WISE WORDS: Darren Hayes Talks Fighting Negativity With Love, Following Release Of New Savage Garden Collection

It’s now been more than 16 years since Savage Garden released their final album, ‘Affirmation’ but, while the group may have gone their separate ways, their memorable songs like ‘To The Moon And Back’, ‘I Want You’ and, of course, ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ have stood the test of time.

To mark 20 years since the group signed their first record label, they have unveiled ‘The Singles’, a new greatest hits collection looking back on some of their best-loved musical offerings.

Following the album’s release, the group’s former frontman, Darren Hayes, spoke to us about his family, finding the "greater power" within ourselves and why he feels a bucket list “really limiting”, in our latest WISE WORDS interview...


1. What do you do to switch off from the world?

I’m a night owl so I tend to do a lot of my disconnecting past midnight. I love the feeling when the whole world has shut down for the day I’m left to think and unwind without any interruptions. I also love yoga. I’ve been doing it on and off for 15 years and it always brings me back to what matters, breathing in and out.

Darren Hayes, performing on his 'The Secret' tour

2. How do you deal with negativity?

By not pushing back and instead redirecting it. I think of all emotions as just energy. If you see yourself separate from your thoughts, you can choose which ones you give meaning to. The same can be said for negative energy. I try not to judge, and I try to redirect it with love. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you don’t take something personally and instead have compassion for where the pain is coming from. When you hit someone back with understanding or love it stops the cycle of friction. It’s not always easy to do, but when you’re aware in the moment you have a choice to respond with love or hate. It’s not rocket science.

3. When and where are you happiest?

Whenever I’m with my husband Richard and our dog, Wally. The three of us are a family. That’s all I need. Also, when it rains and I’m tucked up in bed.

4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

There are so many. One day you’ll look back on all of this and laugh. You can’t fix people. Everyone else is too busy judging themselves to be thinking badly of you.

5. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever had to learn?

That I am enough. That I don’t have to give my power away or diminish myself in order to be liked. I used to dull myself down in relationships and in friendships or give that power away as a sort of act of affection. The end result was, I filled up the object of my affections until I had nothing left to give, and then they walked away. I realised that people will treat you how you think you deserve to be treated. Knowing that is a very powerful tool.

6. What would you tell your 13-year-old self?

I wrote a letter to my teen self, you can find it if you Google it. The short story is, it gets better.

With former bandmate, Daniel Jones

7. What three things are still on your bucket list?

I honestly don’t have a bucket list. I do what I want to do when I want to do it. I find the idea of a bucket list really limiting. Every day is available to you to dream and to allow yourself to experience happy accidents.

8. What do you think happens when we die?

I think we’re just energy and we return to whatever the source is. I like to think of that source as being love. I think there are parts of that love energy in every single living thing and our desire to to connect, to come together, to be one. That’s what I think ultimately happens when you die. You return.

9. When do you feel that we’re in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?

It’s the opposite. Sometimes I think we diminish ourselves and we place importance and give power to something beyond us. If you think of each person, each soul, each spark of light as being a fragment of one collective then you realise your importance in the universe. The ‘greater power’ is actually you. It was you all along.

10. What keeps you grounded?

Nature. I connect with elements, I need to see green, I love to be near water.

11. What do you try to bring to your relationships?

I try to lift the person up, I try to encourage, I like to think I want to make a positive difference in their lives.

12. What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?

I had forgotten my wallet at a cafe and the customer behind me insisted on paying for my drink. I refused, which I regret now because in order to give we have to be able to receive. But I was so touched that he wanted to do that for me. It’s what I would have done and that made me feel very loved.

Savage Garden's 'The Singles' is out now.

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