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January 23, 2022

Interview with Tex Perkins

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Everything new is old again…

Eve Jeffery

It is understandably difficult to pull together a coherent picture of Tex Perkins – a man whose career has included everything from the lilting, dark country of the Dark Horses, to the hard-edged and snarling pub rock of the Beasts Of Bourbon, through to the evocative soundscapes of the Cruel Sea and beyond… 
Now Tex is reuniting with his friend Matt Walker for duo shows. Matt Walker is an Aria award winning blues musician who has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan and Patti Smith. His work as a songwriter, producer, session guitarist and composer is credited on dozens of albums, films and documentary scores, and among his peers he enjoys the status of a true cult legend.
Tex and Matt have been kept apart by border closures, but the good news is they are on the road again. Their powerful live show features songs spanning Tex’s vast catalogue, as well as brand new material they have written together for their Fat Rubber Band album. 
Seven caught up with Tex on the weekend to ask him some stuff…

Is playing music as much fun in your mid-50s as it was in your mid-20s?

Well, I’ve been playing music live since I was 17 years old, so by the time I was in my mid-20s I was in a successful rock band selling records, winning awards and touring a lot. Every band wants to be successful, but success traps you in that success, and inevitably you end up doing the same things over and over again; singing the same songs over and over again.

Now, in my mid-50s, there’s less pressure, therefore more freedom, therefore more joy! A lot less money sure, despite being, I think, actually better at what I do now. I think I understand what I do better than I used to. But really I just feel grateful to be still alive and still out there. I love it. It’s precious to me. So yeah, I still get a buzz – but it’s a better kind of buzz.

Is everything old new again?

No everything new is old again.

What did you do to satisfy not performing during the lockdowns?

2021 was even worse than 2020 – I must admit I gave up hoping and sank into a state of submission. So I decided to do better at the things that I could do. The really important stuff. Family. I love being a father, but I want to be an even better father. It’s an eternal quest and all that really matters. Anyway, nothing can satisfy the itch to play live but playing live.  

What inspires you?

Sunrises, sunsets, kindness, the need for love and connection, fear, great musicians and their music and marijuana.

Do you find collaboration easier than working on your own?

Ummm easier? I dunno, it’s more fun, definitely more fun collaborating with others. It’s great to have someone to develop ideas beyond the point you’ve taken it. But I love getting lost in making music by myself. A lot of it is ‘music’ that will never be heard by others.

The point of the music was just the playing of it. I guess it was like therapy, or meditation.  

What’s the best thing in your life at the moment?

My Family. Without my kids it would be hard to see the point of anything. Yeah family is all that matters in the end.

NORPA presents: Tex Perkins & Matt Walker.
With special guests, Lucie Thorne & Jimmy Dowling.
Saturday 22 January, 2022, 7.30pm at Lismore City Hall. Tickets: $55
www.norpa.org.au.


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