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The Busy Stephen Cummings

11 August 1999 - Addicted To Noise (Australia)

Stephen Cummings has just released a new album, had a second novel published and is currently planning several other recording projects.

After more than two decades making music Stephen Cummings is busier than ever - and he's branching out. His ninth solo album (Spiritual Bum) is officially launched in Melbourne tomorrow night and his second novel, Stay Away From Lightning Girl, was published last week.

"I just keep hoping it'll get better," remarked Cummings in a recent interview for Addicted To Noise, "my new book's kind of about that - 'I can't go on' - 'oh, I'll go on' - 'cos it's better to do it than not do it, as long as someone's going to pay for me to make records. As long as you keep doing it it's like a victory over the forces that want to stop you.

"They require different sets of skills," says Cummings of the differences in writing songs and prose. "Songs are like a thought or emotion, one kind of idea. With a novel you've got to keep a whole lot of balls in the air. It's probably more like making a whole album." But Stephen Cummings shows no signs of slowing down. Hopefully, Stephen will do another Four Hours Sleep album with bass player Bill McDonald. Stephen and Bill have demoed songs for the album, including - ironically - a song called "Spiritual Bum". Stephen also plans to do a moody and emotional record with piano man Chris Abrahams (reminiscent of the Cummings classic "Blue Hour"). And there is talk of a duo album with guitarist Shane O'Mara. But first up may be a rockabilly/blues record!

"This will be some of the things I was doing when I was younger," Stephen says. "Obscure songs. I might do it just for fun and put it out through the website."

Meanwhile, director Mark Hartley is still shopping a movie that will involve many of Stephen's songs. On the writing front, Stephen has started a third novel called Three Hearts Later. "It's a homage to Melbourne," he reveals.

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