits album ‘Recurring Dream’ and now reforming ten years later, you clearly qualify as the most confusing band in the history of popular music. How do you plead?"

Neil Finn: "At least we're top of one list."

------------------------------------------

On March 15th 2007 in the curious surroundings of a moored pleasure craft in the city of Bristol the new line-up of Crowded House – Neil Finn, Nick Seymour and Mark Hart plus recently recruited drummer Matt Sherrod – set forth on the latest stage of an interrupted journey in front of a few hundred ecstatic fans. Later this summer as they play big shows at Coachella in the Californian desert and at Hyde Park in London's swinging West End, those crowds will surely swell as die-hard enthusiasts who go back to Split Enz days are joined by the legions of fans who were fatally smitten by the likes of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ in the previous decade and the ever-rolling stream of new supporters who have grown up with the music but never before had the chance to clap eyes on the people who made it.

On July 2nd ‘Time On Earth’, the first album of new Crowded House material since 1993's ‘Together Alone’ appears. This started life a couple of years ago as a Neil Finn solo record but the intervention of time, chance and tragedy have transformed it into a fully-fledged band album. After playing a number of dates with Neil and his brother Tim in 2005 Nick Seymour was invited to supply bass on the early sessions which were conducted with producer Ethan Johns at Neil's Roundhead Studios in Auckland. The notion of this triggering a reunion of the band was not fully discussed but, as Nick says, "it was probably in the ether. It transpired that we were becoming more collaborative as we tried more songs and it became more of an organic thing based on our familiarity."

"It was starting to brew in the back of my head," says Neil "but I thought, I don't want to go there. I may have been worried about the naysayers, the people who just think you're doing it for the money. By the end of last year we were both thinking about it and thinking there's a lot to commend it. This feels like a Crowded House record because we've all been in there and it feels like a band record."

The death of original drummer Paul Hester in 2005 had further concentrated Neil's mind: "I thought, these relationships that you have in your life are rare and precious. Why wouldn't you just grab them?"

"We both realised that if it was going to be like that we had to have a brilliant drummer. The whole thing wasn't worth confirming until we had that drummer in place." Matt Sherrod, who has previously played with Beck, arrived after auditions while U.S.-based keyboard player Mark Hart, a veteran of the line-up who made ‘Together Alone’ in 1993, was the recipient of the time-honoured "we're putting the band back together" call.

Neil: "With Matt on the drum stool the energy that Paul brought to bear with his drumming was there again. He has a certain pizzazz in the way he puts things down that is the reason we liked him most of all the drummers we played with. There was a certainty. Like Paul he's anchored in the bass drum."

By the time this new line-up was starting to bed down Neil had written more material and so the four of them went into Mickie Most's old studio in London with producer Steve Lillywhite to "get the whole band on the record - in style."

"Obviously we wanted to have the band on it," says Neil, "but also as soon as you call something Crowded House it ups the ante. The record up to then was more reflective and melancholy. There's a certain energy that we brought to bear as Crowded House that we'd like to have represented on the record too."

These sessions produced ‘Don't Stop Now’, ‘She Called Up’, ‘Transit Lounge’ (adorned with a ten year old Nick Seymour recording of a particularly sexy PA announcer at a German airport) and ‘Even A Child’, co-written with old friend Johnny Marr. If proof were required that this is a band album they lie in these songs and the attitude with which they were approached.

"You have to live up to the responsibility of the name," says Neil. "There's a mysterious alchemy of sorts that the name is part of and the personalities as well. It brought out good things in us."

Nick and Neil are keen to stress that this is not one of those "let's try a few shows and see how it goes" reunions.

Neil: "We are an unfolding story. Loads of bands reform, but how many commit themselves to being a band to all intents and purposes after ten years? We are more attracted to the idea of being a band again than ‘appearing’ as a band again, with all of the comfort and companionship that that brings with it."

"When you become a solo artist you become more internalised. I've had ten years of it and became more closed just to get through it. When it's all about you your name is on it, you're the only one doing the interviews or in the pictures and the level of scrutiny tends to close me down. When I'm with Nick I tend to be more outgoing."

