July 7, 2022

We absolutely anticipated to be on Bandstand, in the event you like. We anticipated to be on the whole lot as a result of we have been fairly filled with ourselves. And we thought that we thought that we have been fairly good. And we actually thought that we’d seize the USA. And it was irritating typically, in a means, as a result of we have been met with ranges of idiocy at excessive ranges. Folks didn’t know the place anyplace was. And we have been shocked by how ignorant folks have been, by and huge, about the remainder of the world. Even about locations in their very own nation. Folks had no thought the place Australia was. Can we converse English there, and all that type of factor. I assumed, “My Lord. The place do you folks get educated?” There didn’t appear to be anybody we appeared to satisfy who had any thought about what was occurring anyplace.

So it was irritating in that sense. It made us giggle. And having to elucidate to Dick Clark the place Melbourne or Australia was was humorous, I assume, to some folks. However to us, it was similar to, “My God. Take a look at these idiots. Who do they assume they’re? Be taught one thing. Learn a e book.”

Do you assume that Dick Clark really didn’t know the place Melbourne was, or was he simply hamming it up for an American viewers?

HAY: I don’t assume so. I don’t assume he did. No.


HAY: I feel that that’s actually an important factor for folks to study right here. As a result of there’s no doubting that the promise of what America is making an attempt to be is [having] lofty beliefs. Which as you properly know, has by no means been realized for everyone on this nation.

However there appears to be, nonetheless, this obsession of being primary. I don’t actually perceive that. Why can’t the USA simply lead by instance, as a substitute of making an attempt to drive the truth that we’re primary down in everybody else’s throats? It’s ridiculous. It’s an enormous ask.

Why can’t we simply be a part of the world, as a substitute of getting this obsession with main it? I feel that the whole lot is right here. You’ve gotten nice entrepreneurship, you have got nice people who find themselves nice expertise and your nice artwork right here, and your nice enterprise right here. And so far as the techniques on the market, you might argue fairly strongly that this model of the capitalist system that works, that exists right here in the meanwhile, is damaged to a big diploma, as a result of it appears that evidently fewer and fewer persons are proudly owning increasingly of the property of what exists right here. And the large proportion of the inhabitants are usually not actually any extra properly off. The shrinking of the center class and all that type of factor.

However in the event you evaluate it with different techniques on this planet, it’s nonetheless in all probability, so far as I’m involved, the very best one on the market, and may be improved upon. However you take a look at [Chinese] President Xi, who’s simply determined that he’s there for all times. And now China appears to be making massive strikes, when it comes to aggressive stances and so forth, to turn out to be primary on this planet. 

However I nonetheless have nice optimism and religion about folks right here who I meet on a regular basis [when] I’m enjoying exhibits, and once I’m out touring and so forth. There’s nice artistry and entrepreneurship, and there’s nice people who find themselves always simply within the space of design. And even in my world, whether or not it’s results, pedals, or guitars, or amplification, or no matter it’s on this planet that I’m a part of. I’ve a incredible life. So I’ve nice religion nonetheless, even though it will get examined on a regular basis.

What was the common American’s impression of Australia within the ’80s?

HAY: There was an enormous degree of intrigue about Australia as a result of folks had this fable that Australia was like America was within the ’50s, which it wasn’t. There was nothing prefer it in any respect, however that’s what folks wished to consider. They wished to consider that the Crocodile Dundee was strolling round all over the place, which was only a alternative for John Wayne or one thing once they mythologized the USA being someplace which was a significantly better place, which can be not true as properly.

After we came to visit right here, I may solely think about how the Beatles felt. We have been nowhere practically as profitable as they have been, however they have been met with this barrage of curiosity, whether or not you name it the British Invasion or no matter you name it. I may solely simply think about what they felt once they first got here throughout right here, which should have been fully mind-blowing, as a result of it was for us.

Males At Work Win The Finest New Artist Grammy (1983)

You’ve famously joked that the Finest New Artist Grammy is the kiss of dying for a musician’s profession. Do you continue to really feel that means?

HAY: It’s only a little bit of a gag, actually. It wasn’t actually that for us, the award per se. It was our band was destined to not final with the personnel that was in it. Which was unhappy in a means as a result of we had nice potential, and we made a few good data and so they did rather well.

And we had plenty of expertise throughout the band, however there was no soul within the band, actually. That’s what I give it some thought, anyway. None that I may actually acknowledge. It was very numerous disparate energies there that typically that works in a band the place you’ll be able to have all this rigidity and it in some way comes out in nice creative expression. However by the point we have been touring the States, it simply wasn’t notably attention-grabbing anymore.

