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blackjack new zealand band In the early 1980s I was listening to The Verlaines, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, Sneaky Feelings, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Split Enz, The Swingers and Mike Nesmith and while they all eventually drifted from the forefront of my musical palate I never forgot the joy of these formative music discovery years.
Those sparkling melodic memories are burned into my psyche and all that has required for them to reappear was the right set of circumstances.
In the case of The Verlaines it was seeing a vinyl reissue of their first album 1985s Hallelujah All The Way Home on display in a record store in 2016.
For a while I was such a fan of The Verlaines that I even went to see them play live and I hate live gigs.
It was at Mainstreet in Auckland and what I remember most was Graeme Downs breaking a series of guitar strings and slowing up proceedings as he stopped, sometimes mid-song, to thread a new one.
I decided I needed to hear some actual Verlaines for real and discovered a nice cache of material at the Auckland Central Library.
The album I selected was called Untimely Meditations 2012.
Almost three decades years after his professional debut, Verlaines muse and leader Downes has mellowed not at all.
Imagine a swath cut from the last 100 years of musical history referenced and archived in a twisted lucid dream.
This is Untimely Meditations — an alchemical soup that defies easy categorisation but here is a hint a what I was I was hearing: The Who, Television, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Coltrane, Fela Kuti, Gil Scott Heron, the Brill Building, Beefheart, The Velvet Underground and Fripp.
Perceived influences aside, Downes is a true original.
His melodic structures and arrangements are like nothing else under Kiwi sun, edgy and angular affairs that serve to challenge, confound and thrill the listener at any given moment.
In the decades since the Verlaines debut album Hallelujah More info The Way Home, Downes has added horns, organ and strings to the original mix of bass, guitars and drums and the result is intoxicating.
The good news is that a new album is due to be released sometime in 2017.
While the friendship between the acts remained strong, artistically they were destined for different paths and by the time of their respective debut albums, that difference was well apparent.
The bands 1986 album the Bacharachian Sentimental Education was a lush and melodic affair that appealed to my sensibilities so perfectly that I wore out my first copy.
I was working behind the counter at a Hamilton DVD store called Auteur House, an oddball affair that catalogued its movies by director, when a customer bought an empty case up to the counter for blackjack new zealand band />Processing his request into the computer I asked for his name as per standard procedure.
He looked back at me like a possum caught in headlights so I hastily took his money before attempting some kind of redemptive statement.
I wanted to say how much I admired his music but it came out garbled and still looking like a possum caught in headlights he grabbed his movie and fled the shop.
I bumped into him again two years later at the home of a mutual friend.
We were drinking beer, smoking pot and listening to music when in ambled Matthew who was in fine form.
He spent the evening bouncing about the room while we swapped tracks and talked philosophy and music history.
We parted friends and have been ever since.
The result is music whose delicious melodies and playful arrangements belie their dark acerbic underbelly and impending sense of tragedy.
The good news for fans is that the Sneaky Feelings have reunited and have recording new material due for release in 2017.
Nice except that Bannister barely needs them.
blackjack counting Downes, Bannister has proven himself over and over to hardly anyone and the time is long overdue for both musicians to be honoured in some way by the local musical community for their efforts.
Both are unique writers who must rank among the nations best if not among the best sellers and lets face it, if they were operating in a larger market, say France, Germany, Britain or the USA, they would probably be making a living from their craft.
This is tiny isolated NZ where their minority appeal means that they are mostly destined to work on the shop floor during the day, dreaming of the music they might make when get home as time, energy and hard won finances allow.
The Changing Same: Make Up My Mind 2014 The Verlaines: AWCWD from Dunedin Spleen 2016 Rohan Marx, Leader of the Mobile Stud Unit.
MSU have become something of an icon in the Hamilton music scene.
We write our stories and songs with a more male focus, creating for our own amusement with a self-effacing sense of humour, taking the piss and having a good time.
On this occasion it was local identity Dr Richard Swainson or Dr Ezy as he was so named for the many years he managed the Hillcrest branch https://gamerdownload.net/blackjack/blackjack-specialist-explained.html Video Ezy and he was asked, as was everyone, to bring along a song.
He duly arrived and passed over a CD and a slip of paper with the songs name written on it.
I thought briefly that the image possessed sexual overtones, but being otherwise occupied I put the observation away for later analysis.
I was too busy chatting with my guest organising our next segment to take much notice and it was only the imposing figure of the station manager standing at the studio window making slashing motions across his throat that finally caused the penny to fall and the mental machinery to spring into motion.
It was also my first real introduction to a band I had hitherto only known by vague reputation.
By some miracle I escaped another suspension and on the upside I had a nice little story to bandy about, one that precariously tied me into the broader tale of one of the cities most notorious musical episodes, the legendary Mobile Stud Unit.
The Mobile stud Unit, MSU for shortcannot be described without the personage of Rohan Marx at fore and centre.
A diminutive figure with thinning hair and prescription glasses, he was an unlikely figure found often as he was parading about town in his famous 1970s style lime green jump suit, the same one he wore for any number of MSU gigs around the city and later, the nation.
Marx, a small town boy from the South Waikato, Otorohangawas big trouble in a little package.
Eventually enrolled at Te Awamutu High the next town up from Otorohanga he discovered a mentor in the form of the schools music teacher George Brooks who helped give the young Marx direction and before long he was singing in the schools jazz choir where he discovered the joys of performance.
After that all I wanted to do was play live music.
Initially called Herman and the Hymens they performed the entirety of Side A of the Violent Femmes self-titled debut album at the annual Contact FM Christmas Busking Contest.
A bet saw Marx body-slam Muttonbirds leader Don McGlashan hard onto the stage during the sound-check and causing some moderate injuries and a world of hard feelings.
The name Mobile Stud Unit came via Gareth Robb the bands first drummer.
It was name his sister had been using to describe the hot guys at Te Awamutu College and it seemed to sit well and without irony considering that the band would never come anywhere to close being sex gods.
By the end of 1993 the band had improved markedly and capped off the year opening for The Able Tasmans at a University gig.
I remember thinking just how far we had come.
We played in time and we had a set list of properly constructed songs.
We had turned from a fun shambolic mess into a finely tuned outfit.
The original band members were quietly falling away and through the next year the line-up remained volatile as new and old members came and went.
We are not like some artsy-fartsy French movie, there is really only one level too many Hamilton bands take here too seriously and we offer some light relief and people seem to like it.
