Colin Hay’s Gathering Mercury Goes Global
Former Men At Work Leader
Brings 11th Album
To International Tour
Colin Hay may be best known as the lead singer for Men At Work, the band that topped worldwide charts with anthems like “Down Under,” “Overkill,” and “Who Can It Be Now?” Hay’s justifiably proud of his place in pop history, but since moving to the United States in 1989, he’s made 11 solo albums and re-introduced himself to a new generation of fans. TV and film have embraced the timeless appeal of his songs — quizzical, curious, cynical yet openhearted — and he’s continually sold out shows with nonstop touring. But with all the ongoing success, he reckons that Gathering Mercury may be the best album of the lot.
Released internationally this month, Hay is bringing the new songs overseas, touring in Australia and South America this summer, and planning a European run later this year. He recently wrapped a successful tour of sold-out shows in the US, including press acclaim and television appearances for the deeply personal and diverse album that was inspired by the death of his father.
“These are some of the strongest songs I’ve ever written,” Hay says about Gathering Mercury. “The loss of my father last year brought an extra emotional contingent to them. I don’t have an idea of an afterlife, but I do feel like I had his help when I was writing this album. He wasn’t a songwriter himself, but he was a good singer, so I put myself in his place and wrote songs like he might have done.”
The tunes on Gathering Mercury are deeply affecting, but never maudlin. Despite the often-serious subject matter, they’re full of Hay’s usual optimism. “It’s not a conscious thing and may have to do with the Scottish mentality. We deal with darkness by making light of it. It doesn’t diminish the charge of the feeling, but it’s more pleasant to talk about your feelings if you stick with what’s going on today without dwelling in the past.”