Countdown Memories

An interview with SCOTT CARNE by Jason

On the 5th of February 2003 I interviewed Scott Carne from Kids In The Kitchen at his studio in Melbourne. Kids In The Kitchen scored such hits as Change In Mood, Bitter Desire, Something That You Said and Current Stand from the hugely succesful 1985 album "Shine". Other hit's includes Out Of Control and the fantastic Say It from their second album from 1987 "Terrain". After the break up of Kids In The Kitchen, Scott went on to persue Priscilla's Nightmare in 1989 and recorded a few solo singles in 1990. We had a very good chat about Countdown and his past musical ventures... So Read away!

Jason: When did you start watching Countdown and did you watch it regularly?

Scott: Yes, every Sunday at 6 o’clock probably from the age of 14 onwards. It was religious; it was the whole thing where I really hoped my dad fell asleep from drinking too much on Sunday afternoons so we could kind of turn it on in the background so he wouldn’t put on his favourite documentary, you know. So it’s that whole fight for it and it was that one time a week really, that was just, you know, looking forward to it...

Jason: In your youth while watching Countdown did it greatly influence you to get your own band together?

Scott: Oh I think it was an influence. I was probably into the heavier side of music but I was always still glued to Countdown. I probably liked the harder rock stuff but it was definitely an influence. I mean it was just you know one day I wanna get on Countdown and “BAM” there I was...

Jason: Change In Mood, yeah? 1983?

Scott: Yeah, yeah.

Jason: And were you really nervous on your first appearance of the show?

Scott: I can’t even remember that. No, I’d say I was pretty nervous in some regard and excited and that was pretty much the emotion but I was always determined though so I was never too shy about it, so yeah...

Jason: Now there was a certain performance that you did in 1985 of “Current Stand” on Countdown where they had the scene of you driving on the freeway then went back to the studio performance, do you remember that?

Scott: Uhhhh, Um, yes.

Jason:With things like that, were you told you had to do these things?

Scott: Well what happened was we were kind of one of the bands that were in the crossover thing just after they moved out of doing you know the kind of straight rock stuff, they moved into a little bit of video technology and we were kind of a scapegoat because we were kind of the young band and all the rest... And from the original video there’s an introduction to the video where there’s a little acting kind of play game thing in a car with another girl and so they kind of tried to recreate that as a kind of cut away to the live stuff. They were starting to get a bit tricky down at Countdown at the ABC studios.

Jason: Because they went from the driving scene to the band in the studio...

Scott: Yeah, the driving scene was in the studio so it was actually just video and it was actually just a chrome key background and what they did was they brought the car in and they got the big fan and kind of blew it through my hair and um yeah it was the cut away to that, but at the time I thought “Bastards!” you know... At the time I really didn’t like it... I thought it was just really corny and harp aced.

Jason: So you had to do it?

Scott: : Yeah... kind of had to do it, well because you know Countdown it was like... I mean we did have a video to the song but they tried to recreate it on a kind of old vibe to the video rather than seeing it play live which I would prefer but looking back at it now...I've actually got the footage stuck away.

Jason: Because on that one you didn’t have a studio audience so it was kind of more of an exclusive Countdown clip/production.

Scott: Yeah, that was done earlier and then I think they would of done the cut away. I don’t think there was an audience for that actually.

Jason: No there wasn’t. Not for that one because I have that performance too and I remember when seeing it thinking hmmm this is very interesting.

Scott: Very tricky!

Jason: Do you have any amusing stories with the Countdown audience, as I remember with the “My Life” performance the kids were pulling you
over to them etc. Did that happen very often?

Scott: Yeah with the fans... yeah it happened all the time pretty much, there’s no really amusing stories but the hardest thing was actually getting on the stage and getting back after the performance! Um the only amusing part of the stories was I guess Molly, he was most pretty amusing so yeah... but none that come to light at the moment.

Jason: Do you have any stand out memories of performances or favourite"Kids In The Kitchen" moments,whether Countdown Awards etc?

Scott: Oh “Countdown Awards” without a doubt! It was just great! It was really good, actually “Current Stand”! The one I like the most was the “Current Stand” performance which we were nominated for some award. That was when we were getting into our attack on America kind of period, yeah it was a really good clip and a lot of fun and the Awards were at the Sports and Entertainment Centre I think, and it was great. Just the party and the vibe and all your peers were there and it was great!

