Gurus head to WA
Gurus head to WA

One the eve of his induction into the WAM Hall of Fame earlier this year, Dave Faulkner said a new Hoodoo Gurus studio album would land in September.

Well, September has come and almost gone, and there's no sign of the ninth studio outing for the Oz rock icons.

Speaking from his adopted home of Bondi, ahead of the Gurus' headlining performances at Houghton's Winery for Spring in the Valley, Faulkner says the songs are finished but the final mix wasn't quite right."

To use a MasterChef metaphor, all the ingredients have been chopped and they're all ready to go," he says, "but just the final cooking process was found wanting. The flame was too high, I don't know. It burnt.
We've got plenty of spice; it's just putting them in the right order in the pot.

"Rather than overcook his metaphor, Faulkner explains they started to mix the new album in a Sydney studio but knew immediately that it wasn't going to cut the mustard. After toiling fruitlessly for three days, the Hoodoo Gurus decided to start again.

"We weren't really satisfied with the studio we were in and a whole lot of things, so we had to pull the plug on that and then rethink," he says.
"We just had to eat the expense, you know, we had to give them a week's cancellation (fee).
"The Hoodoo Gurus will now send their songs off to Durango, Colorado, where Ed Stasium, who worked on previous albums Kinky (1991) and Crank (1994), will hopefully cook up an al dente mix.

Stasium will have an assistant chef - Faulkner plans to fly to the US after two gigs in Japan, the Gurus' first there in 20 years."I just feel a bit more confident being able to go in there and actually do a bit of tweaking . . . rather than do it by email," he says.

"I don't want to spend months haggling over details and trying to get a result."Faulkner says the final dish will be served in February. The follow-up to 2004's Mach Schau will be their first release via new label Sony Music, which is not the first major the band have worked with, issuing albums with BMG, EMI and RCA.

"It's great being able to plug in to a big machine and not have to do all the worrying yourself.
You've got people who are skilled and have resources."

The ARIA Hall of Famers - these days Faulkner, guitarist Brad Shepherd, bassist Rick Grossman and drummer Mark Kingsmill - did consider setting up their own label and releasing the new album themselves."It really was line ball," Faulkner says.

"But we felt we're way too bloody old and uninterested to go out and become salesmen at this point in our lives."
Fans at the Spring in the Valley shows will get a taste of the new album which the frontman describes as more diverse than the hard-as-nails Mach Schau.

After cutting his teeth in the Perth punk scene before launching Le Hoodoo Gurus in inner-city Sydney in the early 80s, Faulkner says he enjoys getting out of the pubs and into the wineries."I love 'em, actually," he chuckles.

"We did our first one about two years ago, A Day on the Green thing, and I was a bit puzzled about what was going to happen. Is it going to be, like, people with picnic baskets and a blanket falling asleep with cheese in their gut?

But it was just a regular gig with a slightly nicer outlook."The Hoodoo Gurus have kept a low profile in 2009, keeping busy recording and playing the odd show here or there. They made headlines last month when Shepherd had an operation to remove a melanoma, forcing the band to cancel a gig in Bondi.

Faulkner says his bandmate is in full health and looking forward to cranking up their touring regime. Since the Gurus re-formed in 2001 after a four-year hiatus, they haven't revisited far-flung fans in Scandinavia and South America (they played in Spain last year) but plan to renew acquaintances with Australian and overseas fans in 2010."That'll happen, it's just a matter of when," Faulkner says. "Maybe now with a new album it might be a great time."

As he once sang himself, there's no time like the right time.Hoodoo Gurus headline Lounge in the Valley at Houghton Winery, Swan Valley, on October 10 and 11, 11-5pm. Bob Evans and DJ Roger Smart also appear.

Tickets are $99 plus booking fee from Moshtix outlets.

The West Australian

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