How does Males At Work’s lineup change look to you now, with greater than 30 years of hindsight?

HAY: Effectively, that was actually a mistake, greater than something. What occurred was, there was six folks in Males At Work. There was 5 musicians and one supervisor. And the supervisor was my good friend. After we have been at college collectively, Russell [Depeller] and I, he mentioned, “Oh, in the event you ever get a band collectively, I’ll hustle for you.” In order that was the idea of our deal. So I acquired a band collectively, and only a three-piece band. After which Greg [Ham] joined us, so there was 4 of us. After which I requested Russell to handle the band. And so, he mentioned sure.

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He didn’t have any expertise as a supervisor, however we didn’t have any expertise as a band. We thought, “We’ll conquer the world collectively. We’ll make it up as we go alongside,” which is strictly what we did. And we had songs and we had a very good sound, and it occurred for us. So after we have been on the peak of our success, a few the fellows within the band didn’t need Russell to be the supervisor anymore.

I feel they wished both to sack him or they wished to get anyone else to handle the band. And I used to be like, “Why would you do this? We’ve conquered the world collectively. Why?” So there was that type of idiocy, in my thoughts, that crept into the band. It’s like, “Why are you making an attempt to vary what’s already working?” And it wasn’t that there have been no issues or issues to be labored out legally or contractually, however that occurs with each band.

What had occurred to us was really phenomenal. It was a phenomenon within the true sense of the phrase. This doesn’t occur to very many individuals, to very many bands in any respect. And it wasn’t being acknowledged as one thing which was large. It was in some way being saved small by small-mindedness. That’s what was irritating for me. And so, I assumed, “Effectively, I’m not going to sack my good friend. Should you’re going up in opposition to me and my good friend, properly, you’re going to lose.”

And in order that’s what occurred. They misplaced, they acquired sacked. That shouldn’t have occurred. We should always have sat down and we must always have labored out these points. Which have been, “Why would you like sack this man? Don’t you notice what we’ve got?” So in the long run, what occurred was simply the tour was completed and I didn’t wish to be within the band anymore. I mentioned to Russell, “This isn’t working for me anymore. I’m going to depart.” He mentioned, “Effectively, what are you leaving for? It’s your band.”

And slowly Greg got here to me and Ron [Strykert] got here to me, and so they mentioned, “Effectively, we wish to hold going.” However the 4 of us didn’t wish to work with the bass participant and the drummer, in order that they acquired the sack. However we shouldn’t have sacked them. It was foolish. We should always have figured it out, or simply damaged up.

We made one other album; there was some good songs on the album. Three of us; Ron and Greg and I. After which, midway by means of that album, Ron simply mentioned sooner or later, he mentioned, “Oh, I’m going dwelling.” And I mentioned, “Oh, yeah?” And he mentioned, “Yeah.” I mentioned, “You coming again?” And he goes, “Nah.” He simply didn’t come again. That’s how he left the band. On a Tuesday afternoon, simply Ron went dwelling and by no means bothered coming again. It was traditional, traditional Ron, although, actually.

And when the third report didn’t do something, Greg simply mentioned, I’ve had sufficient.” So actually, I used to be the one one left. And so, there was no band anymore. All of it simply disintegrated.

Males At Work Carry out At Dwell Support (1985)

HAY: We made a multitude of that. We weren’t excellent.

Why do you say that?

HAY: It was one other band. It was one other Males At Work, which wasn’t the unique Males At Work. And we had an album popping out — that album didn’t actually do something. So we have been already on the opposite aspect of the mountain, on our means out.

Is there any motive why “Mr. Entertainer” was by no means formally launched?

HAY: No. There was no actual motive. I feel that was a very good music. And I don’t know why. I feel we simply broke up. It ought to have been recorded and written correctly. I feel it was a extremely good dwell music.

I in all probability couldn’t play it now if I attempted, however I really listened to it the opposite day as a result of anyone despatched me a little bit of dwell footage on it. And I watched it once more. I assumed, “That is fairly good. This isn’t dangerous, this music.” We had a bunch of songs like that. We may have carried out another attention-grabbing issues if we hadn’t [broken up].

