"I never felt any pressure to write hit records...from anybody except myself," says former Men at Work frontman Colin Hay, who has been solo since his band broke up in 1985. Since then the Scottish/Australian singer-songwriter has released nine albums. Two, 1998's Transcendental Highway and 2007's Are You Lookin' at Me?, have been re-issued. A third, Topanga, comes in June, and in late summer a brand-new album, tentatively titled American Sunshine, will be released. Hay is currently touring the U.S., playing songs both new and old, including some Men at Work numbers. "I would like to think that the songwriting has gotten better over the years," he says. "I think generally it has, but I would put 'Overkill' up there with anything I've done recently." Even though he hasn't been on a so-called major record label for quite some time, he still manages to move a fair number of CDs and sell out most live performances. "A lot of people want me to be happier on a smaller scale, but that's not really the way I feel; they're the cards that I'm holding. I was quite happy selling a lot of records on a big label," he says. He's quick to note, though, that "being on smaller label is great as well. You're more connected with the fans." All ages.
Fri., May 1, 7 p.m., 2009