Often the source of official complaints to various University authorities, all this but served to firm up the bands mythology drawing more of the ever curious to gigs of ever increasing size.
A chance meeting with drummer, songwriter and broadcaster Contact FM and later UFM Dean Ballinger found Marx with a suitable creative partner and a chance to rebuild the band.
Despite losing to The Nerve composed of former MSU members Jude Richards, Jamie Stone and Joko Ellis the 2 nd incarnation of MSU managed to steal the glory if not the main prize.
Named for an incident on Hood Street in Central Hamilton when Rohan was out on a bender and started vomiting blood turned out to be the first symptom of an oncoming hiatus hernia it was recorded by local sound icon Dan Howard and mixed by Scott Newth who was destined to find his fortune as the Datsuns soundman.
Wearing a homemade fire suit wet jeans, wet jersey and welding gloves on top of wet surgical bandages he was doused in two litres of petrol and lit with a cigarette.
Helpful lads from the audience tried to douse the flames with beer to no effect.
Sadly the whole stunt was poorly timed and only 70 people witnessed it.
The straightest song the band ever did turned also turned out to be its most enduring and popular.
The band got to know him and we roped him into voicing our adverts and cook sausages at gigs.
I wrote a song about him after I heard he had died.
It is probably the best MSU song because it embodies all the stages of the band and was something other than depraved.
It was a proper serious song that was still fun.
One of my favourite memories of band is hearing song being played at the funeral at the Newstead crematorium.
The place was fucking packed.
The second version was a great fun band with lots of laughs and great disgusting lyrics.
As we good older, lazier and fatter, the punk element dropped out and we became a good Kiwi rock band.
That last stage was the third join. myvegas blackjack vs slots sorry final version of the band.
Terry Edwards replaced Dean Ballinger on drums in 2004 investing the outfit with a new feel and overall it was the most musically literate.
One of things I loved the most about being in MSU was looking out into the audience and seeing two thirds dancing and singing along and the other third listening to the lyrics and laughing.
Alongside the sexual depravity that fills out the songs there are the stage costumes made from toilet paper, the naked but for the sock thing, the fake breasts, pigs head football, the incident of the bass guitar and an unappreciative audience member reno blackjack boomtown to forget the various national tours and the litany of misadventures that filled out the spaces between the gigs.
Where Are They Now?
Chris Paki Guitar is driving a milk tanker for Fonterra and playing in four different bands.
Terry Edwards Drums is the manager of Credit Union Hamilton and plays in two cover bands.
Aaron Watkinson Bass is copywriter and sound engineer with MadiaWorks in Auckland.
Dean Ballinger Drummer and Lyricist is a tutor at the Screen and Media Department at Waikato University and an authority on Conspiracy Theory the subject of his Masters thesis.
Jamie Stone guitarist teaches guitar on Waiheke Island.
Jocko Ellis Percussion, Vocals is an Intermediate Schoolteacher in Te Awamutu.
Jude Richards Bassist is a subversive garage musician in Australia.
Rohan Marx Vocals graduated Waikato University with a Degree in Film and English.
After selling space in the Yellow Pages for a couple or three years he took on the thankless task of blackjack new zealand band to keep the Universities Static Television afloat.
Zed, a calm perfectionist, was the master at getting it done right and sounding good, but that is only part of the story.
Mark Brooks was born July 1960 in Lanark Scotland.
The kids at school mocked my Kiwi accent mercilessly, calling me Frenchie while throwing stones at me.
At this stage he had an after school job assembling bunk beds in a joinery factory.
Brookes is a natural when it comes to technical matters, perhaps a proclivity inherited from his father who was a marine engineer, and thought the sciences were going to be the place where he could apply his skills and make a living, so after leaving school in 1978 he took up a trainee position as Lab technician with Scion, a Crown Research Institute based in Rotorua.
Scion specialized in forestry research but aside from a project that turned wood pulp into alcohol he found the work boring.
Zena, a kind of diode, was also the source of the nickname by which he has forever since been know.
In 1981, the band, feeling somewhat frustrated by the small Rotorua scene, relocated to the bright lights of Hamilton City in search of opportunity, the move also bringing an end to any notions Zed has about being a scientist.
The band at this time is described by Zed as a proto-synth band with an ever-evolving catalogue of technology that did not include a guitar.
With his attention turning ever more to matters musical Zed cashed in his life insurance and purchased a Tascam Porta-Studio 242 a 4-track cassette recording system and taught him self the basics of recording while demoing the bands songs.
Itching for some extra sound colour, Zed made the switch to guitar when they discovered a compatible bassist in Dean Carter.
With a guitar in the lineup and with a new drummer Neville Sergent the band decided that along with a change in sound, a new name was in order.
Names were put into a hat and the result was Step Chant Unit.
Painting Pictures peaked at 26 on the national singles charts and suddenly the band found them selves in demand.
At this stage Zed was working at a glass factory in Hamilton, he notes here with some irony that his specialty was cutting soundproof glass, a product he would soon be buying and had just recently sliced the tips of four fingers on one hand and almost lost a finger.
He remember playing four nights in row at the Hillcrest Tavern in considerable pain and leapt at the opportunity to move to a less dangerous job and one more in tune with his inclinations.
Nooyen owned a small lifestyle block on Morrinsville Road at the cities southeastern edge and finding themselves at ease in each other company hatched a plan to convert the hay barn into a recording studio.
Zed was tasked with the design and fit out and in 1985 the studio opened for business.
They married, produced 2 sons and an EP under the name Silken Blue.
They eventually parted ways.
In 1993 Zed met Grant Hislop who had recently moved to Hamilton to start two radio stations, The Rock and The Buzzard re: The Edge.
Hislop was impressed with the quality of the recording and approached Zed with an offer.
With a huge budget at his disposal, Zed was invited to design, build and fit out a state of the art recording facility.
Zed Brookes begins work on the Zoo recording Studio, North End Victoria Street Hamilton 1993.
It turned out to be an agreeable association and Zed stayed on as a tutor and returned to making music.
Lucy operated from1997- 2000.
In 1999 Zed worked with Chris and Rhonda Hoffmans Johnson formerly Three Men Missing on their MOoFish project.
The album spent several weeks on CMJ College Music Charts.
After a time working in production at Mai FM he returned to teaching Audio Engineering, this time at MAINZ.
