Los Angeles (September 22, 2005)–CBS’ big summer reality show gamble, Rockstar:INXS may not have delivered the scores of viewers that were initially anticipated, but Tuesday night’s finale delivered the season’s highest ratings, and talk is strong that the show will return next summer with a new band. Millions of viewers tuned in to see the band choose scruffy Canadian J.D. Fortune as its new lead singer.
Capitalizing on its newfound momentum, “Dirty Vegas,” a new song co-written by Fortune and INXS guitarist Andrew Farris that became a fan favorite during the show, was released to radio on Wednesday and will appear as the band’s first single in eight years on October 4 via iTunes. A full-fledged album, Switch, to be recorded with producer Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), will hit stores November 29, and a world tour will commence in January.
While the band took 13 weeks to choose a singer, it apparently didn’t take Mark Burnett Productions, the production company behind Rockstar:INXS, Survivor, The Apprentice and others, nearly as long to choose SLS Loudspeakers for the show. Indeed, the two companies have inked a deal for SLS audio gear to appear on Burnett’s various shows over the next three years, with the INXS show being the first effort of that deal. The agreement must work well, as the first week that SLS’ monitors adorned the stage, the company’s small, square logo was barely visible on screen; the following week, and every week thereafter, virtually every stage shot featured the foot-high letters “SLS” plastered on every speaker in sight.
Towards the end of the show’s run, the competition gave finalists an opportunity to record a single with the band in Los Angeles-based Westlake Studios. For these recording sessions, INXS’s technical director Steve Jones created a monitoring system that would allow the band to work up new songs live with contestants, based around Mackie’s TT24 Digital Live Console and a selection of Mackie Active loudspeakers.
“We didn’t have space for a traditional monitor system and the usual racks of amplifiers and parametric EQs that go along with passive speakers,” Jones explained. “In addition, INXS likes to play loud, and with Jon Farriss’s drum kit and two guitar rigs in the room, the monitors were going to have some serious competition.”
For the main room, Jones selected five Mackie SRM450 Active PA speakers for the band as well as an SWA1801 subwoofer and an additional SRM 450 for the drum monitor. To run the monitors, Jones selected a Mackie TT24 Digital Live Console. “The TT24 was a perfect fit for the control room,” he explained. “There was limited available space with the 72-channel Neve and the large amount of outboard gear already in the room. We positioned the TT24 behind and to the side of the Neve with a Mackie SRM350 along side as a local monitor speaker.”