The MusicNerd Q&A With Neil Finn

Neil Finn

With his newest solo record Dizzy Heights, Crowded House / Split Enz member Neil Finn shows that he has become anything but complacent with his music.

Released this past February, his latest album was recorded between Finn’s studio in Auckland and the studio of producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips) in upstate New York. His first solo record since 2001’s One Nil sees the singer-songwriter branching out in exciting directions, in part due to the involvement of Fridmann.

Neil Finn is currently in the midst of a North American tour. He spoke with The MusicNerd Chronicles about broadening his musical horizons with his newest album:

Dizzy Heights is a bit of a left turn compared to your work with Crowded House. Were you at all concerned about how the music would be received?

I never really know how objectively my work is going to sit with people or what they are thinking when they are listening. All I can really do is follow my gut and my instincts and use those as my guiding lights.  I like making music with twists and turns to it; something that may be surprising for some people to listen to. To an extent, I feel as though I have got carte blanche when it comes to making music. I want to make music that is likeable though; I would never want to make music that is completely perverse and end up turning people off. If something turned out to be chart bound again after all these years, that would be incredibly nice but it is not something that I am going to lose sleep over.

How instrumental was Dave Fridmann in coaxing this kind of record out of you?

I feel as though I have been making records in a fairly consistent manner throughout my career. Working with Dave, he really encouraged me to explore more around the fringes and to not worry about over sculpting and perfecting the music. Dave was such a joy to work with.

Once your upcoming tour wraps up, should Crowded House fans be looking forward to some new music?

We got a start on some new material last year but it didn’t feel like the right time to finish the songs. I think that we are all keen to make another record quite soon, however.

Article published in the April 3, 2014 edition of Here Magazine