Featuring Don Martin, Murray Burns, Paul Dunningham, Colin Bayley and new singer Steve Balbi (Noiseworks, Electric Hippies), we had the chance to catch up with Murray who provided us with an update on the band, the tour and a new album in the works!
You’ve just released Somebody which is your first single release in 25 years. How did that come about?
We actually recorded 11 songs; some old ones and some new ones. We just thought that would be a bit more of a balance, a nice introduction to people to hear our new singer Steve Balbi. Somebody has a great vocal performance by Steve so we chose that as our first single.
What was it like heading back to the studio with the band?
Well Steve, Colin and myself, we all spend a lot of our time in studios… we all run studios as part of our lives. We just started throwing ideas over the internet to each other and played a few of the songs live. That song (Somebody) sounded really good live so we decided it would be a great first single. And we’re halfway through recording a new album actually.
Oh wow! And the song Somebody features on your new EP too?
Yeah, the EP's called ‘Extended Play’. On that we have recorded a few older songs.
Where did you record it?
We recorded most of it in Byron Bay at Studios 301, and some of it we did in Sydney. But these days a studio can be a computer with a microphone! But we were literally just emailing files all around as we live from Christchurch to Sydney to Byron Bay.
The Clash Of The Titans tour, featuring Mi-Sex, The Angles and Dragon is about to kick off. You must be looking forward to that?
Yeah I am! Very honoured to have been invited to play on that. I have no idea who will be on 1st, 2nd or 3rd… we’ll be tossing a coin on each afternoon. I’m sure the road crews must love that (laughs).
I guess you know The Angels and Dragon well from back in the day?
Yeah, we know them fairly well. We’ve been doing a lot of shows with Dragon in Australia actually. We’ve done one show with The Angels, and will be doing a few more with them in July and August around Australia, which will be fun.
How was the Australian and New Zealand music scene back in the early 80s?
The scene particularly in Australia was driven by a show called ‘Countdown’. We released I think about 11 singles, and all of our singles we performed on Countdown. It really was the anchor for the Australian music industry, as far as live work went. People would see you on Countdown, then come out and see you play in hotels and clubs, so it was a big part of everything over there. We toured New Zealand in ’78… formed in Christchurch and worked our way up to Auckland, then flew to Sydney. We came back probably 4 times to New Zealand, toured America quite a bit, and then by then we were a bit over it. We had every intention to play again but sadly we lost Steve in a car accident, so we never played again.
But the scene was incredible and we had pretty good fortune with things going well for Mi-Sex, so when we came back to New Zealand we sort of came back on a slightly higher plane than we left, and played a few Sweetwaters which were brilliant events... and did a few tours up and down the country. And we played the Town Halls throughout New Zealand which we’re going to do again now 25 years later. I can’t believe we left it so long to come and play again.
What can we expect from your show?
I think we’re going to play 10 or 11 songs; we’ll be doing our favourite songs to play from our full album that we’ve put out. And will play the new single ‘Somebody’, so it’s sort of a condensed show.
What plans do you have following the tour?
Basically we’ll be coming back to the studio here in Austrlalia. We’ll finish that and then go straight on tour with The Angels, that’ll get us through to the end of August and after that I can’t tell you (laughs).
Mi-Sex - Extended Plays available now at iTunes
Clash Of The Titans - Mi-Sex, The Angels and Dragon
Friday February 19th: Town Hall, Auckland - Tickets via Ticketmaster
Sat February 20th: Claudelands Arena, Hamilton - Tickets via Ticketek
Sun February 21st: Blackbarn Vineyards, Havelock North (Afternoon show) - Tickets via Ticketmaster
Tue February 23rd: Shed 6, Wellington - Tickets via Ticketek
Friday February 26th: The Bedford Big Top, Christchurch - Tickets via Ticketmaster
Saturday February 27th: Town Hall, Dunedin - Tickets via Ticket Direct
Sunday February 28th: Civic Theatre, Invercargill - Tickets via Ticket Direct
* playing order decided by toss of the coin on the night of the show!