"I had no idea I had left INXS the second time to be honest with you"
JD Fortune, who was unceremoniously dropped from INXS last August for yet another new singer, discovered his photo being used to sell tickets to the Australian institution's homeland tour, which begins this week. Funny thing is, Fortune is well into readying an album's worth of solo material for his new band, Fortune, and tickets for their live debut at Asbury Park, NJ's Stone Pony July 10 are on sale today.
"I got up [Sunday], had a cup of coffee and looked at my Twitter, and somebody said there may have been an image of me supporting INXS on their tour and I just wanted to set the record straight that, yes, I will [eventually] be in Australia, but it will be with a band called Fortune," Fortune tells Billboard exclusively in his very first interview about the new band.
On Twitter, someone named Beaumont Miles wrote: "@JDFORTUNEMAYHEM False Advertising: INXS are using promo shots with YOU to advertise current tour" with the link.
Songkick PR representative Sheryl Seitz told Billboard in an email: "Photos are uploaded to Songkick by fans and artists directly. As we're a live music site, we encourage our community to share photos of the concert experience (as opposed to press shots, for example). Yesterday a user on Twitter pointed out that the INXS photo was out of date so we swapped it out for a different picture."
Seitz searched the two photos in question and added, "The photos you are referring to were uploaded by Songkick users. They are casual gig shots from fans."
There are still live photos of Fortune under INXS on the site. "If an artist has a problem with a photo we are of course happy to help them out," says Seitz.
"It doesn't bother me," says Fortune of the photo showing up on the tour site. "That's not what bothers me. INXS doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that there are seven people [his Fortune bandmates] in Toronto Canada that have been working their asses off getting ready to play a show and I would never in my wildest dreams expect somebody to wake up in the morning and find out something they were told wasn't true via the Internet.
"I just want to move forward with this band," he adds.
Fortune was an unknown rock musician who had tried for years to get his career off the ground in Canada when he was chosen out of more than 50,000 applicants to appear on the TV show "Rock Star: INXS" in 2005 along with 14 other contestants. He eventually won the coveted job to front the legendary band, whose charismatic frontman Michael Hutchence died in 1997. Fortune wrote "Pretty Vegas," the band's first hit single in years as part of an assignment on the show. It appeared on their album "Switch" and Fortune toured all over the world with the band, including headlining arenas and festivals.
He left INXS once in early 2009 after an odd misunderstanding when Fortune believed he had been fired by the band following the conclusion of their global tour. He then rejoined the band a year later and toured again with them all over the world, even releasing the Fortune-sung "The Stairs" from 2010's "Original Sin," which featured old INXS songs each reworked with a different singer. They played their final gig together last summer on August 16 in Atlanta, Georgia. Two days later, Fortune was in for a shock when he discovered INXS had been working with and hired Irishman Ciaran Gribbin behind his back.
"I had no idea I had left INXS the second time to be honest with you," Fortune says. "I woke up August 18 and I had to find out from their web site, which, to this day, I still find bizarre."