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September 18, 2023 86 mins

Truly Madly, Deeply . . . excited about this episode for so many reasons! 

Lance welcomes a great guest to the pod, but first, he opens up about the reunion that was tearin' up our hearts! It ain't no lie - get the scoop on NSYNC reuniting for the first time in 10 years at the VMAs! 

Plus, he was in one of the biggest bands of the 90s, reaching international fame with huge hits like "I Knew I Loved You" and "Truly Madly Deeply," but behind the scenes, all was not what it seemed. 

Darren Hayes, former frontman of Savage Garden, opens up about coming to terms with his sexuality, coping with depression, and the real reason behind the band's bitter split. It's a hopeful story of overcoming adversity and reclaiming the narrative! 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:04):
This is Frosted Tips with Lance Bass and I Heart
Radio Podcast. Hello, my little Peanuts, it's me your host,
Lance Bass. This is Frosted Tips with me Lance Bass
and my co host, my lovely husband, Turkey Turkey Team. Hello.
I like that. Yeah, it's a name. It's excited. We

(00:27):
have Darren hazel On's day. No love me some Savage Garden.
I was a huge fan of Savage Garden. I remember
when we first started out, you know, with the group.
It's like ninety six when we went over to Germany
they were just coming out also, and so we would
kind of run into them a good bit and just
love them. So it's such a great group. Oh, you'll

(00:49):
have a nice catch up. Yeah, I mean nice, ye,
I don't think I've probably not seen him in twenty years.
Well yeah, so we have a lot to catch up
on a lot. And speaking of catching up on, we
have to catch up on my New York trip. I know, guys,
all right, so thank god we can finally talk about it.
As you know by now, we have a new song

(01:10):
coming out on the twenty ninth called Better Place. It
is far a movie that we cannot discuss, but I
think all of you know, because we are still in
a strike right now, and I think the strike's going
to go for a very very long time. So the
sad news is we probably won't ever be able to
promote this movie. But the end SYNC fans are so

(01:34):
freaking awesome that I don't even think. I don't think
we need to promote it because you guys have just
been so excited about this and made it definitely go viral.
So I think we have the best fans in the world.
I mean, I have to agree. Well, I think you
should talk a little about the VMA's well okay, so yeah,

(01:55):
So we just went and presented in the hopes that
Taylor Swift would win because I knew that. I mean it,
I felt like she was going to sweep the whole thing,
so I can't prepare it. I'm like, okay, if she wins,
I had these bracelets I have I have to give
a friendship person. It's like the thing to do, and
it's the ultimate swifty move to give her an actual

(02:16):
friendship bracelet. So you guys are like officially bFSH Yeah, yeah,
we're pretty much BFFs. No, it was it was a
really fun night. I mean, I didn't know what to expect,
but I definitely did not expect the aftermath of that.
But yeah, I mean there's really not much I can

(02:36):
like say, because I didn't you just leave right after you. Yeah,
I mean this is definitely a different VMAs because, uh,
you know, usually you're there for the whole show. It's
it's different now. I feel like back in my day,
you know, you went, even if you weren't nominated, you went.
You know, the whole industry came. It was it was
like the place to be seen. Now it's kind of

(02:57):
like the only people that go are the ones that
are probably gonna win something, and so it just feels
a little more contrived. I do like how performance heavy
it's gotten. Yeah that's good. So yeah, but unfortunately we
yeah we stayed for thirty minutes. We were the first
ones there. But yeah, no, I mean it was it
was awesome. It was great, you know to be on
that stage with those guys. Uh, you know, we even did,

(03:20):
you know, photo shoot the next day. So yeah, so
thanks guys for like, yeah, supporting us so much during
all of this. You know, at least we are going
to have new music very soon. Uh, and then yeah,
we'll see where it goes from there. You know, lots
of talk, no solid plans just yet because we know
we're just gonna have to pivot a lot. But but yeah,

(03:43):
things are looking really nice for the future. Me too.
All right, Well, you know what I'm excited for Our guest,
Our guest, Darren Hayes. Yes, yes, we have a lot
to catch up on. So when we come back, we're
gonna have the one and only front man up Savage Garden,
Darren Hayes. Darren Stanley Hayes is an Australian singer, songwriter,

(04:16):
music producer and composer. He was the front man and
singer of the pop duo Savage Garden. Their ninety seven album,
Savage Garden peaked at number one in Australia, number two
in the UK, number three in the United States one
two three. It spawned the singles I Want You to
the Moon and Back and in Australian and US number one, Truly,
Madly Deeply Savage Garden part of Ways in two thousand

(04:37):
and one. Hayes released his first solo album, Spin in
two thousand and two, which sold two million copies worldwide,
debuted at number two in the UK, number three in Australia,
and after a decade long hiatus, Hayes returned in twenty
twenty two with his fifth studio album, Homosexual which I
cannot wait to talk about, which was released in October. Darren,
welcome to the show. Nice to finally do it. I

(05:01):
know I was. I was ill actually the first time
you invited me said thanks for being so kind of course,
but here we will always hold a spot for you,
Darren always. We were just talking before we started the show.
It's been since the nineties. I think we've actually seen
each other face to face. That was Top of the
Pops in England. Yeah, which I don't even think there
is a Top of the Pops anymore. Did that finally

(05:23):
go away? Yeah? For people that don't understand Top of
the Pops, it was the biggest music show in England
from the fifties till it ended us just a few
years ago. And you know it ended was really sad too.
It happen. How did it? Well, it went from like
biggest show in the world, well in Europe, and you

(05:43):
know when the music industry obviously was really successful and
there was lots of money and there was lots of
budgets for music videos and things to the music industry
just crashing because no one knew what to do about.
I think it was napster yea. And I just remember
it went from one day to having like all these
SUVs and budgets for styling and clothing and like let's

(06:05):
turn this set into like a space planet, to the
next week it was like, yeah, your band has to
get the tube, which for Americans is the train. Your
band has to get the tube there, and we have
no budget for styling, and like it was just it
just I will never get because it was the first
time that we had to lip sync, because on that
show back of My Day, they would you were forced

(06:27):
to lips it. There was no live anything. And I
remember we were so because as a boy band, of
course everyone's like and we were so dead set against
like we could not do this, we can't do this,
Like well it's top the pops, you kind of have
to do this. That must have been really offensive to
you guys. Yeah, I mean it was. It sucked, but
we kind of we understood. We're like, okay, well at

(06:48):
your up, I guess this is what they do over there. Yeah,
And then the couple of times that we did it
because you know, we started in Germany and the first
couple of television shows that they're like, well everyone lipsticks,
We're like, we know, we're not doing that, and then
they would allow us to sing live. Now we understand
why everyone lives things because no one knows how to
do live vocals on any of these and on that

(07:09):
show in particular, what happened was then sort of grunge
and nineties and I blame Natalie and Bruglia. Actually it's
always it's always her fault, fault. Her record came out
and everything in England was like Oasis or Natalie and Brulier.
Everyone was wearing just camo outfits and everything was like
not pop right, And suddenly Top of the Pops was like,

(07:32):
you have to sing live, and so people who weren't
talented were dying, so lots of careers were They went
up in flames for the two weeks when Top of
the Pops went, let's sing live. What I did love
about that show is you didn't even know what the
charts were until you watched the show. Like that was
you didn't get a little preview of like, oh, Billboard

(07:53):
came out yesterday, you're number two. No, you watched the
show to see what number you were. Who was like
back in the TRL days as well. Yeah means you know,
it wasn't the exact charts, but it was the charts
for the tea basically, it was it meant more board
can we spell the tea a little bit? On the
fact that I think it's pretty obvious now that we're

(08:15):
both gay and are we are we doing some breaking
news right now? Are you going? This is news to me?
It took me a long time to work that out,
like it really did, think. And I've seen and read
a lot of your interviews and they've always I identify
a lot with your journey and everything, especially with the
way the band related to you. I had similar issues

(08:38):
just internally with the record label as well. I had
this added layer of shame where I absolutely hated myself
and it wasn't even sure if I was gay, so
I went around telling everybody I'm bisexual, that's thing. But
I remember being backstage at the top of the Pops
and I had no idea that we had that in common, right,
And you were being really cool and I think you

(09:00):
asked if, like I wanted to hang out and First
of all, I'm terrible with famous people, right, So you
were instantly so much more famous than me. Anyone I
meet is always more famous than me, right, So you
were just like, Hey, we're going to go to a
club because you know, you're the lowest voice in the group.
We're going to go to the club to that I'm crazy.

