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- Posted on Nov 24th 2010 4:00PM by Steve Baltin
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Conceived by original manager Chris Murphy, the new record finds INXS teaming with the likes of Tricky, Rob Thomas, John Mayer and Ben Harper to revisit some of the biggest hits from the INXS back catalogue.
"When I was in London in summer of 2008, I had this brainwave where I thought, 'Maybe what I should do is make the band play the remix,'" Murphy tells Spinner. "That's really where it started, and it was going to be the going in and laying down grooves they obviously know really well."
INXS drummer Jon Farriss admits there was some hesitation on the group's part at first, as re-recording some of their best-known songs with different singers is something that is uncharted territory by and large.
"I think initially there was a mixed bag of emotions and feelings, which was probably a good thing because we realized how much the songs meant to us," Farriss says. "And it was sort of about, 'What would people think?' And at the end of the day, we started to realize that this is actually cathartic for us, and it might be for everyone else as well -- 'Let's not get too bogged down in trying to analyze what people think, and just go with the flow.' It felt very natural, and it was fun."
Revisiting the songs they had done with Hutchence obviously brought up a lot of memories, and Farriss admits it took until now to face doing an album like this. "The whole post-Michael's departure has been a very long, winding road -- and I don't think we would've been ready for it earlier," he says. "It probably wouldn't have been the right time to have done it any sooner. But the more we did it, the better it felt."
J.D. Fortune -- who won the 'Rock Star: INXS' reality TV show and fronted INXS on their last album, 'The Switch' -- was fired from the band in 2009. But he's now back on board for the rocker's upcoming Australian tour and sings 'The Stairs,' the closing track on 'Original Sin.'
Fortune knows what the INXS band members went through as well as anyone after spending 18 months on the road with them, and feels like this is now a different band in some respects. "Once I heard this record finished, the first thought I had was they really let go of a lot of baggage," says Fortune. "And they've come to a point now where it's just about the music."
Having the songs done by so many different talented performers means the classic tunes take on new meaning, according to Farriss. "To re-examine the songs in different ways and approach them in different ways, it kind of makes the lyrics and arrangements suddenly mean something quite different."
A perfect example is one of INXS' most famous tracks 'Don't Change,' a once-upbeat rocker turned into an almost acoustic number sung by keyboardist Andrew Farriss -- as is only fitting.
"In the time it was written we were all young guys, very young, early 20s, traveling on the road all the time; touring; playing; didn't have much to eat; didn't have much to call home," Andrew tells Spinner of the classic hit. "So to come in now with all we've seen in life -- the loss of Michael, the experience of life, having children and families, and real life itself -- I would say, yeah, the lyrics and the music feels different."