Mark Opitz is to Australia what Don Was is to the US -- namely, the go-to guy for mainstream rock and pop production. Opitz has worked with nearly every Aussie band that has graced the pop charts in the last 15 years, including INXS, the Divinyls, and Hoodoo Gurus. Though he first began his production career as an engineer with Australian TV, it wasn't long before he realized that he wanted to be on the inside of a recording studio. In 1975, he landed a gig with EMI studios in the tape-dubbing department and after graduating to the mastering suite, he eventually took a label job at Capitol's Australian subsidiary where he was able to use his considerable influence to become EMI's staff producer. The position was short-lived however, as Opitz was eventually forced to resign when it was learned he'd been producing non-label artists on weekends to practice his production technique. Australia's preeminent production team at the time (and friends of Opitz'), Vanda and Young, offered him a position as engineer and he immediately set to work with their staple artists AC/DC. When Opitz was given the job of producing the Angels, a young hard rock band, he finally stumbled upon gold in the form of a signature, thick guitar sound that ruled Australia's early '80s airwaves. Another switch to A&R saw Opitz sign the Divinyls (later to have a U.S. hit with "I Touch Myself"), as well as produce INXS' first classic, 1982's Shaboo Shaboo. In the '90s, Opitz produced several more INXS albums, including Welcome to Wherever You Are and Full Moon, Dirty Hearts. He now works for Australia's Mushroom Records.
Share this page