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NZMM: Artists on Wellington Music – Ross Mallon/Bulletbelt

We’ve been checking in with some local artists, writers & critics to get their thoughts on what makes the Wellington Music scene unique, and to get their take on some of their favourite Wellington sounds. You can check out some older posts from critics Nick Bollinger, & Grant Smithies, Blue Smoke writer Chris Bourke, and musicians Samuel Flynn Scott & Alistair Fraser, but since it is New Zealand Music Month we thought we would check in with some more people over the course of May.

Whether offering an opinion on the uniqueness or elusive qualities that make up Wellington music, or just some of their favourite albums, the most important thing is the music itself, and we hope these posts lead you back to some favourite albums, or help you to discover something new.

Up today is Bulletbelt guitarist Ross Mallon. Ross & the rest of Bulletbelt are having a busy time of it lately, having just replaced a 2nd guitarist (the newbie is Evan Short from Concord Dawn/Cobra Khan/Subtract), shot a music video, and are recording an ad for TV/radio and another video shoot on Saturday.

I guess I look at the Wellington scene from a bit of an outsiders perspective. Moving here from Otago in 1998, immersing myself in the music scene as a fan, and then a musician a few years later. I think the unique part of the Wellington scene are that it’s geography funnels people into the CBD and Cuba St, and that for metal bands specifically, the Valve/Hole In The Wall/Medusa/Valhalla on Vivian St has provided a crucible for heavy music to form and flourish. So there is a central focal point, and a community/venue evolution around that. Add a relatively small population, and different genres interacting with each other, it all contributes to the unique music of the city.
My picks of Wellington band releases:

Shihad Devolve (EP, 1991)
Head Like A Hole – 13 (1992)
DemoniacPrepare For War (1994)
Sadius Fiend – Cremate (1999)
Backyard Burial – Repeat Offender (2002)
Meth Drinker – S/T (2011)
Red Dawn – Ironhead (2013)

Shihad – ‘It’

Demoniac – ‘Prepare For War’

You can buy some Bulletbelt on Bandcamp here.

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