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Blaek

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  • The Eighth Note: Zero Cool
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    ‘The Eighth Note’ is 8 quick Questions with Wellington Musicians.

    A chance for us to catch up with people & see what they’re up to, or introduce you to a new musician/band and their music.

    Today’s guest is Scott Maynard (Fuyuko’s Fables, Pales) who is in a new band signed to Ball of Wax Records called Zero Cool.

    Who are you? Tell us a bit about your music:
    My name’s Scott Maynard – I’ve been playing in bands in Wellington for the last 10 years.
    I grew up in Gisborne playing in punk and metal bands with my brothers and friends but since moving to Wellington I’ve played mostly in jazz, folk, and rock ish scenes.
    The main projects I’ve been writing for over the years have been Fuyuko’s Fables, Pales, and currently Zero Cool. Right now I’m also playing in Black Spider Stomp, Seamouse, and Blaek.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What have you been working on lately? Any new tracks or albums on the way?
    Lately I’ve been working on the release of a 7 track album for Zero Cool – It’s a 3 piece indie-rock thing with my brother Matt and friend Symon. The album has taken about a year to get the whole thing together (kind of slow going as I’ve had zero budget). It has just been released actually!
    I’m definitely keen to do a follow up album for zero cool. We have a few songs that were written after I started recording that I’d like to get down.

    Where is the best place people can follow you & find your music?
    Everything is available online on Bandcamp. Zero cool is also on iTunes and Spotify.
    Facebook is probably the easiest way to check out what we’re up to – we post articles, releases, and upcoming shows up there. I also keep a Soundcloud account that has all my music from different bands on it.

    What were the 3 most influential albums to you growing up?
    Hmmm. I always find it difficult to do rankings and know what has influenced me.
    Some of my earliest memories of listening to music were of Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, and Bob Dylan on my parents’ cassettes.
    I’d say more of my more influential musical experiences have come in my adult life or not from albums. Studying with some amazing people – Alison Barclay, Roger Sellers, Dan Ryland. Seeing local an international bands live – Seth Frightening, Meth Drinker, Groeni, Grizzly Bear, Ornette Coleman! I think live music and personal interacts have more of an impact on me.
    Sorry – a bit of a cop out answer.

    Which other Wellington musician (s) would you most like to work with?
    There’s so many! I’m lucky to already work with some of my favorite musicians.
    I’d like to do more with Al Green (Groeni/producer), Emi Pogoni (sonic artist), Lily West (Mermaidens), Te Atawhai Ponga (3ch∆in$&a†∆•nga), Anna Wooles (Ida Lune)
    There’s too many talented people to list and I’m definitely holding back so I don’t look too creepy.

    What is your favourite Wellington venue to play in?
    Anywhere you can get a decent soundcheck! That’s the difference between feeling happy or bummed with your set for me. It’s pretty slim pickings at the moment for venues for original/alternative music, but the main ones (Meow, Caroline, San Fran, Moon) are all good!
    I really enjoy playing smaller but full spaces though, private venues and house shows are my fave.

    In your songwriting or composing (or the bands songwriting) how do the compositions and songs take shape?
    Usually I’ll start with one basic idea – A melody or a guitar/bass riff/chord sequence, and as that idea develops there’s normally a few alternative ways to approach that idea so you can use that to flesh out the rest of the song. I try not to ram in to many ideas when writing to give each piece its own flavour. I also like to really let the melody guide the song’s direction. With lyrics, I just go with whatever theme the music leads me towards and try to stick with that. I figure if nothing else it’s sincere. With Zero Cool there has definitely been an deliberate simplifying of parts to keep it raw and give the music a bad attitude.

    Where/when is your next gig?
    Zero Cool are playing our album release show this Saturday, 11th Nov at Caroline with Heavy Chest, and Bad Friend.
    We’ll be in Christchurch Saturday the 25th of November at Darkroom with Wurld Series, and Brian Tamaki and the Cool Aid Kids.
    Aaaaand Auckland at Whammy’s Backroom on Friday the 1st of December with Milk, and Hagseed.
    We’re also doing a day time house show on the 9th of December as part of a showcase for our record label Ball Of Wax.

  • New EP: Blaek
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    ‘New EP’ is where a band or artist answers some questions about their latest EP release. Up next is classically trained vocal virtuoso Rose Blake (Ida Lune, Pales), who has stepped into new territory with her exploration of the electronic music world with new musical project Blaek.

    When/where was the new EP recorded?
    The EP was recorded in a few different places. The vocals were recorded in my home studio, while the strings were recorded in a larger space at my friend’s house. Other elements, including the analogue synths, and computer-generated sounds were recorded at home. I worked on the songs throughout 2015 and 2016.

    Who produced/engineered the EP? How did the tracks come together in the studio, or at home?
    I worked with a good friend, Al Green, who co-produced the EP with me. I went to him with the written tracks and had some good sessions working through the sounds I wanted to create. It was a very honest process and if I didn’t like something he did, I felt comfortable to say so and vice versa.

    Does the shorter format of an EP give you the option to experiment in any way with your sound or with different forms of song-writing?
    Definitely, it was my first venture into creating this kind of music. I think writing in this format gave me the opportunity to play around with different sounds and take risks to find out what I wanted to create without it being too overwhelming.

    Was there any specific gear you used to capture that?
    I was lucky to have access to some exciting synths such as a Juno-60 and a few other gems such as several Dave Smith synths. I was very excited to be able to manipulate the timbre of the sound to fit with the different moods of each song. I was also interested in manipulating my voice. This is something I’ve never done before and I found it fascinating to experiment with all the different ways you can manipulate such a personal instrument.

    Is there a particular track or theme that the EP was formed around?
    I never settled on a specific theme for the EP but I think there is a personal and restless quality throughout the work. I really wanted the listener to be able to make their own connections with the music without spelling out the meaning of each song directly to them. At the same time, I also wanted to express more personal and specific feelings or things that I have experienced in my own life.

    Where do you see the EPs place in growing an audience online? Do you see it as a progression towards an album or a separate entity?
    The EP has been released purely online, as this is my very first release under the name Blaek. it’s a crucial step in getting my music out there and making it available to a wider audience. I think this is a step towards an album or another EP. I feel like this has been a great way to find the initial sound of Blaek and now I can explore it further. I have also been working with a new local Wellington label called Ball of Wax – they have been great at helping my release and promote the EP!

    Which digital platforms is it available on?
    The EP is available to listen to or purchase on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, iTunes and Spotify.

    Are you doing any gigs or promotion for its release?
    I have now done a release gig but I’m planning to perform more gigs in the future!

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