They released one album in 2007 called Ampersand.
Brookes alter-ego Mr Zeberdee with his song Zombies from 2014 Brookes the Educator from his tutorial series Logic Pro for Smarties.
The First 1981 Drums: Steve Tarr Guitar and Vocals: Paul Hetet Bass and Vocals: Zed Brookes Keyboards: Sue Toms The Lemmings 1982-83 Drums and Vocals: Malcolm Lofroth Keyboards: Sue Toms Bass and Vocals: Zed Brookes Hamilton: Step Chant Unit 1983-88 Bass and Vocals: Zed Brookes, Dean Carter Keyboards: Sue Toms, Stephen Giles Drums: Neville Sergent Guitar: Roy Forlong, Mark Wilson, Brian Brighting I.
C Dreams 1993 Cassette EP 1.
Into the Storm 4.
All songs by Zed Brooks.
Tags: Posted in,, Ok, you might not know the name but if you are any kind of fan of New Zealand music you will certainly know his work.
Page is tangential, his mind leaping about from one unrelated subject to the next, making oddball connections and spinning off yarns like there is no tomorrow.
I want to nail him down, but that would be a shame, so I sit back and do the best I can scribbling notes and asking questions that fly right past him.
His tutor Peter Fahey suggested he go to Hamilton and enrol at the new Media Arts dept at WINTEC.
Page stumbled into the label via his mates the local alt-band Inchworm who had recently won the top prize at the Waikato Rock Awards.
Their prize included time at the Hark owned Zoo Recording Studio and they bought Page in to make the video for the song they had recorded and once he was in the door that was the end of any formal education.
Hauled up by the bands manager Gerald Dwyer, Page showed him the footage and a suitably impressed Dwyer introduced him to the band.
Decaff Page is a nice guy, eager to please and somewhat naive but underneath lurks an anarchistic social commentator and frustrated bad boy.
I am a workman like ad- maker, a tradesman builder.
The camera is my hammer and I will build anything that is required.
The rest is history.
The pair hit it off and he spent 6 years 2005-11 on the World War Four team and remembers opening for Black Sabbath with Dio at the G-Taranaki Festival as the absolute highlight.
The experience especially playing for Motorcycle gangs made me less naïve about how the world worked.
Rumpus Room: JBS Rumpus Room at the Porch recording Studio Greg Page on Drums It was while driving back to Henderson after a Hamilton gig in 2000 that Page saw 3 kids standing on the side of the road at Gordonton on the cities Northern edge.
It was also an opportunity to showcase the Hamilton music that he loved so much Inspector Moog, The Datsuns, MSU.
I had been beaten to it.
His advise on how to get a good performance from a band on a video shoot?
It was bloody hard for them but they delivered.
It was minus 28% C and it proved very motivational.
I make music videos to flex my creative muscle and be free and silly.
I have tried all kinds of things over the years with music videos but I keep returning to my first love, animation.
I always step sideways and inside out when faced with an animation problem.
His next goal is to reach the 100 music videos milestone and fingers crossed, another feature film.
I ask to name his favourite music videos?
I was at a peak when I made those.
They have lots of ideas and they seem less forced than some other work I have done.
It was painted frame by frame and I just got lost in it and I absorbed so much paint in the process that it kept me awake for 6 straight days heh heh.
It was one of those magic clips that just made itself.
I was low and not busy when I did that one and it reawakened my love of what i do.
Despite the fact that for a time the studios in question were vital to the various musical scenes in operation throughout the city and the focus of some intense creative activity, so much the wider story had been lost to memory.
It was a labyrinthine puzzle but quietly the stories emerged revealing a tale of studios rising, failing and being gutted to create new studios in new locations.
It is the story of passion, innovation and self-taught engineers struggling to maintain a professional recording industry in a small but rapidly growing city looking for a creative identity.
At the time the bands drummer Neville Sergent was working behind the counter of a Hamilton branch of a Tandys Record store, a chain that that proliferated across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and King Country.
Sergent introduced the Brookes and Nooyen and in Nooyen, Brookes found the capital he needed and in Brookes, Nooyen found the skills and enthusiasm required to make his dream happen.
By this stage the demand for Tandys services were enough to convince Nooyen to invest some serious money.
The result was a state of the art 16 track facility.
While Brookes initially carried the bulk of the workload he quietly built up a team of young enthusiasts to assist.
Between gigs Dennis spent his time at Aerial Railway, a basic 16 track analogue facility set on a commune just north of Coromandel, expanding his craft under the supervision the studios creator Johnny Irons.
When Dennis heard there was a new studio open for business just down the road from his home in Morrinsville, he turned up and offered his services.
He could be annoying, when he felt strongly about a recording he would argue his point until he got his way but every so often totally nailed it.
He was a bit of a hippy really, a free spirit who came and went as the winds blew him.
Marcus Pope, a young and talented intern, met a similar fate while helping Brookes move house.
After dropping some boxes off he got into his car and ran off the road and was killed instantly in circumstances that could only be described as freakish.
I think about him all the time.
He managed Tandys studio for a time in the later years, then we worked together at the Zoo studios.
Scott ended up pursuing the indie thing and I went more commercial.
When the station was purchased from its founder Grant Hislop, Brodie stayed on with its new owners Media Works, and now manages the media groups Auckland based production studio, a role he has maintained for over 20 years.
In 1993 Brookes left Tandys to set up The Zoo Studio in central Hamilton.
Scott Newth took over the running of Tandys for a brief time before handing it over to local sound enthusiast Dave Whitehead who ran the studio until it closed in 1997.
Nooyen had been expanding his chain of record stores at around the same time the Internet driven digital music revolution was gaining momentum and after opening a superstore store in central Wellington, Nooyen found himself precariously over extended and the studio was sold to raise funds.
Not long after, the Tandys chain of record stores named after the iconic American record store shut up shop for good.
Dave Whitehead, who had been dabbling with film sound, went to Wellington and started White Noise, a film sound production company.
Over the last 20 years he has worked on over 60 film and TV projects including The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogies, Tin Tin, District 9, Snow Piercer and Elysium.
As for Tandys, the equipment was purchased by local student radio station Contact Fm the University of Waikato where it was grafted onto the Fridge, the stations production studio.
A client a debt collector sold the studio a Studiomaster 8-buss console he had repossessed from a Rotorua studio and was storing under his bed.
