Brought up in the small New Zealand village of Te Awamutu, Tim and Neil Finn are siblings and share a lengthy musical history that began within the intimacy of their family home. Tim, the eldest of the brothers, explored his musical career while studying in university, eventually leaving university to pursue a career in music with Split Enz in 1972. Many years later, when one of the founding members, Philip Judd, left Split Enz, Tim’s younger brother, Neil, was brought to the band to fill his space.
When Split Enz reached its final days, Neil went on to found a new band, Crowded House. Later Tim would join the band after collaborating with Neil on some songs for the Woodface album in 1991, officially joining them for their final tour. Tim left the band when they went on to tour in Europe.
While Neil Finn took a break from Crowded House following their Temple of Low Men tour, he collaborated with Tim to record songs together. The collaboration would be called Finn, yet upon returning to work with Crowded House, songs written by Neil were rejected by the record company, with Neil bringing his brother into the band and using some works from Finn for the new Crowded House album, Woodface, which was released in 1991.
Woodface includes combinations of the rejected recordings, as well as eight tracks co-written by both Neil and Tim.
The brothers reunited in 1995 to continue their collaboration and produced an eclectic, lo-fi album that they called Finn, using some of Woodface to influence their collaboration as a duo who would become known as the Finn Brothers.
Finn Brothers was the name attributed to their own stage names and the name of the album to avoid confusion with another artist, whereas in New Zealand,the album was called Finn. The brothers played most of the instruments featured on the album, wrote and sang its lyrics.
In 2004 the brothers returned to release another album, Everyone is Here, that was first recorded in New York and then again in Los Angeles with Crowded House producer, Mitchell Froom. The Split Enz song “Edible Flowers” was also featured on the album. In the music video for this song, two individuals appear wearing a donkey costume, and this became Neil and Tim’s attire for their 2005 tour.
Charity and Public Service
In 1993 Tim and Neil were awarded the OBE, or the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, which rewards contributions to the arts and sciences, their charity work and participation in public service.
In 2004, following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, also referred to as the Boxing Day Tsunami, the brothers appeared together at the Wave Aid concert held in Sydney which benefited the disaster struck areas.