The brothers' professional relationship seems to be full of conflict and tension. The pair admits to competitiveness, and many who have worked with them have noted their frank criticisms of one another.
In the late '70s, Tim Finn had a band called Split Enz. Based in London, a world away world from their native New Zealand, Tim decided to add his little brother Neil to the group following their lead Phil Judd's departure. It was a wise move, as after much touring, recording and jaunting around the world in search of success, it was with Neil's song 'I Got You' that the band received their first taste of international success.
After Split Enz made like their name and split, Neil went on to start the hugely successful Crowded House, while Tim focused on his solo career. As Tim had for Neil more than a decade earlier, in 1990 Neil invited Tim to join Crowded House. While the teaming was short-lived (tensions on tour meant Tim was again solo by 1992), it did result in 1991's brilliant Woodface
album. The brothers have also since recorded two albums together under the imaginative title of the Finn Brothers.
The pair is still front stage centre in the music scene, with Tim continuing to release solo albums and a Crowded House reunion in full swing.
While the brothers have remained close and have continued to collaborate over the years, their professional relationship seems to be full of conflict and tension. The pair admits to competitiveness, and many who have worked with them have noted their frank criticisms of one another. Neil has no issue with this brotherly appraisal and during an Enough Rope
interview with the pair, commented: "being a perfectionist, to me, is wanting it to be as absolutely as good as it possibly can and leaving no stone unturned."
"There is rivalry, but it seems to work, like when we get together and play we push each other because he digs what I do and I dig what he does, so there's a lot of respect. When we're together its like fireworks, it just sparks," Tim was quoted as saying in a 2000 New Zealand Sunday Star Times
article. What is surprising is these sparks nearly set off a conflagration in of all places, Byron Bay. After a show the tension between the brothers was so high, that were it not for some quick-thinking roadies who pulled them apart, the pair would have come to blows, so says Neil.
While they are nowhere in the Gallagher brothers realm, it's odd to think the duo who gave us songs like 'Weather With You' even came close to having a stand-up fight. Though they have their moments, the relationship between the brothers seems strong, "there's a lot of love there and I'm just grateful to have a brother," admitted Neil.
Although Tim is actually a much more extroverted character, Neil is the fame hog for sure. While Tim's solo career is nothing to be sneered at, Neil, through Crowded House, has become a much bigger name. Throughout the world the love-lost and lonesome owe Neil a debt of gratitude just for bringing them 'Don't Dream It's Over'. Let's not even start on his services to the clingy and needy with 'Better Be Home Soon'. Neil Finn, the dysfunctional romantics of the world salute you.
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