We bought a Roland MC500 MkII sequencer for our MIDI stuff everything was entered in numberseventually upgrading to an Atari computer with Creator and a Blackjack edge wizard of odds adaptor for striping time code to tape.
I remember I even wrote code for it to work out room modes.
We bought an Akai S900 sampler and got the trigger input option for triggering drum samples.
That thing was worth its weight in gold.
We had an early 500 rack with some nice modules.
We bought one of the first Sony DAT machines, you had to add an extra 15% reverb to your mixes as the rest would just vanish off the DAT.
Between 1996-1998 Contact starved for funds struggled to survive.
Broke and spiritually spent the station shut its doors on the 17 th June 1998.
The Fridge went into hiatus until being revived in 2009 when Contact FM was re-established on 88.
With local sound engineer Dan Howard at the helm, the Fridge ran for several more years until finally shutting its industrial grade doors for good in 2014.
Among the many acts who used the Fridge during its first incarnation were: Grok, Nodrog, Hand of Glory, Big Muffin Serious Band, Dribbly Cat Attraction, The Emersons, Wendyhouse, BwaDaRiddim.
Greg Locke The Trons often used this studio to record bands, as did Dave Whitehead, Scott Newth and Gordon Bassett.
This story begins and ends with and self-taught Christchurch sound engineer Lawrence Arps who had found his way to Hamilton via repeat visits as the guitarist with covers bands Shady and Trooper.
In 1987 Lawrence left Musicare temporarily to work full-time at Home Run, a 16-track analogue facility in a factory space at the top of Sandwich Road where it meets Te Rapa Straight.
While Home Runs bread and butter was producing jingles for local radio it did take on a few bands from time to time.
They asked me to produce their first two EPs.
Arps found himself back where he had started.
After doing some recordings for the Wintec Maori Performing Arts Department I ended up doing the Aorangi Genisis album a Broadway blackjack video poker strategy Maori language musical and 5 albums of Kohanga Reo resources, as well as several other Maori language albums.
Lawrence left Musicare in 1994 and went onto teach Audio Engineering at Tai Poutini Polytechnic where he rewrote the Certificate course, helped rewrite the Diploma course and Live Sound course.
Arps still plays guitar and is currently producing an album for his band MochaChocoLatte.
The studio remains a popular production and demoing facility now based in the Hamilton suburb of Pukete.
It was when local band Blackjack approached Hislop with their Zed Brookes produced album Deal, recorded at Tandys in 1991 seeking airplay that Hislop realised he might have found the right person to help him get his studio idea off the ground.
After several meetings, Brookes agreed to leave Tandys and go to work for Hislop full time.
At 564 Victoria St.
Brookes set to work on his most ambitious project yet, building and designing a state of the art digital recording studio, one destined to match the best that Auckland had to offer.
When we rebuilt the studio, we were looking for consoles that had some sort of automation, so for a while we had a Soundtracs Solo console.
It had computerised recall and automation like a low-budget SSL.
To make matters worse after the first power-up the consoles blackjack card counting method supplier caught fire, so we had to put the old console back in, and rewire everything until we could get a replacement power supplier from England about 10 days later.
Initially big soffit-mounted JBL monitors were our main more info system, and later on some Tannoy concentric monitors were added amazing sound.
The MIDI was a bit erratic to say the least.
Our first hard drive died after 2 days.
We also had some samplers — an Akai S1000 which was awesomeand a really primitive but kind of cool Ensoniq Mirage.
Other later Electric Kitchen Sessions included performances by Emulsifier and The Dead Flowers.
Properly baptized the Zoo was open for business.
Nelson band The Exploding Poppies winners of the 1992 Smokefree Rockquest were the first band to use the studio, and the resulting song made it onto a NZ on Air — Kiwi Hit Disk, a sign that everyone at the Zoo took as a positive omen for the future.
With the city lacking any formal training facilities for sound engineers, Dave Lowndes later established The Zoo School Of Audio Engineering.
Later that year Wintec The Waikato Polytechnic purchased the studios assets for their fledging School Of Audio Engineering and contracted Brookes to install the equipment and supervise article source initial courses.
It proved to be a good fit and Brookes stayed on for a number of years teaching sound engineering and songwriting.
Zoo Studio Painting on Glass by Andrew Johnstone Artists who recorded at the Zoo, including demos, singles, EP and album projects: Blackjack, Jacqui Keelan, Tama Dean, Dusty Rhodes, Andy Bramwell, Craig Pollock, No Utopia, Zarzoff Brothers, Midge Marsden, Tim Armstrong, Sydney Melbourne, Dave Maybee, Tim Mellalieu, Max Creepy, Subliminal Warfare, Knightshade, Bad Jelly, Blackjack new zealand band, Stan Morgan, Pania Moka, Strangetown, Dave Williams, Inchworm, Denied Serenity, Andrew Johnstone, Richie Pickett, Datura, Living Proof, The Narcs, Dead Flowers, Blinder, Silken Blue, Fuckpig, Acrobat, Murray Jeffrey, Liam Ryan, Andrew Newth, Ashley Puriri, Bittersweet, Bitumus, Blunt, Chris and Rhonda Johnson aka Moofish.
Darryl Monteith, Death of a Monkey, Exit Wound, Fat Mannequin, Girls Talk, Greenstone, Hip Shooters, Ian Whitehouse, John Michaels and the Cheap Dates, Julz Cairney, King Biscuit, Kumquots, Living Proof, Loose New Romans, Love and Violence, Makere Roa, Max Creepy, Midge Marsden, Mike Garner, Native Soul, No Thrills, Pitt Ramsey, Psyclops, Rare Vision, Romantic Andes, Ronnie Taylor, Scott Davies, Silken Blue, Slip of the Tongue, Stan Morgan, Subliminal Warfare, The Set, Tim Armstrong, Tombstone, Tony Koretz, Trevor Shaw, Tumbleweed, Vivid FX, War Pigs, Wayne Panapa, Whisperscream, Wiki Thompson, Zooper.
Inchworm: Come Out Come Out 1995 King Biscuit: Crazy Dreams 1994 Fat Mannequin: Room and Spine 1997 The WINTEC School of Audio Engineering.
Brookes eventually left Wintec to take up a position at MAINZ Auckland and since the studio has ever continued to expand in scope.
