The Church

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The Church

Just under three years after the release of their acclaimed album Further/Deeper, legendary Australian band The Church are back with yet another full-length to add to their voluminous catalogue of works, Man Woman Life Death Infinity. We chat to The Church’s drummer Tim Powles.

Hi Tim, thanks for chatting to Forte Mag. Congrats on the new album!

Thanks, we just make them and we always do our best. We’re just ‘do our best’ kind of people and we just see what happens. It’s actually slightly surprising with how much everyone seems to like the record, it’s a good time for people to like it because it’s album #26, and sometimes it’s hard after a while, after record after record after record, it’s like how do you have an angle on this record? This one we haven’t really had to sell it too much though, people are discovering it and the fans, especially in the States on our last tour, they just all went nuts for it. It’s nice.

And how do you guys approach that, keeping it fresh after so many albums and such a long history?

We generally don’t have to work too hard at it, it’s just something innate in the relationship with the people we have, the reason that we are all together and particularly with this line-up. We did have a line-up change in 2013 [with Ian Haug from Powderfinger] and we focused a bit to survive that. I think that’s the only time when there’s been a bit of extra trying. Generally, we just do what we do. We became a band that pretty much improvised our future constantly, whether it was on stage or in the studio, and it’s interesting because it’s an asset that we have that not a lot of bands have, and not a lot of bands allow themselves to discover that.

The new album shot to #1 on the AIR Independent albums chart upon release, how was that?

That was really nice. We all work outside the band and are involved with other people here and I had a label way back and I actually was registered with AIR when it started, so it’s nice to see independent music doing well. The weird thing is independent music is reinventing itself pretty fast. That actual independent chart means a lot more now because there are some fairly big selling artists who are now indie and they do it themselves, and people are qualified for that chart. I think we beat The Wiggles though, so it’s a whole other level right there.

How are you describing your shows now, has the live show changed much over the years?

Well it doesn’t really change much in that we aren’t a big set band. I think where the shows have changed is that we’re a bit easier to translate and we’ve gotten better as musicians and better as a band and Steve has become more interested in actually telling the story of our band live and connecting. He’s less of an introvert on stage, and something happened the last three or four years – we did some winery tours here that were pretty massive and it blew us away that we were playing to thousands of people who give you a standing ovation. I think we felt rewarded and that started a bit of a cycle where we give more as a live band, rather than just take and stand there as a live band.

Looking to the future, will you be continuing to create more music and adding to your list of albums?

I guess so, but every time we do we make it harder for ourselves. After the last show, I thought maybe we shouldn’t do one because we can just rotate songs, the band’s probably got somewhere around 400 songs, it’s pretty weird.

And touring with be on the cards as well then?

Interestingly what happened in America on this tour was for a variety of reasons the album came out about six weeks later than it was planned to, so the album actually arrived on the last week of the American album tour. I mean, we still had a really good tour and it was good to do, but there’s a little bit of a feeling that we need to go back and finish that off. I’m not sure how soon, but there could be lots of things happening.

When & Where: 170 Russell, Melbourne – December 1. Tickets available via