Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] oils on bali [interview with rob]

Magnus Holmgren oznut@swipnet.se
Wed, 16 Oct 2002 8:45:49 +0200


During Midnight Oils show on Saturday Night Peter Garrett told the crowd "Australia is not a suburb of the USA". He also talked about Australia being involved in a war that wasn't in our hemisphere. A few hours after leaving that stage, Bali was bombed.

Midnight Oil's Rob Hirst offered this thoughts to Undercover. "My own thought immediately was that this was a case of us being dragged into a war that we had no business in" Rob said. "As we have been in all of the 20th Century calamities, world wars and skirmishes we are the first to put our hands up to be involved in a war and suffer the consequences itself. It is a little bit to early to determine if that was the actual case in the Bali incident, I think".

With the Bali bombing Rob says Australians now have more of a sense of what happened in New York on September 11, 2002. "I guess we have a feeling now of what New Yorkers went through" he says. "I guess 911 was a bit distant for most Aussies and Kiwis but now with our own being blown up in such a horrifying fashion you get a sense of what it is like to live under terror. We make New York a base on all of our tours. It has always been a big area for us and we know quite a few people who were directly involved or who lost loved ones. It was just horrifying".

However, despite the large number of Australia casualties Rob isn't convinced this was an attack on Australia. "I was looking at the number of people from all of the countries" he said. "There were about 25 countries involved. In New York it certainly wasn't just New Yorkers and it certainly wasn't Anglo centred Christians. It was people from all nationalities and backgrounds. It was just this indiscriminate blowing up of people. There were just more Aussies because that is our closest holiday playground. I don't think we can extrapolate that it was an Aussie attack".

Peter Garrett introduced US Forces on Saturday night with the words "Australia is not a suburb of the USA". While the comment was taken as a statement about Australia's over eager involvement with America since 911, Rob says its more of a long term Oils sentiment. "That has been a pretty common theme of ours over the years" he says. "Having spent a lot of time in the United States it is amazing how at least the cultural invasion of this country is nearly complete by the United States. It is much more so now than when we started as a band. I think from the early 90s and onwards, the evolution of grunge and grunge fashion and also sports fashion and our involvement in the Olympics and our involvement in world soccer, with Australia gradually becoming more part of the world you know with everything from cable to satellite TV and just being wired up to the CNN generation I think in the last 10 or 11 years we have increasingly become Americanised, subtle or other".

Australia's Americanisation is also reflected in our local music industry. More than ever there are now Australian R 'n' B and rap acts. "The only problem I have with Oz rap is that it just doesn't sound very good. It just sounds so cool coming from its origin. From South Central LA I can buy it. I'm not sure from South Central Double Bay I can".

Midnight Oil are about to undertake their first major Australian tour since returning from the Northern Hemisphere. For the first time ever they will play Geraldton and wait for it … two shows at The Campbelltown Catholic Club. "We share your surprise. I don't know how many Campbelltown Catholics there are. I'll let you know next week".

Midnight Oil - CAPRICORNIA Tour Dates, with special guests Diesel and Sneak 
Monday October 21 Bathurst Panthers Leagues Club, Bathurst, NSW 
Tuesday October 22 Campbelltown Catholic Club, NSW 
Wednesday October 23 Campbelltown Catholic Club, NSW 
Friday October 25 Club Nova Panthers, Newcastle, NSW 
Saturday October 26 Shellharbour Workers, NSW 
Sunday October 27 Mingara Recreation Club, Central Coast, NSW 
Wednesday October 30 Pages Beach, Geraldton, WA 
Thursday October 31 Metro City, Perth, WA 
Friday November 01 Metro City, Perth, WA 
Saturday Nov 02 Hotel Peninsula, Mandurah, WA
Sunday Nov 03 The Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre, Albany, WA 
Tuesday Nov 05 Heaven II, Adelaide, SA
Thursday Nov 07 Lyric Theatre, Geelong, VIC
Friday Nov 08 The Forum, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday Nov 09 The Forum, Melbourne, VIC 
Sunday Nov 10 ANU, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday Nov 13 Revesby Workers Club, NSW
Thursday Nov 14 Manly Leagues Club, NSW 
Friday Nov 15 Manly Leagues Club, NSW
Saturday Nov 16 Blacktown RSL, NSW 
Sunday Nov 17 Parramatta Leagues Club, NSW 
Tuesday November 19 Sawtell RSL, NSW
Wednesday Nov 20 Twin Towns Ex Services Club, Tweed Heads, NSW 
Thursday November 21 Twin Towns Ex Services Club, Tweed Heads, NSW

By Paul Cashmere

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