Fans of the new Legacy Edition of Midnight Oil’s 1987 album “Diesel and Dust” have more updates of the Australian band’s vintage material to look forward to, guitarist Jim Moginie tells Billboard.com.
Moginie says Midnight Oil, which has been dormant since 2002 when frontman Peter Garrett left to concentrate on his political career, is in the process of remastering its six other pre-1990 albums, though they’ll be released only via iTunes rather than in physical form.
The band is focusing on its early releases, Moginie explains, because
“everything after  tends to be good in terms of mastering.” He adds that “a lot of these [older] records were made for vinyl, so a lot of the frequencies were cut out ’cause there were certain sounds you couldn’t put on records. This is a good chance to get them back up to snuff, ’cause now we can make it as loud and big sounding as [we] want. It’s the audiophile nerd side of us that accounts for some of that.”
And while the new “Diesel and Dust,” which comes out April 29, features the previously unreleased bonus track “Gunbarrel Highway” along with a DVD of the mid-’80s Australian TV Blackfella/Whitefella tour documentary, Moginie says fans shouldn’t expect the other albums to contain similar gems.
“The Oils weren’t really ones to have lots of songs laying around,” he says. “We sort of made the records and that’s all we had. There’s nothing left in the can. We weren’t like Bob Dylan; I don’t think there’ll be some huge, bootleg, 10-CD set coming out.”
Moginie says that slipping into Midnight Oil’s past has made him miss
playing with the band, which last performed at a 2005 tsunami benefit. But with all its members ensconced in their own work he doesn’t foresee any reunions on the horizon.
“You know what it’s like with a band; they break up and no one believes them. ‘When’s the reunion scheduled?'” the guitarist says with a laugh. “I think I’d be really surprised if we did [reunite] — as the original lineup, anyway. When it ended it was a good time to end. All our brain cells are pretty intact, nobody’s financially in too much trouble. It felt like a good time to finish it, and we all think of the band very fondly.
“But you know what it’s like — you never say never.”