Nick concedes that personal relationships are a lot easier now: "Now we're a lot less likely to try to make each other like ourselves. I used to find that in Crowded House we were always expressing a lot of energy in not understanding why we were different. We used to think, why can't you be more like me? Those tensions don't exist any more because we've experienced so much more."

Neil agrees: "We're more tolerant of each other and more appreciative of the differences, which is difficult in a band because they always come with baggage. When you're younger you don't accept that one characteristic comes with another. You think the person should be the full package. Now I realise that that's what a band ‘is’. You don't get a photo-fit model partner. You get somebody who challenges you and confronts you and that's what's good about it."

"Once you're in the band you're in the band forever and there's always the same dynamic in the relationship. If it's amicable after all those years then it's a glorious thing. But if it goes the other way it's terrible. That's why people can feud their whole lives because of three years they spent together when they were twenty-four."

Without deviating in any way from the self-effacement that has always been part of Crowded House's DNA, the communication with the outside world should be easier this time around. "We fell between the cracks before", says Neil "because we weren't English, weren't American, weren't fashionable."

Nick, who has once again designed ‘Time On Earth'’s packaging, says: "I remember hearing Chris Evans one day on the radio saying how much he loved Crowded House but he didn't know anything about us. He didn't know the story. It used to really frustrate me that we couldn't get this identity over that could connect the music with the name of the band. "

"But the strange thing was that we became more familiar posthumously in a way”, Neil continues. “The ads for our Greatest Hits said 'you know more Crowded House songs than you think you do' and it was a very effective line. Also if you stay away long enough somehow people's affection for you seems to increase. I think it's harder to keep going because even the biggest fan will lose interest for a while. If you stay away and give people a break they do seem to look on you quite fondly."

And thus, with live music once more in the ascendant and strong songs at as much of a premium as ever, this happy few with its strong bond with a worldwide audience and its exceptionally deep catalogue of songs, sets forth on a new voyage with something of the dauntless, damn-the-torpedoes spirit of third agers on an adventure holiday.

This time they promise to enjoy being in a band more. Neil points out that now that his children have lives of their own he may no longer be in such a tearing hurry to get home between dates. "We're footloose and fancy free."

"The songs have endured and the spirit of the band has endured. There was always a sense that we invited people into our lounge room. We still do. We have innate confidence about this record. It represents us well. The spirit and the energy and the vitality that we feel about the band will roll out."

As for the veteran fans who will inevitably miss the antic spirit of Paul Hester, to whom ‘Time On Earth’ is inevitably dedicated, Neil offers this: "We miss him too. But I think we can contain the same spirit in our performance without Paul. We test the edges. That won't change."

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, you are charged that in the year 1985 in the city of Melbourne you did form a four-piece group called The Mullanes which within a year was a three-piece group called Crowded House who had a couple of hits in America, before becoming in 1991 a four-piece involving Neil's brother Tim who left soon afterwards just as you were having your biggest British hits in the shape of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, and furthermore that by breaking up in 1996 just as people were getting to know who you were via your greatest hits album ‘Recurring Dream’ and now reforming ten years later, you clearly qualify as the most confusing band in the history of popular music. How do you plead?"

Neil Finn: "At least we're top of one list."

------------------------------------------

On March 15th 2007 in the curious surroundings of a moored pleasure craft in the city of Bristol the new line-up of Crowded House – Neil Finn, Nick Seymour and Mark Hart plus recently recruited drummer Matt Sherrod – set forth on the latest stage of an interrupted journey in front of a few hundred ecstatic fans. Later this summer as they play big shows at Coachella in the Californian desert and at Hyde Park in London's swinging West End, those crowds will surely swell as die-hard enthusiasts who go back to Split Enz days are joined by the legions of fans who were fatally smitten by the likes of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ in the previous decade and the ever-rolling stream of new supporters who have grown up with the music but never before had the chance to clap eyes on the people who made it.

On July 2nd ‘Time On Earth’, the first album of new Crowded House material since 1993's ‘Together Alone’ appears. This started life a couple of years ago as a Neil Finn solo record but the intervention of time, chance and tragedy have transformed it into a fully-fledged band album. After playing a number of dates with Neil and his brother Tim in 2005 Nick Seymour was invited to supply bass on the early sessions which were conducted with producer Ethan Johns at Neil's Roundhead Studios in Auckland. The notion of this triggering a reunion of the band was not fully discussed but, as Nick says, "it was probably in the ether. It transpired that we were becoming more collaborative as we tried more songs and it became more of an organic thing based on our familiarity."