The dreams of the Tandys, Musicare, Home Run, The Fridge, The Zoo and numerous other smaller enterprises might have ended in an unsatisfactory manner for those involved, but their legacy lives on in a large catalogue of diverse recordings which mark a coming of age for the Hamilton music scene.
Once isolated and somewhat insecure about its ambitions, Hamilton music as it stands today thrives footing it with the best the nation as a whole has to offer in genres as diverse as Jazz, Rock, Metal, Opera, Rap, Hip-Hop, Pop and everything experimental and Alt.
On shaky foundations, great things have been built.
The Datsuns: Super Gyration 2000 Katchafire: Giddy Up 2003 Tags:,,Posted in,, Whatever happened to Pete Warren?
The question came up one day while a friend and I were revisiting some of the Kiwi music of our youth.
He was easier to find than I expected, thankyou Facebook, and replied to my request for an interview almost straight away.
He called me Rooda because I was rude, as in not shy about saying whatever was on my mind.
It was not a sexual reference as everyone thinks.
What we would describe these days as O.
When he eventually retired he tracked down the Captains of the U-Boats concerned and befriended them.
Not one to hold a grudge, he was a mischievous, tough and hard working man, beloved by Pete who considered him more like a brother, than a father.
However, it was through all this ceaseless tapping that Pete taught himself the rudiments of the art of drumming.
He was 10 years old european blackjack he finally obtained his first drum kit, a 1935 Olympic Vaudeville Kit, with pig skin vellums and zildjian cymbals.
He set up in the washing room and started up playing at 6:30am every morning then it was off to school and then straight home and back to the washing room.
She wanted me to get on and do my thing without having to worry plus having a drum kit downstairs kept me under control, which meant she had one less thing to worry about.
A wonderful lady named Dianne Hargreaves, who lived at the bottom of my street, introduced me to this music at age 12.
My mate lived next door to her and when hanging out at his place, I would hear this mad piano-playing coming from her place.
I remember going up to her door which was always open and peering inside.
Her whole house was filled with records, posters and memorabilia and at centre stage was an upright piano.
From that moment on I was a fixture in her living room.
Dianne forgot I was there and played her records and the piano, always chain-smoking.
Except for the smoking, Dianne was a massive influence on me because she took off my blinkers and opened my mind to the possibilities of music.
I went up to have a look and discovered Frank Gibson Seniors Drum Shop on the visit web page floor.
After that I spent so much time there that I started to refer to Frank as my second dad.
He was a mentor, a friend and the first person to really believe in me as a musician.
I was touring Europe with Blackjack new zealand band A Kitschme when I got a letter from my brother telling me that he had died.
It turned out to be the perfect rehearsal space for his first band.
Ethos was a kind of psychedelic rock band that featured fellow Westlake Boys High student Don McGlashan.
We were also writing our own stuff as well.
After that I did a season with Tom Sharplin at the Mandalay in Newmarket.
I played for anyone who needed a drummer.
We would arrive at a venue, set up our stage, a complex affair of white polythene and air conditioning vents that required nearly three hours to assemblesleep for an hour and then play for 3 to 4 hours, sometimes to just person.
Often all we could afford to eat after the show were chips and a burger, then we would party, sleep and in the morning we would be up again at 8am and packing down before hitting the road again.
The Summer Tours were very lucrative and basically paid for us to be a touring band for the rest of the year.
They came to the attention Joel McCready, then head of the local arm of CBS Records who signed them up to 4-album deal.
It was released in 1979 and went straight to the bargain bins.
One track in particular stands out, a sharp piece of social commentary called Playschool, a terrifically hardy number, it would have sat easily beside The Swingers and the Spelling Mistakes on the classic punk compilation AK-79.
The place was packed; people were hanging from the rafters and going crazy and we realised that we were onto something pretty special.
DD Smash had been in Australia for several years prior to the career defining success of Footrot Flats, a time Pete describes as hard, hard slog.
Signed to Mushroom Australia they were gigging hard trying to build an audience and besides solo gigs, they scored prominent support slots on tours with some on the biggest names on the Aussie touring circuit, Midnight Oil, Misex and Dragon.
To compete properly on the scene, we needed trucks worth of sound and lighting gear and a 2-3-man road crew and it all costs.
Basically the support slots on the big tours subsidised our solo shows.
Pete had been a heavy opiate user for many years and concedes that the drug was getting in the way of the relationship.
It was my job to care for him and coax him out onto the stage.
This was the tough part of band life and I soaked it all up.
The famous relationship had come to an end and it was time to move on.
Later he joined Midge Marsden on his 1991 tour of Australia, Britain and America.
The band was preparing for their 25 th anniversary and a big tour was on the cards.
He turned up to the rehearsal studio at the appointed time but Zeppelin never showed, they were elsewhere arguing up a storm.
Away from the Kiwi drug scene, he decided to clean up.
He went cold turkey approaching the three weeks of sweats, pain and sleeplessness with his usual stoicism.
Clean, he teamed up with Malcolm Foster, who was on a break from Simple Minds, and formed a Led Zeppelin tribute band.
He was so impressed that he gave us his endorsement and that opened doors for us right across Europe.
We got to play all the big cities but the singer, who could do Robert Plant so convincingly that people actually thought he was Robert Plant, struggled with stage nerves and eventually packed it in and that was the end of that.
Managed by Rod Smallwood, Iron Maiden the band built up a solid reputation on the London pub circuit and just as things were starting to look like the band might be headed for the bigger time, Smallwood decided to divest himself on much of his management portfolio and concentrate on Maiden and the momentum was lost.
Disciplin A Kitschme 1995-98 Disciplin A Kitschme is a Serbian band, a spin-off of the seminal Yugoslav New Wave bands Šarlo Akrobata, and Ekatarina Velika.
The band is still going today and has taken on a blues inspired sound in its current manifestation.
The Pete Warren era Disciplin A Kitschme recorded two albums.
The real deep clubbers loved us but our records never sold well in Britain.
In Eastern Europe it was a different story.
We had three number one singles across Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania and our albums sold around 150,000 units apiece but there was no royalty gathering system in these territories back then and the only money we made was from gigs.
We were playing sold out arenas and if we had of based ourselves in Serbia we could have lived like kings but our base was London and once we changed the currency into sterling it was worth bugger all.
learn more here t-shirt Rosie gave me for my 40 th birthday sums up best how I was back then.
It read: I AM 5.
It was at the local pub, Blackjack new zealand band Black Swan, that Pete met the players that were to become Shark Attack.
