Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Renowned For Sound

For the latest music reviews and interviews

Interview: Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses

4 min read

Tex Perkins has been playing with members of the Dark Horses for years, though the first time the group of troubadours were officially credited as a band was in 2000, on the critically acclaimed Dark Horses.  Ever since then Perkins – man of many bands and all around Australian rock legend – has been churning out brilliant album after brilliant album, all with the assistance of the Dark Horses. Sweet Nothing, their peerless 2003 album, rose to #34 on the Australian charts, and was recognised as an emotive masterwork by a number of media outlets.

Although Perkins claimed that The Dark Horses were no more in a 2006 interview, the band rose from the ashes and since then have released a ‘trilogy’ of albums. The first of these records, the self titled Tex Perkins And The Dark Horses rose to number 73 on the Australian charts. Softer than Perkins’ work in the past, it nonetheless showed off his knack for a devastatingly powerful turn of phrase, as well as the subtle and considered playing of the Dark Horses. That record  was followed by Everybody’s Alone in 2012, another feather in the group’s collective caps, and this year sees the release of Tunnel At The End Of The Light, the conclusion to a journey spread over the three albums.

We spoke to Joel Silbersher, guitarist for the band and legend in his own right, about the bands past, new album Tunnel At The End Of The Light and how babies are made…

Joseph Earp: How are you and where in the world does our interview find you today?

Joel Silbersher: At a bar in Windsor. Having a vodka (my third), being a wussy after a sooky panic attack. Listening to the new Wire album. It’s really good.

JE: Tunnel at the End of the Light was initially conceived as the third part of a trilogy, following on from your self titled record and Everyone’s Alone. What attracted you to the idea of telling the same ‘story’ over three albums?

JS: I don’t think it was on purpose. And the story and moods do change. Same personnel and styles over these three albums though. They’ve been made in pretty quick succession, by our standards, so it shows a little evolution of Perko’s headspace. I presume. He wrote the words. Him and Mo Paterson wrote most of the music on all 3.

[youtube id=”x6y7NVguMKo” width=”620″ height=”360″]

JE: The first part of the trilogy came out in 2011. Do you think you’ve changed in the four years since the project was begun? And if so, how?

JS: I play mostly guitar on this one. Played a lot of bass previous. Steve and Gus have been on these last three. Me and Gus sing more and more. Tex’ singing is rougher but more expressive now and he seems to be documenting his journey in real time.

JE: One of the many questions asked in the Tunnel At The End of the Light press release is ‘Why am I here?’ Could I turn that question back on you, why are you here?

JS: Well, when a mummy and daddy love each other very much, they have some drinks and rub the naughty parts of each other and then the man goes ‘uughhhh!!!’ and then, 5 weeks later, something like me comes out of the lady’s bottom. At least, that is what I tell my kids.

JE: A recent Guardian review of Tunnel At The End of the Light described the album as being ‘very male.’ How would you respond to such a label?

JS: We are all men.

JE:  Are you someone who sits down to work on your music a certain number of hours a week, or do you allow things to happen more naturally?

JS: I am a creative sink-hole. I’m lucky to get asked to play and sing with great people because I’m pretty good at it. I reminisce about times that I was creative, non stop, though I probably wasn’t as nice a guy. Hate to admit that modern phones, with their recording apps and notebooks have got me back into songwriting. I’m not a 9 – 5 muso by a long shot.

JE: What is your favourite album out of all those that you have been involved in?

JS: I can listen to most of Soaking Red (Tendrils) and Greasy Lens (me) without cringing. I don’t know the answer to this one. These last couple Horsie things sound lovely and some of Do You Leave Here Often? by Hoss and the new Hoss shit, not finished,  sounds good to me. Might want to ask someone else. I’m not good at judging stuff I’m involved with.

[youtube id=”4sngK7nlYEg” width=”620″ height=”360″]

JE: Say you’re not on tour, you’re not writing or recording…What does a typical day in your life look like?

JS: Books, booze. Lot of procrastination. Some social media , music, comedy podcasts and porn and weeping. Trip to market for vittles. As few humans as possible.

JE: You’re embarking on an East Coast tour very soon. What is your favourite thing about being on the road?

JS: Hurting my bandmates feelings

JE: Tell me something you’ve never told an interviewer before.

JS: I love you.

Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses’ new album Tunnel At The End Of the Light is out now. A full list of upcoming tour dates can be found here.