Skip to main content

Very good read including questions about Paul which was still not easy for Neil and Nick.
One comment I didn't like was Neil quoting Matt saying this is the new and improved Crowded House.Does this mean the past wasn't as good as the line up now or what and from that comment I can only assume he means improved because he is in the band. That is the only change to the line up. Not a smart thing to say and not much respect for an enormous past which he is obviously unaware of or not in tune with. There is a long way to go to get to the standard of the past at this stage that I am certain of!
Original Post
It's a direct quote from Neil about what Matt said so it's good enough for me. Also it was the last bit in a two page spread and I enjoyed the story up until that very last paragraph. It was just a bit "what the" if you know what I mean and if it's toungue in cheek it's pretty smart arse to me. Get some runs on the board first I would think would be the way to go.
I haven't read the article, but can't it be that Matt was a bit ironic or sarcastic, meaning that since the audition the band now has a drummer ans so has improved as opposed to not having a drummer?

If you're following in the footsteps of someone who is passed away, I think it's hard nót to know the heritance will be heavy, so I also give him the credit.
NEIL Finn was doing all the right things. It was Crowded House's big comeback show at California's Coachella Festival at the end of April.

They were busting into their biggest United States hit, the ballad Don't Dream It's Over.

Finn was trying to get the huge crowd to sway their arms.

But in the first few rows was an army of burly men who had stormed to the front as soon as the festival's doors opened, eagerly awaiting that night's headliner, re-formed rock act Rage Against The Machine.

So while some members of the audience waved their hands, the Rage used theirs for another gesture -- flipping the communal bird at Crowded House.

"We were expecting worse," Liam Finn, son of House frontman Neil, who was roped in for extra guitar duties on the night, recalls.

"We were expecting chants of 'f--- off', but it was good to see us deal with it. It didn't faze Dad. A microphone got hit by a water bottle but it kind of made me smile. I kept thinking what a good shot by that angry fan. He'd be thinking, 'I'm the king, I nailed that!' "

Aggrieved Rage fans aside, the Crowded House reunion is all systems go.

Which is odd considering that after Paul Hester's suicide in March 2005 it seemed the Crowded House story was officially over.

After a Finn Brothers album with sibling Tim and a reformation tour with Spilt Enz, Neil Finn was preparing a new solo album last year.

He was also back in contact with Crowded House bandmate Nick Seymour, preparing the 10th-anniversary DVD release of their then-final show at Sydney's Opera House in 1996 (it was released last November) and listening to old Crowdies songs for a box set.

Seymour came to the studio where Finn was recording and the Neil Finn solo album morphed into a Crowded House comeback album.

"There was a turning point, but it's hard to pinpoint when exactly it was. It happened over a 12-month period," Seymour says.

When news leaked of Crowded House's reformation, fan forums went into overdrive, debating the validity of the band getting back together without Hester, who had left the band in 1994, tired of touring and wanting to spend time with his newborn daughter.

EVEN Liam Finn admits to second thoughts about the idea.

"I'm an opinionated young guy, I'm the first to be cynical about anything like Crowded House getting back together. I had the initial thoughts, 'Is this a good idea?'

"But it makes a lot of sense. Hearing the passion with which Dad talks about Crowded House, and after what happened with Paul, it seemed a shame for the Crowded House story to end 'and then Paul Hester committed suicide'."

Any external debate followed a series of internal talks, Neil Finn says.

"It's touching that people care enough to debate that issue.

"Obviously there's a great deal of affection for what was. But ultimately we decided that it had vitality and freshness as an idea and we were deadly serious about it enough to look for a great drummer and do all the things we thought were necessary to make it right.

"We had no doubt internally, so why would we seek out doubt?

"People are the ultimate arbiters of whether it's a good idea. They'll either come and like it or they won't. That's their right. We knew we were doing it for the right reasons.

"We'd got to it at the end of a long recording process, between Nick and I. We'd looked around the perimeters of the beast and thought, 'Yes, it is good, we shall arise' and that's all we needed to know."

The band held a handful of global auditions for a new drummer, which Finn jokes was "like a reality-TV show; we just didn't film it".

"By the time we got to London and had another five drummers to audition I couldn't even remember the others," Seymour admits.

"Luckily Neil was still recording them on his laptop each night and gave me a CD to take back to Dublin. I reviewed the auditions as if it were a new album."

They settled on Matt Sherrod, who had played with Beck.

"He came with no baggage; he had no real knowledge of Crowded House. He'd heard only a couple of our songs," Finn says.

"He wasn't intimidated by the process; he wasn't even considering he was replacing someone like Paul. A lot of people came with a lot of pre-thought, wanting to do exactly what Paul would have done."