(09:22):
And I was just like, no, thanks, I don't know. Yeah,
and then I stole your girl, Anna Maria who you
hung out with, That was my girl. I mean, I
loved meeting you guys. And then she would you know,
she would definitely go to the bars with us outdoors touched. Yeah,

(09:42):
how is she doing? I haven't taked her in a while,
you know what, She's great. We're talking about a backing
vocalist who used to work with me, Anna Mariaspina, who
really sounded like Selindyon's incredible. She's testament to the fact
that sometimes in our business, it does not matter how
talented you are. Sometimes it's just changed. We see that
with the voice, you know, it's you know, the voice

(10:05):
has the most talented singers song or singer songwriters in
the world that have had record deals before that are
writing top songs that are producing the butt and none
of them can pop. It's it is. It's insane how
how many talented people are out there. I think you
just need a god shaped whole of insecurity inside you
and have it. Yeah, I just needed the aplog. Well,

(10:31):
going back to uh, you know when you started and
and and holding that secret, because you know we do
relate on that. I do feel that it stifled your
creativity and your music at all. This is going to
sound like a sort of a a very convoluted answer.
I'll try to make it short. It wasn't really a
secret for me. I really did struggle with my sexuality.

(10:55):
I was married to a woman, so that was a
secret I was trying to hide. I was man. I
was trying to protect my private life from fame. Although
I wanted to have these two personas, I wanted to
have a career, very long career that was as famous

(11:17):
as Michael Jackson, and yet I foolishly thought I could
also have this private life and probably should have known.
I asked, you know, my wife to marry me that
because we bonded over hair color and just reference person
was yeah, fabulous that we were we were engrace before

(11:42):
the TV show existed. You know, we were best best friends,
and I think she kept me innocent, and she kept
me in this kind of place where I wasn't ready
to accept who I was, and no one day I'll
talk about it. I'm writing a book now, next year
I get to talk about this. I grew up in
a culture where there was just so much internalized shame.

(12:06):
It wasn't even possible for me to even think that.
I didn't think I knew any gay people, didn't even
think Lance was gay. My world view was so tiny,
so that when I was traveling the world and we
meet other artists, we realized that just like race, just
like gender, sexuality is such a spectrum. And there I

(12:27):
struggled finding that little place for me. That when I
eventually did come out, I told everyone. I told the
president of the label, who was a very scary man,
and he had virtually destroyed George Michael's career for coming out. Really,
and you know what happened to me was all of

(12:47):
a sudden, everyone started kissing my cheek, and everyone started
telling me like treating me like I was a woman,
and started this process that I think is a sort
of a version of misogyny. That happens to gay men
in our business. We become these harmless, non sexual, non

(13:08):
threatening this is the only way we know how to
market you. And it was as though that was sort
of the beginning of the end of my career. It
was the it was the second Savage Garden record affirmation.
Didn't matter that the band was splitting up. I had
come out and everyone at the label was dealing with
this internal fallout, which was Ricky Martin. And listen some

(13:31):
of the conversations and the things that I heard about
Ricky Martin, about the people that supposedly loved him, would
would horrify you. It was horrific. And so I was
watching that stuff just thinking, if this is how you
speak about someone when they're not in the room, and
you're letting me hear this, what are you going to
do to my solo career? What are you going to do? Well?

(13:53):
I found out they buried me. Yeah, you know, so
that was the struggle for me. It wasn't you know.
I was ready, Like I started using the word him
and he in my songs, my first single, Insatiable. I
want to taste every drop. I mean, come on, yeah,
I'm talking about you know, what I'm talking about. Wait,

(14:15):
no list Orange, I'm saying, turn that lights down low,
take it off, let me show my love you insatiable.
And I can't remember the rest of my lyrics because
I'm a fifty one year old game man. But yeah,
it's weird because we I never really get to talk
about that side of the career because yes, when you know,

(14:37):
everyone assumed I was straight when I was a teenager
and in this group and then you know, a big
band in the world, so I did get to hear
what everyone said about gay people without them knowing that
I'm gay. So and that definitely keeps you more in
the closet because you're like crap, Like I mean, they
hate they will hate me. They will absolutely hate me

(14:58):
if I ever tell them that I'm gay. So you
just you dig back deeper and deeper every time that
you hear the joke or especially the music industry is
still so homophobic. I mean, I know film industry, you
know I was gotten bad on all that, but something
about the record industry is just so archaic with their
thoughts on sexuality because I'm so sort of outside of

(15:22):
the box in that in that regard, like honestly, the
commercial success that I was lucky enough to participate in,
it's a blessing to me. Like I, you know, when
I first started off, you know, yes, I did want
to be famous, and I was trying to fix something
in me that was deeply efficient, you know, and like
every you know, like if you talk to Madonna, you know,

(15:46):
Madonna was missing a mother, and so she needed the
whole world to mother her. Right. My thing was a
father issue, you know. But as soon as I received
the attention, I got over that very quickly, and I'm
grateful for that. And I knew that it wasn't going
to last, that the fame wasn't going to last for

(16:07):
me being a singer, me being an artist, that was
the thing that I really wanted to hold onto and retain.
So I'm grateful that I'm not cynical. I've never been
someone that's like I could have been a contendac you know,
like I I've always just continued on. I make my strange,
weird record. Some of them work, some of them don't.
But the whole gay experience, I can't lie and say

(16:32):
that that wasn't like an X against me. Because our generation,
we couldn't just arrive and be I'm looking even little
nas X. When I think about lut nas X, I mean,
if you look at his and if you look at
how difficult that is to be an African American and
be queer. I went and saw Beyonce recently and that

(16:55):
a lot of people don't realize how inspired she was
by her uncle who was gay, and that is to
bring like club culture and quick culture to that audience.
It's it moved me, like it really really because I
know how brave that is and how hot it is,
and so many other cultures that aren't. Just you know,
I have so much privilege being a straight white guy.

(17:16):
I can pass anywhere I want, I can turn my
sexual on or off, and so many other cultures you
just can't do that. Well, it's the smallest violent for me,
but still yeah, odd, yeah, but that experience, I mean,
it was on a much larger scale. It's kind of
it's the same experience most gay people go through just

(17:36):
in their own life. You know, it's the same. It's
the same thing you're both of you were just on
a much massive, more scale and a business that literally
penalized you for doing exactly and for me, you know,
I always felt like I was lucky that I started
my career so early and found fame as a teenager,
because then and as soon as I was, you know,

(17:57):
finishing up puberty and everyone started to date people, that's
when I got an in sync And because of that,
I was able to hide it a lot longer because
I had so many great excuses of not to date
a girl or to you know, you could just kind
of mix up of like, oh, yeah, last night London,
I had totally met a girl and we took her
back to the hotel and yeah, you know, it's no
one would know, and there was no cell phones or

(18:20):
anything like that, so you could easily create the narrative
that you wanted to easily. I couldn't imagine growing up
being a young person with fame today and the scrutiny
of of every moment, you know, and I, you know,
there's a lot of the I really cherish the fact
that I got to come out really in between albums.

(18:42):
I lived in San Francisco, and I laugh about this.
I spent so many years like looking across the foggy bay,
like going, is he out there? I'd go out bars
and I'm feeling and that like, I'm such a romantic.
You know. My poor mother came to this at me
once from Australia and this one night I got a

(19:04):
number and I made the mistake of telling my mother
I got a phone number. I was like, Ma, I
got a phone number, MA, And she was like, did
he call? It was like a man, no, no. Then
every day for the next two weeks she go did
he call? And I go, ohm, But like two weeks
I got ghosted. We didn't know what that was back then.

