Favourite Wellington Music Moment

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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Ludus

    31.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is local ambient electronic producer & DJ Emma Bernard AKA Ludus. Originally a classically trained pianist since childhood, Emma has been producing dreamy ambient works for 2 years and more recently some downtempo house for labels such as Margins. Ludus has been performing these live for 18 months at festivals such as Performance Arcade, Newtown Festival and opening for acts such as Pitch Black as well as a range of local acts including Disasterradio. Before producing, Emma DJd around Wellington and at festivals such as Taniwhas Den, and now runs the Friday Drive show every Friday from 4-7 on RadioActive.

    I’ve been lucky in having so many good experiences and met so many wonderful and hilarious people through playing music. Such a talent dense community that just keeps giving. One of my favourite memories would have to be opening for Pitch Black. Above being so chuffed with the opportunity of opening for electronic kiwi legends, they were such cool guys who gave great constructive feedback to my set. It was an older crowd who were really supportive, as if they had the future of NZ electronic music in mind. Not really sure how to explain it, but I loved the connectivity of it all. I also love the community at RadioActive, through DJing there, I find out about more incredible local music literally every week. They have a deep love for New Zealand music and you can really feel that when you hang out there which is awesome. Also another fun thing is when there’s no-one in the crowd but my friends! That is always a laugh and a good time.


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – k2k

    30.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is DJ and producer Katherine Anderson, who is better known as k2k. Katherine started playing around with Ableton Live to make tracks while living in Montreal. In 2015 she was accepted into the Red Bull Music Academy, and taught herself to DJ in order to play a live show as part of that course. Following a string of releases on Soundcloud, she released her debut EP Sugar through local label MARGINS in 2017. Now based in Auckland she working on new material, running a Club Night called Night Pottery with Hugo Jay and DJ Kush Boogie (Inky Waves), and playing at Festivals such as Rhythm and Vines & Splore.

    My favourite memory is from one of the first parties I ever threw – it was with Inky Waves at Garrett St in 2016. The party was on Easter so all the bars were closed. Our party packed out early – I think we got around 350 people cramped into this DIY space. We had amazing projections, smoke machines and a stacked lineup. I remember seeing Amy Jean for the first time and being super impressed by her ability to chill the music out while keeping the intensity just as high. I was so stoked that we’d thrown a really fun + packed party, and also really inspired that there was such energy in the local scene for those type of events. It renewed my faith in the NZ scene after being overseas for so long!


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Daniel McClelland

    29.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Daniel McClelland. Daniel McClelland is a multi-instrumentalist composer. He self-recorded his debut album, Anxious Heart, in 2016 in New York, NY. The album sounds like “Michael Jackson’s drums, with Nirvana’s guitar, and The Beach Boys’ harmonies.” McClelland played every instrument himself, and sung every vocal part. Anxious Heart received acclaim upon release, and is a finalist for the 2018 Auckland Live Best Independent Debut award. In a previous life, Daniel performed musical comedy in Wellington, New Zealand. He played in Wellington’s Fringe Festival and Comedy Festival, and was an opening act for Flight Of The Conchords.

    Way back in the midsts of time – specifically, 2001 – Peter Jackson needed to debut 20 minutes of The Fellowship of the Ring at the Cannes Film Festival. The soundtrack was to be recorded in Wellington, and it required a world-class orchestra and choir. Luckily we had the NZSO at the ready, but that still required a choir. One was hand-picked from people everywhere throughout the Wellington region. At the age of 15, I was a pretty competent Alto, and I somehow ended up belting out Dwarvish choral parts in the Wellington Town Hall. To add extra heft to the chanting, a bunch of local rugby players were brought in, directed to belt out gutteral “hoooohgh” moment. A soprano, Mabel Faletolu, was flown up to solo a lament. Together, we sung throughout the Mines of Moria sequence, right through to after Gandalf’s death.

    There’s something special about the Town Hall’s acoustics, and it added a ghostly reverb to our singing that fit the scene perfectly. The best part for me though (aside from meeting Sir Ian McKellen, who literally said “I’m in this movie you know” to me) was getting to see 20 minutes of the film before the rest of the world. From the moment the cave troll was introduced, we knew ahead of everyone else that this series would be a monster hit. It felt like being part of a little piece of history, and somehow they trusted us to even get into the control room to watch them mix. It was a special time to be in Wellington, and a huge privilege to get to sing on the soundtrack of a universally beloved movie. As a teenager obsessed with sci-fi and fantasy, it was pretty special to see the novel unfold onscreen. As a musician, my eyes and ears were opened to what was possible with a large amount of effort and money!