Their Coachella set showed that the tight harmonies and loose feel that fuelled Crowded House in their heyday was back.

"After, say, the second gig, when we started jamming in the middle of songs, or the intros or outros of songs, that's when I remembered how magical those things can be," Seymour says.

"That was a hallmark of Crowded House gigs back in the day. That's all back, that ability to jam which is great. It's that intuitiveness."

Finn says: "We've done enough now to feel it's ingrained, but it's also fresh enough that we're on the edge of our seats every time we step out there."

Rekindling his working partnership with Seymour has been the key to the band's reformation, as well as seeing Split Enz reunite without drama, he says.

"If you keep your relationships intact, you can always summon up that vital spirit that made you tick. That was reassuring."

Assembling the box set and watching the footage from last year's live DVD "focused our minds on what was good about everything", Finn says.

"More than anything else in a musical and personal sense, it lightened my spirits to be working with Nick, having a good laugh and just going home at the end of the night thinking you're sharing it with somebody."

Liam Finn says he has noticed the change in his dad.

"It's really great to see Dad and Nick reunited, because they're such great friends. They've experienced so much together; I don't think they have other people in their lives like each other. It's so good for both of them."

SEYMOUR is already regretting Liam leaving the Crowded House live line-up as "utility guy".

"It'd be horrible for me to say I hope his (solo) record stiffs and he keeps playing with us, but we're really going to miss him," he says.

Finn's other son Elroy plays acoustic guitar on Time on Earth, but the band is still an acoustic guitarist short for live shows.

"There's a long-term situation we need to address," Finn admits.

"But before anyone starts sending tapes in we might do the old-fashioned 'ring up your mates' thing!"

The two happily fire off banter, but it's only when talking of Hester that they start to stumble and choose their words more carefully.

Finn says they "inevitably" felt Hester's presence during the recording sessions

"It wasn't an onerous thing. It wasn't something we were conscious . . . (pause). We were remembering a lot of stuff as well, having good laughs about some of the things he did. We realised our vernacular is laced with his humour, all the things we still say that came from him."

People Are Like Suns is the most obvious lyrical reference to Hester, with the telling line, "It can't be helped, doesn't stop me thinking out loud, I could have done something . . . "

Again Finn squirms at discussion of the lyric.

"Yeah. It's about the flash of light that people are . . . I don't want to say too much about it because it already says it all in there really.

"There are bits and pieces all over the record that are directly or obliquely influenced by him; there's a lot of contemplation over the nature of being in your life and fully engaged in your life.

"We've realised we're fully committed to something and respectful of each other in the process."

During some Finn Brothers shows, Neil led local crowds in a singalong version of Crowded House's Better Be Home Soon as a tribute to Hester, but isn't planning any homages with Crowded House Mk2.

"That (Finn tour) felt like a very good time for us all to give him a big moment. I think we can go on without too much . . . (pause) people know inside themselves . . . (pause) I wouldn't even want to start to think about what is appropriate or should be appropriate.

"It'll just come out. There might be a night where we give him some s--- from stage, and so we should, we shouldn't be too . . . "

Time on Earth has been dedicated to Hester's memory.

"That's a good way to remember him and pay him some respect," Finn says.

"It's not meant as a memorial to him particularly, it's new. And as Matt (Sherrod) keeps saying, it's the new and improved Crowded House."

Don't Stop Now out Saturday. Time on Earth out June 30
Better still here is the interview.

Cameron Adams

June 14, 2007 12:00am
NEIL Finn was doing all the right things. It was Crowded House's big comeback show at California's Coachella Festival at the end of April.

They were busting into their biggest United States hit, the ballad Don't Dream It's Over.

Finn was trying to get the huge crowd to sway their arms.

But in the first few rows was an army of burly men who had stormed to the front as soon as the festival's doors opened, eagerly awaiting that night's headliner, re-formed rock act Rage Against The Machine.

So while some members of the audience waved their hands, the Rage used theirs for another gesture -- flipping the communal bird at Crowded House.

"We were expecting worse," Liam Finn, son of House frontman Neil, who was roped in for extra guitar duties on the night, recalls.

"We were expecting chants of 'f--- off', but it was good to see us deal with it. It didn't faze Dad. A microphone got hit by a water bottle but it kind of made me smile. I kept thinking what a good shot by that angry fan. He'd be thinking, 'I'm the king, I nailed that!' "

Aggrieved Rage fans aside, the Crowded House reunion is all systems go.

Which is odd considering that after Paul Hester's suicide in March 2005 it seemed the Crowded House story was officially over.

After a Finn Brothers album with sibling Tim and a reformation tour with Spilt Enz, Neil Finn was preparing a new solo album last year.

