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Rising Seas

Midnight Oil

A nightmare vision of a hypothetical future, not in a parallel universe but our backyard

Why I wrote this song

It was a case of music coming before lyrics in this song, there was something about the repetitive nature of the bass riff that suggested the subject matter. An atmosphere of claustrophobic intent, Gordon Gekko in a life raft. Sea level in the western Pacific Ocean has been increasing at a rate 2–3 times the global average, and places like Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Maldives and most of Grand Bahama, including Nassau, Abaco and Spanish Wells will be underwater by 2050 or before.

Governments have been delaying the inevitable in their decision making, like rabbits staring at the oncoming headlights of an express train, and have been fiddling with net zero statistics to meet their targets while our grandchildren are staring down the consequences of our inaction.

About me as an artist

Midnight Oil are more than just a rock ‘n’ roll band. From the northern beaches of Sydney to the streets of Manhattan, they have stopped traffic, inflamed passions, inspired fans, challenged the concepts of “business as usual” and broken new ground.

Seeing Midnight Oil in full flight is to experience the transcendent, kinetic power of live rock ‘n’ roll. Classic songs like “Power & The Passion”, “The Dead Heart”, “Beds Are Burning” and “Blue Sky Mining” leave you inspired to live life more passionately and to Get Involved.

Everything about the band is uncompromising, but their greatest achievement is that they are, night after night and album after album, a great rock ‘n’ roll band. For all of the incredible growth, ambition and experimentation that Midnight Oil have evidenced, the sound and the fury and the spirit of their earliest recordings are still there over 40 years later.

About the music video

The video uses evocative nature footage intercut with a dynamic band performance to create a stirring ‘call to arms’ about the existential threat posed by climate chaos. Drone coverage of unspoilt landscapes is frequently juxtaposed with film of various climate disasters (fires, floods etc) to drive home the consequences of continuing to ignore this issue.

The video also calls out carbon polluters and those in government who have enabled them while also highlighting some activism on this issue to provide some hope of change. The video was conceived by the band and the creative team listed on the YouTube link in close consultation with Greenpeace who provided much of the epic footage which make the video a striking companion piece to a song that sounds an unforgettable clarion call.

The environmental organisations I admire or support

Greenpeace, Australian Conservation Foundation, Green Music Australia

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