Seriously Good Music
Determined, dedicated and sure-footed, INXS hailed from the pubs of Australia to selling out stadiums worldwide. In less than a decade they were being hailed by major music journals as being the biggest band in the world.
INXS had their roots in a family act, forming as "The Farriss Brothers" in August 1977. Michael Hutchence, Kirk Pengilly, Garry Gary Beers, Tim Farriss, Andrew Farriss and Jon Farriss quickly won fans and critics alike as they fell in love with their grooves, passion for music, and cheeky Australian attitude. The Farriss Brothers changed their name to INXS in 1980 weeks before releasing their self titled album INXS.
From the beginning INXS established the work ethic, which would mark their career, often doing two gigs a night. Released in October 1980, their self-titled debut album contained the singles ‘Simple Simon’ and ‘Just Keep Walking’, the band’ s first hit. The album was recorded for about $7,000.
"The whole point, right from the word go, was that we were always a BAND" ~
By the time they had charted their fourth hit down under, with “The One Thing” in 1982, INXS had made their way into the American Top Thirty with the same song - the first of 17 Billboard hits, 7 of which were top 10's.
INXS celebrated their first number one single with “Original Sin” on the Swing Album in December 1983 in Australia, beginning a phenomenal run of 38 Top 40 hits. The Swing in April the following year was the band's first Australian number one album (Listen Like Thieves 1985, Kick 1987, and X 1990 would all also hit #1). Britain caught on a little later, and their 23 hit run commenced with “What You Need” in 1986. There were six consecutive top ten UK and US albums.
INXS had not only brought their music to the rest of the world, they supported their releases with that now-famous work ethic as the band toured the world again and again. Following INXS' success around the world they went on to receive 5 MTV awards for 'Need You Tonight' from the iconic album 'KICK', 2 Brit awards for Best International Group, 10 Countdown awards, 6 ARIA awards and were also inducted into the ARIA hall of fame in 2001.
With INXS' catchy beats and charisma, crowds around the world could not resist as INXS possessed the uncanny ability to strike dancing infection into the hearts of the audience, “Regarded by many the best live band in the World”, MTV Awards 1988.
Under the guidedance of International Manager CM Muprhy, INXS will announce some exciting new projects in 2016.
"It's incredible that a bunch of friends should end up such good players - never thrown anyone out, never needed help"
vocalist Michael Hutchence marveled around the time of the ten million selling Kick album.
"We know each other so well. I find that rather frightening. Andrew and I may write most of the songs but this is a real band. It's not two writers and four dumb musicians;
it's a very active, competitive, democratic group of people.
We're a band that sounds very much like a band, a live band, that's who we are, where we came from."
With a career spanning 40 extraordinary years, INXS have sold over 50 million records worldwide, including the #1 albums in 4 different continents, a performance history of some 4,000 live shows to over 25 million people, countless awards from their peers and fans, platinum certifications, and a history peppered with outstanding achievements.
INXS are arguably one of the world’s greatest bands.
MEET THE MEMBERS
“Without Andrew there would be no music for us to play.” Michael Hutchence
Massive hit singles such as ‘Original Sin’ (first Australian Number One), ‘What You Need’ (first Top 10 in the US), and ‘Need You Tonight’ (huge worldwide smash Number One) were the key cornerstones of Andrew’s much lauded song-writing partnership with Michael Hutchence.
Born 27 March 1959 in Perth, Western Australia, Andrew is the second eldest of the Farriss siblings. It was at Davidson High School that he would meet Michael Hutchence. The two became best friends, with Hutchence joining Andrew’s band, Doctor Dolphin. One year later, The Farris Brothers formed.
Andrew is credited solely with keyboards on the band’s earliest albums, but by 1984′s The Swing, he was listed as also playing guitar. On stage, he also plays harmonica and various hand-held percussion instruments.