"It was starting to brew in the back of my head," says Neil "but I thought, I don't want to go there. I may have been worried about the naysayers, the people who just think you're doing it for the money. By the end of last year we were both thinking about it and thinking there's a lot to commend it. This feels like a Crowded House record because we've all been in there and it feels like a band record."

The death of original drummer Paul Hester in 2005 had further concentrated Neil's mind: "I thought, these relationships that you have in your life are rare and precious. Why wouldn't you just grab them?"

"We both realised that if it was going to be like that we had to have a brilliant drummer. The whole thing wasn't worth confirming until we had that drummer in place." Matt Sherrod, who has previously played with Beck, arrived after auditions while U.S.-based keyboard player Mark Hart, a veteran of the line-up who made ‘Together Alone’ in 1993, was the recipient of the time-honoured "we're putting the band back together" call.

Neil: "With Matt on the drum stool the energy that Paul brought to bear with his drumming was there again. He has a certain pizzazz in the way he puts things down that is the reason we liked him most of all the drummers we played with. There was a certainty. Like Paul he's anchored in the bass drum."

By the time this new line-up was starting to bed down Neil had written more material and so the four of them went into Mickie Most's old studio in London with producer Steve Lillywhite to "get the whole band on the record - in style."

"Obviously we wanted to have the band on it," says Neil, "but also as soon as you call something Crowded House it ups the ante. The record up to then was more reflective and melancholy. There's a certain energy that we brought to bear as Crowded House that we'd like to have represented on the record too."

These sessions produced ‘Don't Stop Now’, ‘She Called Up’, ‘Transit Lounge’ (adorned with a ten year old Nick Seymour recording of a particularly sexy PA announcer at a German airport) and ‘Even A Child’, co-written with old friend Johnny Marr. If proof were required that this is a band album they lie in these songs and the attitude with which they were approached.

"You have to live up to the responsibility of the name," says Neil. "There's a mysterious alchemy of sorts that the name is part of and the personalities as well. It brought out good things in us."

Nick and Neil are keen to stress that this is not one of those "let's try a few shows and see how it goes" reunions.

Neil: "We are an unfolding story. Loads of bands reform, but how many commit themselves to being a band to all intents and purposes after ten years? We are more attracted to the idea of being a band again than ‘appearing’ as a band again, with all of the comfort and companionship that that brings with it."

"When you become a solo artist you become more internalised. I've had ten years of it and became more closed just to get through it. When it's all about you your name is on it, you're the only one doing the interviews or in the pictures and the level of scrutiny tends to close me down. When I'm with Nick I tend to be more outgoing."

Nick concedes that personal relationships are a lot easier now: "Now we're a lot less likely to try to make each other like ourselves. I used to find that in Crowded House we were always expressing a lot of energy in not understanding why we were different. We used to think, why can't you be more like me? Those tensions don't exist any more because we've experienced so much more."

Neil agrees: "We're more tolerant of each other and more appreciative of the differences, which is difficult in a band because they always come with baggage. When you're younger you don't accept that one characteristic comes with another. You think the person should be the full package. Now I realise that that's what a band ‘is’. You don't get a photo-fit model partner. You get somebody who challenges you and confronts you and that's what's good about it."

"Once you're in the band you're in the band forever and there's always the same dynamic in the relationship. If it's amicable after all those years then it's a glorious thing. But if it goes the other way it's terrible. That's why people can feud their whole lives because of three years they spent together when they were twenty-four."

Without deviating in any way from the self-effacement that has always been part of Crowded House's DNA, the communication with the outside world should be easier this time around. "We fell between the cracks before", says Neil "because we weren't English, weren't American, weren't fashionable."

Nick, who has once again designed ‘Time On Earth'’s packaging, says: "I remember hearing Chris Evans one day on the radio saying how much he loved Crowded House but he didn't know anything about us. He didn't know the story. It used to really frustrate me that we couldn't get this identity over that could connect the music with the name of the band. "

"But the strange thing was that we became more familiar posthumously in a way”, Neil continues. “The ads for our Greatest Hits said 'you know more Crowded House songs than you think you do' and it was a very effective line. Also if you stay away long enough somehow people's affection for you seems to increase. I think it's harder to keep going because even the biggest fan will lose interest for a while. If you stay away and give people a break they do seem to look on you quite fondly."

