Former thrash metal rocker who has been drumming up controversial topics all over Europe the past decade returns home to give Aussies a dose of Conspiracy Realist. Is he metal, mad or a thought machine? Take a deep breath and leap into the mind of Steve Hughes, if you dare…
You observe and joke about everything from politics to sociology. Are you constantly working even when you don’t want to? How do you stop? I don’t stop. This is my job. It’s not really healthy but this is it. I’ve never been a happy person but I’m not miserable and am quite fun to be around but I can be rather intense for people are who are more content than me. I’ve tried to be more chilled out but alas, that is not my path. Nothing has ever helped except art, music, comedy, performing and pot.
Do you reckon Australians recognise local talent only when they’ve made it overseas? That’s a complex question and a very interesting point I have often thought about myself. I think Australians recognise talent and there is a lot of it here but the cultural conditioning of the establishment which will not recognise talent has an affect on all of us. Its pathological promotion of sport, which I find as a creative and intelligent person utterly offensive, is disturbing.
The establishment finds art too risky a business as it requires contemplation and self analysis, an adventure that has never been promoted in Australia as it may embarrass the over compensating attitude of always trying to look good and moral, not only to the world but also to itself. Australia in my opinion, always embarrasses itself in front of the world by trying not to embarrass itself. It’s lack of honesty about its past, formation and true identity makes it a conservative, conformist even childish environment where real art cannot survive and will not be recognised. This is why most Australians have never even heard of, let alone seen the film Wake in Fright.
What do you look forward to about performing in front of an Australian crowd? I like the fact that Australians, if they like it, laugh from their guts. No bullshit. There’s a rawness to it that I like.
Who are your top five local or international comedians? Well that’s a hard one to answer as I like comics for different reasons. I love comics who speak from their heart, have an opinion and not care about who likes them, like Glenn Wool, Jim Jefferies and Chris Wainhouse. I also like mad eccentric comics like Paul Foot (UK) who is doing his first ever performances in Oz right now. I like Tommy Tiernan who is amazing as is Stuart Lee, who is a master.
Thanks Steve. Thank you for the interview. Hail the Gods.
May 4 & 5, Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Road, Newtown, $34-$39, 9550 3666, enmoretheatre.com.au