Chatting with Steve Kilbey of The Church

Interview with Steve Kilbey of The Church. 

By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Adelaide and Words by Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Steve Kilbey of the legendary Australian rock band The Church just released his 21st solo album Sydney Rococo (Golden Robots Records) on November 23rd, which consists of a collection of songs written over the last 5 years.  He recently just completed the Australian leg of The Church’s Starfish 30th Anniversary worldwide tour.

Rock At Night interviewed Steve Kilbey about his new album, The Church, and more!  Kilbey discusses his yearning for melancholia in music; the painted album cover of Sydney Rococo; the Starfish tour and staying true to the original album; his favorite Church album, Priest=Aura; the Grunge movement; touring in the 90s versus today; and Stuart Coupe’s book Roadies.

The audio interview is presented in its entirety in the link below and on Rock At Night’s iTunes channel, but some of Kilbey’s thoughts and impressions include:

On his new album Sydney Rococo, which he described as being two years in the can

Many people write about Berlin, New York City, London…I felt it was time Sydney had its own album.

 On his music having sad or melancholic undertones…

Melancholy has always been my specialty, really. That is what I explore.  Melancholy is a wonderful theme…that sort of feeling of walking on the beach on a winter’s day on your own. There’s sort of a certain deliciousness in that, I think. 

 A beautifully sad song can make you feel happy. When I started listening to music when I was three or four, taking music in, I was always surprised by the fact that sad songs make you happy.  I’m always kind of working that angle in everything I do. The triumph of melancholia (not depression). 

 In the 80s people tried to say we were a depressing band and we’ve never been depressing. We’ve always had sad songs.  There’s a lot of difference between a depressed person and a melancholic person. I don’t certainly promote the virtues of depression but I do promote the virtues of melancholia.

 Rock At Night noted the Starfish album finished in November—and The Church has produced 30 albums over the years.  Kilbey noted, “Every year is an anniversary of some sort” and he was looking forward to the year 2022 when his “favorite Church album Priest=Aura” would have its 30th year anniversary.

On playing Starfish in its entirety during live performances, he explained the importance of not only staying true to the album but present it with “more bollocks…with more mojo” rather than digress into a “reggae version” of a beloved song.

Rock At Night discussed Stuart Copes book The Roadies—The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  The conversation touched on roadie Shane Scully, who worked during the halcyon days with The Church. Lots of interesting tidbits and trivia, here, folks!

Click on the arrow below to listen:



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Rock At Night’s theme song is “Get On Down If You Feel Up To It” by Texan blues musician Billy “Bass” Alford

Deb Kloeden

Forest Live Festival – UK

Forest Live Festival – UK