Just days after manager Gary Morris told Australian media that Midnight Oil had been offered up to $200,000 per show to reunite and tour the United States, the band has issued a statement saying it had no current plans to reform in the wake of Peter Garrett’s newfound unemployment, and that Morris, the so-called “sixth member” of the band, was resigning his position.
According to multiple Aussie press accounts, Morris today issued the following statement:
“Midnight Oil’s legacy is undeniable, we have achieved great things together, there is much to be proud of in the band’s list of achievements, we are brothers in arms and I will always be there for them. However in light of recent speculation as to whether the band will reconvene now that Peter is quitting the political arena, now is the time to make my own position clear as to my future involvement with Midnight Oil.”
Garrett, in his own statement, added: “We truly did accomplish amazing and enduring things working together and we should treasure that, now and in the future.”
Midnight Oil broke up in 2002, and Garrett was subsequently elected to a seat in Australia’s House of Representatives and became Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Art and later Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth. Last month, following a Labour Party shakeup, he resigned his post as minister and announced he wouldn’t seek re-election this fall.
Since the Oils’ breakup, the band has reunited for a couple charity events and warm-up gigs, most recently in 2009 for the Sound Relief brushfire concerts. Three of his former bandmates — drummer Rob Hirst and guitarists Jim Moginie and Martin Rotsey — have joined ex-Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie to form The Break, a mostly instrumental surf-rock combo.
Despite the statement denying any current plans, it does seem the members of Midnight Oil are open to playing together again in the future. As recently as this past April, Garrett told Billboard that an Oils reunion was “not out of the question.” And in April, Garrett joined fellow Oils Hirst and Moginie onstage in Sydney to perform “We Got To Get Out of This Place” at a benefit for Doc Neeson, lead singer of Aussie band The Angels, who is suffering from brain cancer.
Following that event, Hirst was quoted as saying:
“When a politician says he still loves music and when his eyes light up like recently at the Enmore Theatre when we performed alongside a whole lot of acts to raise money for Doc Neeson who is crook. Suddenly there was this man with gyrating arms and his eyes lit up and he was clearly loving every minute of the 2000 people going off their heads. I figure whilst Peter is making noises like that we probably will play down the track. We don’t know if it will be a benefit show. Hopefully it won’t be following some major disaster like the last two times.”
Below, check out video of that performance:
Peter Garrett, Rob Hirst and Jim Moginie, “We Got To Get Out of This Place,” 4/15/13
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett resigns Australian ministry post, won’t seek re-election
- Midnight Oil’s ‘Essential Oils’ 2CD best-of set to receive U.S. release next month
- Midnight Oil preps career-spanning 2CD ‘Essential Oils’ compilation for fall release
- Midnight Oil puts career-spanning box set ‘back on hold’ until ‘better time’ for release
- Midnight Oil prepping career-spanning box set with ‘unseen and unheard film and music’
- Vintage Video: Watch Midnight Oil’s complete ‘Oils on the Water’ concert from 1985