INXS have released an immersive new mix of their album ‘Kick’, which turns 35 this year – watch band members Tim Farriss and Kirk Pengilly plus engineer Giles Martin talk about the new version in the NME-exclusive video below, and read on for NME‘s interview with Farriss about the new mix and uses of INXS’s music by Euphoria and Dua Lipa.
Released April 4 on Apple Music, the latest version of ‘Kick’ was mixed by Giles Martin in Dolby ATMOS. Martin, the son of influential Beatles producer George Martin, has also mixed the Fab Four and Rolling Stones in the spatial audio format. It’s also not this first time working on a fresh mix of ‘Kick’, remixing the album in 2017 for a cinematic experience to mark the album’s 30th anniversary.
“They all sound different to me, really – but then, I’m very close to it, obviously,” Farriss tells NME of the songs that feature on the new audio edition of ‘Kick’. The guitarist singles out the title track: “It’s got this acoustic guitar that, well, [is] there in the stereo mix, but it doesn’t stand out. On the spatial mix it really stands out, and it just puts this kind of backbeat swing on the song.”
‘Calling All Nations’ and ‘Devil Inside’ are other standout tracks. The latter, Farriss thinks, “sounds really amazing, because it’s got all this percussion going on. There’s a lot coming from behind you which is really interesting.”
In the clip above, Martin explains that after presenting Farriss and Pengilly with his first pass of ‘Kick’, they told him: “Listen, we’re just missing a bit of rock ‘n’ roll here. Turn the guitars up. Give it a bit more bite, give it a bit more energy.”
“At first, we thought everything lacked punch,” Farriss elaborates to NME. “Guitars were one thing that was missing a bit in places and needed to be positioned in the room.”
He continues: “It’s weird, but when you talk about Dolby ATMOS, what you’ve got to imagine is a cube. You were a holograph cube and there’s a dot inside that cube. The sound that you want, you move that to the place in the cube where you want it to sound like it’s coming from – and you’ve got to imagine that you’re sitting smack bang in the middle of it.”
The desire from fans to hear the new immersive mix of ‘Kick’ nearly 35 years after the original version arrived speaks to the band’s lasting relevance as much as their recent resurgences in contemporary pop culture.
INXS’s greatest hits collection ‘The Very Best’ recently notched a staggering 500 weeks on the Australian ARIA charts, while the wildly popular HBO show Euphoria featured five INXS songs in its second season earlier this year, including ‘Kick’ favourites ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ and ‘Mystify’.
Farriss hasn’t had a chance to watch it yet – “Kirk says it’s really good” – but the guitarist is aware of the show’s popularity and the reaction to INXS’ music being used to soundtrack some of its most striking moments. “I see a lot of stuff pop up on my media feed, comments about our songs in it. It’s really cool.”
On a similar note, in 2020 INXS’ Michael Hutchence and Andrew Farriss received a somewhat unexpected writing credit for Dua Lipa’s smash hit ‘Break My Heart’, which interpolates the main guitar riff from ‘Kick’s ‘Need You Tonight’.
That year, Lipa said the INXS interpolation in ‘Break My Heart’ “brought nostalgia to the forefront”, revealing that she didn’t realise the similarities between the songs until the track was done: “It was a funny moment when we were like, ‘Eureka!’ And then, ‘Oh, wait a second…’ … I’m not trying to get sued, is kind of the moral of the story.”
“I think it’s great, I think she’s really cool,” Farriss responds when asked if he’s heard Lipa’s neo-disco album ‘Future Nostalgia’, which ‘Break My Heart’ features on.
“It’s kind of bizarre to hear it like that, because it’s really an interpretation. Hats off to her for asking for permission to use it and for the writing credit,” he continues. “I think there should be more of that stuff. If you’re going to do it, just be straight-up about it and it’s all good.”