23rd October 2018. INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah ahead of the 'Hay Mate: Buy A Bale' drought fundraising concert happening in Tamworth., Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian
23rd October 2018. INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah ahead of the 'Hay Mate: Buy A Bale' drought fundraising concert happening in Tamworth., Photo: Glenn Hunt / The Australian

The ‘gritty’ inspiration behind INXS member’s solo venture

INXS legend Andrew Farriss has shared how a "gritty and dusty" horse tour inspired him to dive into the country music genre ahead of his Coast concert.

The legendary songwriter, who sold INXS more than 50-million albums throughout their career, will hit the region to perform at NightQuarter in May.

The tour will celebrate the release of his self-titled album that includes a collection of blues, Americana and country songs.

Farriss said country music had been a childhood love of his but it wasn't until after a "life changing" horse trip holiday in America along the Mexican border in 2012 that he was pushed to try it.

"We went riding across all these national monument areas. We rode for six hours a day with just a lunch break and did that for about six days in a row," he said.

INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah. Photo: Glenn Hunt/file
INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah. Photo: Glenn Hunt/file

 

"When I went back to Nashville again, instead of getting in the room and struggling to write a chart hit someone said, 'hey Andrew what do you want to write a song about?' And I said, 'I want to write about the old west'.

"They looked at me as if to say things had moved on from that in country music … but I didn't see a Hollywood movie, I just rode somewhere that was really gritty and dusty...

"My mind was thinking lyrically and I thought 'what a great way to make an album'."

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He said some of the songs included on the album were created at varying times in his life.

Come Midnight was written while Farriss was composing the Kick album for INXS.

He said while it was not a concept album, there was a common thread running through each song.

" … I'm talking about how you could have a real sense of freedom. If something wasn't working out, you could get on a horse and ride off into the distance and just disappear," he said.

"To think about that today it's almost funny because it's very hard for anyone to disappear and do anything that is free because there is so much technology in today's society and some of it is good … but you must question if life is getting better."

INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah. Photo: Glenn Hunt/file
INXS Musician and songwriter Andrew Farriss on his property at Cobbadah. Photo: Glenn Hunt/file

 

Farriss was originally going to find another singer to perform the songs on the album but was convinced by Nashville recording engineers that he was right for the job.

Farriss said he was proud of the work he did with INXS and held fond memories of his time with the band but wanted be adventurous with his solo career.

"I played with one of the best bands in the world and … it was an incredible experience but I feel for me now, I bring a lot of experience into what I'm doing from the things I've learnt along the way including the things I wrote for and with INXS," he said.

"And I'm me so my personality and character, whether I like it or not, will come out in my writing but I'm conscious in the fact that I don't need or want to recreate things I've already done in the past.

"I get most excited moving into new things and new territory."

Farriss, who said he was looking forward to spending time on "our beautiful coastline", will hit the stage at NightQuarter on May 14.

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