It’s tough. I take into consideration this just a little bit: Bands are typically metaphors for what occurs within the bigger world. It’s 5 or 6 males collectively for prolonged durations of time and having an incapability to speak their emotions and actually what’s occurring is what causes many of the breakups. And certainly, I feel what causes many of the issues on this planet is males not having the ability to talk their emotions with out resorting to some type of horrendous conduct.

Releasing “Maintain Me” As Colin James Hay (1987)

Whenever you began your solo profession, was it a aid to be releasing work underneath your identify, versus coping with band dynamics?

HAY: You’re appropriate. It was a whole aid. And I felt like I didn’t have any reins on anymore. I felt, creatively, fairly free. I made a report with an ideal English report producer whose identify is Robin Millar, who did the Sade data, and All the things However The Woman, and High quality Younger Cannibals. Many, many, many, many nice data. And I didn’t actually know this till in a while. However apparently, the concept of manufacturing me was offered to him as being a Males At Work report, however I didn’t know that. It was at all times, to me, going to be a solo report as a result of the band was carried out.

It’s an attention-grabbing factor to speak about as a result of I used to be nonetheless mainly underneath contract with Columbia. And so far as they have been involved, it may have been a Males At Work report as a result of I nonetheless had a deal. 
So, maybe it will’ve carried out higher if it needed to come out as Males At Work. I don’t actually know whether or not it will’ve or not. However earlier than Males At Work, once I would play little solo acoustic exhibits, I might exit as Colin James Hay, which is my identify. However once I was within the band, anyone within the band mentioned, “Oh, we don’t use our center names. Why are you utilizing your center identify?”

Once more, it was simply driving me nuts. So I mentioned, “Oh, OK. I received’t use it. I’ll simply be Colin Hay.” So after, once I was doing the Wanting For Jack report, they mentioned, “Effectively, what’s it going to come back out underneath?” I mentioned, “Effectively, simply put it out underneath my identify.” And in a second of some declaration of my very own singular id, I mentioned, “Name it Colin James Hay. That’s my identify.”

However assume it was finally a mistake. I feel I ought to’ve simply referred to as it “Colin Hay” as a result of I feel it was seen as being maybe there’s some degree of pretension in that declaration or calling it that. And likewise, it was a bit of individuals [wondering], “Who’s that man? Who’s Colin James Hay?” And even my identify, folks didn’t actually know who I used to be, even Colin Hay. However Colin James, it had even much less identify recognition than I did.

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There have been some good issues on that report, the Wanting For Jack report. And as a matter of truth, it’s the one time I ever acquired an apology from a high-level report firm government in England who wrote to me, and who really was the boss of CBS Data when my band first acquired signed. He wrote to me and mentioned, “I’m sorry we dropped the ball on this report. This report’s a very good report. You probably did much more for my profession than I used to be ever capable of do for yours.”

I by no means even actually took this personally, however I spotted then that you just actually are solely pretty much as good as your final report. And if a report firm’s not curious about you, why would you wish to be there? Why would you wish to keep inside a corporation that avoids your telephone calls? Or in the event you stroll within the workplace, simply shut the door or look the opposite means? So I made a decision to go to MCA Data as a result of I acquired supplied a deal there by a man referred to as Al Taylor, who was sacked by Walter Yetnikoff, and went to run MCA Data for a minute.

Visitor Starring On Scrubs (2002, 2007, 2009)

That is going to be an enormous marker of my age, however my first Colin Hay reminiscences have rather a lot to do with the present Scrubs. Zach Braff was an enormous fan of yours, proper?

HAY: Effectively, all of it revolves round my finest good friend right here in Los Angeles, a man referred to as Chad Fischer, who used to play drums in a band referred to as College Of Fish. He labored on, I feel, The Follow, Scandal — totally different TV exhibits. He’s a movie composer-songwriter. And he has a band additionally referred to as Lazlo Bane. Anyway, he’s about 15 years youthful than me or one thing like that. After I first got here to LA, I in all probability got here right here in ’89. So I’ve been residing in the identical place since ’91. I met Chad round ’93, ’94. And he performed drums on a few my data. And he was simply making an attempt to turn out to be established right here in Los Angeles.

However anyway, plenty of issues that occurred for me positively occurred by means of Chad. So we had a mutual good friend, Chad and I. Chad was a mutual good friend of Kerry Brothers, a singer-songwriter, who’s a good friend of Zach Braff. They usually used to come back and see me in Largo. And this was earlier than Scrubs existed. I feel that Zach, he was an aspiring actor and was, I assume, going out and auditioning madly.