Jason: That was around the time of doing the “Cat Club” in New York ... yes?

Scott: Yeah, around that time I think it was just before we’d gone over to America.

Jason: Did you enjoy being asked to host Countdown?

Scott: Yeah, it was good. It was a bit nerve-racking but a lot of fun. Usually had a bit of fun, I mean I looked at the videos and thought how did I do that! I thought I looked like such a natural but I guess I was doing it all the time that I just became kind of pretty natural with it. I remember us and Pseudo’s were on so frequently.

Jason: Do you think that Countdown had a great effect on Australian Pop Culture?

Scott: Oh, without a doubt. I don’t think there’s been anything like it since! I mean you’d obviously agree with that... which now even “Pepsi Chart” and what not, you don’t get the concentrated viewing that you did then. I mean I really think that Sunday 6’oclock time slot, I can’t believe it still sits there! You know because it’s still a time slot that people pretty much cruisy on Sunday whether they had been out all night the night before or they kind of had the day out etc. I mean it was just the time slot. Now you have the music programs that are scattered around just about every other time slot and it’s kind of hard to keep up, you know, but yeah Molly started doing his thing on Saturday nights for a while and it kind of fell over a bit.

Jason: Do you think it’s harder for young bands these days to achieve great things compared to the early 80’s, and do you think that a show like Countdown is needed again for the same exposure for new up and coming bands?

Scott: Well that kind of show like I said is concentrating viewing. I mean, it was everybody turned to Countdown so now there’s only a few forums for it like youv’e got Pepsi Live Chart and stuff like that. The other thing I liked was when Dylan was doing his show Recovery and the other one, what was it the 11o’clock spot or something on Friday night, when they moved it to the Friday night. Yeah, but that was great! That was the closest thing to I think to a great video show but it was dedicated more to Alternative music so there’s been nothing like Countdown since and I think there’s a definite kind of hole that needs to be filled there.

Jason: Were you surprised when Countdown ended or did you think it had a good run?

Scott: No, I was surprised when it ended. I just thought,shit you know it’s like it’s kind of the end of Australian “Rock n Roll” or Australian music. There was obviously the international content but yeah as I said that forum for it was all gone you know, and yeah I was pretty kind of sad all day, now it’s all just so americanised you know.

Jason: Did you get paid for doing Countdown?

Scott: You got a kind of fee for doing it. I think you got about $250 or something for doing it back then. It’s probably equivalent to $500 or something like even on Hey Hey It’s Saturday they paid us for that.

Jason: How did it work? Did Countdown just ring you and say we want you on the show this week?

Scott: Yeah. Pretty much they would ring around the record companies and say we want these guys to host or you know, but at the same time in the early days they were plugging it. They were still plugging the new single towards Countdown to play it and Molly and stuff, I mean Molly produced a single for us even.

Jason: Which one?

Scott: "Something That You Said.”
I remember we were supporting The Police and just before we were about to go on stage we were really nervous as hell because it was the first gig in ages and we hadn’t played together or even rehearsed. And just before we went on stage in walks Molly and Gudinski you know...
“Heard the new demo for Something That You Said”...(says Molly).
So it was really early days and um (Molly continued to say) “I think it’s gonna be a big hit, a top 5 hit in America and I’d really like to talk to you guys about producing it”..
So we did the gig and got off, we talked about it later and Gudinski was saying you know “He’s done this and he’s done that so we should try it”. So we went to Sydney to do it at 301 and it was just like a mammoth effort, you would know about Molly... he’s a pretty full on personality and we were just working around the clock to get this song and it had the strings and everything on it, full on stuff going through it, a bit too much.

Jason: And what was the audiences reaction like at The Police concert to Kids In The Kitchen?

Scott: Well no it was alright you know we were just kind of young . They weren’t there for us but you know,. it was alright. It was just more like we were on, we were off.... you know it’s like “BANG”... it was all a bit of a mind-numbing experience.

Jason: And you got to meet The Police?

Scott: Yeah, the last ever show as The Police.

Jason: Fantastic...

Interview conducted by Jason Grech, Copyright 2003