Cold Chisel‘s Ian Moss shows why he is an Australian living music legend before he tours Cairns


Ian Moss Cains Tour

ON TOUR: Ian Moss is heading to Cairns.

Hi Ian, how are you? Looking forward to your long-awaited return to Far North Queensland?

Yes. I’m doing the solo acoustic thing again. I think it’s been a while (who’s counting?). So looking forward to playing up here again… the ulterior motive is the warm weather.

WE’RE halfway through 2014… tell us a bit about what’s been happening in the life of Ian Moss this year so far.

Business as usual, I guess. Fortunate enough to have been gigging reasonably steadily. I went on a holiday trip to Chile, with a couple of days in San Carlos De Bariloche, Argentina. Beautiful countryside in the south around Lago Llanquihue. Apart from that, flying.

NOT very long ago, News Corp Australia named you as the No. 1 guitarist in Australia. How does it feel taking out the top spot among such illustrious company?

It’s nice to get your name out there but at the same time, a bit embarrassing. Where were James Muller, Jeff Lang, Andy Heggan and Wayne McIntosh (from Cairns), to name a few?

WHO is your favourite Australian guitarist of all time and why?

Ian Moss Jimmy Barnes

ON STAGE: Guitarist Ian Moss and singer Jimmy Barnes during a Cold Chisel performance in Sydney.

Bit of a hard choice. Some world-class players here but I’ll always have a huge place in my heart for Ronny Peers. I’d hit Adelaide from Alice Springs mid-teens. Adelaide’s music scene, with the strong influence of many a fine muso from the British migrant suburb of Elizabeth, was thriving. I’d seen many a knockout player then saw Ronny and went, “Wow! Why isn’t this guy overseas in a band as big as Led Zeppelin?”

MORE broadly, who do you think were the most influential guitarists or musicians on your own sound?

Probably that late ’60s acid/hard rock explosion. Hendrix, Blackmore, Clapton and Page. But my ears always perked up to players like Wes Montgomery as well.

ANY news from the Cold Chisel front we should know about?

We’re gonna try out a few new tracks in the studio in mid-July. In fact, the first day will be the very next day after I play Cairns, which peeves me ’cos I don’t get to hang around North Queensland to enjoy some sun and sea.

WHAT about your own solo work? Any new releases in the pipeline, or other projects we should know about?

I’m heading to Nashville for a month mid-August to try a bunch of writing. If we get enough songs happenin’, I’ll (hold the phone!) even try putting some down on tape.

YOU’VE been hugely responsible for inspiring generations of rock fans, both in Australia and internationally. How do you feel about the state of rock music in Australia in 2014? Do you think it’s in a healthy state?

Ian Moss Early Days

FLASHBACK: A more youthful Ian Moss

I guess so… It’s a pity we have an almost completely knackered live music scene. Our festival scene is pretty healthy but as for being able to open up your local gig guide and choose a band from any number of pubs, it’s dead in the water as far as I can tell.

WHAT would be a typical day in the life of Ian Moss? What do you get up to outside the music industry? 

I try to maintain a regular regime of exercise. Nothing too intense but consistent. Apart from that, I got a VFR (visual flight rules) single engine pilot’s licence a few years ago. I’d let it lapse a little (flew Sydney to Uluru and back, in the LH seat with a mate in his Rockwell Commander 114A last year) so recently I’ve attained my currency on that.

WHAT can we expect from your show in Cairns this month?

I’ll be doing songs from Six StringsLet’s All Get Together and Soul On West 53rd St with some standards such as Georgia and Cry Me A River. I like to think with my vocal style, the whole show generally tips its hat toward blues.

ANYTHING you’d like to say to the people of Far North Queensland before the show?

Can I nick some of your weather and take it back home? Actually, a more selfless act would be to send it on down to those poor sods in Melbourne, methinks.

Cold Chisel

ONE OF THE BOYS: Cold Chisel’s Phil Small, Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss and Don Walker