(19:26):
But you know, you know what, Ma, he didn't call
every day that you asked me. If he calls. It
feels terrible inside because he's never gonna call. Never because
I'm a monster. Okay, It's like it's it's like he's
a ghost. I created this thing you called ghost. Ghost. Yeah,

(19:47):
D's invented the word ghosted, y'all. Wow, Yeah you heard
it here? First him up? Love? Did you make him up?
Was your whole family? Uh? Did they accept you immediately
when you came your friends and family? Hmmm mmmmm. But

(20:07):
I mean, look, my mother from the second I was
born accepted me. I was the youngest of three kids,
and I was unique. I was you know, she made
me a wonder woman costume. She called it a wonder
Man costume because it was but she used I don't
know we call him in the US, that she used

(20:27):
this fabric paint to paint stars and my blue shorts
instead of a skirt. She made it a tank top
like this actually, and it had a yellow falcon on
it and would use toilet roll and spray painted gold.
You know, very very like she's very gentle. And yet

(20:48):
when I came out and she was like, oh, I
had no idea. I'm like, I was blow drying your
frosted hair, like I was blow drying your hair. You're outfits.
I was in the dressing rooms with you, you you know,
Facey's just being like, m maybe the lavender. I mean
that was me, you know, mom. I mean I asked

(21:09):
my mom to I'm like, did you have any clue?
Because I mean I look back and I see them like, well,
I mean, come on, I wanted my little pony at
you know, six years old, that kind of stuff, And
my Mom's like, well, yeah, looking back, I now see things.
But like I just I never just never dawned on
me in the moment that you could have been gay.
But It's so funny how they'll just completely just not

(21:31):
see that part of you. Some of us are really
lucky to have. And I don't mean some of us,
because I so so many more of my friends had
really difficult relationships with their parents. Yeah, but those mother
son relationships I think are so wonderful. You know, where
you're this connection, Like I call it like an invisible

(21:54):
tether that I have to my mother. I always didn't.
I think it's because subconsciously. And this book's on This
is an amazing book called The Velvet Rage. It's like
I just heard about that. Oh yeah, called velvet Rage. Okay, yeah,
still in that. No, the Velvet Rage is a very
famous book. Yeah, it's a really important text that gay

(22:17):
men should read because it is about this thing that
happened to a certain generation where we were We were
other even by our parents. Our parents knew there was
something wrong with us, and they overcompensate. So some they
had a picture protected us, yea. And some didn't know consciously,
but they knew there's something different about this one, and

(22:40):
they start to sever a tie between us. And that
anxiety that some of us felt between our fathers was
really a child knowing their father is leaving us and
wanting to hold on and just it's a very very
complicated thing because you know, we are different, We were different,

(23:01):
and our parents didn't really relate to that. Yeah, family did.
We feel different, but we also weren't given permission to
be ourselves, you know, until someone you know, basically it
gives you permission to beat you know, like, oh you
can be gay, Oh I can be gay. Oh crap,
I didn't. I didn't know that. And you're just suppressing
everything your whole entire life until you realize that, Oh wait,
I can't do this and you and you'll let me

(23:23):
do that. Yeah, that's great. I feel like we can't
really answer that question, Lens, because we were famous. I
think being famous lets you by that point. You know,
I was absolutely providing for my family. I was, as
you might relate, you know, I was someone that was
seen as a golden child, not in any accusatory way
in my family. I adore my family. And I think

(23:45):
if you're famous and you don't buy a house feel
of family, if you can afford to do that, you're
probably a crappy person. Because of you being famous and
getting a lot of money is a bit like winning lottery,
and it's a moral So yes, I did those things.
So how could the people that love me then look
at me and think of me as a bad person?

(24:07):
Because I was also being a really generous person and
a kind person in a bubble? Were I just a
preschool teacher like I was supposed to be, But they've
been as accepting. I don't know my core, yes, but
the rest of my community, I don't know. Yeah, it's true,
it's interesting, and yeah, like you said, well we'll never know.
Well I can't wait to read that book though, because

(24:28):
I just love the psychology behind any of that. So yeah,
I think it's going to obviously relate to and I've
and along those lines. I've always said, because you know,
Atlances from Mississippi, which you know, it's great, it's a
you know, you know, there's a lot of good things
about Mississippy, but there's a lot of bad things, and
we've always been treated amazingly whenever we go back. But

(24:50):
I always have said, like, people care more that you're
famous than that you're gay, So they overlook the gay
stuff because they're like, oh my god, it's celebrity, so
they can push all that aside. If you were just
the postman coming by with a rainbow flag, they may
not be so kind to you, right if you've seen them,
that's true. Yeah, you know, that's just privilege. I think

(25:10):
it's always important to check that, you know, I think,
like I said before, just passing, you know, I can
choose whether I come out or not every single day.
You know, I'm not someone that gets recognized in the streets,
so I don't really have the celebrity thing, but I
definitely have the ability to. And if you think about it,

(25:30):
it's like every time you buy a bunch of flowers,
people will make an assumption someone you. I've had people
say who's the lucky girl, Oh yeah all the time.
Or when I get a haircut, if I go to
a new place and they see a ring on my finger,
they're like, oh, like, who's you? I'm married to your wife?
And it's always you have to come out over and
over and over again. But it's making that decision. Who

(25:53):
do you reveal this exactly? And sometimes I just go
along with it and pretend I'm married to a wife
because I don't feel comfortable with the person that I'm
where they don't know in a sense they might not
be so kind and I don't want to have to
go through that, so I just go along with it.
And it's something you still do even when we're comfortable. Yeah,
there's certain places in the world, and I think I
try to have compassion for that because it's a little

(26:16):
bit like my my analogy. When I first moved to
New York. I tell people it's like, oh my god,
it's so embarrassing. I went from Brisbane, Australia to New
York and I just decided that New Yorkers weren't very friendly,
so I would take offense to that. So I'd go
into a badega or something and I'd pay and then

(26:38):
there'd be nothing said and I'd go for about And
then my friend Murna Suarez should love this name check.
He was just like, you know, you can't change the city. Yeah,

(26:58):
Like you're going to exhaust yourself and you're just making
yourself miserable. And it's one of those things, you know,
where sometimes you have to just look at your environment.
And I might get some criticism for saying this, but
you know, I have compassion. I think if someone's not
if they're unacceptance of me comes from a place that's

(27:22):
conservative or religious, or from a place that doesn't come
from hatred, doesn't come from bigotry, it comes from say
what I would call it a gentle ignorance, which is
a lack of exposure. I have compasion. You don't know
what you don't know? Yeah, And I'm not one of
those people that I just want to walk walk in
and just like burst a balloon with rainbow colors and

(27:45):
be like yeah, yeah me, you know, like I'm just
I don't d that confrontation. I would rather just be
someone who is in their life that they happen to
be like are you okay? And that blows then yeah,
events that then makes them have to rethink all of

(28:07):
their you know. Yeah, yeah, that's what I always call it.
Also gay. You know, like I'm I'm also okay. You know.
It's just like that's not what I lead with, but
it's like, yes, but I'm also gay. Yeah, it's one
part of also blonde, and I'm also oh white guy,
and I'm also a musician. It's just just one of
my also's now. But we haven't talking about it as well,

(28:29):
Like it's Alton to us, Yeah, talking about being gay yeah,
I love that, especially when I came out my friends,
uh and even like the instinct guys and everyone you know,
they I think they overcompensate a little bit of wanting
to accept you and make you try to feel comfortable.
So then but then they go into the stereotypical things.
They're always joking with you on the most stereotypical gay things.