He was also back in contact with Crowded House bandmate Nick Seymour, preparing the 10th-anniversary DVD release of their then-final show at Sydney's Opera House in 1996 (it was released last November) and listening to old Crowdies songs for a box set.

Seymour came to the studio where Finn was recording and the Neil Finn solo album morphed into a Crowded House comeback album.

"There was a turning point, but it's hard to pinpoint when exactly it was. It happened over a 12-month period," Seymour says.

When news leaked of Crowded House's reformation, fan forums went into overdrive, debating the validity of the band getting back together without Hester, who had left the band in 1994, tired of touring and wanting to spend time with his newborn daughter.

EVEN Liam Finn admits to second thoughts about the idea.

"I'm an opinionated young guy, I'm the first to be cynical about anything like Crowded House getting back together. I had the initial thoughts, 'Is this a good idea?'

"But it makes a lot of sense. Hearing the passion with which Dad talks about Crowded House, and after what happened with Paul, it seemed a shame for the Crowded House story to end 'and then Paul Hester committed suicide'."

Any external debate followed a series of internal talks, Neil Finn says.

"It's touching that people care enough to debate that issue.

"Obviously there's a great deal of affection for what was. But ultimately we decided that it had vitality and freshness as an idea and we were deadly serious about it enough to look for a great drummer and do all the things we thought were necessary to make it right.

"We had no doubt internally, so why would we seek out doubt?

"People are the ultimate arbiters of whether it's a good idea. They'll either come and like it or they won't. That's their right. We knew we were doing it for the right reasons.

"We'd got to it at the end of a long recording process, between Nick and I. We'd looked around the perimeters of the beast and thought, 'Yes, it is good, we shall arise' and that's all we needed to know."

The band held a handful of global auditions for a new drummer, which Finn jokes was "like a reality-TV show; we just didn't film it".

"By the time we got to London and had another five drummers to audition I couldn't even remember the others," Seymour admits.

"Luckily Neil was still recording them on his laptop each night and gave me a CD to take back to Dublin. I reviewed the auditions as if it were a new album."

They settled on Matt Sherrod, who had played with Beck.

"He came with no baggage; he had no real knowledge of Crowded House. He'd heard only a couple of our songs," Finn says.

"He wasn't intimidated by the process; he wasn't even considering he was replacing someone like Paul. A lot of people came with a lot of pre-thought, wanting to do exactly what Paul would have done."

Their Coachella set showed that the tight harmonies and loose feel that fuelled Crowded House in their heyday was back.

"After, say, the second gig, when we started jamming in the middle of songs, or the intros or outros of songs, that's when I remembered how magical those things can be," Seymour says.

"That was a hallmark of Crowded House gigs back in the day. That's all back, that ability to jam which is great. It's that intuitiveness."

Finn says: "We've done enough now to feel it's ingrained, but it's also fresh enough that we're on the edge of our seats every time we step out there."

Rekindling his working partnership with Seymour has been the key to the band's reformation, as well as seeing Split Enz reunite without drama, he says.

"If you keep your relationships intact, you can always summon up that vital spirit that made you tick. That was reassuring."

Assembling the box set and watching the footage from last year's live DVD "focused our minds on what was good about everything", Finn says.

"More than anything else in a musical and personal sense, it lightened my spirits to be working with Nick, having a good laugh and just going home at the end of the night thinking you're sharing it with somebody."

Liam Finn says he has noticed the change in his dad.

"It's really great to see Dad and Nick reunited, because they're such great friends. They've experienced so much together; I don't think they have other people in their lives like each other. It's so good for both of them."

SEYMOUR is already regretting Liam leaving the Crowded House live line-up as "utility guy".

"It'd be horrible for me to say I hope his (solo) record stiffs and he keeps playing with us, but we're really going to miss him," he says.

Finn's other son Elroy plays acoustic guitar on Time on Earth, but the band is still an acoustic guitarist short for live shows.

"There's a long-term situation we need to address," Finn admits.

"But before anyone starts sending tapes in we might do the old-fashioned 'ring up your mates' thing!"

The two happily fire off banter, but it's only when talking of Hester that they start to stumble and choose their words more carefully.

Finn says they "inevitably" felt Hester's presence during the recording sessions

"It wasn't an onerous thing. It wasn't something we were conscious . . . (pause). We were remembering a lot of stuff as well, having good laughs about some of the things he did. We realised our vernacular is laced with his humour, all the things we still say that came from him."

People Are Like Suns is the most obvious lyrical reference to Hester, with the telling line, "It can't be helped, doesn't stop me thinking out loud, I could have done something . . . "

Again Finn squirms at discussion of the lyric.

