Australia's The Church plays the Fillmore on Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

Steve Kilbey supercharged on Church’s 26th album

The upcoming album from Australian chime-rockers The Church, “Man Woman Life Death Infinity,” officially is the group’s 26th. But frontman Steve Kilbey tabulates his career milestones differently. “Actually, I’ve made, collaborated on, or been a part of some 50-odd records, altogether,” says the singer, who turns 63 this week but feels no real sense of legacy. “I’ve just written a lot of songs that are out there if you want to find them. And I’m optimistic, you now? Maybe The Church will get to make another 10 albums, so it isn’t the end.”

Were there times over the years that you thought it was The Church’s swan song?

Oh, yeah. All the time. Sometimes we just ran up against brick walls that seemed insurmountable. Sometimes in a financial sense, or in any sense at all, really — it often felt like the end. So there were a few false endings, but we still kept going.

And now you have ex-Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug on board – how great is that?

It is truly awesome. This new album is his album. He really stepped up to the plate, so there’s a lot of him on it, for sure. He has really supercharged the process, really brought some meat and muscle to the whole thing.

With songs like “Undersea,” “Submarine” and “Before the Deluge,” this is your aquatic-themed disc, right?

Well, I live next to the sea in Sydney, a city where it rains a lot. So I’ll really never get over rivers and lakes and oceans and big bodies of water and rain, I guess. It’s always been an omnipresent theme in everything I do. But there’s nothing Freudian in there. It’s just that when I set the scene for my songs, I don’t think of big cornfields. I think of seas and storms.

And in cuts like “I Don’t Know How I Don’t Know Why,” you show a new vulnerability.

There is vulnerability. You get to a stage where your life is incredibly bizarre and random, and I really don’t know how and why anymore. And I’m happy to proclaim it.

When did you get to that point?

I think that was after 10 years of heroin addiction — I stumbled out the other end, and went, “Wow, everything I thought I knew was wrong!” I was re-made, and the universe had shown me that I could come undone. I mean, I sat in the gutter with tramps and smoked cigarettes that I found when I was a heroin addict. So after I came out that 17 years ago, I could no longer be that arrogant, seeing that I’d gone from riches to rags so spectacularly. And I’ve taken that on in everything I do.

IF YOU GO
The Church
Where: Fillmore, 1805 Geary Blvd., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Sept. 14
Tickets: $29.50
Contact: (415) 346-6000, www.ticketmaster.comchurchMan Woman Life Death InfinityPop MusicSteve Kilbey

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF speeds up testing for first responders as Sheriff’s Department is hit by coronavirus

Miyamoto rolls out daily temperature checks at jails, hospitals and courthouses

‘Outbreak’ expected at Laguna Honda Hospital after seven test positive for virus

The day after the first patient at Laguna Honda Hospital tested positive… Continue reading

Gov. Newsom orders statewide ban on evictions for renters affected by coronavirus

The measure prevents the evictions of renters over the nonpayment of rent through May 31

San Francisco 911 dispatcher tests positive for coronavirus

Union seeks additional testing for Call Center workers

Breed urges residents to ‘stay home’ as coronavirus cases reach 279

Multiple parking lots closed to discourage prohibited gatherings at beaches, parks

Most Read