(28:51):
They were I'm like, well, no, I don't like that,
and know that's not how I am, but sure, let's
make a joke about it. I know, like, oh we're
getting hot dougs. Yea, let me support you. It was like, Okay,
I calmed down. I'm glowed to say this because my
mom cracks up. But when I first came about, my
mom would just be she'd be like reading magazine, she

(29:12):
got John's gene, this isn't he me? He's good? Isn't
he music? Good music to normalize and find gay people
in culture to let that she was okay with it,
which was just like I can be the only gay

(29:36):
yeah only again your life mom. All right, So we've
been doing a deep dive with our guests, starting for
the very beginning. Now, you were born in Were you
born in Brisbane. Yeah, okay, so you're born in Brisbane?
What was what was it like being born there? What
was school like for you? Did you always know that
you wanted to go into music, even at an early age. Yes,

(29:58):
So being on there, I lovingly say this, I really
thought it was just an accident of God. I thought,
I mean, look, you probably can't say I'm so pale
and a nation of surfers and you know, an indigenous
land mass that was stolen. I will acknowledge that nation

(30:21):
is sort of like an African terrain because it is
beautifully indigenous and it's very rough, like a climate to
live in. And I was just delicate, sort of irish blonde,
sort of blue eyed dandelion that hated the sum still
does and I would just be like, God, why did

(30:42):
you curse me with this weather? Number one? And I
used to think that the world was like a little
movie about me and that I don't know, I just
always thought that I would be famous. But maybe it's
a trauma response because we can laugh about this, don't worry.
I'm cool about it. But I had a very traumatic childhood.
It's extremely violent, so growing up in the shining, but

(31:06):
it activated my imagination. So from a very very young age,
I really did believe in Star Wars mythology. I believed
that there was an adventure for me somewhere else. So
by the time that music came, you know, listening to Madonna,
listening to Michael Jackson. The moment that I decided to

(31:27):
become a pop star was in nineteen eighty seven. He
came to my hometown. He was supposed to perform at
a stadium, but my country, it was the only country
in the entire world tour. He was the most famous
star in the whole world. He couldn't really sell tickets
because this rumor went out that he was going to

(31:49):
perform behind a bubble because he was afraid of the
germs believed it. So we're like, oh, strange at Michael
Jackson and like, look what he's done to his nose,
and he's a bit feminine. But to me, he was like, oh,
he's drogynous and he's strange. And I was being bullied
at school and whatever. So I went to that bad

(32:10):
tour with this field ticket. It got exchanged for a
front row seat in an arena Michael front row, and
I just watched him as a student and I just remember,
and I still get this feeling and every time before
I go get on stage, that feeling that he made

(32:35):
everyone feel this this electricity in the air, that he
could feel the Adams moving And I thought I wanted
to do that one day. And I knew from a
very young age, I thought everyone wanted to do it,
and I got talked out of it from every possible angle,
every possible teacher mentor there's one music teacher and one

(32:57):
boss at a record store that I worked in that
was encouraging to me, but most people said you'll never
make it, but I knew that I wouldn't. Did. Yeah, Yeah,
that's great. It's I love that our generation had so
many great examples to encourage us to go because Michael
did that for me, Madonna did that for me, Janet
Jackson did that for me. Even Garth Brooks and Reba McIntyre,

(33:19):
like watching their shows in the eighties and nineties is
what made me want to do that. I want to
beat on that stage. And I feel like this generation
doesn't have quite as many to inspire them. I mean,
of course you have Beyonce, of course you have Taylor's Swift,
but there's you know, there's very few of those that
are just doing those insane performances where it just inspires

(33:41):
that kid in the front row and be like, oh
my gosh, what is this? I need to do this.
It's a feeling in the air, and it's to me.
I still get it for most decent performance, where part
of it is just the she volume of the PA system,
part of it is that the group experience, of the
expectation what's about. But it's a feeling like I want

(34:03):
to cry with joy, and I think I just feel
so lucky that I get to do that for a living,
that I get to because life is hard, it's you know,
and we get to spend in ninety minutes taking people
away and just changing their lives for a moment. And

(34:26):
I guess I just remembered what that meant to me
as a child. My wife was so so hard, but
in those moments, I was transported and I still strive
for that. That's kind of what I strove for when
I wrote a song. When I'm singing whatever, I look
for someone in the audience who who needs that attention.

(34:48):
Not the person who's thirsty. I look for the person
who is a little bit broken like I was, and
I'll always find them. And I just know that that
was so Australian. No, you and nine nine we love
a good No. No, I know that I've done my job.

(35:14):
If maybe I've made a connection, yeah, that's great. Well,
when life does get hard, because you know, you've talked
about your mental health and how suppressing yourself you know
it takes a chunk out of your mental health bigley.
But when life is getting hard and it feels harder
for you, what do you do personally to kind of

(35:34):
get over that and get out of your head everything?
So I talked very openly about mental health. I mean,
I'm at the moment, I'm very specifically and consciously working
on my child to a trauma. Because writing this book,
at first it was not fun because I would talk

(35:56):
about these experiences that happened to me as a child
with violence and nine really have anywhere to go. You know,
some of my friends are actors, and you know they've
had training with maybe recall memory or summoning an experience
up and then they can neatly put that down. But
you know, like as singers, we just inhabit a moment,

(36:18):
We feel it in our body and then we move on.
Whereas it for me, I've had twenty five years of
being openly someone that has major depressive disorder, and I
think now the official diagnosis for me is just that
I have complex post traumatic stress disorder, which was repeated

(36:39):
exposure to the violence and witnessing violence when I was
a child, and this particular treatment I'm doing at the moment,
it's called EMDR where based on rapid eye movement. And
I just wanted to sort it out because I want
to be a father one day, you know. I want

(37:00):
to be free of some of the triggers that will
sneak up on me in my life. I could be
I can be in a department store with someone I
love and they might go off to another part of
the store like any normal person would. But my reaction

(37:23):
is I feel panic inside as a part of me
remembers being lost as a child or being a band band. Yeah, yeah,
oh my god. How much of this is going to
be in your memoir and all of it? And I'm
sure that it's cathartic at this point after writing about that. Yeah,
And again, like with songs and music, like I had

(37:44):
no interest in writing as like a celebrity memoir. I mean, yeah,
I was in a pop band that broke up, and
that was a bit juicy. But I was grateful that
I was offered a publishing deal from Penguin because I
wrote an article for the Independent newspaper in the UK
about this about my depression, and I had a couple

(38:06):
of publishers just say we want to read that book.
So that's important to me. It's important to me that
people know that. Well, first of all, that's that's that
suicide is just never an option, you know, Like I
talked to my audience all the time that we have
this pact, which is that we just choose to stay.

(38:27):
I have a lyric brick on my most recent record.
There's a song called poison Blood where I talk about
the fact it's a trigger warning if anyone's listening that
has dealt with depression or suicide. I'm going to talk
about this in my family. But you know, I've had
more than a few people in my actual, you know,

(38:47):
immediate family who who have committed suicide, and I just
I've seen the after effects of that and the aftermath
of that, and I just decided that would never be me.
I never wanted that's not because there's anything special or
strong about me, but just because I would speak about it.
And there's so much stigma around mental health. And that's

(39:10):
really the main thing I wanted to express in my
book was I actually thrive with my mental illness. I
thrive being gay and I thrive having that's illness because
I express it, I talk about it, I seek help
and and I've fabilized. And it's so nice that you're
able to recognize that, because I think majority of us don't.

(39:32):
They don't even know what to look forward that I'm
even having a problem. You know, I've dealt with depression,
but it took me years to figure out what that was.
I'm like, oh, that's what everyone talks about. That's what
I've been feeling for years. Mail I'm deprised, I guess.
But it's it's funny how you just talk yourself out
of getting help, or you know, self diagnose yourself or

(39:53):
you know, I don't know, I'm being too dramatic. There's
all these things that you put through your brain that
you know stop you from actually getting the help. And
yet you wouldn't do that if say you're a one
C one was out of balance, right exactly. Yeah, it's
really no different to that when you can like physically
see things in your blood work and all that, like
you can't well. Yeah, And there's also a big thing

(40:14):
with just the current culture. There's like this especially this
misogynistic kind of you know, prevaying culture that if you
care about your mental health somehow you're a weaker person one,
whereas it's just another part of your body like everything else.
Like you said, like you're a ONEC like your cholesterol.
If you have an unwell mind, if you're depressed, well,
you know what, that's kind of controlling your entire stronger person.

(40:38):
It makes you a much stronger well friend, more empathetic
towards others. It really create makes you a whole person,
and so and so many people are just shamed for
trying to help that part of your body when it
is a huge part of yourself. It's you, it's your
entire well being. Yeah. And also it's it's actually when
you get treatment, it's it's the relief is really quick.

(40:59):
Its huge kind of I have I don't believe in regrets,
but I definitely have some regret over the fact that
I really suffered for years just thinking I can kind
of handle this or whatever. And it's like, dude, just
if there's some medication you can take. I remember a
friend said to me once you know, you know, maybe

(41:19):
there is a some medication you can take daily that
would just make you want to be here, and you
know what there was Then one day, I remember waking
up just feeling like I still had all of my problems,
but they were just in another room. Yeah, yeah about
them if I wanted to, but they didn't overwhelm me.
And then I just got on with the rest of

(41:39):
my life. And I just that's the message, you know,
that I always trying to convey to anyone because there's
an amazing YouTube lyric when Michael Hutchins died. Bono wrote
this about Michael Hutchins, and he said, you know, you
just got stuck in a moment that you couldn't get
out of, and they're just yeah there. And I think
when you know, when there's a tragedy involved, which which

(42:03):
results in like an end of a life, it is
a tragedy because life is so so precious, you know.
And I can laugh about it because I've had moments
where I felt a bit dramatic and the next day,
I've been like, Wow, I'm really glad I didn't do
anything about this because this chocolate cake is amazing. I'd
be like, I'm so glad because this cake is so amazing.

