TWENTY years ago Alex Lloyd released his debut solo album, unaware it would catapult his career as one of Australia’s much-loved artists.
It was 1999 and while Lloyd had dropped a couple of albums with his then band, it was the launch of Black The Sun that saw him getting major airtime.
The breakthrough album, which included singles Black The Sun, Lucky Star, Something Special and My Way Home, went on to win triple j’s Album of the Year, went double platinum and saw the singer-songwriter win the ARIA for Best Male Artist in 2000.
Lloyd also won an ARIA in 1999 for Best New Artist for Lucky Star that featured on the Two Hands film soundtrack, which starred Heath Ledger and now good friend Rose Byrne.
“I think at the time I sort of shut my eyes and just went with it,” Lloyd said.
“Now I look back, I think I probably could have enjoyed it more.
“At the time it was like stressing out about this and that, and someone saying ‘you’ve got to do that’ or ‘don’t do this that way’, or ‘make sure you do a good performance’ and there’s lots of important people watching you and all this sort of stuff.
“Now I’m older I think I shouldn’t really worry about things like that and just enjoy the now.”
But it didn’t stop at the first album, following it up with Watching Angels Mend in 2001, which featured Green, Everybody’s Laughing and the hugely popular Amazing, which was the number one song in triple j’s Hottest 100 in 2001 and the most played song on Australian radio in 2002.
The album also saw Lloyd win his second Best Male Artist ARIA in 2002 and it went triple platinum.
With the release of another five albums and a raft of well-known singles, Lloyd is now going back to where it all began to celebrate the 20-year milestone.
Kicking off in WA, he will hit the road in October and November for a 16-show national tour, playing Black The Sun in its entirety for the first time.
“There’s a couple of songs I have to sit down and relearn and remember what I did on the guitar,” Lloyd joked.“There’s definitely songs we didn’t play very much… so it will just be cool to play the album in its uniform state.”
The shows will also feature the album’s original band line-up.
“I’ve been doing mostly solo acoustic shows for ages so I’m excited to have a band again,” Lloyd said.
“It will be nice to see them and spend time with them and we can all pretend we are in our 20s again.
“I’ve been listening to the album and… I still like it so I’m quite excited about getting out there and playing it.
“It does take me back to certain places and certain times and that feeling of being young.”
And despite writing the album more than 20 years ago, Lloyd said it still felt just as relevant now.
“I still identify with it quite a lot,” he said.
“I guess predominately the record was like a break-up record and I kind of went through that myself recently so that resonates with me.
“I like where it comes from and what it says and I feel a connection with that still.”
To coincide with the celebratory tour, Black The Sun will also be released on vinyl and a special 20th anniversary album featuring a bonus collection of tracks recorded Live At The Wireless via triple j from the era.
Fans may also be pleased to know Lloyd is currently writing a new album which he hopes to release early next year.
Who: Alex Lloyd
What: Black The Sun 2019 Tour
October 17: Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
October 18: The Dunsborough Tavern, Dunsborough
October 19: Freo.Social, Fremantle
Special guests: Hey Major