“For it to really work, you have to have a feel for what people like to listen to – you need to know what excites them as well as what excites yourself”. Andrew Farriss
Keyboard, Vocals, Harmonica, Guitars
“I’ve never had any bass lessons. I was learning the guitar for about nine months and was just terrible. I trundled off and bought the first bass I looked at. It was a Maya – a Les Paul copy – which cost me.” Garry Beers. Don’t let the passive demeanour fool you. With elastic-fantastic bass lines a specialty, Garry Beers is anything but a silent participant with INXS. Approaching his bass duties with the thunderous attack of one third of a power trio, but with the unassuming precision of a seasoned session player, Gary makes it all look so easy.
The eldest member of INXS, Garry Gary William Beers was born on 22 June 1957 in Manly, New South Wales. While attending Forest High School (and working at a local petrol station), a fortuitous meeting with Andrew led to Garry joining his band Doctor Dolphin, which led to The Farriss Brothers with Tim, Kirk and Jon, and the eventual name change to INXS in 1979.
Throwing in on band compositions like ‘Just Keep Walking’, ‘Don’t Change’, ‘The Swing’ and ‘Listen Like Thieves’ in the early days of the band kept Garry’s hand in the mix. However it was his innovative single “B-side” tracks like ‘Sweet As Sin’ and ‘Middle Beast’ which exposed his particular talents best.
“Our music was always meant to be a celebration and something personal to share with the world. That’s what it’s all about!” Garry Beers
"We have very high expectations for ourselves and take what we do very seriously. INXS is a most beautiful gift, and I thank all our fans for supporting us for all these years.” Jon Farriss.
A drummer’s drummer by any standards, Jon Farriss knows his craft well and has been a prolific writer and producer inside and outside of INXS for many years. The youngest of the Farriss brothers, Jonathon James Farriss was born August 10, 1961 in Perth, Western Australia. Turning pro at 16, Jon had begun learning the drums at just four years old. As part of cover band Top Cat, he gained invaluable experience with different musical styles including rock and cabaret. A chance jam between members of Jon’s brother’s two bands (Guiness and Doctor Dolphin) led to him joining them to become The Farriss Brothers.
When the Farriss family moved from Sydney to Perth in 1978 with Jon still in school, the entire band followed in order to stay together until he could graduate and play full time for what was to eventually become INXS in 1979.
Kirk Pengilly was born in Kew, Victoria on July 4th 1958. At the age of 8, he and his family relocated to Cottage Point, a remote “weekender” village nestled in the middle of the Kuringai Chase National Park on the outskirts of Sydney. With no electricity and a 10km dirt road to civilization, Kirk’s early years were spent either outdoors or teaching himself guitar.
In 1971 while at high school Kirk started a friendship with Tim Farriss. They formed a garage band, Guiness, in which Kirk was the principal songwriter and lead singer. In 1976, Guinness disbanded and less than a year later, The Farriss Brothers was born. Michael Hutchence and Kirk shared lead vocals for a short time but, as Michael didn’t play an instrument, it made sense for Kirk to step down and concentrate on guitar.
More than thirty years on and Kirk has had a definitive place in INXS, being principal backing vocalist, saxophonist and guitarist. Apart from his co-writes with Michael on a number of INXS albums, he has written, produced and performed numerous “B-side singles” and co wrote the song ‘Like It Or Not’, which appears on the album, ‘Switch’.
Kirk has been one of the key publicity spokespersons for INXS and also holds the distinction of being the band’s archivist, faithfully logging daily entries in diaries that date back to the beginning of INXS. He was heavily involved in the bands only authorised biographical book, ‘Story To Story’, in which he wrote the book’s foreward.
Guitars, Vocals, Saxophone
Michael Hutchence led INXS from height to height during their journey to the top. Like all timeless performers, Michael made the moment – whether it was on record or on stage.