(42:25):
That's life, and then you can have tiny little moments
that are worth living for as well as you have
you ever written a children's book, but because I feel
like you would read really great children's books that really
talk about mental health and a fine creative way, I
don't know, I just feel like you'd be wicked of
that think that. I you know what, I was a

(42:47):
preschool teacher, so I love children, and I just finished
writing a musical which is, you know, loosely based on
my life, but it was it's about yeah, surviving trauma,
and it's the protagonist is a young kid, Yeah, and

(43:07):
written from a child's point of view, because I do
find that very easy to relate to and and I
love talking to children. I have a goddaughter who was six,
and I think because my own childhood was so challenging,
it's really really easy for me to empathize with kids.

(43:29):
I think because their emotions are so big, and that's
the one thing I do remember as a preschool teacher
of just watching children try to navigate these big feelings
and just help helping them understand that, you know, like
sadness is huge, you know, and sometimes all they all

(43:51):
a child wants us for you to acknowledge that and
just say you you must be feeling really sad, huh
and like you like you must need a hug, right, Yeah,
that's how most advice feeling. Yeah, it's the most honest
emotions coming from kids. I mean, most people just want
the acknowledgement that you're not doing well and they want
someone to see you and say that they support you

(44:13):
and just that can help. Would that could honestly change
from life to death for a single person and people
don't realize that. Yeah, so that's cool. So yes, children's
books get that on that. Yeah, put that on the
list I have on the list. When did you realize

(44:44):
you could pursue music as a possible career. Was there
a certain teacher that you had that encouraged you? Like,
what was that moment? It was in high school? And
high school short story was relentlessly bullied, just relent less
lee and then all the kids that relentlessly bullied me
were too dumb to continue on into senior year, so

(45:07):
they all just dropped out or they became parents real quick.
That story. And then all of a sudden, I wasn't
mean bullied anymore, and I was just being cast in
theater productions and when I could sing, I was just
My whole identity just changed and it was a quiet teacher,

(45:27):
missus Sales, and she came to my show in Brisbane
on this last tour. It was incredibly emotional because she
had and well, she was experiencing an early onset memory
situation and she remember, she remembered me, and it was

(45:49):
incredibly emotional because she saw me, you know, and she
put me in a girl's choir, which at the time
was just like, oh, man, like I'm already being bullied,
Well that make it worse. But she saw that potential
in me, and what they did was I'm sure they

(46:10):
rigged it, but I won a scholarship to a theater
camp and I couldn't afford it. We were really, really poor,
and suddenly I was like a thirteen year old kid
and I was surrounded by other probably queer kids, to
be honest, and that's when I kind of knew I

(46:32):
was special. I think we may have a mutual friend
in Debbie Gibson. Of course, love Debbie. Happy birthday, Debbie.
She just had a birthday. And I remember it was
Electric Youth was out, and we did the choreography to
Electric Youth, and I just remember thinking, I knew I

(46:52):
was really good at it. And then we wrote a
song and I just was really good at it. And
it wasn't me being boastful or anything. I just really
felt like I was like in this groove of where
I was supposed to be in my life. So I
got to see those people less well maybe six months ago,
you know, in my hometown and just say thank you,

(47:14):
like you've changed my life so great those people. I
love that. Now. I don't know the full story here,
but Daniel Johnes, your partner in Savage Garden, it was
you answered an ad in a music magazine because he
was looking for a lead vocalist. How old were you
when this happened? And what were you expecting answering this ad? Right? Older?

(47:39):
So again to contextualize it, so I sang. And then
school was ending, and you were expected to know what
you're supposed to do at the end of school. I
was sixteen coming out to seventeen when you finished, and
you're supposed to go to college. And I auditioned because
I thought you had to play an instrument to sing.

(48:00):
I was a singer and I didn't play an instruments,
so I would have gone to a conservatorium. And I
did really well at school, so I was all My
teachers wanted me to go and study law or business
or something like that. But my music teachers got me
to audition to into an acting school and they take

(48:21):
fifteen people in the state. And I had a girlfriend
at the time, and I got in and all that
this is in the entire state. I got a position
and she didn't get in. So I was like, you
know what, I'm going to give this up because we're
going to do this together and we'll be together forever.

(48:41):
She said good, So I gave up my no. Good
me no. So I ended up not being in that
place where I thought I was supposed to be. So
I wasted years study journalism and I thought, I'll write

(49:02):
for MTV. I write for Wrongstone, That's how I'll get
into the business. I had a father who was so
strict and Tommy, I could never be a musician. I
was working in a music store, was working in a
video store, was around the stuff you buy and Daniel's
ad came out. So I must have been maybe twenty
one at that point, and I was nervous as crap.
My audition was the beginning of little Little Shop of Horrors,

(49:27):
the female part, you know, I mean insane. I couldn't
and he and his he lied, which that's he's kind
of like a Simon cal is, very very clever. But
he just saw I was a diamond in the rough.
And I think the rest of the band that he
was with, like they lied. They said they had a
major publishing deal. They didn't what had happened. The chapel

(49:52):
had said, your songs are okay, but you need a
new lead singer. His brother was the lead singer. He
got rid of his got me. The brother hated me
because I got out of a job. And then we
were just this over's band, and I was like, I
thought we were going to be famous. Where's that record?
Deal was out? Whatever? But then there was a year

(50:14):
of doing pubs, clubs, gigs and whatever. I started to
become a rock star and my hair black, I pierced
my air. I just it was like I got my
Mojo and then he was about to go to Alice Springs,
which is in the center of the country. They got
a gig at a casino and they said in nineteen

(50:34):
ninety two, and they said do you want to come?
And I was like, hell no, no, I'm not going,
but I want to be in a band with you.
And he said, okay, then we'll be a duo if
you learned this keyboard. And he gave me an en
sonic keyboard, which most of our first album was written on,
and he gave me the instruction booklet. He said, if
you learn how to play this, I'll be in a
band with you. I didn't learn how to play it.

(50:57):
He came back and we wrote most of the first
album together and that's how we became. That is so
crazy now. Savage Garden was probably not the first name
that y'all discussed naming yourselves. What was it, Bliss Bliss,
Bliss Bliss. I mean, I've heard worse. The first name

(51:19):
we wanted to call ourselves was because I was very
very hip in terms of like a head of the
curve of where music was going. I was the person
that was listening to like Jam and Lewis and like,
I was all about production, and I was obsessed with
pop before it even happened. So while you were making

(51:40):
your records, I hadn't even heard them yet, but I
knew that's where music was going, because music before you,
before Brittany, before any of the amazing pop that was
about to come out, it was brunge. Do you remember
took Over. I was obsessed with pop. I had had
never let it go from the eighties all the way

(52:01):
through to sort of Janet, So I was just listening
to that music and a lot of early eighties stuff
like new wave music, Duran Duran. So I wanted to
call us Heart of Glass, which was a Blondie reference.
Was also kind of reference to sort of you know
those bands from around culture club days and things like that.

(52:25):
And in the end, Savage Garden was a reference to
Anne Rice. I was reading Anne rice novel Matic Gay,
so that's where the name came from. I still hate
the name, always hated the name. Really. It was like
fifth Choice, but it was the only one copyrighted and
there was no website for it. Yet that's it. It stuck.

