I was doing a tidy of old articles and discovered my interview with Neil Finn (Crowded House / Pajama Club) from a number of years ago. Neil’s new project with wife Sharon is definitely worth a download. The interview goes back a few years but contains one interesting discovery that guitar instrumentalist Joe Satriani sang backing vocals on a Crowded House Album.
The Crowded House reunion has been one of the more successful reunions in the last few years. Do you work differently as a band this time round?
NF: It is different because the lineup is different so some things are new, attributes that Matt brings on board, but really we just stumble along and try as hard as we can to be great.
You are currently working on a Studio Album with Crowded House, how is that all going?
NF : We are playing a few new ones on this tour, everything might change though, not sure when it will be released, when its ready I suppose.
Crowded House concerts are always a unique experience, there is a fair bit of interaction have there ever been nights that haven’t worked or have ended up completely surreal?
NF : Of course some gigs don’t have the rythmn but we certainly try to mix it up every night to create the possibility of brilliant spontaneity.
Your son Liam played Dublin’s Sugar Club recently and has supported Eddie Vedder on his US tour. Are your proud of his achievements, do have an input into his work?
NF : I am very proud that he is spreading goodwill and positive energy, I don’t have much input to his work , just a sympathetic ear at times and the odd bass track. I love his record.
I might have got this wrong but I read at one point you were thinking of coming to live in Ireland? were the Mullanes from here?
NF : No not planning to live in Ireland but have a family connection, my mother Mary Mullane was born in Limerick.
Technology is playing a much greater roll in music recording and live performances, have you found it changing how you write music or the recording process?
NF : Protools is very dominant, some aspects good and some not .It does allow accidents to be captured and used which is a plus. On the other hand there are too many options.
We were all big fans of the NilFun.com multimedia site, Do you have any plans to recreate the site?
NF : I would like to get it up again , maybe next year.
You have worked on the Motion Picture Soundtracks for a number of films. Your work on New Zealand Film ‘Rain’ works beautify with the image on screen. Do you find it harder to write for film?
NF : It was very enjoyable and nice for a change to have a theme to write about.
I loved the video for ‘Don’t Stop Now’ was that strange to make ? was it a green screen production for the band ? What did you think of the video for “She called up ?” I think it is the first NF/CH video that doesn’t feature the band ?
NF : It was fun to make, just had to mime in front of a green screen, no problem really. I love the She Called Up video , the kids are awesome!
Probably unlike many professional musicians you appear loyal to one or two guitars. Your Gold Les Paul Deluxe has been around for a number of videos and probably hundreds of gigs now have been tempted to try a new instrument?
NF : I use lots of guitars at home but on stage I have become very reliant on the Gold Top.
I read on the album notes for Crowded House – Crowded House that a J Satriani did some backing vocals. Is this the famous guitar player?
NF : Yes it was he, the very same, Mitchell knew him from San Francisco and he came in to do a few backing vocals.
If you like Neil Finn you are going to love the latest release from Liam Finn entitled Fomo.
This interview was first in print during 2008.