And thus, with live music once more in the ascendant and strong songs at as much of a premium as ever, this happy few with its strong bond with a worldwide audience and its exceptionally deep catalogue of songs, sets forth on a new voyage with something of the dauntless, damn-the-torpedoes spirit of third agers on an adventure holiday.

This time they promise to enjoy being in a band more. Neil points out that now that his children have lives of their own he may no longer be in such a tearing hurry to get home between dates. "We're footloose and fancy free."

"The songs have endured and the spirit of the band has endured. There was always a sense that we invited people into our lounge room. We still do. We have innate confidence about this record. It represents us well. The spirit and the energy and the vitality that we feel about the band will roll out."

As for the veteran fans who will inevitably miss the antic spirit of Paul Hester, to whom ‘Time On Earth’ is inevitably dedicated, Neil offers this: "We miss him too. But I think we can contain the same spirit in our performance without Paul. We test the edges. That won't change."

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

"Neil Finn and Nick Seymour, you are charged that in the year 1985 in the city of Melbourne you did form a four-piece group called The Mullanes which within a year was a three-piece group called Crowded House who had a couple of hits in America, before becoming in 1991 a four-piece involving Neil's brother Tim who left soon afterwards just as you were having your biggest British hits in the shape of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Four Seasons In One Day’, and furthermore that by breaking up in 1996 just as people were getting to know who you were via your greatest hits album ‘Recurring Dream’ and now reforming ten years later, you clearly qualify as the most confusing band in the history of popular music. How do you plead?"

Neil Finn: "At least we're top of one list."

------------------------------------------

On March 15th 2007 in the curious surroundings of a moored pleasure craft in the city of Bristol the new line-up of Crowded House – Neil Finn, Nick Seymour and Mark Hart plus recently recruited drummer Matt Sherrod – set forth on the latest stage of an interrupted journey in front of a few hundred ecstatic fans. Later this summer as they play big shows at Coachella in the Californian desert and at Hyde Park in London's swinging West End, those crowds will surely swell as die-hard enthusiasts who go back to Split Enz days are joined by the legions of fans who were fatally smitten by the likes of ‘Weather With You’ and ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ in the previous decade and the ever-rolling stream of new supporters who have grown up with the music but never before had the chance to clap eyes on the people who made it.

On July 2nd ‘Time On Earth’, the first album of new Crowded House material since 1993's ‘Together Alone’ appears. This started life a couple of years ago as a Neil Finn solo record but the intervention of time, chance and tragedy have transformed it into a fully-fledged band album. After playing a number of dates with Neil and his brother Tim in 2005 Nick Seymour was invited to supply bass on the early sessions which were conducted with producer Ethan Johns at Neil's Roundhead Studios in Auckland. The notion of this triggering a reunion of the band was not fully discussed but, as Nick says, "it was probably in the ether. It transpired that we were becoming more collaborative as we tried more songs and it became more of an organic thing based on our familiarity."

"It was starting to brew in the back of my head," says Neil "but I thought, I don't want to go there. I may have been worried about the naysayers, the people who just think you're doing it for the money. By the end of last year we were both thinking about it and thinking there's a lot to commend it. This feels like a Crowded House record because we've all been in there and it feels like a band record."

The death of original drummer Paul Hester in 2005 had further concentrated Neil's mind: "I thought, these relationships that you have in your life are rare and precious. Why wouldn't you just grab them?"

"We both realised that if it was going to be like that we had to have a brilliant drummer. The whole thing wasn't worth confirming until we had that drummer in place." Matt Sherrod, who has previously played with Beck, arrived after auditions while U.S.-based keyboard player Mark Hart, a veteran of the line-up who made ‘Together Alone’ in 1993, was the recipient of the time-honoured "we're putting the band back together" call.

Neil: "With Matt on the drum stool the energy that Paul brought to bear with his drumming was there again. He has a certain pizzazz in the way he puts things down that is the reason we liked him most of all the drummers we played with. There was a certainty. Like Paul he's anchored in the bass drum."

