de Lux questions the Go-Betweens break-up in 1992 as
they support the Lloyd Cole Love Story tour
(contributed and translated from Spanish by Javi)
S. Mordoh (the interviewer):" About the GB's separation, were you
guilty of it?"
Foster: Yes, the rest of the group didn't take part in it. And they
were not guilty. Just that we both wanted to grow in our facet of
songwriters. Maybe the most important reason was the tiredness.
We arrived at a point that GB's done everything they could do, except
an album with Michael Jackson. Twelve years united are too many
years and 16 Lovers Lane had a big quality. That was a good moment
for us to say "goodbye" as a group. We both had songs that didn't
fit with the group concept, and we had TOO MANY songs. Perhaps the
problem will be resolved editing a double album every year.
"Rumours said that the reasons were not so friendly"
It's very annoying to see that people don't worry about our solo
albums, of two composers that want to grow in new facets, especially
the record company, they only want to know about the possibility
of a future reunion of the GB's or anything morbid about their final.
" I live in Germany with my wife and invite Grant. We are playing
the guitar in the kitchen. Telephone rings. An interview for a Danish
radio. They begin to say that Robert and Grant hate themselves while
my friend is in my home, laughing about all this shit. The tour
is an opportunity for us to travel together. It has nothing in common
with our time like a group. Forget the GB's, but don't forget their
songs. We don't forget them. Our show is a mixture of GB's songs
and our solo songs. We go out with two acoustic guitars and play
11 songs. It's fantastic. Seven weeks around the world like friends.
At the end of the tour we could even record something together,
but nothing is decided by now.
" Someone said that GB's break out because they were tired of waiting
for the success that never arrived"
That's not true, because GB's had more "name" than Forster or McLennan.
"Other people said that unity ended when Robert Vickers left the
"It's curious to see that after the separation, everybody is talking
of you, about how important you were in the melodic segment of the
music business. Are you satisfied of being considered as a cult
"Yes. That's what I think GB's are in this moment, but everything
in show-biz is unpredictable. The most important thing is that we
can make different records with the same feeling, without having
to find the best hit producer of LA
"It's the same case as David McComb of The Triffids"
Yes, there's some parallelism. The Triffids are Australian, they
come from a small town too, very influenced by a rural ambient.
They use violins, guitars. They have good melodies with interesting
texts. But the Byrds do too. We cannot judge if David McComb did
the right thing beginning a solo career, because his case will be
compared with ours. I think he's made the right decision. The question
is if now he's better or worse than before. I'm his friend so I
cannot give my opinion.
"Do you think that there's something Australian in the music of
the groups from there?"
"We'll always feel Australian, but never in a "Crocodile Dundee"
way. But the fact of recording and living in different countries
influences you too, and you obtain a basic advantage: you are more
tolerant. Well, we have recorded at home, in Great Britain and France
because the discographies didn't pay us a better place. If we record
something after the tour, it will be probably in New York because
we want to be in the places of our heroes like Lou Reed, Television
or Talking Heads. But we are Australian, all the adolescence information
we received was in Australia.
"then, do you think that there's an Australian line, comrade-ship?
I don't wanna say the Bee Gees..."
Probably we would be friends of Bee Gees. Well, there was a time
with many Australian groups: Nick Cave, Triffids, Moodists,... Then
all explodes and each one went in different directions. But Postcard
was a true movement. It didn't matter the origin of the bands, we
were united by our influences. We still have contact with some of
them, we were with Roddy Frame(of Aztec Camera) in Australia a few
"and, what influences? In 16 lovers lane you mention the Byrds"
"For both the folk-rock is decisive. And the songwriters like Dylan
and Joan Baez. And Creedence Clearwater Revival. While all the groups
in 1978 imitated The Clash or Sex pistols, we preferred the songs.
Now everybody talks about songs. We like to listen to stories, if
they are Texans like Guy Clark or Townes Van Zandt, or from the
east like Leonard Cohen or Jonathan Richman. Songs, stories, without
"Robert, tell me more about the recording of your first solo album
Danger in the Past in Germany"
"I've been living in Germany the last two years because of my marriage,
but we are going to move to Australia. I live very calm, like in
the country. During ten years I've lived in big cities like Sydney
and London. I wanted to go out from this. Grant and I began from
an isolated ambient. When I start something, I try to do it from
the isolation. I don't like situations with high pressure, I run
towards the calm, I need time to be far from some things. There
I grow and grow, and when I feel that I have all my power then I
present myself to the world again.
"What does the marriage change to you?"
"Not the way of writing. The only thing is that I'm happier.
"Does it reflect in the album?"
"Not in the first, but sure in the next.
"In the tribute to Leonard Cohen you sing "Tower of song" and Nick
Cave too. Why?"
"I'll try to be diplomatic. They show me the list of songs recorded
in Paris and no one has recorded it. They award me it in December
and I record it in February. At that time Nick is in the studio
in London. They show him the list and my version is in it. I talk
with Harvey and he confirms me that they will participate but they
haven't chosen a song. Four months late someone tells me that they
cover Tower of song too.
"Grant, about your first solo album "Watershed", I love it but,
isn't it too sweet?"
My style, my worry, are my texts, and I don't mind if I sound country
"In the first 5 songs you mention the moon..."
I don't know why, I like the nature.
"Who is Sweetpea?"
A friend(a girl)
"Are you happy with your album with Steve Kilbey of The Church?"
Yes, very proud of it. The American critics were really good. In
Australia too: we have been named as composers of the year. In Europe,
it seems that GB's fans don't like The Church and vice versa.
"Do you think Watershed means a process of madurate?"
With the years you have knowledge of your limitations and your possibilities.
Where's your force. And perhaps I'm growing more like a musician
than like a composer. At the beginning Robert made everything, and
I only played the bass. Then I began to compose and to sing and
then in "Before Hollywood" we were at 50%. And now, 12 years and
7 albums after, I'm satisfied with my voice. It's a question of
learning to know you.
"Look, Grant and I, in composition, are probably the best you can
find nowadays. You're sitting in this table with two of the best
composers in the world.
I never had a doubt.