INXS Confirm Split: 'It's Time to Step Away'
INXS has confirmed that it's calling it quits. The Australian group announced on Monday night that it had decided to bring the curtain down on a career that's lasted 35 years and 11 studio albums, including six that sold platinum or better in the U.S.
"We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end," founding members Tim, Andrew and Jon Farriss, Kirk Pengilly and Garry Beers said in a statement. "We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it's time to step away from the touring arena. Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all the friends and family that have supported us throughout our extensive career. Our lives have been enriched by having you all as a part of the journey."
INXS actually made the news public on Sunday in Perth, as it played the final show of a tour with matchbox twenty -- during which that group's Rob Thomas joined INXS for its closing song, "Don't Change." Drummer Jon Farriss told the crowd that it was the group's last show and admitted he was "getting teary" at the prospect. INXS recently released a 25th anniversary edition of its top-selling album "Kick," as well as a 20th anniversary edition of the DVD "Live Baby Live."
In late October, guitarist-keyboardist and chief songwriter Andrew Farriss told Billboard that the group was working on new material, with plans to make another album.
The group's last album, 2010's "Original Sin," featured newly recorded version of INXS classics with guests singers such as Thomas, Train's Pat Monahan, Nikka Costa, Ben Harper, Tricky and others.
In the statement, Jon Farriss noted that INXS took pride in continuing after the tragic loss of frontman Michael Hutchence in 1997: "It's been 35 years for INXS as a live touring band and unbelievably it's been 15 years ago since we lost Michael. We lived for each other in the trenches and we loved each other. It was the six of us against the world and then suddenly and inexplicably we were but five. We were lost right at the moment we were on top."
But, Andrew Farriss added, "We never took a soft option, it was the adversity, the challenge and the struggle that forged us into the live working band we became. And this was as big as it could possibly get when it came to a challenge, and in the end we decided for a whole bunch of reasons to march forward. To us there was no other option, families always move forward."
INXS manager Chris Murphy added that, "They believed unconditionally in each other and they also believed unconditionally in the music. People fade, sometimes way too early -- that is life whether we like it or not. To live to 80 plus is a life well lived. To lose Michael so young was a tragedy for all of us. But with this band, their legacy, their music was just so damn good, it was always destined to live beyond all of us."
INXS has worked with several singers since Hutchence's death, including Canadian J.D. Fortune, who was chosen during the 2005 TV reality show "Rock Star: INXS." The group was most recently fronted by Ireland native Ciaran Gribbin, and Andrew Farriss had declared that "this particular lineup of INXS is really -- we're on a winner, I think, with this one. It's looking really, really positive."