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Blondie have a simple statement for the Homebake purists: don’t dread us because we’re foreigners.
The seminal US band were controversially chosen to be the first international headliner of the traditionally Antipodean festival, which returns to Sydney’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday, December 8.
Festivalgoers were quick to cause a stir about Blondie’s inclusion – and guitarist Chris Stein knows it.
“I hope this doesn’t call for a consternation considering we’re apparently the first outsiders to play this festival,” he said.
“It never dawned on us there would be cause for any concern playing there. We were just told to do it, and now we’re making history it makes it more exciting.”
Stein and his Blondie buddies are promising a whole lot of everything in their set at the festival – ranging from material from their latest record to some of their greatest hits.
“We’ll do one or two new ones, but we find everyone wants to hear the hits,” he said.
“We do a couple of different things, we do modern, we do contemporary and a few of other people’s songs, all kinds of stuff.”
“We just hope to please the crowd. I don’t know the story yet, but we’re starting rehearsing next week so we’ll figure something out.”
With over 40 million album sales and a career spanning four decades, no one could really blame Blondie if they were to call it a day soon.
However, it seems like that possibility won’t eventuate in the near future, as Stein revealed that the band have started pre-production for their next album – working with Jeff Saltzman, who produced their last record Panic of Girls.
“We’re deep into the next record now, and I think it’s more world-music inspired, perhaps,” Stein said.
“It’s all pre-production on the computers so far, I really like doing that stuff.”
Talk of computers stirs up a discussion about electronica and dance music – which Stein reveals he’s fan of. With this interest in newer genres of music, is there a possibility of Blondie going techno or dubstep?
“I hear all sorts of different things being kicked around,” he said. “Dubstep is a difficult thing to define for me, I’ve never really liked Skrillex so I don’t think we’ll go in that direction ever.”
Stein adds that while the creative side of things could keep the band busy – touring wise, things might slow down in the years ahead.
“People are constantly asking me about going forward…we’re just lucky we’re able to keep doing it,” he said.
“I’m getting old so I don’t know how much longer we can keep touring, but we can always keep recording and writing for other people, if not ourselves. We’ll just see what happens.”
Blondie headline Homebake at Sydney’s Botanical Gardens on Saturday, December 8. Full lineup and details on the festival here. Stein also said in our interview that the band are booked “for a few weeks in November” to do some dates in other cities– watch this space for details on those shows.