The Church have now been going strong for over 30 years, producing over 20 albums along the way. Steve Kilbey, lead singer of the band said the band’s secret to longevity is “having some integrity, not taking too much notice of what’s going on around you all the time. [Don’t try] to be modern because if you try to be modern then by definition you will be old fashioned next year. Ignore that sort of stuff so your records won’t sound like they were made in any one year. I think we’ve done that and it’s worked out for us!”
Steve, along with band mates Peter Koppes and Tim Powles will be headlining The Universe Within, an Autism Awareness and Benefit Gig and will donate money raised to the not-for-profit organisation, Autism Spectrum Australia. “It won’t be The Church because Marty’s not going to be there,” said Steve. “It’s going to be a bunch of us playing songs hoping to raise funds for autism.” As a special one-off the three will play songs from their 1997 side project Refo:mation. “We’ve never ever played any of these songs live before”, said Steve. “The Refo:mation are going to be playing Refo:mation songs. This is a one-off never before happening thing!”
The gig was inspired by the Church’s patron and executive producer Kevin Keller. “He’s a Professor from America and he’s helped us out with some projects for a long time. One day we said ‘What can we do in return’ and he said ’embrace the cause of Autism.’ Because he’s got an autistic daughter. He’s going to be out here for his 50th birthday and so Tim Powels organised this gig.”
In addition to fronting The Church, Steve has also been involved in a number of side and solo projects. “I always have the same way of working”, said Steve. “If there are people there I incorporate them and if they isn’t I do it on my own. So in someways it’s different because everyone you work with makes it different but on the other hand it’s the same.” His latest side project goes by the name David Neil. “I’ve got a record coming out that Me and Ricky Maymi from the Brian Jonestown Massacre have done. We’ll also be doing some gigging for that.”
As well as music Steve has also done a lot of acting in live shows. “It’s a lot harder! Your memory’s got to be better. If you get it wrong it’s a lot harder to recover. In music if you sing the wrong words or play the wrong notes it’s not so important. In a play that can be very crucial, if the play goes wrong there’s more scope for embarrassment!” Steve added that “every night of any play I’ve been in there’s always been a few moments where something goes wrong. [But] you’ve just gotta carry on and improvise a bit and recollect yourself.”
The Church are now working on their next album. “We started a long time ago but then we stalled. We’ve got a load of music that have no lyrics. We have about 20 pieces of music that could turn into songs. It’s just been sitting there. Someone needs to look at all the music and work out what we’re going to do with it. It should come out sometime next year.”
Steve said that The Church’s name was “just a name I had in mind in 1980 when we were forming the band.
‘Hey why don’t we call it The Church’
‘Yeah, that’ll do!’
You think it’s going to last 5 minutes, you don’t think hundreds of years later people were still going to be talking about it!”
Steven Kilbey, Peter Koppes and Tim Powles will be playing at the UNIVERSE WITHIN, an Autism Awareness and Benefit Gig at The Red Rattler in Marrickville on Thursday June 23. Entry is via recommended $60 donation to Aspect being collected at the door. Check out the event’s Press release for more details (or see flyer below).