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A classic revisited: The Church playing all of ‘Starfish’ on tour marking album’s 30th anniversary

It’s been 30 years since The Church released its most successful album, “Starfish.”

Australian psychedelic rock band The Church is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its album “Starfish.” (Courtesy of AMP Concerts)

In that time, the Australian psychedelic rock band has continued to make music on its own terms.

In fact, the band is on a tour celebrating the anniversary of “Starfish,” playing the entire album at each show.

“We just did our first show in the States,” says guitarist Peter Koppes. “It was a sold-out show, and we’re having fun performing ‘Starfish.’ Revisiting the album is like reconnecting with an ex. It’s familiar, yet different, because you’re in a different space.”

The Church formed in 1980 in Sydney. Besides Koppes, the rest of the current lineup consists of Steve Kilbey, Tim Powles and Ian Huag.

The band has released 17 albums, the most recent being 2017’s “Man Woman Life Death Infinity.”

Looking back at nearly 40 years in music, Koppes says, the band was in it for the long haul.

“Truth be told, when we started The Church, we had the vision of playing for a long time,” he says. “We’re still going, and our last two records, they are something that John Lennon would appreciate. We’re making music that really gets us going. That’s what makes it fun. We still have the same passion that we started with. It’s been 40 years of us pushing ourselves.”

Koppes says it’s important to evolve with music and imagination.

“We have a millionaire patron in the United States who has supported our art,” he says. “We haven’t had to be subservient to a record industry or label. That’s afforded us the opportunity to be artistically creative. We use piano, drums, bass, and I will bring in the sound effects. There’s a science behind our music, and The Church has always sounded different. You never know what you’re going to get, and that’s what we like. We never set out on an outlined course. It comes at us as we go along.”

With interest continuing to grow in The Church’s music, Koppes says, the band is being more accessible to its audiences.

The U.S. leg of the tour is selling well, and the band members are having meet-and-greets at the shows, which they normally don’t do.

“We have people coming to the shows for the first time, and it’s fantastic,” he says. “We have music for the times. We’re not a pop band, and we’ve had sort of pop hits. We’ve always been a rock band that pushes our own boundaries in music. As long as that doesn’t change, we’ll be on stage for years to come.”

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