What's clear from our conversation and an earlier meeting in Sydney is that Perkins has come a long way rom the archetypal bad man of Oz rock who clobbered a guy with a beer bottle for harassing his girlfriend at a post-ARIA party a decade ago. This was the "Tex is sex" rock star of whom Henry Rollins once said, "Mick Jagger wishes he was Tex Perkins."
He had a loutish charisma on and off the stage back then, fiery and leanly brutish with the Beasts of Bourbon, lightened and poised with the Cruel Sea, while the Tex, Don & Charlie venture provided him with enough bar-stool reflectiveness to show what a great storyteller he was. It seemed he could do anything.
It's this curious blend of the elemental and interior that makes Sweet Nothing something of a voyage. "I will say it's a progressive record," Perkins says. "Almost like a day. The first couple of songs are morning time and it's up and bight. Then it gets progressively darker and darker."