Listen: Human Nature’s Mike Tierney chats to Sam Robinson and Duncan Robinson.
It was 1989 when Toby Allen, Phil Burton and brothers and Andrew and Mike Tierney first stepped onstage as the ‘4 Trax’, for a combined schools show at Bankstown Town Hall.
They were schoolmates at Hurlstone Agricultural High, and they wowed the crowd with their a capella rendition of the doo-wop classic, Earth Angel. Little did they know it was only the start of what would become a long-lived showbiz career, filled with album recordings, platinum records and sellout shows as one of the worlds best-loved boy-bands.
It took a few years of street performances, talent quests and club gigs before the 4 Trax landed their first Sony contract with a demo of People Get Ready–and changed their name to Human Nature. This year, they’ll celebrate 30 years in the business.
Chatting to Hope 103.2’s Sam and Duncan, Mike Tierney said he and his bandmates are proud of a lot of their studio albums. But looking back at their very first, Telling Everybody, released 23 years ago, it’s particularly amazing to see that album’s staying power.
“Our very first record was a really great first release,” he said. “We had quite a few big hits off that first album and people still sing those songs, so it’s a pretty cool thing to have your first record still well remembered. People have a fondness for it.”
Hits from that album like Wishes and Don’t Say Goodbye are still on high radio rotation.
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The Climb to International Fame
In the late ‘90s Human Nature were catapulted to international attention when they opened for Michael Jackson during his world tour in 1996 and ’97, both in Australia and Europe. In 1998 they also opened for Janet Jackson on her Australia tour.
The band solidified their status as pop royalty with their 1997 hit alongside John Farnham, Every Time You Cry, and sang on the world stage performing Australia’s national anthem at the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Summer Olympics.
In 2005 they explored a classic era in music with Reach Out: The Motown Record, and their latest three ‘Jukebox’ albums are collections of classic love songs from the 1950s to the ‘70s.
These days they’re well-loved in the USA with a permanent residency at the Las Vegas venue The Venetian, where they’ve performed more than 1700 shows. They’ve also appeared on America’s Oprah, Dancing with the Stars, and starred in their own PBS TV show.
More recently, Andrew Tierney began delving more deeply into his Christian faith, and placed it firmly in the spotlight in 2018 releasing a worship album, Finding Faith, alongside worship pastor Timothy Dunfield from his church in Las Vegas.
Celebrating 30 Years With ‘Little More Love’ Tour
Human Nature will celebrate their 30th year in music this year with their ‘Little More Love’ tour of Australia, taking in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle and Sydney. Dami Im will be their support act. Mike said performing in Australia is like nothing they do in the USA, and they can’t wait to be back on home turf.
“To come and do shows in Australia where we’ve got history with people, it’s just a different thing and we can’t wait.”
“It’s such a highlight for us when we get the chance to come back and do shows for a home audience, for people who’ve grown up with us over those years and know our original music as well,” he said. “Often here in Vegas the audience we get is [made of] people who have never heard of us. They hear the show is great, they hear through word of mouth that they should come and see the show. So to come and do shows in Australia where we’ve got that history with people, it’s just a different thing and we can’t wait.”
It’s a big year of celebrations for the boys; this year they were also presented with OAMs in the Australia Day Honours awards for their work in music and for charity. Mike said the award was both unexpected and humbling.
“It’s lovely to be recognised by your country and to get that honour.”
Sydney shows are on May 10 and 11 at the International Convention Centre.