    Here’s a still from the behind the scenes doc, in a now-rare shot of me without a beard.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Bingo Fighter

    28.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Bingo Fighter. Formed by Hayden who was initially a drummer and toured the seas on cruise ships (like a pirate). He then picked up guitar a number of years ago, and began writing and performing his own material. Bingo Fighter gets it’s sound from a fresh approach with emphasis on harmonic interest, punk, sometimes heavy guitars, all with a strong rhythmic component.

    An old song of mine which got it’s premiere at Valhalla on Sunday 5th May is called Soda Pop. The lyrics sum this subject up pretty nicely if I do say so:
    Soda Pop taste so good. Soda pop before me, it makes me sing this little ditty. Give me 1, give me 2, give me 3, give me 4, and before you can be sure I’ll open one before I do the chores. Give me 5, give me 6, give me 7, give me 8, oh how the fizz does taste so great and now I’ve got the Bingo Buzz!


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Peyton Morete

    27.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is young Kapiti Singer-songwriter Peyton Morete. Peyton has been making music since she was nine and has won awards from Smokefree Rockquest, the annual Pride Awards and Kāpiti’s Champion of Change awards – winning the opportunity to have her song ‘Little Guys’ recorded, produced and mixed by Lee Prebble of Surgery Studio and Barnaby Weir of the Black Seeds. She was one of eight teens selected out of 120 nationwide last year to take part in the Pinnacle Programme, a mentoring programme for high achievers run by former Silver Fern Bernice Mene. She competed in the 2019 SmokefreeRockquest Wellington Region earlier this month, her 7th time in the competition, and came away with her 4th win for Solo/Duos. Her latest single ‘Am I Blind To Love’ was released on the 20th of May.

    I was 10 years old when I first entered RockQuest. I rocked up with my purple Gypsy Rose guitar with matching stickers. I was immediately intimidated by all these 17/18 year old musicians playing in their college rock bands. Not only did I make the regional finals I won best lyrics! Not bad for a little kid that was still learning spelling lists for homework.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – Beat Rhythm Fashion

    23.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Nino from legendary 80’s post-punk band Beat Rhythm Fashion, who recently reformed after 35 years for a new album, Tenterhook, and tour.

    … back in 81 when we were recording Turn of the Century for Bunk Records/Mike Alexander at Marmalade Studios. We had laid down the gat, bass and drums and we were deliberating on how to get the sound texture we wanted for the vocal. We wanted a sort of haunting echo/verb atmosphere in the vocal delivery and we liked the idea of getting this from surroundings and not an effects rack…so we ended up doing the vocal in the building’s concrete stairwell… cant remember who thought of it …maybe Michael mentioned they were there…or we had slipped out there a few times for a smoke and noticed the sweet reverb in there ha ha. Anyway the engineer had a chuckle and then thought ok..what the hell…so he ran a dam long mic lead and headphones extension down the hall and out a couple of doors and Dan sang the tune in a grey concrete ‘brutalist’ looking stairwell …the chamber was effect perfect;)…


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    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment: Lucifer Gunne

    22.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Rory, Vocalist/Bassist of alternative rock band Lucifer Gunne. Rory McDonald started writing his own music in 2014 and released his first solo EP, “The Red King” mid 2017. Written in an alternative style with metal influences, “The Red King” EP was the birth of Lucifer Gunne’s dark and hard-hitting sound. Their latest single Energenetic was released in March to rave reviews.

    One of my favorite moments with this band would definitely have to be recording the vocals for our latest single “Energenetic”. After being woken up in the studio by a band eager to get the recording process finished, I took my first vocal takes after being asleep for over 2 hours, and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment: Rob Joass & Hobnail

    20.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is Rob Joass.
    Rob moved to New Zealand from his native Sydney over 25 years ago. Since then he has maintained a consistently high profile in folk music circles in New Zealand, having released 10 albums with his bands Hobnail, Too Many Chiefs and The Shot Band, and touring the country regularly. He has been a finalist at the NZ Music Awards 3 times (twice for best country song, once for best folk album) and has had songs covered by bands in New Zealand and Canada. His third solo album “Pencarrow” was released recently to rave reviews.
    “…a songwriter’s songwriter…beautifully done, understated and allows the songs to breathe.” 4/5 stars – music.net.nz

    I have organised a charity fundraiser supporting DCM’s work with the homeless in Wellington for several years. Everybody I approached from the industry, including many of the most successful musicians in town, didn’t hesitate to offer their services. No egos, no demands, just a willingness to help out. In fact one of my favourite things about making music in NZ is that the most successful people are often the nicest and most generous people you can hope to meet.

