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Perfect Pitch: World Cup Fever Has Human Nature Seeing Parallels Between Sports and Music

Posted by on Friday, June 13th, 2014

If it seems like the boys in Human Nature are displaying a little extra Australian pride this month, there may be an easy explanation. Yes, World Cup fever has spread all the way to the deserts of Las Vegas, and like just about every other soccer/football fan on the planet, your favorite crooners will be keeping long-distance tabs on the goings on down in Brazil (as it happens, the Australian team is in a mighty tough grouping with Chile, the Netherlands, and Spain). With all this in mind, we thought it’d be a suitable time to look at the greater parallels between sports and music, and how Human Nature compares their own line of work to the kind you find out on the field of competition.

Arena Amazônia

Arena Amazônia will host several of the 2014 World Cup matches. The members of Human Nature appreciate the similarities between athletes and singers.
Image source: Portal da Copa/Governo do Brasil via wikimedia.org

“I’m definitely a bit of a sports nut, myself,” says Phil Burton. “When I was a kid I played a whole bunch of sports– rugby, soccer, softball, cricket, golf. I’d give anything a try. Nowadays all I get time to play is golf, but I still love watching almost any sport. Having met a lot of athletes over the years, I’ve found that musicians and athletes always seem to want to switch places! I think we see the same passion and work ethic in each other’s careers– as well as the cheering fans, of course. There really are a lot of similarities.”

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Remembering a Mentor: Why Human Nature Will Always Be Indebted to the Great Jack Neary

Posted by on Friday, May 30th, 2014

One of the most touching and emotional performances in Human Nature’s career came not in a packed stadium or nationally televised concert, but on a somber day in the spring of 2000, when the young group sang “Danny Boy” at the funeral of one of their earliest mentors and champions.  That man was Jack Neary — a giant in Australian entertainment who spent the majority of his 84 years devoted to the promotion and success of homegrown Australian talent.

The great Jack Neary. Image from facebook.com

“We had a lot of support from a whole range of people in our very early years,” recalls Toby Allen, “but Jack [Neary] was definitely one of our greatest mentors. He had sung in a vocal group himself when he was younger, and he always praised us on having a very special sound when we sang together. He was really instrumental in filling us with the confidence to look for new and exciting inspirations.”

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Eastbound & Motown: A Look at Human Nature’s Summer Tour Stops

Posted by on Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

As it turns out, Human Nature’s well-earned reward for surpassing the milestone of 1,000 shows in Las Vegas is also going to be quite the prize for the band’s fans on the other side of the USA. That’s right, the boys are hitting the road again, with a slate of nine special “Motown Show” concerts, set for the dates of August 6 – 17. The mini-tour will hop along the East Coast, with stops in Waterbury, Connecticut; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Washington, D.C.; Boston, Massachusetts; and the group’s very first stateside stomping grounds– Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Human Nature performs

Look out, East Coast! Human Nature is headed your way.
Image source: Flickr user jeaneeem

If you’re an East Coaster determined to catch Human Nature on this rare migration into your neck of the woods, the only question might be, which night should it be? Yes, the nearest geographical option is generally the easiest choice. But each venue on this tour has something special to offer and could prove well worth a journey to see your favorite Aussie crooners in a completely unique environment. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the lucky hosts of the Human Nature Summer Tour 2014!

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“That’s When I Knew”: Human Nature Discuss the Earliest Moments that Inspired Them to Be Performers

Posted by on Monday, April 21st, 2014

Billy Joel once said that seeing the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was “the single biggest moment that I can remember being galvanized into wanting to be a musician for life.” Nancy Wilson of Heart described the very same event as “the moment Ann and I heard the call to become rock musicians.” And Tom Petty remembers that 1964 telecast as the equivalent “of going from black-and-white to color. You just knew it, sitting in your living room, that everything around you was changing.”

The Beatles

This was the moment that changed music forever. Image from lakewoodtimes.net

Now it’s certainly possible that, with the benefit of a little nostalgia and historical context, a single moment in our lives can gradually elevate into the stuff of legend—transcending whatever the original experience may have felt like. But the fact remains, when you ask most successful musicians when they first realized they wanted to pursue music as a career, almost all of them have specific, very vivid memories from childhood that spring to mind.