(52:50):
Look it worked, it worked well for you guys, So
it seemed like things did move quickly for you and
Savage Garden, like right out of the gate. Did you
feel I know, I know you were doing the club
gigs and all that type of stuff. You know that
like the first you know, a couple of years, But
did you feel ultimately that it was a quick rise
for you guys? Yes, But I don't know if you

(53:14):
relate to this. I am a strong believer in I
don't know a sense of destiny. There are a few
moments in my life where I've felt it, and it's
a spine tingling feeling. But it used to sound arrogant
back then saying it. But I knew that it would happen.
I knew. I feel like I created it when I
was thirteen. I genuinely believe that, And There've been various

(53:35):
moments in my life where I believed that I've conjured
something up from the universe and it would happen. So
I wasn't surprised at all. It was meteoric, you know.
All of a sudden the record was out and then
we didn't have a US deal. In Rosie o'donald was
playing it on hers I remember that too. She was

(53:56):
obsessed with a song and because Rosie played it on
her show that got radio on top of it, and
y'all didn't you have your American label yet, So he
must have been great for you guys. And Clive Davis
from Arista flew us over Economy, and of course Don
Einer from Columbia, basically the two of them in the

(54:19):
same day. We had essentially an audition to see if
we could sing, and it was just Daniel playing keyboard.
He weren't that great and and great songwright, the two
of us together, great songwright. It was a bit clunky
on the keyboards. I'm clunky on the keyboards, but yeah,
so that was terrifying because he was just like, oh

(54:40):
my god, I am no Burt Baccarack, you know, but
I sang for both gentlemen. Clives was terrifying because Clive
was in the room and no one reacted. Well, it's
like the mafia bosses in the room, like screepy slo

(55:01):
Don was different. Don was Donnie was just like he
wanted the band. Arison wanted us to put some covers
on the record. We refused, and Columbia just said, well,
you can do whatever you want. We just want you
and so we had complete artistic control over that record
from the beginning, so we went into the label in

(55:23):
the US with complete artistic control certain degree. What was
it like meeting Rosie o'donald for the first time, knowing
that she had such a I don't know, a little
start for your career on the States. It's incredible. And
every now and then she'll send me a little instant
message and she'll say, I'm still so proud of you. Yeah, oh,

(55:45):
I get ti eyed because she's a gay icon and
she's a pioneer and my life. We wouldn't have a
US career without Rosie. There's no way in the world.
And she knows that. And I know that she was
the I mean if you wanted, if you wanted to
get into pop culture, yeah you had Rosie had to
be behind you. I mean she was the Zso I

(56:08):
mean I watched that show as a young kid, like
all the time with my mom after school. And that's
how with you guys, Like she also took an affinity twins.
She eventually did. Yeah, like we did go on the
first but eventually and like remember I just remember always
she took you to like was it universal or something?
That's what I almost killed her. Yeah, I just remember
that so vividly, and that kind of like you became

(56:28):
more popular for me at that point. Yeah, she definitely
helped our popularity for sure, because it was after that
Disney special and then when Rosie kind of attaches to you,
it was just it was the perfect scenario. Kidsman might
say it was there going to be their band name.
It was gonna be Kidsman instead of end Sync. Yeah yeah, Kidsman, real,

(56:49):
Yeah it works. We use it a lot these days.
So whose was that? Yeah, yeah, it was his idea,
right listen, because when we were on tour, I used
to watch your No Strings Attached DVD constantly and god,
like we were just playing like we were playing like

(57:10):
arenas and you guys were playing like stadiums at that point,
and I was just like obsessed. Still still can watch
that performance and just like, oh my god, so tight.
And recently I watched you know, all those amazing making
making obs of those tours and effort and the stamina

(57:33):
and the professionalism and whatever, like I still bow down
because that when when I was a kid watching Madonna,
you know was I got into fitness was because Madonna
jogged and I was like what the hell's jogging? And
I saw who having to do cardio. That's what I
used to run on a treadmill and scene because of you. Yeah,
that's what that's what we'd have to do. And you

(57:55):
just had to put the work in. And but at
an early age, you didn't even know that was You
didn't know that was hard work. That was just what
it was. And I feel like the same way we
always tell people because we have twins now and they're like, oh,
that must be just so hard like twins, and like, well,
we don't really know the difference because we didn't have
one before, so this is just all we know. So
to us, it just seems this is all par for

(58:15):
the course. They'll be two in October, yeah, next month.
So did you sleep much for the first six months?
It was different the first couple of months, No, because
the whole time I just would I didn't want to
sleep because I felt like at any second they were
going to die. So you're just like constantly just watching
the breathe. Yeah, sleep deprivation is it's a real thing,

(58:37):
sane with kids. There's so many times the first couple
of months where I'm holding them and it felt like
I'm in a dream and I'm staring at them. I'm like,
are you real? Like it just didn't they didn't seem real.
And at any moment I thought I was just gonna
like drop them because I was so tired. It just
I just felt like I was in a dream state
the first two months. Yeah, pretty much. Well, I'm very

(58:57):
jealous and that sends in a good way. Well, you
want to have kids at some point, right, dude, And
I'm tent on doing that well when you're ever ready,
ye know, because we got all the parts to do it,
so we do. We know everyone, we got you. We've
done it all for it all right, So we gotta

(59:29):
get into some of the songs there. So it seems
like you have some of the most romantic love songs
ever out there. Truly, madly, deeply I knew I loved you. Now.
Where did you find the inspiration for these love songs? Well,
they're aspirational. I mean what I think is fascinating about
on you. I loved you before I met you, was

(59:51):
that I was not in love when I write that song.
And in fact, that song we used to call the
FU song because is We delivered our second album to
Sony and Don Ewers said, yeah, it's good, but there's
no truly madeley deeply on there. And I remember being
so offended and was like rolling up my sleeves, being like,

(01:00:13):
oh he wants he wants another truly madly deeply. Well, yeah,
And we went into Walter r. Fnacier's Front, this producer
of Front writing room. There was just a white grand
piano and we wrote that song in maybe ten or
fifteen minutes in a cynical sense, like very much, let's

(01:00:34):
write the most basic, simple whatever. I prefer that song
to this day, to truly medley deeply because when I
when I started writing the melody and the words came
out of me, it made me want to cry and
I didn't know why, but I know today now because
it's a song about future love and I was not

(01:00:54):
feeling that love. And I do feel that love today.
Sometimes you just have to wait for it. But Mother's
come up to me and say to me all the time,
this is how I feel about my baby inside. The
whole time it was out, maybe fifteen years, I would
always be like but I would sing the song and
sort of go through the motions. But there's something sometimes

(01:01:16):
I think I write songs and the subject matter or
the experience hasn't even happened yet. And that's when truly
was different. Truly was very much. You know, I was
married to a woman and she's still one of my
good friends, and she's a sweetheart. I'm so grateful to
her for having the bravery and the compassion to realize

(01:01:40):
we were so young, you know, and to realize that
I hadn't finished growing yet, and she let me go.
You know, she still loved me, and she let me
me go, and even though I was gay, we still
really cared about each other. It was a really difficult

(01:02:01):
break up because it was so confusing to be loved
each other. It just wasn't a romantic love exactly. And
I remember being apart from her when I was recording
the record, and that song is about her. Yeah, it
was about like I missed you so much and whatever.
But you know, not long after that, she was this
incredible person that essentially said you have to be free

(01:02:23):
and you have to be the person that you want
to be. And thank God for her because moments when
I would beg her to come back, like I was listen,
I was like a nun like I wasn't like, I
wish that I had all these amazing erotic stories of me,
like just being out there single, but yeah, you know,

(01:02:44):
and also being in the public eye and being in
a pop band. It wasn't like I could go and
date or anything. And so I found it really hard.
And so I would often call her and be like,
can't we just like live together and just whatever. She
would just say no, not allowed back. And I'm so
so grateful to her for that. Now where is she

(01:03:05):
at these days? She's amazing. Oh man, she just she
just kicks us, you know. We I saw her backstage
in my hometown and oh my god, I go into
so much trouble. I didn't even put her on the
guest list. Oh she's an airy person too. And she

(01:03:28):
said to me, I was going to kick your ass,
but we hugged and she just said, You're always going
to be my person. You know. She's just she's an amazing,
strong woman, also incredible. So a few years back, Savage
Garden unfortunately broke up one what ultimately led to that
break up, and you've said that you probably will never unite,

(01:03:50):
but is that the real truth? Oh my god. Yes,
I was in a band with someone who, once they
got success, got bored with it and didn't want it anymore.
Really wow, thanks for telling the rest of us. And
then lied about how the band broke up. What did
he say? How did he say it broke up? How

(01:04:13):
did he say it broke up? This is broke up?
Where backstage in Japan about to launch our second album,
we have our second number one single in the US
just charting, and he sees himself on a beautiful promo
bag from the Japanese record company and he freaks out
because he doesn't want to be a product. Oh god,