It was during this time that Pete met Pavla, a young Czech woman who was over in the UK improving her English.
I headed back to NZ, got a job, set up a home and a few months later Pavla arrived and we have been together now for 15 beautiful years.
Basically she saved me and helped me to become a better man.
He found his second calling in Environmental Management specialising in Silt and Erosion Control.
His job was to make sure that silt and soil did not escape construction zones and pollute natural waterways and his ideas and innovations saw him becoming an increasingly in-demand speaker at conferences and exhibitions.
The pain was excruciating but I got up on with the job.
As the days passed the pain became unbearable.
I was taken to hospital and scans revealed major back damage.
With the healing underway Pete found himself making music again and with the encouragement of one of his brothers, decided to go teaching and pass on his knowledge.
He placed an advert in the local paper, The Rodney Times, and got a response straight away.
He discovered this not long after arriving in Britain and was fortunate enough to find himself one of the first patients prescribed Interferon Alfa.
While he never returned to the needle he found other ways of getting high, notably via cocaine, which he consumed excessively for a number of years.
I am also grateful for my children.
I can only hope that the example of my life lessons will help make their journey through life a little easier.
If you want to know more about the man himself and hear some of the music he has made over the decades, listen in to the podcast.
A scene within a scene, The Wallflower took almost 4 years to complete and became something of a legend, at least to the people in the know.
I am used to writing other peoples stories but writing my own seems kind of self-indulgent.
That said, I can now put those kinds of thoughts aside and get on with the telling.
It was a revelation to my 16-year-old ears and changed completely the way I thought about music.
Fired up by the ideas that Nesmith introduced me to in The Prison, I became fixated on the potential of the album to express thoughts, feelings and ideas and decided that making a concept album was something that I wanted to do.
It took me 15 years to acquire the skills, knowledge and money check this out do it.
It took another year to write it and the recording process meandered on for four years, an exhausting blackjack new zealand band test that left me bereft and disappointed.
We were using new recording techniques and our mindset throughout the process was one of reckless innovation as we explored the possibilities of the studio.
It was a sort of a quirky, dark, electronic country, sci-fi concept album that was probably more info little ahead of its time.
Here is the story of how we made The Wallflower, a story that begins sometime in the mid-1960s in the living room of my paternal grandparents house in the district of Hautapu, just outside of Cambridge in the central Waikato.
An intuitive Musical Journey.
She went onto describe the experience of touching the keys and how the sound produced colour in her head.
My experience was strikingly similar.
I was about the same age and the piano was in my paternal grandparents living room.
There was a family gathering; I remember indistinct faces that would later become more familiar as the years passed, I remember the sun shining and I remember hauling myself up onto the piano seat and striking the keys, first the high notes at the far right end of the keyboard and then keys at the opposing end, the deep sonorous sounding ones.
The effect was startling.
Gone was the sun, replaced by a leaden sky and the sound of thunder.
Grey clouds gathered and lightening bursts tinted their edges with multi-coloured hue and tones.
Regardless, from that point on and any time I found myself in the proximity of a musical instrument I rushed to it hoping to revisit that moment which remain to this day an unforgettably joyous moment in time.
My parents were not musical; we had no instruments and a sparse collection of records, and any music I heard came via Radio Waikato or the hissy black and white TV that had centre stage in our living room.
It was little better at my primary school where I had been declared non-musical and denied access to the choir the schools only substantial music venture and the music room.
My salvation was a boy called Gerard McCaffrey who also came off a farm.
We lived in the same district and shared the same long bus ride home.
Somehow Gerard had gotten his hands on an analogue synthesiser called a Stylophone, a small hand held keypad with pen-like stylus which when applied to the keys produced an electronic tone.
Gerard showed me this device one day while we travelling homewards and after a brief demonstration he handed it to me.
Within minutes I had composed my first tune and everyday henceforth I begged him to let me have a little time with the device, and to his credit, he patiently complied.
The tune I had made was bugging me relentlessly and all I wanted to do was revisit it and explore it.
We were both 10 at the time and I had to wait three more years before I finally got an instrument of my own and the opportunity to explore it at my leisure.
I was 13 when I was sent away to a Catholic boarding school in Auckland, the same school that had only recently educated a group of boys who went onto form bands like The Dudes, Split Enz, Citizen Band and Crowded House.
Sacred Heart College was a rugby school but it also had a fine musical tradition, and the music rooms, while sparse and poorly appointed, possessed instruments and boys that could play them.
The whole caboodle was something of a revelation to me but not as much of a revelation as my first guitar.
Music was a compulsory subject for third formers and part of the deal was a guitar, a cheap classical job that parents had to shell out for.
We duly received them, ensconced in a cheap vinyl carry bag accompanied by a chord chart.
As for the lessons, I never took them, the chord chart taught me all I needed to know, a D chord.
Once I had mastered that I was away, making up my own chords and tunes.
My relationship with the guitar was a fraught one.
Nesmith and The Amazing Rhythm Aces While all this was going on, I was like my school mates, exploring the contemporary music of the times but unlike my school mates I found little that satisfied my desires, until that is 1977 rolled around with a song called Rio.
Rio was written and performed by one Mike Nesmith, best known as the woolly cap wearing guy from the Monkees, and accompanied by a groundbreaking video the song quickly took down the number one spot on the NZ charts the only territory outside of Australia where the songs hit in any significant way.
It must have been the school holidays because I remember I was at home and anticipating Saturday evening and Ready to Roll, a locally produced TV show that played the hits of the day.
For several glorious weeks Rio sat at number one, which meant that it closed off every show and labouchere betting system blackjack played in its entirety.
I remember sitting transfixed in front of the TV, oblivious to everything else around me but the images passing across my eyes, my mind chewing on the strange lyrics, my heart enraptured by the musical possibilities being suggested.
I remember putting the record on for the first time and sitting there in front of the speakers in a kind of enchantment.
Nesmith is considered to be one of the early pioneers of county rock, but this was not the Eagles, The Byrds or Gram Parsons, this was something altogether different.
By the time the record player arm lifter at the end of side two I got up and went to see my father who was having lunch in the other room and tried to explain how the music had affected me.
Frustrated by my inability to unearth information and further music from my new music idol, remember this was before the internet and information and product on tapI put pen to paper and wrote to him.
I explained, at least as best I could, the profound effect his music had on me and asked for a list of his albums so I might better be able to source them.
