Now that Powderfinger is a distant memory, Darren Middleton is comfortable performing as a frontman for his solo endeavours.
It’s not a big stretch to say that Powderfinger are one of the most loved bands to come out of Australia. The wrap sheet is impressive – 18 ARIA Awards from a mammoth 47 nominations, two time winners of the Hottest 100 in 1999 and 2000 and many songs that are quite literally the soundtrack to peoples lives. When they disbanded in 2010 the band was so loved that they completed a 34 date national tour to say goodbye to fans across Australia.
So what happens when you’re a member of a band like Powderfinger and you play your final chord? Well if you’re guitarist Darren Middleton, you just keep recording music and touring like you always have.
“My shows these days are quite small and intimite and I love it,” Middleton said. “There’s no fancy light shows and big screens to create a wall between me and the audience, or make me seem way bigger and better than what I am”.
“You finish your last guitar chord and just look up slowly and hope to hear something. If nothing else, the sound engineer is paid to clap. So for desperate times he’ll start clapping,” he joked.
But Middleton is a humble man. He’s actually released three solo albums since the break-up of Powderfinger and touring consistently in that time. We were interested to find out how he’s found moving into a lead role on stage and taking the reigns as frontman.
“I absolutely love it…now. It did take me awhile to get comfortable with that because my comfort zone was back-up singer and guitarist songwriter”
“My first couple of solo albums I had a lot of guest vocalists and they read well on paper.”
“They were my friends and I was kind of hiding in their shadows. But by this record I love it and I completely own what I do. I’m really proud of it,” Middleton said. “I can stand there on stage and tell all the stories behind all the songs. I feel like I can carry it and I know my own voice now, along with its capabilities and limitations.”
And as Darren Middleton launched into his latest single ‘Some People’ live in the ‘Breakfast on Red’ studio, there was no doubt at all that Darren Middleton definitely owns life after Powderfinger.
Alana McLean and Robbie Klitzing can be heard 6AM-10AM weekdays for Breakfast on Red across the Red FM Network.