Max Q (Australian band)

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Max Q
OriginMelbourne, Victoria, Australia
Years active1989–1990
Associated acts
Past membersMichael Hutchence
Ollie Olsen
Arne Hanna
Michael Sheridan
Bill McDonald
Gus Till
John Murphy

Max Q were an Australian band formed in 1989. Playing electronic music, the band was a collaboration between Michael Hutchence of INXS and Ollie Olsen (Whirlywirld, Dogs in Space soundtrack).[1][2]


Max Q consisted of Hutchence (vocals and songwriting) and Olsen (songwriting and production), who were accompanied by key members of the post-punk scene in Melbourne, Australia; most of whom had previously collaborated with Olsen. The project followed on from Hutchence and Olsen's work on the film, Dogs in Space, where they had first met.

Max Q released its sole self-titled album in 1989 and had minor hits with the songs "Way of the World" and Sometimes". The album was certified gold in Australia,[3] and was the 93rd highest-selling album of 1989 in Australia.[4] Max Q was less successful in other countries. The album is no longer in print and has never been re-issued. The band never performed any live shows.[5]


While the project was named after Ollie Olsen's dog Max,[6] max q is also an aerospace term referring to the point at which the dynamic pressure (q) on a launch vehicle is greatest. Consequently, there is another band called Max Q, which consists of astronauts assigned to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

Band members[edit]

In a 1989 interview, Hutchence revealed his perspective on the Max Q musicians:

Ollie isn't supposed to hang around with pop stars and I'm not supposed to hang around with punk types. The band is made up of rowdy friends from Melbourne. These guys are good musicians who've never had a chance. Most of them have never even been in a studio. These are real underground people who don't have any money. Some of them have never been on a plane before. They were worried that working with me, they'd lose their underground status.[7]

  • Michael Hutchence – vocals, songwriting (died 1997)
  • Ollie Olsen – production, songwriting
  • Arne Hanna – guitar
  • Michael Sheridan – guitar, feedback
  • Bill McDonald – bass guitar
  • Gus Till – piano, MIDI programming
  • John Murphy – drums, percussion, trumpet, screams (died 2015)

Additional musicians

  • Peggy Harley – backing vocals
  • Marie Hoy – backing vocals ("Soul Engine")
  • Pat Powell – backing vocals ("Bucket Head")
  • Pam Ross – narration
  • Recorded at Rhino Studios, Darlinghurst
  • Paula (Peej) Jones – engineer



Year Album Peak positions Certifications
1989 Max Q
  • Released: September 1989
  • Label: CBS
  • Format: CD, Cassette, LP
13 27 69 182


Year Title Chart positions Album


1989 "Way of the World" 8 5 87 44 6 Max Q
"Sometimes" 31 37 53
1990 "Monday Night by Satellite" 107

ARIA Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
ARIA Music Awards of 1990 "Way of the World" ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
ARIA Award for Single of the Year Nominated
Max Q ARIA Award for Breakthrough Artist – Album Nominated


  1. ^ Trevor Block (31 July 2009). "Richard Lowenstein". Mess+Noise. Mess+Noise p/l. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  2. ^ RarebirdNine (1999–2012). "Michael Hutchence". Rarebird's Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews. RarebirdNine. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Albums Chart – Week Ending 24 Jun 1990 (61–100) (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 24)". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  4. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Albums Chart – 1989 (61–100) (from The ARIA Report Issue No. 1)". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  5. ^ Jones, Dan. "Max Q Story". Kelland Hutchence Collection. Archived from the original on 13 April 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  6. ^ Dan Jones. "The Max Q Story". Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  7. ^ Dennis Hunt (30 September 1989). "INXS' Hutchence Rejects Rock Star Image". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b Australian (ARIA) chart peaks:
  9. ^ a b " > Max Q in New Zealand Charts". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Official Charts Company > Max Q". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Max Q > Chart History > Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Max Q > Chart History > Dance Club Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Max Q > Chart History > Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved 18 January 2019.

External links[edit]