INXS formed in 1977 as The Farriss Brothers with brothers Jon, Tim and Andrew Farriss, friend Garry Gary Beers on bass and Kirk Penguilly on sax. The late Michael Hutchence was their original lead singer. Hutchence died in 1997.
INXS were one of Australia’s most successful bands internationally. Their first US album to crack America was Listen Like Thieves (no 11, 1985), then Kick (no. 3, 1987) and X (no. 5, 1990).
Elegantly Wasted, the final album with Michael Hutchence reached no. 1 in the UK. The Swing (1984), Kick (1987) and X (1990) were all number one albums in Australia.
Jon Farriss announced the break-up of the band at their Perth concert with Matchbox Twenty last night. Soon after, the previous lead singer, J.D. Fortune, tweeted about the break-up.
Here is the official statement about the break-up from INXS:
It ended fittingly where it began 35 years ago, in Perth, when INXS drummer Jon Farriss declared to a 15,000+ capacity house on the opening weekend of the brand new Perth Arena and the final night of the Matchbox Twenty / INXS Australian tour that from this point INXS would bring down the curtain as a live touring band. In a fitting homage to the band, Matchbox Twenty’s Rob Thomas joined the band (INXS) and vocalist Ciaran Gribbin on stage and performed INXS’s signature closer, Don’t Change, in the band’s encore.
The remaining band members of INXS, Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers issued this statement.
“We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it’s time to step away from the touring arena”
“Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that.”
“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey”
INXS forged their reputation as one of the world’s greatest live bands, relentlessly touring the US, Europe, South America, and the Far East constantly throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, fuelled by the success of records such as Listen Like Thieves, Kick, X, and Welcome To Wherever You Are.
That hard earned and hard won live reputation took INXS to the very pinnacle of the live world touring circuit with such memorable performances headlining iconic venues across the world… in the UK [Wembley Stadium 80,000], the US [Texas Stadium 60,000] and Rio De Janeiro [Rock in Rio 120,000].
But with the high, came a bitter and cruel blow… the loss of their charismatic and irreplaceable front man Michael Hutchence in November 1997.
“It’s been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band and unbelievably it’s been 15 years ago since we lost Michael” said Jon Farriss.
“We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top.”
The band struggled to deal with the enormity of it all and the easy solution was to just call it a day.
“We never took a soft option, it was the adversity, the challenge and the struggle that forged us into the live working band we became. And this was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge” said Andrew Farriss, “and in the end we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option, families always move forward.”
The bands manager Chris Murphy said, “They believed unconditionally in each other and they also believed unconditionally in the music. People fade, sometimes way too early… that is life whether we like it or not. To live to 80 plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us.”
The last 3 years has seen a resurgence of INXS with their songs being hammered on radio and a rise in audience numbers with the live show. The song Original Sin, with Rob Thomas on vocals, reached number 1 on the Billboard dance charts.
As Jon Farriss says,“INXS’ touring days could never last forever. We wanted it to end on a high. And it has”.
The band will be making no further comment at this time.