Simple Minds: Don’t you forget about them with first US tour in 2 decades

Simple Minds by Dean Chalkley

By Debbie Hall

It has been over 40 years since the most successful Scottish band, Simple Minds, came together to create music. Always recording and touring, the band is coming to Las Vegas for the first time in 20 years to share their catalog, and latest album Walk Between Worlds at the Pearl Theater in Palms Casino Resort Oct. 21.

Founding members Jim Kerr (vocals, songwriting) and Charlie Burchill (guitars, keyboards after 1990, other instruments, songwriting) keep the core of the band. Rounding out the sound includes current members Ged Grimes (bass guitar), Sarah Brown (vocals), Gordy Goudie (guitar), Cherisse Osei (drums) and Catherine AD (vocals, keyboards, guitar). Kerr spoke about the North American tour and his music with Informer Media Group.

Informer Media Group: Even with your success, why do you continue to tour?

Jim Kerr: There are so many reasons, but the chief one is this is what we wanted to do with our lives when we started the band in 1978. Of course, we were kids and so naïve. We had no idea what was to come, but I am sure we would tell you then that all we want is the opportunity to play in a great live band touring around the world. Here we are, four decades later, dealing with that challenge and that is the story of our lives.

IMG: The landscape of music has changed since you started so has this affected your music and how has it affected it?

Jim Kerr: In a strange way, while the way people listen to music has changed, what we do has not changed at all. We create new melodies and lyrics, put together and construct a song, and then we travel around the world playing those songs. This is our core. Everything else, especially technology, has changed but music is in our DNA, and the heart of what we do has not changed. The world moves so fast, and it is dizzying sometimes, but our music is something very certain.

IMG: Tell me about your latest release War of the Worlds.

Jim Kerr: It is our 18th album, and we wanted to invoke the classic sound of the band from the 1980s but also contemporary. In a way, this is a contradiction because the world has changed and we have changed, so we wondered how to go back in time. Still, I think we were very successful in achieving this with the new album. We might have invoked the past, but the album also has a vitality, energy, and commitment with a feeling. I don’t have an answer about how we accomplished this, but I believe we did.

IMG: Are you planning any solo projects in the future?

Jim Kerr: I enjoyed the projects I worked on, but that came around when my songwriting partner started a family and wanted to spend time with his children. I was energized to write and could spend hours, so I did do some stuff outside of the band. If it happens again, I did enjoy it enough to consider it in the future. Right now, I am focused on the band and our touring.

IMG: Where are you based?

Jim Kerr: We are fortunate and still live in Scotland, and I spend much of my free time in Italy.

The band scored many hits including “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from the soundtrack of The Breakfast Club, “Alive and Kicking” and “Belfast Child.” Simple Minds will be performing at the Pearl Theater in Palms Casino Resort on Oct. 21 and tickets are available by clicking here.




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