JD Fortune recalls “intimidating” experience of joining INXS: “It’s like replacing Elvis”

JD Fortune

JD Fortune has reflected on the “intimidating” experience of joining INXS and replacing Michael Hutchence.

The frontman secured his place in the Australian band after winning the 2005 reality TV show ‘Rock Star: INXS’. “It was incredibly, incredibly intimidating,” the Canadian singer recalled in an interview with Rolling Stone.

“It’s like replacing Elvis or Jim Morrison,” he continued. “I literally played shows where people seemed to be scowling during the first three songs. They were like, ‘You better be fuckin’ good, man.’ By the end of the night, they were rockin’ and rollin’.”

The singer also talked about his drug use around the time that he was rehired by the band in 2010. “While I was going through that depression, I was trying to self-medicate,” he said. “I used anything that was around, except for, like, heroin.”

Fortune continued: “I’m also not a hallucinogenic guy. I don’t like acid or anything like that. I definitely had a romance with cocaine, but it’s been over 10 years now since I have touched anything. That’s one of my proudest accomplishments.”

Fortune also said he was using hard drugs while touring with INXS. “I would call it ‘running’,” he said. “I would go for a ‘run’. We’d play Monday and Tuesday, have Wednesday and Thursday off, and then play Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Those two off days, I’d get whatever I could get my hands on and just lock myself away in a hotel room.”

The singer added that he had now been off drugs for 12 years.

In 2011, Ciaran Gribbin was hired to take over as the band’s lead singer, which Fortune said he believed to be “purely from a management point of view”. The singer said he had been doing “everything and anything” to pay the bills over the past ten years, but said he did not take any non-music jobs.

Fortune also said he has plans for shows in Australia and New Zealand, with exact dates to be confirmed.

In August, INXS celebrated 45th anniversary of their first gig with a deluxe reissue of ‘Shabooh Shoobah’.

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