Born January 22, 1960 in Australia and raised and schooled in Hong Kong as a young boy, Michael returned to Sydney in 1972. It was at Davidson High School in Frenchs Forest that he met aspiring musician Andrew Farriss. That friendship would eventually lead to the forming of The Farriss Brothers with Garry Gary Beers, Kirk Pengilly, Tim Farriss and Jon Farriss in 1977.
Largely co-writing most of INXS’s repertoire of hits and classic songs with Andrew, Michael blossomed into a powerful rock singer and lyricist with a zest to match the bands rich internal musical dynamics. Michael was also a sensitive ‘artist’ with poetic and literary interests – a combination that would serve him well throughout his career.
1996 brought a new ‘creation’ of Michael’s into the world – a baby daughter, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily. Together with her mother Paula Yates, Michael was starting a new family and things were good. Band activities resumed with writing, recording and touring through 1997 until something terrible happened. On November 22, while about to start a tour of Australia with INXS, Michael tragically died.
After Michael’s sudden death, time was needed to make sense of what remained. Michael’s wish to finish his long-delayed solo album would be fulfilled by those involved and brought to release in late 1999 (2000 in the US). Called Michael Hutchence, the album combined a different sensibility of musical approach than that of his INXS output. Utilizing loops and moods to convey atmosphere (similar to Massive Attack or Portishead), the record is a tantalizing experiment – a piece of art. The pumping rock track ‘A Straight Line’ was released a single to international markets, and Michael’s legacy has continued unabated since then with compilations of his most important work with INXS.
As integral as he is to the band, Tim Farriss is also its biggest fan, thoroughly enjoying everything the band did with an infectious glee. A guitarist of considerable skill – and a man with wit and wisdom to match – Tim is the heart of INXS in many ways…
Born 16 August 1957, in Perth, Australia, Tim is the oldest of the three Farriss brothers. Music was always a big part of Tim’s life, learning guitar at an early age. Attending Forest High School in Frenchs Forest, Tim fortuitously met Kirk Pengilly and soon put together a band with him called Guiness. After a time, Tim and Kirk combined with Andrew, Michael, Garry and Jon to form The Farriss Brothers (which later became INXS).
Tim initially managed the band, getting the gigs and handing out the money with Kirk. He is looked upon by his band members as a father figure and, along with Kirk and Michael, handled most of the publicity assignments up through 1997.
“Initially it was only Tim who believed we could go somewhere. He was always the car salesman, the one pushing us, getting us gigs and talking about us. We all just sat back and thought how good it was that we were living in a house together, playing gigs and getting free beer.” Garry Beers.
Within the band, Tim exudes a kinetic energy that is so important to everything INXS. Songs like ‘Don’t Change’ and ‘Devil Inside’ all bear the unmistakable mark of Tim Farriss. Although Tim is not the main songwriter for INXS, he has contributed some amazing single B-side compositions over the years such as ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘I’m Coming (Home)’ and ‘11th Revolution’, which have delighted fans with their powerful playfulness.
“Taking it as far as it can go has always been what INXS is about – and I love that!” Tim Farriss
SOCIAL / NEWS
INXS's music has topped the charts all over the globe. INXS' Genre cannot be defined by is a melting pot of funk, rock, pop, groove, and new wave has been used to make up the INXS sound. When Asked to describe their own music, the members would use such terms as "white boy dance music", "big, basic dirty noise", "intoxicating little songs". Critics were more eloquent. They spoke of songs as a "blend of instrumental colors, the silky glide of vocal melody over sinewy rhythms","spare, elegant funk" and "dense, glossy beauty."
At the beginning of their writing careeres INXS' songs were written by all members matured from album to album the writting partner ship between Andrew Farriss and Michael Hutchence blossomed and strengthed to serve up hists like "What You Need", "Need you Tonight" "New Sensation" and list goes on...