(01:04:35):
so you know, because he's an artist and he's a
serious artist, he doesn't want to be a product anymore.
And I walk on the management meeting where he's leaving
the band a week before the album's coming out, and
I'm going, what is going on? Oh God, I have
to broke a some deal in the room where I say,
what if maybe you just turned up and did the

(01:04:58):
dates that we've booked in arenas for the next year,
And he's like, maybe that could work. Finish your commitments.
I did all the work for the band. I did
every interview, every you know what it's like Bravo magazine,
tried as a duo on your own. The guy, oh,

(01:05:19):
he's busy. He didn't do anything, and yet me, loyal, naive, loving,
I kept thinking he will eventually changed his mind. And
meanwhile he was launching his own record labels, he was
recording bands, he was taking meetings. He thought that he
was going to become like Ryan Tea or Simon or

(01:05:43):
something like that. Right, and we have all this on video.
It's so funny, like we were. We were filming a
documentary at the time, and so towards the end of
the tour, it started to dawn on me that way
he was serious about this and we were it was
not going to happen. So I said him, begged him
and said, listen, if I become a solo artist, you

(01:06:04):
have to tell people this is your idea because beatles, right,
Yako Wonto, I will be blamed and also the singer.
They're going to think that I just wanted to be single.
And he promised me that he would. And we had
a management contract at the time. We're managed by two

(01:06:25):
different parties, and one of the parties we had a
clause in there that it had activated where we could
leave the management company if we wanted to the key man.
It was a guy called Bob Cavallo from Disney US
to manage prints, and Bob had left the company and
I didn't want to be as a solo artist managed
by this other entity. So I said to Daniel, can

(01:06:50):
you help me write to them. We just need to
put in writing that we want to leave this company.
And he said, yeah, absolutely fine. The tour ends, we
go our separate way, we have a goodbye dinner, we
have a fair world dinner. It's like, my god, it's
really over. It's over. It's great. You're going to tell
everyone that you left. Yes, you're gonna write this management thing. Yes,
what's gonna happen. And then one day I'm at home

(01:07:13):
in San Francisco going to get a phone call from him,
and he says, I've changed my mind. I don't really
need to leave the management contract because I'm not going
to be a performer anymore. And I said, you're gonna
screw me, and he's yeah, but I have to look
out for me. So we weren't talking. Yeah, I go
on to my solo record. I'm making my solo record,

(01:07:37):
and do you remember what long lead press was a
long lead for people who we don't really have it anymore,
but long lead us for print magazines where you would
record an interview and there would be an unbreakable commitment
between the record company and the publisher. And this was
for Rolling Stone in Australia or it was, or maybe

(01:07:58):
one of the major newspapers where it was a three
month old. So they heard my solo album and then
I told them, yes, the band has broken up. Whatever.
And the next day I was about to phone him
even though we were not speaking, to say listen, I've
started my press. So in about three months time, the
story's going to break. I need you to make sure

(01:08:20):
you tell people the truth. Well, the journalist called the
story into a tabloid newspaper. What but the next day
the story breaks. Band breaks up and Daniel is on
the road with one of his new bands that he's
signed that never ended up becoming successful and was at

(01:08:40):
a bit bitchy. I'm glad and he had a radio
station and a journalist says to him and we hear
that the Savage Garden is breaking up? Is this the truth?
So I'll give him this one break Only he says
it's the first I've ever heard of it. Almost the
headline lead singer leaves band doesn't even a guy. Yeah, no,

(01:09:04):
I'm on a plane to New York. I think you
were involved in this too, Lance this bono recording called
what's going on? Oh yes, let's going out. Yes, I
was on it. Okay, So I'm on a time back
in l just going, dude, what have you just said?
And he said the same thing he said to me
about the management thing. He said, well, you've said what

(01:09:24):
you've said. Now I have to look out for myself.
I'm going. I looked like creamer, I'm going. He's like,
you'll see. I'm like, what do you mean, I'll see?
What are you gonna say? And he says, whatever I
have to say? Oh no, never wanted to be famous?
Who left the band suddenly arranged a press conference, and

(01:09:48):
there's a picture sitting on the steps of our local
town going looking all moby, Oh God. I've gone with
that story since time, immemoriam only. I've always just told
this story and told the truth. And over time. Now
the truth, which is what I say, is a fact
and people know what happened. But for five or six

(01:10:09):
years he there were so many knives in my back.
So the band never going to get back together lands hell?
No good. Usually I say that we do put bands
back together on the show, but I'm going to say
on this one, I don't know if we're going to
be able to help. No man, yeah comes up and
admits what he did and publicly apologizes to me. Okay,

(01:10:31):
maybe we'll do a charity show. Okay, so there is
there is a chance. I think he was just salty
that you got all the attention, because honestly, I didn't
even realize he was in the group until that's a
kid I only thought a year was yar and like
like the girl backrupt the singer that should betrayal And
I think for me, like when you have to like

(01:10:51):
literally grow a new limb and learn how to walk
and do all that stuff. No, I do everything he
used to do. I produce my own records. My last
record I wrote, produced, pro rammed, engineered. Oh you know,
I'm the Mirka was mixed by a genius called Trevor Yasuda.
That was it. The only thing I didn't do was
mix my album. Like I'm so proud of to say,

(01:11:15):
how would I even write a song with him. Yeah,
well after ten years, have taken a break and you're
coming back with Homosexual, which you said you wrote, produce engine.
I mean, you did everything for this one. Did you
purposely want to go into that project like that or
did you eventually be like, no, wait, I should be
doing all of this. I did it because I remember

(01:11:35):
being really inspired by George Michael and I loved how
hands on George was, and I think for a long
time I was really intimidated not to be that. I
was always producing records. I was always there and never
really given the credit for that sometimes, especially on the
second Savage Garden record. You know, I will never ever
criticize our songwriting chemistry. It was absolutely fifty fifty and

(01:11:59):
Daniel deserves all of that credit. It was fifty fifty
and his songwriting with me amazing. I'll never ever say
anything about that, nothing like that. But yeah, he really
wasn't there in the studio the second record. It was
Walter A. You know, I don't even know if Daniel
is playing on the second record, you know. So I

(01:12:20):
was there from that second record, watching, learning, loving. Then
Walter did my first solo record, and then from then
on for the last I don't know. Since you know,
the last twenty three years, I've been a studio animal,
and I realized that so much of producing is taste
and intuition and just why don't we try this? And

(01:12:42):
so I've I've learned how to do a bunch of
this stuff that I'm well, I'm sure you learned so
much doing something like that. What do you think is
the biggest thing that you did learn about the side
of this producing side of yourself that usually your first
idea is the best one that record every melody look
melody king, you know. You know chord progressions are They're

(01:13:09):
less special, I think than say a sound palette. I
think a sound palette is what makes a really amazing producer.
You know, anyone can really sort of play some chords,
but it's creating a sonic field, which I don't confess
to be that great at. But you know, when I

(01:13:30):
think of some of the incredible mix engineers and and
and producers that have made some of my favorite records,
you know, they just create a world that's it's alchemy,
that's magical. It's just the thing that makes and recognizing
when the hair is standing up on the back of

(01:13:51):
your neck same thing with a melody. Sometimes you can
just overpolish a turd, but true, what do you think
of with AI? You know, be in the big moment
right now? How bad do you think that is going
to change our industry? And what can we do to
make sure that art stays art? Oh, I have a

(01:14:12):
controversial opinion about that. I think the financial aspect of
it is the only thing to really be worried about.
I think we need to make sure actors are getting paid.
There's a situation at the moment when it comes to
film where they're trying not to have background actors because
you just have a bunch of you're trying to have.

