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Finn tries 'Whistling This'

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Neil Finn goes solo for a melodic 'Try Whistling This'

Web posted on: Wednesday, August 19, 1998 11:49:22 AM

From Correspondent Paul Vercammen

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Neil Finn moved Split Enz from art rock to synth-pop, then went on to Crowded House with even more well-crafted, melodic pop-rock songs. Now, like his older brother Tim Finn, the New Zealand-born songwriter has gone solo -- at least for a while.

Finn, who wove traditional Maori music and heavy guitars into shining pop songcraft with those two bands and another called The Finn Brothers, considers melodic, sing-along tunes more important than ever.

"There's nothing that gets you more than a skillfully crafted melody and beautifully supporting chords," Finn said. "So I'll be addicted to that for the rest of my days. ... I don't think there's any danger that I will be rapping anytime soon."

On his own, for now

Though Neil's first solo record, "Try Whistling This," is in release, and although he does some skywriting as an actor in his new music video, Neil does not think he will be a solo artist forever.

He vows he'll record again with his older brother when Tim Finn is ready. "Tim just got married last year, and he also had his first child, and he is very happy and very sleep-deprived," Neil said.

Neil said he has suffered from a tyranny of distance from living "down under" and trying to communicate with the rest of the world. But his music has reached many corners of the globe. For example, he has had a major hit in the United States with the band, Crowded House, which he formed in 1985.

"The English people will think I'm from America ... because 'Don't Dream It's Over' was a big hit here first before anywhere. ... And Americans think I'm English, and there's the odd one who think I'm from Scandinavia," Neil said.

Along with a skydiving stint, the singer-songwriter does a little acting for his new videos, including a tip of the cap to "The Attack of the 50-Foot Woman."

"Musicians aren't noted for their acting skills. ... There's been a lot of people try and not succeed, I think. I have no illusions, but in terms of this video, I think I fit in, as the directors of the video have said. The original standard of the movie wasn't so high that I had to worry too much."

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