Legendary Australian band Midnight Oil has announced a new album and an accompanying “final” tour. “Resist” will be the band’s 13th studio album and the band has already dropped two songs: “Rising Seas” and “Tarkine.”
Many of us have known Midnight Oil for decades. They burst onto the Australian punk scene with an unapologetic attitude that earned them loyal fans. They hit big on our shores with amazing songs like “Beds Are Burning,” “Blue Sky Mine,” “Forgotten Years,” “King of the Mountain,” “Dreamworld,” “The Dead Heart,” “Power and the Passion,” and “Kosciusko.” While they have had their greatest success in their homeland, they do get some U.S.A. love; “Beds Are Burning” is listed as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Oils began with Peter Garrett (vocals), Jim Moginie (guitar, keyboard), Martin Rotsey (guitar), and Rob Hirst (drums). Peter Gifford was the original bassist, but was replaced by Bones Hillman in the late ‘80s. They became known for their incredible live performances, driving rock, and activism.
The band made their political stances known and did not shy away from controversial topics. In fact, Garrett had a successful career in politics that led to the band’s break up in 2002. They did have occasional concerts after that, but finally had an official reformation in 2016.
Midnight Oil launched a 2017 world tour which spawned a batch of new songs – their first in 18 years. “The Makarrata Project” was released at the end of 2020 and debuted at number one in Australia, but the band took a major hit the same weekend when bassist Bones Hillman passed away.
Now in 2022, we have more new material on the way. “Resist” was created at the same time as “The Makarrata Project,” which means Hillman is included on the album. They released the first single in October of last year, “Rising Seas.” In addition to beautiful views of what we are losing on our declining planet, and devastating images of the world, the video includes a bass guitar beside the drum set as a tribute to Hillman.
While they say this is their final tour, they also state The Oils is not done and they are open to working together in the future. Front-man Garrett says, “We all know time refuses to stand still for anyone but after many years together the band’s spirit is deep, the music and words are strong, and our ideas and actions as bold as we can make them. We’ve reached people in ways we never could have imagined. Our desire to create and speak out is undimmed. We hope everyone who hears this album and gets to one of the shows will come away charged up about the planet’s future, saying ‘why stop now?’ Having always tackled every tour like it’s the last – this time it actually will be.”
Guitarist Moginie added, “We’ve played intensely physical gigs since our humble beginnings back in 1977 and we never want to take even the slightest risk of compromising that. A lot has happened over the last five years. Much has been achieved and with the passing of Bones much has been lost, so it now feels like we’re at the end of a cycle.” He continued, “These will be sad and beautiful gigs but luckily we’re still capable of blowing the roof off any stage and that’s what we intend to do. You could call this a farewell tour, but Midnight Oil will still continue in some form or other as we’re brothers, family. We stand as one, dependent on each other and grateful in all the important ways that make great bands great.”
“Resist” is slated for release on February 18th. So far, only dates in their part of the world have been announced, but we are hopeful North American dates will be announced soon.