Midnight Oil are back and don’t intend to stay quiet about President Trump when they hit the US on their upcoming world tour, the first in more than two decades.
The band announced on Friday they were reforming to go out on a six month tour which will begin in South America in April before they return home for 18 gigs.
The original line-up of Peter Garrett, Jim Moginie, Rob Hirst, Martin Rotsey and Bones Hillman sat at the bow of the Mari Nawi boat on Sydney Harbour in temperatures approaching 30 degrees as they addressed waiting media.
By May, they will be hitting North America for 11 dates across the country at a particularly volatile time in US politics.
“We have a habit of attempting a US tour after a new dangerous, rookie president comes in. We did the Capricornia tour, which was the last tour, when a young George Bush Jr just got in,” Hirst said.
“And here we are embarking upon a tour in the land of Trump and a time of Trump, a very uncertain period for everyone.”
The timing was “pure happenstance” he insisted, although the group don’t intend to go easy on Trump when they play in the US.
“He’s (President Trump) not a figure who’s engendering a great deal of respect for his own people and you can be sure they’re going to respond, and there’s no way that we won’t say what we think about it either,” Garrett said.
The band, who were always politically outspoken, said the decision to reform at the moment was not because of the political landscape but more that the timing was right.
“Looking at what we’d written, and even just lines that would jump out, sometimes it’s super depressing because you think we just haven’t made that much progress,” Garrett said.
Garrett, who recently quit federal politics, said their songs still seemed relevant, as he pointed to One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson.
“We never thought that we’d see Hanson raise her ugly face again,” he said.
Drummer and songwriter Hirst revealed he has also been meeting with guitarist and fellow songwriter Moginie to work on new Midnight Oil music and had new songs “on the boil”.
“After all there’s a lot to sing about these days,” he said.
The Australian dates, which begin in Alice Springs in October, will herald the band’s first national tour since 2002.
Midnight Oil will kick off the world tour with an intimate gig in a Sydney pub in April and will return in October to play 18 dates nationally, culminating in a November 11 concert in Sydney’s Domain, supported by the John Butler Trio and A.B. Original.