ON TOUR: Bernard Fanning will be ending his Civil Dusk Tour in Byron Bay.
ON TOUR: Bernard Fanning will be ending his Civil Dusk Tour in Byron Bay. Contributed

Bernard Fanning's music from the Bay

AUSTRALIAN music icon Bernard Fanning is best known as the lead singer and frontman of Australian alternative rock band Powderfinger, from its formation in 1989 to its dissolution in 2010.

Civil Dusk is the name of his new album which came out this week.

Fanning and his family moved to Byron Bay in the middle of last year, but has been in between his native Brisbane and this area all his life.

"Although we have been coming here for 30 years since I left school, we are still pretty new to Byron," he said.

The Fanning family moved out of Tyagarah, where they lived for a short while, but it's in this area where Fanning has now set his latest project, La Cueva (Spanish for The Cave), a recording studio he now co-owns with legendary local music producer Nick Didia.

He lived between Kingscliff and Madrid (his wife is from Spain) from 2007 to 2015.

It was in Madrid, this time last year, that Fanning started writing the songs featured in Civil Dusk.

"I spent about a year writing in Madrid, getting ready to come home and make a record," he said.

"I had probably 15 songs when I got back from Madrid and then, when we moved into the studio I wrote a few more very quickly.

"We went through the process of recording over a few months and we realised that we had a lot of material so we were originally splitting it into an A side and a B side, to make it more like an old album.

Fanning and Didia decided to split the material into two records that tell a continuous story.

Civil Dusk is the first one of the series and the second part, called Brutal Dawn, will be released in the first half of 2017.

"They are companions as a series, 80% of it recorded with Nick (Didia) at La Cueva here in Byron Bay."

The other 20% were demos of songs recorded in Madrid.

Bernard Fanning acknowledges that the albums have a particular theme throughout them.

"I didn't set it out to be like this but the way it manifested itself in the songs it comes down to decisions and the consequences of those decisions, and how they impact for the years that you continue to live with them" he said.

"That is the most accurate and at the same time vague description that I can give you about the songs," he laughs.

The Civil Dusk Tour kicks off at the Gold Coast on Tuesday, October 18.

  • At The Northern in Byron Bay on Saturday, November 12.