Tex Perkins - “Actually, I still kind of hate guitars, even though I play them. I’m a singer.”

By Kimberley Price

Tex Perkins has music running through his veins.

Not one particular type; no, with Tex it is every type.

Through his career spanning more than 30 years, Tex has covered a vast array of genres. From rock, country, electronic, psychedelic and the classic sound of Johnny Cash, there’s not much left out of his repertoire.

His eclectic passion for music started from a young age, as his family would play all varieties of music around their house.

“I come from a music-loving family where the house always had someone’s music playing,” he said.

“None of us were musicians, well perhaps my mother was a tiny bit.

“I got into music by hanging around the scene and going to see bands and meeting people. Someone invited me into a band, foolishly, I think I was 17 at the time and I’ve been doing it ever since.

“I had three guitar lessons from about the age of 12 or 13. It really put me off the instrument.

“It wasn’t until I got familiar with an electric guitar that I got a good relationship with the guitar.

“Actually, I still kind of hate guitars, even though I play them. I’m a singer.”

Throughout his extensive career, Tex has involved himself in a number of different projects. From solo work to performing with and being a part of different bands, the 53-year-old has released a number of hits and albums. As part of The Beasts of Bourbon, The Cruel Sea, Tex, Don and Charlie, Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses, TnT, Tex Perkins And His Ladyboyz, The Man In Black and Far From Folsom, Tex has performed on the stages around the country and world, and he continues to do so.

“I’m constantly recording by myself,” he said.

“It could be anywhere these days, anywhere I open up my laptop I have my own portable studio.

“Collaboration is always the most enjoyable way of creating music. Having an idea and then getting someone else on board and fuelling the idea with their enthusiasm and things you haven’t thought of and vis-a-versa.”

“The creation of music is all about communication - communication between the musicians and then finally the listener.

“I’ve worked with all sorts of people and the bottom line is, you’ve got to have some kind of rapport.

“I think humour is a good signal that you can create something with somebody else.

“I think if you can have a laugh with them then I think you can work with them.

“I think that’s true of anything. I think there needs to be laughter before anything else in any kind of relationship.

“If the laughter stops then you’re in trouble – you have to keep them laughing!

“My career is really just this long adventure of relationships and friendships. I fell into certain types way back then and I’m happy to have made some individual music with them.”

Closing the Riverboats stage on Saturday night, Tex will perform his Far From Folsom show, one which was inspired by the legend, Johnny Cash.

“I was doing Man In Black which was a theatre show of Johnny Cash,” he said.

“A few years ago a festival in Sydney invited us to perform Johnny Cash songs in the old Parramatta Jail. The idea was to recreate or re-imagine a Johnny Cash show in a prison.

“Somebody said to us there’s a whole lot of other jails around Australia. We put together this tour where we played old historic jails and that was a great success. It was really interesting to go to these places that are just dripping with history.

“And that’s basically what the Far From Folsom show is - a concept of playing Johnny Cash’s prison show in old prisons.

“Safe to say we’ll be playing loads of Johnny Cash.”

■For more details and your last chance to purchase tickets you just head to riverboatsmusic.com.au

Audio sources:
Tex Perkins - Ring of Fire

Tex, Don and Charlie "Whenever it snows"

The Cruel Sea - The Honeymoon Is Over

Interviewed by: Kimberley Price.

Voice: Vivienne Duck.

Produced by: Kimberley Price and Vivienne Duck. 

A Riverine Herald production.