Kick is the sixth studio album by INXS, released in 1987 by WEA in Australia, Atlantic Records in the United States and Phonogram Records in the United Kingdom on Audio CD, Compact Cassette and Gramophone record. As the band’s most successful studio album, it is certified six times platinum by the RIAA, and spawned four US top 10 singles, “New Sensation”, “Never Tear Us Apart”, “Devil Inside” and “Need You Tonight”, the last of which reached the top of the Billboard singles charts.
12 studio albums,
13 compilation albums,
4 live albums
and 5 extended plays
INXS cleverly rode the wave into America with the launch of MTV. They have more thank 64 videos and won 5 MTV Video awards and countless plays on the channel. "Beautiful Girl" was nominated for a Grammy. INXS were the first band ever to do a VISUAL album where evry song has a Video Clip. This is something that has been mimiced in recent times by some of the biggest artists in the world.
Best Album ('The Swing') (1984)
Most Popular Group (1984)
Most Popular Male Performer (Michael Hutchence) (1984)
Best Songwriters (Michael Hutchence / Andrew Farriss) (1984)
Most Outstanding Achievement (1984)
Best Group Performance In A Video (1984)
Most Popular Song ('Original Sin' - 1984)
Most Popular Video ('Original Sin' - 1984
Countdown Awards (3 Awards won - 1985)
Best Australian Group (1986)
New Music Awards (1986)
International Live Act Of The Year (1986)
Best Group (1986)
Outstanding Achievement Award (1988)
Best Australian Group Award (1988)
Best Video ('Never Tear Us Apart' Award (1988)
Best Group Video (MTV Award (1988)
Breakthrough Video (MTV Award (1988)
Best Edit In A Video ('Need You Tonight' / 'Mediate') (MTV Award (1988
Best Video Of The Year ('Need You Tonight' / 'Mediate') (MTV Award 1988)
Viewer's Choice (MTV Award (1988)
International Album Of The Year ('Kick' 1988)
Best Video ('Need You Tonight' / 'Mediate' - Billboard Music & Video Award (1988)
Best Editing ('Need You Tonight' / 'Mediate' - Billboard Music & Video
Best Rock Release ('Need You Tonight' - 12th National Dance Music Award (1988)
Producer of the Year (Andrew Farriss for Australian Artist - 1989)
Rolling Stone Magazine Awards (3 Awards won - 1989)
Best Australian Group (1991)
Most Popular Group (1991)
Rolling Stone Magazine Awards (1991)
Best International Group (Brit Award - (1991)
Best International Male (Michael Hutchence) (Brit Award - (1991)
Most Popular Australian Group (1992)
Most Popular Australian Music Video ('Baby Don't Cry' - 1992)
Highest Selling Australian Band (World Music Awards, Monte Carlo - 1992)
Outstanding Contribution To The Music Industry (World Music Awards - 1992)
Best Video ('The Gift' - 1993)
Best Act In Live Performance (1993)
Highest Selling Australian Band (World Music Awards Monte Carlo - 1993)
Australian Rock Poll (1994)
ARIA Hall Of Fame inductees (2001)
ARIA Best Dance single (with Rogue Traders - 2003)
INXS - Hall Of Fame 2001 Part 1
INXS - Hall Of Fame 2001 Part 2
Never Tear Us Apart:
The Untold Story of INXS
In 2014, "Never Tear Us Apart: The Untold Story of INXS" aired as a two part television event on Channel Seven in conjunction with Screen
Australia. More than 2.8 million people tuned in to watch the story unfold.
It concentrated on the six members of the band and the artistic and emotional relationship at the heart of INXS, that of Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss. It traced their incredible rise to the top of the international charts, sold out concerts, the unforgettable headline show at Wembley stadium and the bitter aftermath of dealing with the loss of Michael Hutchence.
It delivered an authentic and behind the scenes look at what really happened - childhood mates from Sydney who were once the biggest rock and roll band in the world. It explored the journey beyond the music, the intoxicating feeling of the lights and the roar of a sell-out crowd.