Let’s start this by stating the obvious: yes, Andrew Farriss’s name will be familiar to you, and that’s because he was not only a member of Australian band INXS but also its songwriter-in-chief. And that’s when he wasn’t writing songs for and with other artists, such as Jenny Morris and Tania Kernaghan. His output is such that he’s been inducted into the Australian Songwriter Hall of Fame, an accolade that joins his Producer of the Year ARIA for Shiver by Jenny Morris, not to mention the awards won by his aforementioned band.
Farriss’s name has not, in the past, been associated with country music. However, once you hear him talking about music of any kind, the progression is not a surprise. He is a passionate songwriter, musician and all-round musical craftsman, the sort of creator whose curiosity takes him to all sorts of places and whose abilities mean he can do something special when he arrives there. Country music is the place he’s in now.
Ahead of the release of his new album, Farriss has released a single, ‘Come Midnight’. We spoke recently about the history of the song, about taking a piano apart – and started with a subject that is close to his life and his heart.
I believe you live in the Tamworth, area, is that right?
My family and I have a property out in the northwest [of New South Wales]. I really like the region that we live in and we’re also experiencing a very serious drought along with many other people. Very serious.
And you’ve been associated with some drought relief concerts and fundraising.
Yes, that’s right. And, one of the ironies of me putting out my own solo album, doing what I’m doing, is the platform for me to be able to do it started really with the Haymaker concert in October of last year. That was televised nationally and was a great idea of everyone involved, to get together to do it – Glenn Wheatley and John Farnham, everyone that came on board to do that. And also with Jon Stevens and Daryl Braithwaite, the Davidson Brothers – they performed with me. That was really cool. That was sort of my introduction to the live performance of where I am now. I’d already been working on an album, but it was just are ironic to me, I thought – almost beyond ironic – that I’m going through this really severe drought and the drought relief was the thing that got me on stage. And I still think it’s really strange. I don’t know how to put it.