Andrew Farriss

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Andrew Farriss
Andrew Farriss at the Gympie Muster 2019.
Andrew Farriss at the Gympie Muster 2019.
Background information
Birth nameAndrew Charles Farriss
Born (1959-03-27) 27 March 1959 (age 61)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
GenresRock, new wave, Country music[1][2]
Occupation(s)Keyboardist, singer, composer
InstrumentsKeyboards, guitar, harmonica, vocals, percussions, keytar
Years active1977–present
LabelsVarious labels
Associated actsINXS

Andrew Charles Farriss AM (born 27 March 1959) is an Australian rock musician and multi-instrumentalist best known as the keyboardist, backing vocalist, and main composer for rock band INXS.


Andrew Charles Farriss was born on 27 March 1959 in Perth, Western Australia, to Dennis and Jill Farriss, and is the second oldest of four children: he has two brothers, Tim (born 1957) and Jon (born 1961), and a sister, Alison.[3] At the age of five years, Farriss, and his family had a holiday in London where they saw a performance by The Beatles.[3] In 1971 the Farriss family relocated to Sydney, where he attended Davidson High School. With Tim taking up guitar lessons, Farriss "had instinctively taken to playing piano", and Jon played drums.[3] At school Farriss met Michael Hutchence after preventing a fight with another student.[3] The two became friends and in 1976 Hutchence, on lead vocals, joined his band, Doctor Dolphin.[3][4] The line up included two other classmates, Kent Kerny and Neil Sanders and, from the nearby Forest High School a bass guitarist, Garry Beers, and Geoff Kennely.[4]

Farriss is credited solely with keyboards on the band's earliest albums, but by 1984's The Swing, he was listed as playing guitar, as well. On stage, he also plays harmonica and various hand-held percussion instruments.

While INXS' early albums credit the band as songwriters, by their third album, Shabooh Shoobah, the team of Farriss as composer and Hutchence as lyricist was well established. While there were some INXS songs written by other members of the group, or by Farriss alone, it was this combination that brought INXS the majority of their international success in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, Farriss co-wrote all but one of the band's top-40 hits in the US.

Despite extensive writing, recording and touring commitments with INXS, Farriss collaborated with many other Australian artists in a songwriting or production capacity. His most significant early collaboration was with Jenny Morris, a New Zealand singer who had sung back-up vocals on INXS' 1985 hit album, Listen Like Thieves. Farriss has also co-written and produced with the Australian Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi, Australian country singer Tania Kernaghan and Scottish rockers GUN. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1990 he won Producer of the Year.[5][6]

In 2005, INXS launched a reality TV show, Rock Star: INXS, a worldwide search for a new lead singer. While all of INXS knew it would be impossible to replace Michael Hutchence, who died in 1997, they wished to carry on bringing their music to the world.

In 2016, Farriss was inducted into the Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame.[7]

In 2019, Farriss released his debut solo single "Come Midnight".[8] In January 2020 he released his second single "Good Momma Bad".[9] He has performed solo at the Hay Mate drought relief concert, the Gympie Muster, the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. On 28 August 2020 Farriss released his single "All The Stars Are Mine" and announced his EP "Love Makes The World" to be released on 2 October 2020.[10]

On 26 January 2020 Farriss was awarded with the Member of the Order of Australia.[11]

Farriss is scheduled to release a self-titled album in March 2021 on Rockingham via BBR (a country music label owned by BMG).[12]

Personal life[edit]

Farriss married Shelley Blanks on 22 April 1989 (divorced 2012). The couple have three children.

In the official INXS autobiography Story to Story, Farriss describes his dislike of touring and being away from his family.

Farriss married Marlina Neeley in October 2013. The couple live on a cattle farm in the Tamworth Region of NSW.[13]



Title Details
Andrew Farriss
  • Released: 19 March 2021[14]
  • Label: Inertia

Extended Plays[edit]

Title Details
Love Makes the World
  • Released: 2 October 2020[15]
  • Label: Rockingham Holdings, BMG Australia


Title Year Album
"Come Midnight"[8] 2019 Andrew Farris
"Good Momma Bad"[16] 2020
"All the Stars are Mine"[17] Love Makes the World

Awards and nominations[edit]

Australian Songwriter's Hall of Fame[edit]

The Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame was established in 2004 to honour the lifetime achievements of some of Australia's greatest songwriters.[18]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 himself Australian Songwriter's Hall of Fame inducted

Countdown Australian Music Awards[edit]

Countdown was an Australian pop music TV series on national broadcaster ABC-TV from 1974–1987, it presented music awards from 1979–1987, initially in conjunction with magazine TV Week. The TV Week / Countdown Awards were a combination of popular-voted and peer-voted awards.[19]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1984 himself (with Michael Hutchence) Best Songwriter Won


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e Nimmervoll, Ed. "INXS". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b St John, Ed (1998). Burn : The life and times of Michael Hutchence and INXS. Sydney: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-7338-0182-X.
  5. ^ "Winners by Award – Producer of the Year". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  6. ^ "17th Annual ARIA Awards". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 23 February 2004. Retrieved 5 November 2016. Note: User may be required to access archived information by selecting 'The History', then 'By Award', 'Producer of the Year' and 'Option Show Nominations'.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Andrew Farriss To Release Country Album for his Solo Debut". noise11. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Andrew Farriss (CD)". JB HiFi. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Love Makes the World (EP)". Apple Music. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Songwriter Andrew Farriss releases second single 'Come Midnight'". Voxy. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Andrew Farriss releases new single "All The Stars Are Mine"". The Rock Pit. 28 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  18. ^ "Hall of Fame". asai. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Countdown to the Awards" (Portable document format (PDF)). Countdown Magazine. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). March 1987. Retrieved 16 December 2010.

External links[edit]