The Church is an Australian alternative rock band formed in Canberra in 1980. Initially associated with new wave and the neo-psychedelic sound of the mid-1980s, their music later became more reminiscent of progressive rock, featuring long instrumental jams and complex guitar interplay.
Founding members are Steve Kilbey on lead vocals and bass guitar, and Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper on guitars. Drummer Nick Ward played only on their first album; through the 1980s the band's stable drummer for eight years (1982-1990) was Richard Ploog, who left the band after Gold Afternoon Fix. Jay Dee Daugherty (ex-Patti Smith Band) played drums for the band 1990-1994, after which Tim Powles became the longest-serving drummer; having played with the band, since 1996 he has now been a member for 18 years. Three of the members recorded material as The Refo:mation in 1997.
The Church's debut album, Of Skins and Heart (1981), delivered their first radio hit "The Unguarded Moment". They were signed to major labels in Australia, Europe and the United States. However, the US label was dissatisfied with their second album and dropped the band without releasing it. This put a dent in their international success, but they returned to the charts in 1988, with the album Starfish and the US Top 40 hit "Under the Milky Way". Subsequent commercial success proved elusive, however, and the band weathered several line-up changes in the early 1990s. The last decade has seen them settle on their current line-up. On 27 October 2010, The Church were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in Sydney.