JAMES Reyne wants to know where all the young Australian rock stars have gone?
Despite 40 years in the industry, Reyne remains an avid consumer of new music, and loves artists like Melbourne indie star Courtney Barnett.
But what he really misses is the era of the charismatic frontman or woman.
Someone like a Mark Hunter from Dragon, or a Jimmy Barnes, Mark Seymour or Peter Garrett. Someone who "leaps out of the television" and can be a "bit mouthy."
"Maybe I'm from the wrong generation," Reyne says. "There used to be these guys that had a band, but there was this frontman, this rock star guy.
"I wanna know who the new rock stars are, who have a great look and are a bit on the edge? A guy who is a bit mouthy. I don't know who that guy or girl is."
Reyne suspects younger artists are timid about being controversial, especially in an age where social media can turn the slightest misstep into a raging controversy or, even worse, have you "cancelled".
"Everyone's being nice because the minute you get too mouthy they go, 'We're not playing you', and everyone is so career orientated," he says.
I wanna know who the new rock stars are, who have a great look and are a bit on the edge. A guy who is a bit mouthy. I don't know who that guy or girl is.James Reyne
"They're too scared to be mouthy. But if you have great songs and look great and you've just got that thing and you're charismatic, and you're smart enough to make a few statements that are actually quite interesting - as naughty as they might be - that's what I wanna see."
Reyne emerged during Australia's golden age of pub rock with Australian Crawl in 1979 when he famously appeared on Countdown with both arms in plaster after being hit by a car.
The surf-rock band would go on to sell 1 million records and produce Australian classics like Reckless, The Boys Light Up, Downhearted and Errol. After Australian Crawl's break-up in 1986, Reyne would continue to forge a successful solo career which included nine top-40 singles.
Was Reyne the wild rock'n'roll frontman during his '80s prime?
"I was known to be a bit mouthy when I was young," he says. "Not anymore. I've learnt that lesson. I like to be nice to everybody."
Reyne's days of hell-raising in beer-soaked pubs might be a thing of yesteryear, but his latest record Toon Town Lullaby is evidence the 63-year-old remains a potent songwriter.
It's his first solo album since 2012 and sees Reyne explore humanity's obsession with celebrity and image over protecting the planet (Burning Books), writing songs in Nashville (Toon Town Lullaby) and he even pokes fun at the ARIA Awards (Low Hanging Fruit).
The latter was finished five minutes after watching the ARIAs on TV last year. Reyne says his family usually bans him from watching the awards, because he gets too fired up. This is despite Australian Crawl's place in the ARIA Hall Of Fame.
"The first few lines I thought can I say that?," Reyne says of Low Hanging Fruit. "It's probably a bit mean. But I thought, bugger it. I'm not talking about anyone specifically, I have a lot of friends who work in the music industry and on the ARIAs and they're lovely people and talented."
But what would happen if Toon Town Lullaby was nominated for an ARIA?
"When they hear about this they'll probably hate me," he jokes. "If they had any taste, I reckon, they should say, 'we'll give him album of the year' and then I can get up and sing Low Hanging Fruit."
There's also some touching moments. The Tallest Man I Ever Knew is written about Australian Crawl bandmate Brad Robinson. Robinson died in 1996 aged 38 from lymphoma, two weeks after Australian Crawl were inducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame.
"It became an exercise in trying to use all the little in-jokes that only he and I would only find funny or understand," Reyne says.
"Lines like, 'He didn't care where he was going/ He was on his way'. He was a carefree kind of personality, so I was trying to get that sense across."
To this day, Reyne still misses his friend who he first met a high school.
"Anyone that loses a close friend or family, it's an awful thing," he says. "There are always going to be times when you think of them or have moments in your life, and I know many people go through this when they've lost somebody.
"Some times like when my daughter was born you think about it, because Brad would have loved her."
Reyne accepts radio is largely uninterested in his new material, despite it's strength. For many, Reyne will forever be the Australian Crawl frontman singing Reckless.
"That's the age-old dilemma for people like me," he says. "I'm well known for what I did in my past, but you've got to find that balance.
"I don't get frustrated anymore, I just accept that's the reality of the beast and ranting and moaning about it won't change anything.
"So you try to make as many people as you can aware of the fact that it [a new album] actually exists."
James Reyne's Toon Town Lullaby is out now.