"Yeah. It's about the flash of light that people are . . . I don't want to say too much about it because it already says it all in there really.

"There are bits and pieces all over the record that are directly or obliquely influenced by him; there's a lot of contemplation over the nature of being in your life and fully engaged in your life.

"We've realised we're fully committed to something and respectful of each other in the process."

During some Finn Brothers shows, Neil led local crowds in a singalong version of Crowded House's Better Be Home Soon as a tribute to Hester, but isn't planning any homages with Crowded House Mk2.

"That (Finn tour) felt like a very good time for us all to give him a big moment. I think we can go on without too much . . . (pause) people know inside themselves . . . (pause) I wouldn't even want to start to think about what is appropriate or should be appropriate.

"It'll just come out. There might be a night where we give him some s--- from stage, and so we should, we shouldn't be too . . . "

Time on Earth has been dedicated to Hester's memory.

"That's a good way to remember him and pay him some respect," Finn says.

"It's not meant as a memorial to him particularly, it's new. And as Matt (Sherrod) keeps saying, it's the new and improved Crowded House."
I think it's ok for Matt to say that CW is new and improved. It's a common thing to say when a band starts up again....an optimistic thing to say. Also, nothing to take away from Paul and his drumming.....have we considered Matt may be a better drummer technically and all around capability? I don't know alot about drumming but I have heard and read how great he is. I know of Paul's all around personality and his drumming.....but I also heard his dislike for being on the road and his personality clashes with the band (Neil). This could not be condusive to a well-oiled machine that is needed to make a band gel musically and professionally. Can you impagine how hard it would have been at times....I know, I have a family member who is bi-polar, manic depressive....and man it makes for very difficult times. The family has fallen apart because of it. Sound familiar? This being said, I think there is a very good chance they are new and improved.
My goodness - those of you hacking away at Matt Sherrod for his "new and improved" quote need to relax. What would you expect him to say? "Well, it's going to be worse, but we'll have a go anyway"? "I didn't know Paul Hester, but I'm going to pretend to be reverential and pious and and all that, just so I don't tick any of the all-too-fragile Crowdies fans off"? Saying something is "new and improved" is just a figure of speech; let's not read too much into that, OK?
Also, "new and improved" can be said as a joke---a parody of commercial or advertisement-talk---you know, every product advertises itself as "new and improved" any time there's the slightest change. So Matt could've been and likely was joking about it that way. C'mon, no one would be foolish enough to be seriously disrespecting Paul, or Peter, or the way the old band sounded.
I am just so glad we have them back I thought we would never listen or let alone hear from crowded house again. I had just said to my wife about a week before, while we were driving and listening to the some of their music " doesn't that sound great to bad we will never get to see them again" then while surfing the web Wow!!! they are getting back together and a new recording!!!! I dont know about you guys but this is going to be a very very fun summer isnt it! and as far as Matt I think they found a gem of a drummer and I think they are new & improved in attitude and spirit with a new mission. Thank goodness we have them back! just enjoy the ride!!! woo hoo!!!
I love Paul just as much as any one of us on this forum. His legacy lives on through his music and in all of our memories.
He was a fine drummer and I’m sure his presence was a source of energy and joy to everyone around him.
Having acknowledged Paul’s importance as an intrinsic part of Crowded House, I think Matt deserves a fare shot a new member and nobody should be too judgmental about his drumming or the words he uses. If he said “New and Improved” version of the band, it’s just a common expression used when referring to something that is worth checking-out. I’m sure that he never meant to belittle either Paul or Peter Jones in any way. He only got to play on 4 or 5 tracks on Time On Earth and he’s done an impressive job on the few live shows so far. So lets give the guy a chance and welcome him to our team rather than speculate on what he thought or said.
You're not going to join a band and say that it's "new and er, well, not as good as it was before" are you?

I take this new Crowded House as an improvement over no Crowded House. Fully functioning Crowded House is an improvement over a defunct Crowded House. I'm sure he didn't intend that comment to disparage Paul in any way, shape, or form - and I don't think Neil would be repeating it if he did mean it that way. Some of you just read to much into everything anyone says.
Great article and cool cover pic of Neil. Hit is a very popular read on a Thursday so this was great coverage.

I read Matt's comment and thought nothing of it at all other than a new band member looking forward to creating something new and wonderful. It was just one of those phrases people use to boost themselves up when there is a history of a band that has gone before. Every band wants to be better than they were before. What's the point if you don't.

Add Reply

Post
    All times London, UK.

    ©1998-Eternity, Frenz.com. All post content is the copyrighted work of the person who wrote it. Please don't copy, reproduce, or publish anything you see written here without the author's permission.
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×