By the time this new line-up was starting to bed down Neil had written more material and so the four of them went into Mickie Most's old studio in London with producer Steve Lillywhite to "get the whole band on the record - in style."

"Obviously we wanted to have the band on it," says Neil, "but also as soon as you call something Crowded House it ups the ante. The record up to then was more reflective and melancholy. There's a certain energy that we brought to bear as Crowded House that we'd like to have represented on the record too."

These sessions produced ‘Don't Stop Now’, ‘She Called Up’, ‘Transit Lounge’ (adorned with a ten year old Nick Seymour recording of a particularly sexy PA announcer at a German airport) and ‘Even A Child’, co-written with old friend Johnny Marr. If proof were required that this is a band album they lie in these songs and the attitude with which they were approached.

"You have to live up to the responsibility of the name," says Neil. "There's a mysterious alchemy of sorts that the name is part of and the personalities as well. It brought out good things in us."

Nick and Neil are keen to stress that this is not one of those "let's try a few shows and see how it goes" reunions.

Neil: "We are an unfolding story. Loads of bands reform, but how many commit themselves to being a band to all intents and purposes after ten years? We are more attracted to the idea of being a band again than ‘appearing’ as a band again, with all of the comfort and companionship that that brings with it."

"When you become a solo artist you become more internalised. I've had ten years of it and became more closed just to get through it. When it's all about you your name is on it, you're the only one doing the interviews or in the pictures and the level of scrutiny tends to close me down. When I'm with Nick I tend to be more outgoing."

Nick concedes that personal relationships are a lot easier now: "Now we're a lot less likely to try to make each other like ourselves. I used to find that in Crowded House we were always expressing a lot of energy in not understanding why we were different. We used to think, why can't you be more like me? Those tensions don't exist any more because we've experienced so much more."

Neil agrees: "We're more tolerant of each other and more appreciative of the differences, which is difficult in a band because they always come with baggage. When you're younger you don't accept that one characteristic comes with another. You think the person should be the full package. Now I realise that that's what a band ‘is’. You don't get a photo-fit model partner. You get somebody who challenges you and confronts you and that's what's good about it."

"Once you're in the band you're in the band forever and there's always the same dynamic in the relationship. If it's amicable after all those years then it's a glorious thing. But if it goes the other way it's terrible. That's why people can feud their whole lives because of three years they spent together when they were twenty-four."

Without deviating in any way from the self-effacement that has always been part of Crowded House's DNA, the communication with the outside world should be easier this time around. "We fell between the cracks before", says Neil "because we weren't English, weren't American, weren't fashionable."

Nick, who has once again designed ‘Time On Earth'’s packaging, says: "I remember hearing Chris Evans one day on the radio saying how much he loved Crowded House but he didn't know anything about us. He didn't know the story. It used to really frustrate me that we couldn't get this identity over that could connect the music with the name of the band. "

"But the strange thing was that we became more familiar posthumously in a way”, Neil continues. “The ads for our Greatest Hits said 'you know more Crowded House songs than you think you do' and it was a very effective line. Also if you stay away long enough somehow people's affection for you seems to increase. I think it's harder to keep going because even the biggest fan will lose interest for a while. If you stay away and give people a break they do seem to look on you quite fondly."

And thus, with live music once more in the ascendant and strong songs at as much of a premium as ever, this happy few with its strong bond with a worldwide audience and its exceptionally deep catalogue of songs, sets forth on a new voyage with something of the dauntless, damn-the-torpedoes spirit of third agers on an adventure holiday.

This time they promise to enjoy being in a band more. Neil points out that now that his children have lives of their own he may no longer be in such a tearing hurry to get home between dates. "We're footloose and fancy free."

"The songs have endured and the spirit of the band has endured. There was always a sense that we invited people into our lounge room. We still do. We have innate confidence about this record. It represents us well. The spirit and the energy and the vitality that we feel about the band will roll out."

As for the veteran fans who will inevitably miss the antic spirit of Paul Hester, to whom ‘Time On Earth’ is inevitably dedicated, Neil offers this: "We miss him too. But I think we can contain the same spirit in our performance without Paul. We test the edges. That won't change."

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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