Members: Bernard Fanning, John Collins, Ian Haug, Darren Middleton, Jon Coghill
Powderfinger is a successful Australian rock band. The band formed in 1989 in Brisbane, with the present lineup of Bernard Fanning (Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Harmonica), John Collins (Bass Guitar), Ian Haug (Guitar, Backing Vocals), Darren Middleton (Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals) and Jon Coghill (Drums, Percussion) settling in 1992.
Powderfinger formed in 1989 as a high school band, the original members of which were Ian Haug (Vocals, Guitar), John Collins (Bass) and Steven Bishop (Drums). The band began looking for another guitarist and recruited Bernard Fanning whom Haug met in his university economics class). Eventually, Haug passed the vocal duties onto him. Bishop later left the band, to be replaced with Jon Coghill.The final line-up was almost complete, but they decided to seek out another guitarist to replace Fanning. Darren Middleton, guitarist from the band 'Pirate', filled the position in 1992.
Powderfinger initially performed covers of other artists, gradually developing their own material.
After two independent EPs released in 1993, they were signed to Polydor and in 1994 released their first album, Parables for Wooden Ears, which charted poorly and failed to launch the band. Following this, the band released several singles and EPs and launched a national tour, appearing in Livid and Homebake music festivals
In September 1996, the band released the album Double Allergic, which was a huge success, going " Australian double platinum" (selling over 70,000 copies in Australia), with two singles, "Pick You Up" and "DAF" receiving widespread radio airplay. "Double Allergic" debuts at no. 7 on the australian charts and remains in the top 10 for over 2 months.
RISE TO PROMINENCE
In 1998 and 2000 the band released the albums Internationalist, and Odyssey Number 5 respectively. These albums propelled the band to a prominent position on the Australian music scene, both reaching #1 album, with Internationalist selling over 330,000 copies, over 5 times platinum domestically and reaching European and British audiences for the first time.
Both albums featured mainly melodic rock, with vocals often compared to the band's declared inspiration, Neil Young. According to the band, The name Powderfinger is inspired by a Neil Young song of the same name.
2003's Vulture Street (named after the Brisbane street on which the city's cricket stadium exists) headed off in a more aggressive direction, though remaining ballad oriented and melodic in style. It debuted at #1 and has sold over 350,000 copies to date.
Powderfinger have won many Australian pop music industry's awards, including ARIAs for their albums and singles. The tracks "These Days" and "My Happiness" were voted #1 in the Triple J Hottest 100 poll in 1999 and 2000 respectively. They are the only group to have topped the poll twice. In 2003 five Powderfinger tracks featured in the top 100, and three in the top ten. Most notably, in 2003 they won an ARIA for Best Band of 2003.
Powderfinger have had some international success in the UK and Europe, but like many successful Australian acts have not captured the imagination of the United States.
In 2004, they released 2 albums, a live album called These Days - Live In Concert, and also a best of album, Fingerprints: Best Of 1994 - 2000. Both of these reached #2 in the charts.
In 2004 Fanning was also a guest vocalist on part two of supergroup The Wrights' cover of Stevie Wright's (lead singer of The Easybeats) "Evie" (now a trilogy). The first part was first performed at the 2004 ARIA awards. The supergroup features members of many other Australian rock bands.
2005 THE YEAR OF SIDE PROJECTS
The band decided to take a break in 2005. Since then, members Darren Middleton and Bernard Fanning pursued side projects
Darren Middleton and his side project Drag released their debut album, a follow-up to their 2002 EP Gas Food Lodging. The debut album is called The Way Out and was released on July the 10th.
Bernard Fanning released his solo album, Tea and Sympathy, on October 30 2005, reaching the top of the Australian charts.
During several TV interviews Bernard Fanning has stated that Powderfinger are currently working on a new album to be released late 2006/ early 2007.
1994 - Parables for Wooden Ears
1996 - Double Allergic
1998 - Internationalist
2000 - Odyssey Number Five
2003 - Vulture Street
These Days - Live In Concert
2000 - Fingerprints: Best Of 1994-2000