Key track “Crackin’ Up” came to frontman Dave Faulkner as a dream
SYDNEY, Australia — The Hoodoo Gurus, known for high energy, hook-laden rock ’n’ roll, have completed their ninth album, Purity of Essence, which will be released May 11, 2010 on their own label in the United States via Virtual Label/ADA. Formed in 1981, the band is described by AllMusic.com as “(channeling) their inspiration from the vast entirety of the American pop cultural landscape, drawing on such disparate sources as B-movies, bad sitcoms, and junk food — in tandem with the usual suspects like garage rock, power pop, and surf — to create a distinctly kitschy and catchy sound. . . .and if you don’t like the Hoodoo Gurus, I suspect you don’t like rock & roll very much.”
A jam session at a Sydney rehearsal studio earlier this year produced eight songs and set the template for their ninth studio record. All four band members were pole-axed by the lightning bolt moments that brought singer and songwriter Dave Faulkner’s songs to life from his demos.
Even the songwriter himself says there must have been some rock ’n’ roll magic at work when “Crackin’ Up,” the album’s first single, arrived almost fully formed in a dream.
“It’s only ever happened before once in my life where I have actually dreamed a song. I woke up and had the melody, all the chords and the title, walked out of my room and told the friends who were staying with me not to talk to me while I found my little cassette recorder and put the song down,” Faulkner says.
The serendipity continued when the frontman brought the song to the band.
“During that day, there were so many songs and sounds coming out that we’d never done before,” he observes. “They had the classic Gurus feel but it was different even though we weren’t pushing ourselves to do something different. But on this particular magic day, it all happened. It was the most memorable day in the rehearsal room that the band has ever had.”
The resulting inspiration resulted in more good songs than they could reasonably fit onto one CD. But, as Faulkner says, “Dammit, let’s just put ’em all on. The good news is that there is such a diversity of styles — from punk à la the Ramones to dare-I-say pretty songs and some guilty pleasures — that it doesn’t get repetitive.”
Speaking of the Ramones, the Gurus reunited with old friend Ed Stasium (and former Ramones producer) to mix Purity of Essence. The album was co-produced by the band with Charles Fisher, producer of two classic Hoodoo Gurus albums, Mars Needs Guitars and Blue Cave. The album was mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound with the exception of “Crackin’ Up,” which was mastered by Don Bartley. The album cover is a large-scale painting by Doug Bartlett.
Immediately upon completing the album, the Hoodoo Gurus set upon shooting a number of videos and “webisodes,” including a “mockumentary” about the making of the album. These videos may be seen on YouTube, and the “Crackin’ Up” video may be seen at .
For two and a half decades the Hoodoo Gurus have consistently been one of the most inventive, lyrically smart and exciting rock ’n’ roll bands Australia has ever produced. And they’ve done it with style, panache and a wicked sense of humor. Already a seasoned live outfit from endless Australian touring, the Gurus found themselves in 1983 signed to A&M Records in the U.S.; their first release, Stoneage Romeos, hit #1 on the American college radio charts. On the strength of this they embarked on the first of countless tours of the U.S. and many other countries. In fact the Gurus have toured internationally dozens of times, including repeated sell-outs at 10,000 capacity venues in Brazil. The band was consistently cited as one of the highlights at the 2007 SXSW Music Festival in Austin. The SXSW performances were part of an extended run of North America and Canadian dates that were greatly anticipated by a new generation of fans who thought they’d never have the opportunity to see the much-mythologized Australian band perform live.
The Hoodoo Gurus remain as relevant and impassioned about their distinctive brand of rock ’n’ roll as at any time in their twenty-five year career.
Faulkner will attend SXSW in Austin, Texas from March 17-21, appearing on an artist panel, playing an unofficial showcase or two, and making himself available for interviews.
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Web site: http://www.hoodoogurus.net