For the gentlemen of Human Nature, one of those moments would not include the aforementioned Beatle Invasion, considering the mop tops had already long since broken up by the time our Australian crooners were old enough to ponder career choices. Nope, to gather the musical origin stories of our lads, we’ll need to travel out of the 1960s and into the vastly eclectic sonic landscape of the 1980s—their “formative years,” as it were.

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Re-Catching the Songwriting Bug: Covering the Classics Hasn’t Hindered Human Nature’s Creative Side

Posted by on Friday, April 11th, 2014

For nearly a decade now, Human Nature has found great success putting their own unique spin on some of the greatest songs from the pop and R&B canon. From one project to the next, the band has been able to pay homage to their heroes, while focusing on the element that’s always been the centerpiece of their art—the joy and execution of the performance.  Still, for fans who were first drawn to Human Nature’s songwriting and those original, chart-topping hits from the ‘90s, one question has lingered: Will we ever see another Human Nature album of all original material?

Human Nature

Would Human Nature consider putting our another original album? 
Image from Paradigmagency.com

“It’s hard to say whether we would record another original album,” says Phil Burton, being equal parts blunt and vague. “It’s completely different from what we’re doing at the moment. Songwriting takes a lot of focus, and with all we have on our plate right now, it’s hard to say if we would have time to knuckle down and create something brand new. I think it would be a great challenge to undertake, though. And what might it sound like? Would it be more adult or would it still have a pop edge? Hard to say, but I wouldn’t expect another ‘He Don’t Love You’ [from the 2000 Human Nature LP]. That type of song has probably had its moment in the sun!”

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Next Stop: Sydney — Human Nature’s Guide to the Other “Sin City”

Posted by on Friday, March 28th, 2014

In our previous blog post, the members of Human Nature took on the roles of expert Las Vegas tour guides, giving fans the inside scoop on some of their favorite lesser-known, must-see destinations outside The Strip. As it turned out, the boys were absolute pros at dispensing travel tips– which got us to thinking. If they’re this enthusiastic about their adopted hometown, just imagine what they’d have to say about the one place they know even better!

And thus, the Human Nature Board of Tourism is back in business this week, traveling roughly 8,000 miles from our Nevada headquarters all the way to another city that once carried the “Sin City” moniker (albeit due to an organized crime problem in the mid-twentieth century). Today, it’s the crown jewel of the Land Down Under and the place where it all started for our crooning quartet—Sydney, Australia.

Sydney is not only home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, but the members of Human Nature as well!
Image from Flickr user Hai Linh Truong

Now, clearly, if you’re one of Human Nature’s North American fans, a journey across the globe may require a tad more preparation (and budgeting) than a weekend jaunt to Vegas. But with a population larger than any American city outside of New York, and 10 million tourists pouring in each year, Sydney is not a destination that tends to disappoint. Whether you’re looking for natural beauty, art, music, sports, summer in January, or just a pilgrimage to the land where the young Tierney brothers first learned to sing harmonies… it’s all here.

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“Our Favorite Spots in Las Vegas”: The Boys Share Some of Their Adopted Hometown’s Hidden Gems

Posted by on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

If you’ve never been to Las Vegas—or, really, even if you have—there are certain immediate images that spring to mind: giant neon signs, sprawling casinos, luxurious hotels, and various unspeakable things that purportedly stay here after they happen here.

Things can change a bit, however, when you’re one of the 600,000 people who call this dynamic, fast-growing city home. Look no further than our friends in Human Nature. After more than five years of absorbing all the sites and sounds of their adopted hometown, the boys have come to appreciate plenty of Vegas hot spots that are “off the beaten Strip”—to twist the expression.

Now obviously, if you happen to be planning a trip to Vegas, we’ll tentatively presume that a night at the Venetian for a Human Nature show is already in the cards. And we’d certainly be the last to discourage that! But if you do have some time to explore some of the city’s lesser-known nooks and crannies while you’re here, Human Nature is happy to serve as your singing tour guides. They can direct you to some of the best-hidden gems in Sin City.