And I used to be at a celebration at Chad’s home in Lookout Mountain off Laurel Canyon. Zach was there. And Zach and I have been sitting speaking. And he mentioned to me, “I acquired this gig on this tv present.” And I mentioned, “Oh, good, man.” He mentioned, “Oh, I’m going to be the star.” I mentioned, “Wow. Good on you. Extra energy to you.”

He mentioned, “I’ll take a few of your CDs in there and try to get them on the present.” So I mentioned, “Oh, good. That’d be nice.” So I didn’t assume something of it, however that’s precisely what he did. He took a few of my songs to Invoice Lawrence, who was the creator of the present. And Invoice Lawrence acquired just a little bit irritated about the truth that he hadn’t heard of me for some time and he preferred the music.

And he mentioned, “Effectively, why are these songs not on the radio?” And I mentioned, “Effectively, that’s an excellent query.” And he mentioned, “I’m going to make use of a few your songs and try to weave them right into a storyline of a few episodes and see if I could make a distinction for you.” In order that’s what he did. So he wrote an episode referred to as “My Overkill,” which was a very talked-about episode. And it made an enormous distinction for my profession, when it comes to dwell audiences. It was an ideal punctuation mark for me.

You need to be transferring. It’s like a cliche, actually. However it’s a must to be actively working and doing attention-grabbing issues to ensure that even folks to take any type of discover. And in order that’s what I feel what occurred with me, is Zach preferred a few of my songs and he was able of energy to do one thing about it.

The Backyard State Soundtrack (2004)

HAY: I keep in mind sitting there on [the Scrubs set] sooner or later, and [Zach] mentioned, “I’m writing a movie.” I mentioned, “Oh, you’re a busy boy.” And he mentioned, “I wish to use one in all your songs within the movie.” And I mentioned, “Effectively, you do this very factor.”

So he used “I Simply Don’t Assume I’ll Ever Get Over You” in Backyard State. And naturally, I can keep in mind particularly once I wrote that music. I used to be sitting up right here at a good friend of mine’s home right here on the deck, and that music simply popped out. Very fast music to write down, a few of them are.

And I keep in mind writing that music. And I assumed, “Oh, it is a cool music.” I preferred it. And I assumed to myself, “I don’t assume anybody goes to listen to this music.” As a result of nobody was paying any consideration, actually, to my music or what I used to be doing when it comes to the trade, in the event you like. 

I had followers. I may exit on the highway and I used to be at all times flying over the radar. I might put just a few hundred folks right into a room if I used to be enjoying in it. However so far as anybody paying any consideration, it wasn’t actually taking place. So I had that music, I feel in all probability ’96 or one thing like that, on an album referred to as Transcendental Freeway. And it wasn’t till 10 years later, when Zach put it within the movie, after which Sony launched it as a part of the soundtrack, that folks began to essentially discover the music. It gave me religion in myself in a means. As a result of I assumed to myself, “Effectively, I used to be proper. It was a very good music and other people did prefer it in the event that they have been uncovered to it.” And that’s what Scrubs and the Backyard State movie did. It simply helped kids uncover that they preferred a few of these tunes I used to be doing.

The “Down Beneath” Copyright Ruling (2010)

When the Australian court docket dominated that the flute riff in “Down Beneath” was plagiarized from the kids’s music “Kookaburra Sits In The Previous Gum Tree,” you mentioned in an announcement: “What was born out of artistic musical expression, grew to become each a technical and mathematical argument. This ruling can have lasting repercussions, and I think not for the higher.” Within the 12 years since, have you ever seen parts of this prediction come to go?

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HAY: I feel so, however I haven’t actually been paying all that a lot consideration. There was the well-known one, wasn’t there, with… Was it “Blurred,” or one thing?

“Blurred Strains,” yeah. That’s what I used to be considering of too.

HAY: Yeah. I haven’t actually listened to them each sufficient to essentially remark about particular songs since that point. However I feel that what I used to be making an attempt to say, and what I nonetheless say, is in the event you take a look at what the Beatles did, for instance, who they have been impressed by… We’re all impressed by Black music and what was being artistic right here.

That, in lots of instances, didn’t appear to be getting the publicity right here. Even the expression “doing shade songs,” the place you’d have nice songs written by Black musicians, which have been made hits by white musicians, as a result of that’s all this nation may address on the time, which appears ridiculous. And it took these white, pasty-faced English folks to come back over and expose that music to the place it got here from within the first place. So it’s all that. We’re all constructing on what’s gone earlier than. It’s actually ridiculous in a means. I feel that it’s actually tough to make authorized rulings about creative expression.

