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Music from kitchens and bedrooms
Hunting for fame, collecting praise
By POLLYANNA SUTTON
HUNTERS and Collectors
have not so much become more commercial as less obscure. The early rythmical drum beats, abstract music and sometimes inaudible lyrics have been turned around to produce Hunters and Col lectors latest offering, 'Human Frail ty', something of a showpiece for lead singer, Mark Seymour.
"It depends on how far back you go," he said. "1 think our music had a rhythmical intensity about it. It did not really convey anything in specific gut-level expression because you did not know what the song was about, it was really quite abstract. The music we arc writing now has drawn all the elements together in a much more focused way. It is a lot more communicative and I think the way we put things together now
is a lot more honest."
Seymour felt 'Human Frailty' had given the band the attention it de served. Part of the power of the album was the lyrics and intense visual quality Seymour drew on to project strong images through his
songs. Lines like "She came down hard upon me and ground her finger into my breastbone."
"I tend to write on the immediate
circumstances that I am in on a day to day basis,"'he said. "I'm con stantly looking around. Every so often something will hit really hard and that will get used as a lyric itself, maybe because of the potency of the event or the situation itself. Themes on the record are fairly domestic; they come from the kitchen and the
The single, 'Say Goodbye', hinges on the powerful line "You don't make me feel like I'm a woman anymore."
"I wanted to portray a woman being aggressive," Seymour said. "I wanted to present the idea of domi nating man. The first part of the song [which hinges on the woman speaking] I heard through a wall. The second part is something that I went through myself, where I am describing looking at a head on a pillow, someone you are really close to, and they are drifiting away in their sleep. The distance between you and that person becomes more and more."
Seymour's motivation behind the song was finding a line which he could sing in a pub with a lot of vulgarity that would get both guys and girls singing.
"I wanted to transfer the role
playing so you could get the guys singing 'You don't make me feel like I'm a woman anymore' and having a bit of a laugh about it because
Hunters and Collectors, from left, Michael Walters, Jeremy Smith, Mark Seymour, Jack Howard,
Doug Falconer, John Archer and Rob Miles.
basically I wanted to lighten the
'The 99th Home Position* is also about roles. Seymour's inspiration came from a square-dancing pam phlet he found in an op shop. Pub lished in the '50s, it was aimed at promoting the American folk tradi tion in Australia.
"This razzamattaz little pamphlet had all these expressions for calling, one was home position where a man came back to at the end of the dance. [The pamphlet stated] Wherever you arc, no matter where you end
up, the man must always bring the woman back to his home position or you are in trouble. That was an expression of the people at the time. Their faith in the idea of how men and women related to each other, adamant, prosaic and quite simple, but I thought to myself how ironic , I'll write a lyric about it."
Hunters and Collectors hail from traditional professional back grounds — a doctor, architect, ac countant, medical student and two teachers.
"Some of us have worked in those jobs but basically we are now totally committed to the band," Seymour
'Human Frailty1 has broadened the band's audience, taking away the uncertainty which manifested itself around the time of the rclase of 'Throw Your Arms Around Me1 as a single. Seymour said the band was now drawing an audience of all ages.
Hunters and Collectors will play at the Canberra Workers Club on Sunday May 25 supported by Big Pig.