“There are quite a few places off the Strip in Vegas that are great,” says Phil Burton. “I’ve always been a bit more of a ‘local’ type, myself. Even back in Sydney, I didn’t go in as much for the big touristy places for dinner or a night out. One new place in Vegas I recently discovered and really liked is called Container Park in Downtown. It’s only new but is building nicely into a cool little shopping/dining/entertainment place– perfect for a lazy weekend afternoon with friends and family.”

Container Park

Container Park is a recent Vegas addition and has a little something for everyone: dining, shopping, galleries, and a tree house for the kids!
Image from lasvegas.com

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From Bruno to Bublé: Human Nature Discuss the Current Artists That Inspire Them

Posted by on Friday, February 28th, 2014

Being the stars of a retro-style Motown revue can create some occasional misconceptions. For example, despite their shared love and admiration for the groundbreaking pop music of the 1960s, Human Nature is not a band that has ever looked solely to the past for their inspiration. In fact, when we individually asked the members of HN to name some of their favorite current artists, a few specific performers quickly rose to the top of the list.

So, which modern day chart toppers have managed to capture the hearts of our favorite Australian quartet?

“I am a sucker for a great pop song and am always inspired by that,” Andrew Tierney says. “I love music that is still commercial but takes you by surprise. Pharrell Williams seems to do this all the time.  His instincts are just so cool that I wish I’d written every song he seems to be involved in!”

Michael Tierney seconds that emotion. “Pharrell Williams, for sure,” he says. “He’s an amazing songwriter and artist. I have a lot of respect for his talent.”

Rest assured, even if you haven’t heard the name Pharrell Williams, you have still undoubtedly heard his music. Across a 20-year career, the versatile singer/rapper/writer/producer has lent his funky beats and smooth delivery to everyone from Madonna and Jay-Z to Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg. In the past year alone, he’s played a key part on smash hits by Daft Punk (“Get Lucky”) and Robin Thicke (“Blurred Lines”), and he’s currently got a #1 hit of his own with the single “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.

As you can see with the video below, Pharrell just has a unique knack for creating a cool, laidback, but always danceable vibe—not unlike some of the Motown greats both he and Human Nature grew up listening to. If you need some fresh new music to accompany a summer rooftop party when the sun is setting and a warm breeze is gliding over you, this is your man.

 

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Hearts On Our Sleeves: Human Nature Contemplate “The Perfect Valentine’s Day”

Posted by on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Even the hopeless romantics among us can occasionally get a little cynical about Valentines Day. Here in America, it lands smack dab in the dead of winter—book-ended by the chaos of Christmastime and the misery of tax season. If you’re single, it can be a bit heartbreaking. And if you’re in a long-term relationship, it can be nerve-racking. At its core, though, the eternal draw of Valentines Day is one that transcends the traditions and obligations attached to it. It’s about celebrating love—not just the kind we share with our significant other, but the very emotion itself.  And when it comes to melting the cynic’s icy heart, nothing better communicates the real significance of love like its official language—music.  

Human Nature Live

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Never the Same Night Twice: Human Nature Finds Endless Inspiration from Its Vegas Audiences

Posted by on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

A reporter once asked baseball legend Joe DiMaggio why he hustled on every single play—even in games where the outcome seemed long since determined. “Because there’s always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time,” he answered. “I owe him my best.”

This philosophy is a pretty useful one for any performer, but it seems particularly fitting for a headlining Las Vegas act like Human Nature. When the tour bus goes in the garage and your show settles in on a single stage—there is still one thing that makes every night unique.

“It’s the audience,” says Phil Burton. “You know, we’re in the same venue playing mostly the same songs each night, and that could potentially get a little boring for some performers. But the audience just brings a new energy every night, and we feed off of that. It’s one of the really positive things about being here in Las Vegas—the audience is always changing.”

Human Nature, crooning

“It’s not hard to get yourself inspired,” Michael Tierney says.
Image from 1.bp.blogspot.com

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