"My heros include marc bolan david bowie salvador dali beatles stones dylan rimbaud mervyn peake cs lewis jrr tolkien gustav klimpt neil young."
Steve Kilbey - Bio
Songwriter, singer, musician, actor, artist - Steve Kilbey has etched a unique and rarified niche for himself. Above all else he is credible - lending a genuine artistry to all of his endeavors.
His recording career stretches back twenty three years - he has toured the world, had hit singles and lived the rock'n'roll dream. Yet all this he does in his own inimitable style, never bending to what the perceived mainstream public may want - he maintains his unique vision and more importantly - his integrity.
Karmic Hit is lucky enough to have access to much of his solo work - with more to be re-released from his amazing back catalogue as we can get to them. However, it is his new work which truly excites us. His voice and lyrics have never been better and, as always, he is never afraid to go out on a limb to pick a new and exotic musical fruit.
The great thing is, if you have just come to him now - you have so much incredible music to discover! Aside from an ongoing dynamic presence fronting The Church, Steve was a guest singer with The Triffids at the Sydney Festival and the Kev Carmody 'Cannot Buy My Soul' concerts in 2008 and with The Triffids 'A Secret In The Shape of a Song' concerts in Melbourne and Perth and on the Leonard Cohen tour in the Hunter Valley' in 2009, just some of the many facets of Steve's ongoing music career having also appeared in a select band, along with Tim Powles (The Church), for Russell Morris's ARIA Hall of Fame induction in 2008
Steve has also been a regular performer at the Queensland Poetry Festivals and, when time permits, treads the boards as an actor in his hometown of Bondi.
In 2008 Steve released his first solo album in 8 years, PAINKILLER, celebrating with live gigs in Sydney with band mates Tim Powles on drums, Ricky Rene Maymi (Brian Jonestown Massacre/Mellow Drunk), William Bowden (master of electronics) and Scott Von Ryper (The Black Ryder/Morning After Girls). Live video can be found on Youtube. Early 2009 SK performed with The Triffids in Melbourne, Perth and on the Leonard Cohen tour of the Hunter Valley.
Painkiller and other SK/Church gems can be listened to and downloaded from Second Motion Records in the USA or Churchmerch and Karmic Hit in Australia. This is Steve Kilbey's official myspace site so you can send messages to him via the Inbox messaging facility or leave a comment which will be read by the man himself.
there is a symmetry i must obey
the hollow gradient of her face
a half moon imploded in cloud
the memory of pleasures
the faint smell of burning paper
always sand in the bed
we are up and on our way
flying over green pastures
and bolting over gates and grids
into the swedish indian canberran forest
i am all myselves at once
totally manifest across the realms
i spin words like a gossamer net
and i trap the meanings shooting by
and i fill my poem with meaning like a belly
and i paralyze the truth
and it hangs suspended in my mossy night
waiting to be gobbled up at another time
and i join up with you in the stars
where we all eventually join
where we all will shine like distant points
but not yet
no not yet
the night ruptures in raptures
the night opens up to reveal reality
the night slices away and peels back to show us
the night offers herself immodestly
the night shudders as we all enter her
the night then surrounds us and emits tiny noises
the night runs away with us
over gates and fences we scramble
i'm sprinting up a hill in the seaside night
i run and run getting faster and faster
my feet leave the ground
and i go crashing into the atmosphere
headlong into jeopardy
rolling and burning up and gliding in flames
the night will not hold me up
the night lets me fall
down and down and down
no one has ever fallen this far
my stomach full of butterflies
my hands swooning around
my cascading hair all around
i go starring thru the void
a vain inferno
a burst of intense and devouring red fire
yes i fell like lucifer
clawing at the dark which contained no purchase
into a pit so deep and black
so wondrously silent
the pit of the night
the night which had turned its back on me
that blasted night with her comets and moon
i fell falling into that nights slippery arms
awake i was widely awake
suddenly awoken from my former life
hitting the ground running up that hill
over gates and brambles
over stiles and crooked brick paths
running through the night still
trying to keep up with the shadows we cast
as we flee ourselves
me as all my selves
all the time
we race into the future
exercising our free will
charging up existence
hauling up the black corridor
"Art and music can have similar processes of creation."
Star Dust: The PlanetShifter interview with Steve Kilbey, painter, father and songleader of The Church by Willi Paul.
Ideas to the world and the existence of the dead vary from tribe to tribe but present nothing specially distinctive. The world is usually regarded as surrounded by water, sometimes as floating upon it. It is often secured by four or five pillars, ropes, or other supports. Beyond where earth and sky meet there is often another land. The dead sometimes go below, sometimes above, sometimes across the ocean to the west, and sometimes to more or less distant parts of this earth. The entrance to the world of the dead is pointed out by some tribes. People who have temporarily died have been there and returned to describe it. Dances constitute the principal occupation of the dead. No ideas of future rewards and punishments based on conduct in this life have yet been found. If such ideas exist they must be very scantily developed. As in other parts of the world, there are occasional ideas of transmigration of souls into animals, but these conceptions are nowhere systematically worked out or of a religious importance.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Your latest release: “Untitled #23” is best described to me as painting with sound. Your reaction to this?
i like that description
i like to make music at the point music and art meet up
i like our music to suggest pictures and stories
art and music can have similar processes of creation
you start with a little thing
and you build upon it
you tinker with it
a songwriter is a painter in words
he suggests far more than he ever shows
When the band collaborates with high spirit and merges into One force, where are you physically?
i am in an anaesthetized place where there is no gravity
my fingers become free and do what they will
music becomes effortless
we are swept up by some powerful wave
the feeling is completely addictive
and total release is rarely achieved
“Metaphors are Steve Kilbey” – both sonic and via lyrics! Which ones have landed and enlightened you and your audiences to a higher consciousness recently?
yoga makes the man
theres a metaphor for your audience
on our last tour of america
i did yoga 2 sometimes 3 times a day
people could feel my energy from it
i ran around on stage for 2 n half hours and gave it everything
and yoga made it possible for me to deliver that
as for my lyrical metaphors....oh i can’t think of any right now...!
