Home Interviews Interview: SKENIE (THE POOR)

Interview: SKENIE (THE POOR)

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After an absence of ten years, hard rockers The Poor, are back and according to singer Skenie, their plans for the future can be summed up in two words “World domination!”

And which corner of the world do they plan to dominate first?

“We’ll start with the Gold Coast,” he tells me. “The first gig is next Saturday night. (21st November)”

Well, that’s a pretty good place to start, especially as the boys will be supporting the very popular Screaming Jets. “Yeah,” says Skenie “We’re all friends from years back.”

The Gold Coast gig will be followed by shows in both Sydney and Melbourne in December, to launch the new album, ‘Round 1’.

The fact that the album is finally seeing the light of day is truly a cause for celebration for the band. For a long time, it looked as though it would never happen due to a series of unexpected and unfortunate events. In 1998, they started recording at Billy Thorpe’s Sydney studio. When Skenie’s daughter became ill, her care and recovery was, naturally, his main priority. “The band slowly just slid apart and we all sort of went our separate ways for ten years.”

Thankfully, Skenie’s daughter is doing better these days but it has obviously been a long and difficult journey. Then, there was the sudden death of rock legend, Billy Thorpe.  “It came as a bit of a shock” he admits. “What happened was that he had a bit of debt that he left behind and the Taxation Department came in and liquidated all of his assets and basically, everything that was in his studio, that included our tapes, we couldn’t get to for about three years. We only just heard the tapes at the start of the year, after not hearing them for ten years. We didn’t realize how close we were to the finished product. And we’ve used some of those songs and done a bit more work on them for this album. The idea that we’ve got at the moment is ‘Round 1’ is the first album of three that we’re bringing out over the next twelve months.”

Skenie assures me that the boys already have plenty of material available for the three albums, as well as some new ones on the way. “We’re back writing too so we’ve got a few new songs up our sleeves and there’s some older stuff that we’ve never released. We don’t play them any more but we’re just going to give them to the fans, you know. Better than them just sitting on the shelf for us. There’s a ‘Round 2’ and then, the last one.” He goes on to explain the band’s plans for ‘Round 3’. “When we split with Sony back at the end of ’96, they took our album off the shelf because we got all the rights to it back so we’re thinking that we’re going to release a double album. It’s been ten years now that we couldn’t re-release it but we’re going to release that as a whole other album with new tracks.”

After all those years away from life on the road, 2008 saw The Poor reform to support U.S. heavy metal band, W.A.S.P. According to Skenie, it was this tour that eventually set the wheels in motion for the band to give it another go. “That’s what sort of sparked the fire back into us again. Matt, the bass player, was living in Townsville and he moved back down (to the Gold Coast) and Julian, the guitarist, moved down from Brisbane. We’re all on the Gold Coast after those shows with W.A.S.P last year and it’s just a lot easier to get together and then we got the tapes back and everything started. The ball started rolling which feels great. It feels right, you know.”

Skenie is adamant that the band’s sound is, overall, still the same. “We’re still the same ‘dickhead boys from Darwin’ that just love to have fun and it jumps straight out of the new songs. The first single from the album, ‘Kill My Faith’ is just a straight, in-your-face, full rock song. The second single is really the catchy one that we hope gets played on the radio and gets up there.”

The video of the song will be going to Channel V within the next couple of weeks and the guys will soon be shooting another clip for the next single.

It seems like everything is finally falling into place for The Poor, and that fate has played a hand in ensuring the timing of their comeback is just right.  “Yeah,” he agrees. “It does, doesn’t it? It just seems like, it’s time!”

One final word from the singer about the new album: “Get out there and buy it, everyone!”

 by Sharyn Hamey

Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2009.  All rights reserved

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