As you could imagine the whole thing was a bit like Christmas wrapped up in Easter and over the course of the next few days I played each record, one by one, savouring the sound while examining the album art and liner notes the way a biologist might explore cellular material beneath the lens of a microscope.
He was right, the effect was both majestic and profound and as far as I was concerned, life changing.
The reviews at the time were not great and looking back almost every major review seemed to miss the point, hearing it literally rather than figuratively.
Using the idea of a prison as a metaphor, Nesmith crafts a story about a man unconsciously trapped by social conditioning within the confines of his own mind.
Via a series of events, which include a love story much misconstrued by reviewers as the central themethe man is question begins to examine the circumstances of his life and quietly realises that the prison walls are actually just constructs of his mind.
Facing his most acute fears, the man analyses the reality of his existence and discovers within himself the true meaning of freedom.
Gnosticism treads very similar ground to basic Buddhism and Taoism and though I did not understand any of this in at all in anyway at the time, it nevertheless struck a chord in me, one that has never stopped resonating.
Before I move on to the next phase, I have to say a quick word about my Uncle Ray, a fellow Aucklander who took me under his wing on those weekends they cut us loose from the confines of boarding school.
Ray had escaped the Waikato coalmining village of Rotowaro about a decade earlier by hitching a ride on the coattails of his mate Al Hunter, a burgeoning country musician who went onto become something of an icon.
It is sad, sexy, and ironic and I could not get enough of it.
My attempt at 7 th form lasted a little over 3 months before the principal at Cambridge High suggested that perhaps school was not the right fit for me so I dropped out to do what I have become quite practiced at, drifting.
My father pulled me into line eventually by asking me to come and work with him on the family farm.
This was about the same time Flying Nun was hitting its stride and being a huge fan of Kiwi music thanks to the education proferred by Radio with Pictures and Rip It Up Magazine I was buying every new Nun release as they became available.
We were perhaps 6 months old and still without a name when we headed off to the town of Coromandel for our first recording session.
I discovered the Aerial Railway Recording Studio via an advert in Rip It Up.
It was on a commune somewhere north of Coromandel town and we bunked down for a few days with the intention of recording an EP.
The two engineers were an ex-pat Brit named Johnny Irons and a Morrinsville lad Dennis Marsh who later became quite blackjack online tournaments casino with us in a sort of managerial role.
The recordings were meagre but it was a worthwhile education and the place where we found our name.
We started off well, I remember sensing the positive interest from the crowd, but the mood dissipated as I slowed up the proceedings with a series of broken guitar strings.
I was never much of a live player and tended to get it all wrong when in front of a crowd.
I was learning the hard way that my natural venue was the recording studio.
A few months later we found our missing piece, an ex-pat Australian punk, Chris Johnson or Fish as he was better known.
Later we toured the North Island to minuscule crowds before winning our heat at the coveted Hillcrest Tavern Battle of the Bands.
We went to the finals, and if memory serves me, we came third.
Once again my inability to function in a stable manner before a crowd was our undoing.
We were preparing for our third EP when I left.
I was struggling with the band dynamic and my autocratic approach and youthful pride were making things difficult for us all.
While I hived off overseas in search of something or nothing as it turned outthe band continued on becoming the centre of a small scene that produced a variety of side projects that included the bands Silken Blue and Moofish.
I was not happy and expressed my concern in song, the only active platform available to me.
Zed later married Sue Brown, the keyboardist with Three Men Missing, and the couple had two sons before the marriage dissolved.
We got on well, shared a similar sense of humour but most of all, we were in love with ideas, be they scientific, philosophical, spiritual or musical.
We recorded perhaps a dozen songs four of which ended up on an EP called Morrinsville Tonight, a kind of paean to small town Saturday nights, nights dedicated to the pursuit of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
I think it has something to do with the spectacle of Mt.
click here Aroha in the background as you approach the town from the South.
I have always found this to be an invigorating and affecting outlook.
Over the years I wrote written several songs about my feelings for the town, a place that, for whatever reason, features prominently in my dreams in a symbolic kind of way.
They helped me out with the Morrinsville Tonight EP and it was with his urging that we formed a band.
Bill and Dean were from prominent local covers band 8forty8 and Paul was a remarkably skilled rock guitarist from the Morrinsville covers band scene.
It was Bill Parker who came up with the name Hoola Troupe, a little something he had picked years earlier from a book and had put aside thinking that when the time came it would make an excellent band name, as it did.
We were probably a bit much for the local rock audience and could never pull much of crowd and when we did, it was usually other musicians curious to see what it was we were up to.
We were tight, well rehearsed and knew exactly what we wanted but by this time my enthusiasm for the band had run its course.
Dean managed Hark band King Biscuit before heading to Melbourne where he learned the art of cooking.
He now operates the very successful Scoff in Hamilton East, a takeaway joint for adults that offers gourmet cuisine at affordable prices.
Chris Fish, Rhonda Hoffmans Johnson and Zed Brookes started Moofish and recorded one album, the self-titled Moofish, which spent some time on the American College music charts after being picked up by student radio there.
The project click still ongoing today and is endlessly productive.
Chris also spent time with experimental ensemble Grok, Love and Violence an electronic pop band fronted by brothers Andrew and Scott Newth and with industrial noise rockers Department of Corrections.
Paul Brodie now resident in Raglan is still playing in the covers and tribute bands that have been his bread and butter for decades.
As for me, I was finally ready to tackle the idea that had got me into music in the first place, I was going to make a concept album.
Vocals and Backing Vocals: Rhonda Hoffmans and Sue Brown Bass: Jeff Lamb Guitars: Chris Johnson Drums: Bill Parker As with all broad creative concepts, the ideas for The Wallflower grew organically and exponentially.
Notwithstanding he nurses a degree of hope that perhaps somewhere, maybe just around the corner, are the answers he has been seeking, answers that will give his life purpose, meaning and context.
Of course, the whole thing was a metaphor for my own social anxiety.
As I wrote the songs, my head as was usual with me and music was flooded with images and I began to imagine a recording that read a little like a Ken Russell movie, a crazed dream fever laced with religious and sexual imagery.
I had been bought up in Catholic home and schooled in Catholic institutions, and was struggling to shake off a culture for which I had little empathy.
This feeds into the albums other major thematic thrust, love and the importance of romantic love as regards social fulfilment.
