LONDON (Billboard) - Veteran Aussie rockers INXS is hoping to hit the studio later in the year, with J.D. Fortune slotting back into frontman duties, Billboard.com has learned.
“As soon as our current tour is over, then we’ll basically be writing, to go into the studio at the end of the year, or the beginning of next year,” guitarist Tim Farriss said.
New frontman Fortune has proven to be a perfect fit for INXS, Farriss said. The singer has been with the band since he won his role through the 2005 CBS reality television series “Rock Star: INXS.” The band had been unable to find a permanent replacement for singer Michael Hutchence, who died in a Sydney hotel room in 1997.
“Michael was like a brother. We grew up together,” Farriss said. “And we always said when we tried to find a new singer, that we didn’t want anyone who sounded or looked or acted or was anything like him at all. And then it turns out the fellow we ended up picking is just about as similar as you can possibly imagine.”
In recent years, a string of artists have temporarily assumed the frontman role, including Terence Trent D‘Arby, Jimmy Barnes and Jon Stevens. But Fortune apparently has an X factor.
“He is so much like Michael,” Farriss said. “J.D. is always leaving stuff behind and losing stuff. He’s got that devil-may-care thing about possessions. He walks around with a book and he’s constantly writing lyrics, just like Michael used to. It’s really bizarre.”
The new album will follow the group’s 2005 set, “Switch,” which has sold 388,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The band will be on the road hitting venues across Europe and North America through June and July, and may do another couple of weeks in September. INXS will also perform at the exclusive “Concert on the Course” on Wednesday (May 23), to launch the start of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, in England.
Despite reports to the contrary, Farriss said the band is still contracted to Sony BMG. “We have our own label in England, and we’re signed to Sony for the rest of the world,” he said. “It seems to be the way to go (having your own label). Record companies these days seem to be a bit of a non-event.”