    It has been 25 years since Hobnail (then Hobnail Boots) made their first tentative steps in the world. Rob Joass and Jo Moir had previously played together in the short lived Wild Blue Yonder, an acoustic folk/pop band influenced by the likes of Paul Kelly and The Go-Betweens (career highlight – opening for Suzanne Vega!) Hobnail Boots was an altogether different animal, starting life as a party band playing celtic and country music, but always with a solid slice of original material thrown in. Finding their original material as popular with audiences as the cover versions, they started taking things a bit more seriously, recording and touring their own music, and were invited to play in North America on the back of their first 2 albums. Since then Hobnail has continued what they have started calling their endless tour, performing all over NZ (including the Mercury Bay Music Festival, Christchurch Folk Festival, The Caroline Bay Festival and a wonderful Lazy Sunday at Hagley Park to an estimated 3,000 happy fans).

    It’s the eve of their 8th and 25th Anniversary Best of album release “Boots And All” in late June, with a tour reaching far and wide planned during June and July. In the lead up they have recorded a ripping version of the 1983 classic Sierra Leone by Coconut Rough. Built around the driving violin of Jo Moir and sung by bass player Hamish Graham, this version pays due respect to the original while giving it a definite Hobnail spin. Hobnail have always drawn from folk/rock influences, and while their take on Sierra Leone falls towards the rock end of that spectrum it will not disappoint long term fans of a band who have always taken an eclectic approach to cover versions to go alongside their respected catalog of original music.

    I was engineering a session at Mediate Music a little over 25 years ago. A “Medieval Folk” group called The Caught Jesters were in the studio. The percussionist had a variety of instruments, including ankle bells. We spent quite a bit of time working out how best to capture the magic of that particular instrument. Lets just say he had a unique approach to music. And life. That was Hamish Graham, who I have now worked with continuously ever since. No more ankle bells, but still most definitely unique.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment: Josie Moon

    17.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is independent pop singer & producer Josie Moon. Josie began to make music as a way to move forward with growth and self improvement from a period of depression, and released her first single Satellite 2 years ago when she was only 19. She has since gone from strength to strength with debut E.P Rose Tinted and an opening slot for Tash Sultana.

    One of my favourite moments tied to music in Wellington was last year in summer. I used to work at a hotel and I would write a lot of lyrics on my waiter note pad during my shifts, and then when I finished (usually around 10pm) I would walk down to the waterfront and write for an hour before I got my bus home. It was still warm enough outside and a lot of people would still be going for walks on the docks with their partners or dogs. It was a gentle and welcoming atmosphere to get some of my work done in after I had been sweating all night waiting tables.


  • General

    NZMM: Favourite Wellington Music Moment – The Polly Johnson Set

    15.05.19 | Permalink | Comment? | By

    For NZ Music Month the last couple of years, we asked bands/artists for a favourite memory of making music in Wellington.

    It could involve a favourite gig, a funny story from the recording studio, a moment that led to the inspiration for a song, the fond recollection of a defunct venue, or the piece of music or lyric that they were most proud of creating.

    We really enjoyed the stories people told us, so we are doing it again this year.

    Next up is The Polly Johnson Set, who released their self-titled full length debut earlier this year.

    A couple of years ago we had a gig at a venue we’d been desperate to play for ages. We were super excited. Turned out to be a total wreck, our worst gig ever. Mic stands collapsed, instruments were dropped and damaged, one of us had a coughing fit mid song, another tripped over, songs were forgotten, major feedback issues, not to mention the punter standing by the sound desk who kept leaning on all the controls and sending them way out of whack! A classic case of if something could go wrong, it did. We finished that gig totally demoralised. But ultimately it made us stronger. It made us understand our weaknesses, accept what we could and couldn’t control, and commit to being the band that we knew we could be. That gig did us a favour and gave us a kick up the ass, and we’re a better band for it.


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