(01:14:35):
They're trying to do a bunch of people out of
their heart and work that I have a moral opposition to.
When it comes to I think there's a fear at
the moment that's a little bit like our understandable fear
of Spotify and the devaluation of music. I think we

(01:14:58):
need to make sure that the financial aspect of AI
doesn't dominate. If there's a way to collaborate with a
computer without making the computer the highest paid songwriter in
the room. Yeah, you know, I think being afraid of
technology is never a great idea because technology is always
going to advance, It's always going to be here. Yeah,

(01:15:19):
but giving giving technology or a stream and value, as say,
holding a physical product, was a stupid thing to do.
It was a really, really stupid thing to do it once.
The minute you told someone that a song was only
worth ninety nine cents, A song is worth Yeah, it's

(01:15:41):
a song is priceless. But we told people it was
only worth ninety nine cents. We lost it and we
did that. I never even looked at it that way.
But you're right, you're completely right, all right. So one
when do you know the deed? The memoir is going
to come out? Because I want to make sure that
we all get that kind you know. I think it's

(01:16:02):
slated for the Christmas period next year. Lots of deadlines.
Is that you have to really write a book? Who knew?
That's a lot. It's a lot, and it's just like
a musical. I mean, it doesn't take as long as
a musical, but it's a lot more undertaking than most
people would ever understand. I'm great, you know, I didn't

(01:16:24):
realize that they're that, you know, I mean, I'm writing it,
you know, A lot of people don't write their book,
and so I have to turn in essentially a final
draft by February next year, so I'm best be getting
to it, all right. Well, we're looking forward to that.

(01:16:46):
And one fun fact that I love about you is
you love your Star Wars probably more than you Yeah, yeah,
a little bit. Well, of course I do have the
May the fourth be with your birthday, which makes me
kind of like, isn't Joey They're really big? Oh yeah,
he's big Star Wars for sure, and you collect I
think a lot of things from Star Wars too. What

(01:17:06):
made you get into Star Wars really just I think
the idea that there was another purpose for me, somewhere
else a long time Aaron the galaxy, far far away,
and that the lead character you don't have to be
Sigmund Freud to work out how I could relate to this.

(01:17:28):
He was an orphan, he felt like and knew in
his heart that his destiny was somewhere else. One would
believe him, and he would look up to the stars
and he would imagine that there was a greater purpose
for him, and it was his own self belief that

(01:17:49):
propelled him toward eventually becoming what his destiny was, which
was essentially that the last Jedi, you know, like this incredible, mystical,
powerful being, but he started off as just a farm
boy in a stupid hat, kind of what I was

(01:18:10):
to You're so poetic, I can I can see why
you are a songwriter. All right, let's give a frost
to tip here before I let you go. You took
a decade long hiatus from your career. For someone who
wants to get back into a passion they once had,
what tips do you have for them? Oh, slowly remove

(01:18:33):
all the things from your life that make you happy.
Hit rock bottom, and then you realize that you can
do a list actually on one side and just look
back and think what used to make me happy and
start reintroducing those things. And I think for me, I
purposely moved away from music, and I was doing everything

(01:18:57):
from I went through the Groundlings program in LA studying improv, comedy.
I was even doing stand up why, I don't know
which I think is the harder job in entertainment, by
the way, I sort of did everything I could to
sort of deny this part of me that were so essential.

(01:19:18):
But now I look back and I'm so grateful If
I look at the music videos that I made during
this project, you know, I directed a lot of them,
I acted in them. I ended up making friends who
had no idea who I was, so all of my
friendships and relationships became so much more grounded and real.
So I mean, honestly, I just think that cliched phrase,

(01:19:42):
you know, a change is as good as a holiday.
For me, I wasn't happy making music, and I had
to leave it to appreciate what I had. I just
know that one day something in my life needed expressing
so badly that I found myself here in my studio

(01:20:06):
and I wrote a song called Let's Try Being in Love,
and it was. It was so passionate and so colorful,
and you everything, and you everything, every color, every show.
I started collecting clothing on you exactly what everything was
going to be. So I think you have to love
it more than the paycheck, and you have to love

(01:20:28):
it more than the process and the pain and the
callouses and all that sort of stuff. And I didn't
and I do now. So yeah, sometimes you have to
let it go. And if it comes back to what
did they say, when you love someone, let they come back?
It's meant to be. Yeah, I'll just get to a
couple of fan questions. Sharansby is scary Guth. I would

(01:20:51):
like to know is there a Savage Garden song you
wish you could re record? Oh? Great question. I never
would because I understand that the artist's desire to do that,
because my voice just wasn't as good back then as
it is today. I'm just older and I have more

(01:21:12):
control over it now, and I think it's just a
better instrument on a good day. On a bad day,
it sounds like a fog horn and my dog hates it.
But yeah, some of the there's a mistake in the
song to the Moon and Back where I say all
her friends they've been trialed for treason and the phrase

(01:21:37):
is tried. It's no embarrassing. I love how things like
that makes make a cut of it. You know, it's
like it's like no one else saw this, No one
person really hasn't noticed it. See. I love mistakes like that.
I think that's great. I'm bippo. Would like to know

(01:22:00):
what was it like being at the Olympics. Yea, Oh,
it was so exciting because that's the first time I
met Kylie Minogue. Just before Kylie's one of several reinventions.
But that was right before I can't get you out
of my head. Yeah, slightly accessible then, so she was

(01:22:22):
the massive star, but slightly more accessible where I got
her phone number. So that really really cool. Yeah, All
the Lovers is like my ultimate song. So good that
video that was incredible. That new song Pam was like

(01:22:42):
the biggest Pride moment ever, like it was. That was
a little riff on padum. It was a good day.
It was a good dad joke. We appreciate it actually
here at this show. I love it all right. Well, Darren,
it was so great to catch up with you. I hope,
I hope it doesn't take us another quarter of a
century to see each other again. We live twenty minutes away,
so hopefully right next to you, I know, And let's

(01:23:05):
do the la thing and just say let's get lunch,
let's get I would love that. No, seriously, let's get
together because I would love to even catch up with
you even more and talk about things we can't talk
about on the radio. Yeah, juicy juicy scoop. Oh no,
that's Heather McDonald both. Thanks, it's so fun, so fun.

(01:23:25):
Is there anything you would like to tell your fans
before we let you go, oh my gosh, just thanks
for remembering me, or we say that, just thanks for
remembering me. I just think, you know, how do you remember?
You're unforgettable? Are you kidding me? I mean, especially for
our generation. You were the voice of our generation for
so long. So yeah, you're you're angry and graded with us? Yeah, yeah,
very great. Thanks d Let me peek inside your home.

(01:23:48):
It has been really oh I know. Well yeah, well,
if you look at anywhere else, it's gonna be baby
stuff just everywhere everywhere. It's a disaster. It's a fun disaster,
all right, all right, buddy, Well, thank you so much
for being on the show, and I hope you have
a great rest of the day. You guys too, all right,
Maddy later by mister Darren, hey shall shall we say

(01:24:22):
it again? I mean the nicest, just the nicest. But
what what Australian person do you know that is not
the nicest? I mean, it's kind of true name one.
I can't I'm sure there's a lot of that strains
out there, being like oh Susie Smith, Oh Suthie, Oh
Suthie Smith. God, Okay, you proved it Oh, Jamay, she's

(01:24:45):
a title bitch. For y'all that don't know Jamay, you
have to catch up on the show. It's well, it's
been a few years now. It's been a few years,
but it's it started out. What was the show Summer
High Time with Chris Lily who plays all these different characters. Oh,
it's it could be. It's controversial show. You know, is
this controversial? But it's it's supposed to be conscious. It's
it's supposed to be. It's supposed to be ignorantly controversial. Yes,

(01:25:09):
And I just said and Jamay is just such a
crazy character. She's a gay icon. She has a gay
icon for sure. So he plays like a sixteen year
old very you know, obnoxious, rich private school gal. I'm
to my private school, gal. J am I a we
had movie yet, said her on show. Okay, because they

(01:25:30):
spin off these to the characters. Yeah, they had Jamay
for a few couple of seas. Okay. Yeah, and there
was another character too, right, Yeah, they had mister Geez.
They had the boy. The boy get his name, and
they had a whole new season. What he did one
called like crazies or something. Well, we didn't ask him
what he's binging right now, so I'll just go watch
that show, all right, guys, Well, that is all the

(01:25:52):
show I have for you. Thank you so much for listening.
Turkey as always, Gobble gobble, apple gobble, yeah, gobble gobble all.
I got it, all right. Be good to each other
out there, don't drink and drive, take care of those animals,
and remember say hey, thanks for listening. Follow us on
Instagram at Frosted Tips with Lance and Michael Urson Art

(01:26:14):
and at Lance Bass for all your pop culture needs,
and make sure to write us a review and leave
us five stars six if you can see you next
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