INXS founder Tim Farriss recalls the very start of the band’s fame when once on tour with Queen, Freddie Mercury and Michael Hutchence had a impromptu performance in a hotel room.

“We were gallivanting around Europe with Queen, doing massive stadiums with them and getting to know them really well,” Tim tells “I’ve got some great memories of being in Freddie Mercury’s room with Michael and the two of them with their noses an inch apart singing into each others face at full boar. It was quite intimidating to be in a room with that happening”.

On the next tour though, INXS will lap Australia with Matchbox Twenty. The relationship with Rob Thomas goes way back too. Thomas has even recorded with INXS. “He loves our band,” Tim said. “When he was touring by himself he told his band to piss off and got us up and sung with us playing. That led to him singing on ‘Original Sin’ and a few other songs that we haven’t released. We have a few gems tucked away.”

So whatever happened to the unreleased songs? Will they ever be released? “Maybe one day,” he says. “We’d probably like to record some new music before we do that. There are enough people around the world covering our songs as it is. It’s amazing really. I don’t know how many versions there are of people singing ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ or ‘Don’t Change’ or ‘Need You Tonight’. Liv Tyler just recorded ‘Need You Tonight’ for a massive advertising campaign”.

On this tour many INXS fans will be seeing their new singer for the first time in arenas. “Ciaran Gribbin is our singer and has been for a year now,” Tim says. “He and Andrew have been writing together and have written some really great stuff. They started writing together anyway because they were mates and had great respect for each other’s songwriting. He became singer-by-default which is an incredibly organic way to find a singer”.

The Matchbox Twenty with INXS tour kicks on next Saturday (October 20) in Melbourne.

Dates are:

October 20, 21, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
October 25, Canberra, AIS Arena
October 27, 28, Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
October 30, 31, Sydney, Entertainment Centre
November 3, Hunter Valley, Hope Estate
November 6, Wollongong, Entertainment Centre
November 8, Adelaide, Entertainment Centre
November 11, Perth, Perth Arena

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