Do you write music – or paint - based on your dream experiences?
no not usually
but i try to recapture the feeling of a dream in almost everything i do
my own dreams are very blurry
i try to get a certain blurriness into everything i do
What is your favorite instrument? How do you select electric or acoustic instruments for your compositions?
my favourite instrument is the piano
my compositions usually have a combination of electric n acoustic instruments
one just gets a feel of where one wants what
its an on the spot calculation rather than a general philosophy
Hero. Who are yours? Are you a hero?
my artistic musical n literary heros were
marc bolan david bowie salvador dali beatles stones dylan rimbaud
mervyn peake cs lewis jrr tolkien gustav klimpt neil young
i am probably someones musical hero yes
to myself i'm just an old craftsman whos been doing it a while
What are the sounds from pre-history? Do you sample Nature? The City?
oh the sounds from prehistory are pterodactyls screaming off in the warm evening distance
the buzz of the jungle and the wind blowing across the steppes
the monkeys chattering and the glaciers slow grind
i have used samples of both nature and city in my songs
Is sustainability a form of religion? See: http://www.planetshifter.com/node/359
no i dont see how it can be a religion as such
i mean we must cultivate sustainability religiously
but it is not a religion in itself
What effects does commercial music and television have on our well-being?
well not all commercial n television music is bad...tho most probably is
therefore it would enervate the unhappy soul being bombarded with musical dross
like looking at bad worthless art all day...youd go kinda numb
Robyn Hitchcock told me that music is a form of alchemy – perhaps an invisible attempt to alter people’s moods. Your reactions? See: Hitchcock Interview - http://www.willipaul.com/rockmyth/rockmyth.html
yes it is alchemy
you take all this improbable stuff...the wires n skins n strings n sticks etc
and with correct manipulation by inspired players
wonderful feelings can be obtained....like taking drugs but no side effects
no one is really sure how its done
no one can explain it....music...not the players or the listeners nor the musicologists
in truth music is an impenetrable mystery
oh yes..you can learn HOW it works...but never why....
What are some of the creative or spiritual initiations that you have went thru? Still working on?
mainly time is what i went thru
i was not a quick learner
things took a long time to sink in
against this i balance my curious naivete
life n drugs n love taught me the blues
but they also taught me to transcend
i read the bible
i read the gita
i read the pali sutras of buddha
i read fucking playboy
i learnt to rocknroll somewhere in the last 45 years of playing
it seems so easy but its hard to do things easy
mainly i just persevered and i reaped times reward
Many are talking about a major collapse in the world economy and a catastrophic period of anger and hunger. Do you see this near-term scenario? In not, what is your perception of the next 2-5 years on the planet?
im just an artist
i have no real valid thoughts on this subject
as a parent of five children i hope this world endures
tho humanity is a can of worms
the earth would be much better off without us
who can deny that?
As a painter or musician, are you a Shaman? Are you painting about a new world?
i wish i was a shaman
i perform pseudo-shamanistic artistic feats sometimes
but in truth i am a shrewd and intelligent manipulator of ideas n techniques
unless i have completely fooled myself
sometimes i get confused where its all coming from
i would hate to have delusions of grandeur
yes and no about the new world
my worlds are alternate worlds
neither newer or older
much like ours but stranger and more improbably probable
i'm trying to represent these other places/other things
i dont really know
its just what i have been "told" to do
Define myth per The Church, please. What myths are critical to your spirit these days?
the name the church itself is all about myth
i cant tell where myth ends and history begins
i interpret everything on every level possible
and i see all myths have truth and fiction
and all history has truth and fiction
and all my songs/paintings/words have truth and fiction
the band has become legendary tho not yet quite mythical
we are still men not myths
can you be a living myth?
do you want to be a living myth?
i still think about paris a lot
paris prince of troy i mean...and the greek myths in general
boy what a bunch of fucking characters!
How do you think women’s reverence for the sacred differs from men’s?
i believe women are more an even keel
most of them have a reverence for the sacred
whereas men tend to have higher peaks n lower troughs
for example if you went up to random women and said "jesus" (for example)
i think most would smile and say yes or no
whereas with men youd get an extreme reaction...an atheist rant or
a christian diatribe....
Please give me your top three contemporary painters. vincent van go go
Do you have specific ways that you instill a love of creativity in your children? What art do they do with you?
my kids are drawing n painting n singing all the time
art has no boundaries in this household
everybodys creating something all the time
the kids just go for it
and i offer my honest critiques of their stuff
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So hard finding inspiration
I knew you'd find me crying
Tell those girls with rifles for minds
That their jokes don't make me laugh
They only make me feel like dying
In an unguarded moment
So long, long between mirages
I knew you'd find me drinking
Tell those men with horses for hearts
That their jibes don't make me bleed
They only make me feel like shrinking
In an unguarded moment
So deep, deep without a meaning
I knew you'd find me leaving
Tell those friends with cameras for eyes
That their hands don't make me hang
They only make me feel like breathing
In an unguarded moment