I can actually solely speak about my music specifically. As a result of that music was written earlier than Males At Work existed. In order that’s why I do know that that complete court docket case and litigation concerned with that had a daft aspect to it, as a result of the music existed, got here to exist with no reference to every other music. So the music is clear so far as I’m involved, and plenty of different persons are. It’s an advanced topic, however I’ll try to press it all the way down to one thing which is brief as a lot as I can. 

After we went in to report the music “Down Beneath,” we had an American report producer, Peter McIan. And he was sensible as a result of he would recommend issues. Like, in “Who Can It Be Now?” he mentioned, “Let’s convey the saxophone hook up in entrance of the music.” That didn’t occur after we used play it at that time. The saxophone hook by no means got here till midway by means of the music. So we come to do “Down Beneath.” And “Down Beneath” used to have a bass enjoying the intro. So Peter mentioned, “Look, that’s a troublesome instrument. You may’t have that in entrance of the music. Why don’t you convey the flute? Play that line on the flute?” So Greg mentioned, “OK.” So Greg performed that entrance of the music.

After which [Peter] mentioned, “OK, put that within the refrain there.” After that time, after we play this music dwell, that hook occurred as soon as. And this may occasionally appear exhausting for folks to [understand], however we by no means even knew what it was. We knew it was one thing, however we by no means even actually considered it consciously.

That occurs on a regular basis, sure.

HAY: And so swiftly, there’s 5 bars within the music that had that flute, that had that melody; two bars of “Kookaburra Sits In The Previous Gum Tree.” Now, we knew had an ideal music. We knew that likelihood this was going to be a success report. So for us to consciously go at that time and say, “Hey, why don’t we take two bars of this higher music and put it on this music?” It’s simply ridiculous. We’d by no means have carried out that.

So in the long run, what occurred was as a result of these two bars have been taken out context and the whole lot, they have been in my thoughts subsumed inside this new framework. And that’s actually what occurs with music, is that you just take from all these totally different… whether or not it’s a tip of the hat, you construct on issues, and also you create one thing new. And that’s what we did.

And I feel that that’s actually born out by the truth that for 27 or 28 years, nobody mentioned boo about it. And even the author of the music “Kookaburra” was nonetheless alive when “Down Beneath” got here out, and he or she ever mentioned something about it. So that you’d think about that she would’ve had one thing to say.

And likewise, “Kookaburra Sits In The Previous Gum Tree,” you’ll be able to return and you’ll hearken to this Welsh music. Often, what occurs is, when you have got a music that’s going from the previous world to the brand new world, it often travels from the previous world to the brand new world. Which is, actually, I consider what occurred with “Kookaburra.” As a result of there’s a Welsh music. And I can’t keep in mind precisely the identify of it, however it talks a couple of robin sitting in an oak tree. And in Australia, Kookaburra is sitting in a gum tree.

Nevertheless it’s precisely the identical melody, precisely the identical melody and the subject. And so I’m suspecting that that was taken from an previous conventional Welsh music. However we couldn’t show that in court docket as a result of they didn’t enable that within the courtroom. However the second day of the court docket, I knew the decide was going to present them one thing as a result of he simply felt that he needed to. So the ruling went in opposition to us. And I feel it was a nasty ruling, I at all times will, however that’s the best way it went. I don’t lose sleep over it anymore, however I stand by the truth that I feel the rationale folks will in all probability use that as a precedent for different selections, which will probably be unsuitable.

In the course of the peak of that court docket case, I keep in mind enjoying in a jungle in Brazil with my band. And 20,000 folks got here and there have been these indigenous dancers that come out of the forest. They have been essentially the most extraordinary wanting folks I’ve ever seen. I don’t know whether or not they’d seen white folks fairly often, however they have been simply essentially the most stunning. They usually have been fully like no folks I’d ever met earlier than in my life.

They usually danced earlier than we went on. I mentioned to Cecilia, my spouse, “Do you assume that they might rise up and dance throughout ‘Down Beneath’?” She mentioned, “Effectively, I’ll ask them.” So she did. They usually mentioned, “Yeah, in fact.” So throughout “Down Beneath,” they got here on. They usually did this dance, which appeared prefer it was choreographed, however it wasn’t. And it was extraordinary. At that very second, I assumed concerning the court docket case. And I simply thought, “ what? They will’t fucking contact this.”