Air Supply's legacy endures in large part because schmaltzy ballads will always melt girls' hearts, and guys can smell liquefied sugar from miles away.
While Australia's soft-rock heavyweights have been the butt of many jokes, their '80s mega-hits like "Every Woman in the World" and "All Out of Love" have ensured that songwriter/guitarist Graham Russell and vocalist Russell Hitchcock can laugh all the way to the bank.
To this day, the group routinely sells out 1,000-plus music halls — the kind that Grizzly Bear, Vivian Girls or even Beach House would have a hard time filling outside of their coastal strongholds.
Ex-pat Hitchcock, who now lives in Atlanta, recently took time out from touring to bring us all up to date.
Indy: So there's a story about you guys searching hotel couches for change — you'd released a couple albums but were flat busted.
Russell Hitchcock: It's true. We'd toured the U.S. with Rod Stewart in 1977, and we thought we were going to be the conquering heroes when we returned to Australia. But it was the opposite of that. And so we were broke, doing whatever we could.
It was Clive Davis who signed you and really helped take you across the finish line.
We'd released "Lost in Love" in Australia in 1978 and it was a big hit there for us. But we still couldn't work because there were seven guys in the band and we were getting offered like $200 a night to play.
The record found its way to Clive Davis and Arista Records in the U.S. and he called Graham the day he got it and said, "We want to sign you. Here's your future if you want to do it."
You've stretched out the last 10 years. The textures, tempos and tone of 2010's Mumbo Jumbo are very different from what you'd done before.
Songwriting, that's Graham's domain, so if he wants to write another Mumbo Jumbo, I'll be more than thrilled to sing the songs. It's whatever comes out.
The thing is, we don't want to be locked in the past. We've had tremendous success and obviously every night we play "Lost in Love," and "Sweet Dreams," "Every Woman in the World," and "Here I Am," and those things. But we also play new songs in the show every night.
You also did a dance remix, which might seem odd to some.
Well, it might be strange to a lot of people. It's called "Desert / Sea / Sky," and we play it in the show. It was remixed by a couple guys out of Israel [The Wideboys] that have become world famous for doing this kind of stuff. And it actually charted on Billboard.
So for us to be on any kind of chart after 40 years is quite exceptional, and we're thrilled.