Canadian singer J.D. Fortune, who fronted INXS for six years until last August, tells Rolling Stone he's saddened over the news that INXS have ended their touring career.
Drummer Jon Farriss made the announcement in front of 15,000 fans at Australia's Perth Arena on Sunday, the final night of INXS' tour with their latest frontman, Ciaran Gribbin. The band has since released an official statement confirming the split: "We understand that this must come as a blow to everybody, but all things must eventually come to an end. We have been performing as a band for 35 years, it's time to step away from the touring arena. Our music will of course live on and we will always be a part of that."
"It's very sad, if it's true and they're actually breaking up," says Fortune, who now has his own band, aptly named Fortune. "It's the end of an era, and I know how much they all enjoy playing music live. It saddens me that after Michael's [Hutchence] death and everything that we went through as a band that they're calling it quits – especially after they had a new guy in for, I think, a year.
"I'm grateful that our band is moving forward," he adds, "but I'm also saddened that INXS is no longer."
Fortune was dropped from INXS last summer after the band had already lined up Gribbin. He found out when his name was removed from the INXS website just days after he performed with them in Atlanta.
Fortune might not have been so diplomatic about the recent news if things weren't going so smoothly with his solo project. After teaming up with members of the indie band Crush Luther to form Fortune, the group played their first show at the Stone Pony in New Jersey in July and is planning an overseas tour next spring. The band will also release an EP in January called Live Off the Floor, likely featuring a song "Destruction" about the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. Fortune's manager is based in New Jersey, and he has spent many months living there since leaving INXS.
"Jersey has been my second home for a while," says Fortune. "I'm so proud of that state and everybody there. It's just heart-wrenching to know that my friends and family were and are still struggling to get their lives put back together. It's going to take months and months and months and months."