Didn’t the surviving members save their money?!?!

INXS preps an upbeat requiem for Michael Hutchence
NEW YORK ó When INXS entered the studio to revisit its pop hits from the ’80s and ’90s, “there were no rules,” says drummer Jon Farriss. “Except to do the unthinkable.”
The resulting album, Original Sin, out Jan. 11, features such latter-day artists as Ben Harper (on the first single, Never Tear Us Apart), Rob Thomas, Nikka Costa, Tricky and Train’s Pat Monahan providing vocals for songs made famous by original INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997. John Mayer also appears, playing guitar on one track; another features J.D. Fortune, who sang on 2005’s Switch album after winning the CBS reality series Rock Star: INXS.
“Michael’s association with these (older) songs was this fragile little ball we’ve all been holding,” says Farriss, who is co-executive-producing the album with the band’s creative and business director, CM Murphy. “But we thought, we’ve had all this great history. Why not celebrate Michael and INXS jointly ó tweak out the preciousness, and have some fun?”
The early concept for Sin “was a remix-style album, where we reimagined the songs from an electronica perspective.” But the band decided that to stick to one genre would be too limiting.
“We started extending invitations to different singers,” Farriss says. “We didn’t want to just re-record the songs; the further from the original we got, the more comfortable we felt. The theory was, if we’re going to pull this apart, let’s really pull it apart.”
Thomas certainly sounds ready for action on the title track, a breathlessly funky version of the 1984 hit also featuring Cuban DJ Yaleidys. Having performed other INXS tunes both with the band and with Matchbox Twenty, Thomas saw Sin as potentially “a real tribute to (Hutchence). It’s not every band that can take songs as strong as these and update them into something just as interesting.”
Monahan, who redoes the 1993 single Beautiful Girl as a pining ballad, also is a longtime fan. “When they asked what song I wanted, I pulled out a list of about 30. Some may have forgotten how great a band INXS is, but maybe this will remind them, and introduce younger fans.”
Farriss hopes that the latter group will be inspired to dig into INXS’ back catalog and “discover the world before (Sin).” But he’s also looking toward the future. The band will launch an Australian tour with Train in January, “so it will be easy to say, ‘Hey, Pat!’ if we want to do a song.”
Another album with Fortune also is a consideration. “I’d like to get into more writing, and there are songs we can collaborate on. But at this point, we’re living day by day, enjoying that freedom.”