As he steps into life The Wallflower is discovering that his idealistic notions of romantic love do not meet the realities of life or the certitude of his own nature and discovers, as so many do, that the road of romance can be a rocky, lonely and hazardous one.
THE RECORDING Zed began by recording my guitar and vocals straight to tape with a click track to keep me in time.
Once the bare bones of all 20 odd songs were drawn, we began adding layers eventually replacing the original guide tracks with a more polished vocal and rhythm guitar.
As money was short and time was at a premium, the method was to add tracks as fast as possible.
We would play the basic track to the session musicians and send them into the studio room to do their thing.
I had no preconceptions about what I wanted as regards keyboards, bass, drums and backing vocals, rather I wanted to see what might happen.
I especially remember the magic produced when Rhonda Hoffmans added her powerful voice to the basic tracks early on in the layering process.
Using both an electric bass and an acoustic upright, his rhythmic and melodic sensibilities were very much in tune with my own and listening back to his work today, I am still impressed with the lucidity of his lines and riffs.
Otherwise it was mainly colouring, a job undertaken by Zed with the assistance of Grant Brodie and his array of keyboards.
Grant and his brother Scott were the sons of Glaswegian migrants and had become stalwarts of the local alt-music scene, Scott with his bands Inchworm and Grant with Dribbly Cat Attraction and Inspector Moog.
Grant possessed and excellent ear and the little touches and flourishes he added are central to the albums mood and feel.
I was fascinated by the methods of the burgeoning Hip-Hop movement as it was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the way the musicians would borrow directly from the recordings of others using sampling technology.
I took on the general concept by recording dialogue from TV shows with a cassette recorder borrowing words and phrases that I thought might add to the albums narrative flow.
Most of the spoken word phrases were taken from Star Trek- The Original Series when you listen closely this shows offers some curious dialogueKen Russell films, TV Soaps and talk shows.
These shows held deep symbolic import for me because as a child I found a degree of sanctuary and escape in the narrative and visual landscapes proferred by these entertainments.
Zed, much to my delight, did some actual sampling.
He had only very basic tools at his disposal but managed to create a curious array of sound effects, rhythms and beats, stretching the technology at hand in ways I am sure it was never designed to do.
After 4 months of sporadic work, Zed mixed and mastered it and that was that.
I had no real plans to release it; I just wanted to create it.
The doing was what interested me the rest was incidental.
The Wallflower Part Two: The Zoo August 1993-May 1994 Hark Records Engineered by Zed Brooks with the assistance of Grant Brodie.
Produced by Zed Brooks.
The Players: Bass: Daniel Devcich.
A Bit Of Anything and Everything: Zed Brooks Narration: Grant Hislop, Lindsay Gallon, and Richard Jones.
A Second Chance By 1992 Zed was working at The Zoo, a recording facility that had been set up by Grant Hislop to feed his label, Hark Records.
A couple of years earlier Grant had come to Hamilton armed with two FM frequencies and set up a radio station called The Rock.
It was phenomenon as was his next project, a pop station that was to become an iconic brand called The Edge.
Using the money he had made from these ventures, Grant set up Hark to pursue his great passion, NZ music.
The first things to go were the voice samples.
We had been advised that they would not hold up to copyright scrutiny, and being too expensive to licence we elected to rerecord the dialogue.
Lindsay Gallon and Richard Jones, Gallon and Jones were copywriters at the Rock and Edge and after overhearing them recording voice tracks for adverts, I co-opted their services for The Wallflowervoiced the dialogue mimicking the tone and intonation of the originals almost to a tee.
The other thing bugging me was the feel of some of the drum tracks.
While Bill Parker was a damned fine rock drummer, his style was not always in keeping with what I wanted for the songs.
It was Grant Brodie who suggested we bring in Christian Pearce a drummer from the local alt-music scene.
Release and Aftermath In May 1994, almost four years after we started the project, The Wallflower was ready for release.
I have no recollection of why Steve chose this location, but hell, it was awesome.
I played the songs on the acoustic guitar to a packed studio audience at The Zoo and to a live listening audience via The Rock.
After that I recorded one more untitled album, an experimental self-produced collection, recorded by Zoo engineer Mike Cotton during the studios downtimethat never saw the light of day and disappeared when Click the following article ceased operating in 1997.
There was another band, WEB, and some desultory attempts at another EP but basically it was all over.
My initial mission had been to make one album, and that should have been that but I hung for a wee bit too long on not knowing what else to do.
I still had to answer some nagging creative questions and purchased an iMac and set to work composing on GarageBand.
Satisfied, I ceased making music and expect never to go down this path again.
To finish up, here are a few words from Zed Brookes and Grant Brodie about the project.
Zed Brookes: Over my many years of engineering and production, this album is probably the one that I most strongly identify with.
It was a sort of a quirky dark electronic country sci-fi concept album that was probably a little ahead of its time.
There were versions of almost every song that were wiped and started again from scratch, and as with most albums there were more songs recorded than those included.
This was all done in the early days of comparatively low-budget i.
A lot of the guest parts were re-arranged and re-sculpted using the sampler from what were often single usually the first takes on each song to capture that magic authentic vibe from the musos.
The early versions of the album also had cool obscure samples from the original Star Trek series in it, but it turned out to be too expensive to license them, so we just did our own similar parts instead.
He now teaches Audio Engineering full time at MAINZ.
Grant Brodie: It is hard to separate working at The Zoo where I was second engineer and apprenticed to Zed and recording Wallflower, a project that took up much of our time.
Dispersed with that was the odd bit keyboard playing.
From memory most of the keyboards were recorded in one session when we went from one song to the next quite quickly.
I remember Zed fixed a lot of my sloppy playing with the midi editor Atari ST, I think.
We recorded everything via midi so if we got a great take but with a couple of fumbles we could fix them up.
I remember Zed spend a lot of time on the album and I can remember staying late with him watching him mix.
It more info a really good experience for me because I got to participate in the process of making an album from start to finish.
My overall memory of the project was the great melodic songs and it amazed me how Zed brought those songs to life, honing in on what was important for each of them.
I am proud of that album and pleased to have been involved.
He is now MediaWorks Group Imaging Manager and personally looks after The Rock and The Edge.
He has been with the company for some 25 years.
Tags:,,, Posted in,Lorde, The big winner on the night In 1976 I left the farm and to become a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Auckland, a school that had recently educated boys that went on to form bands like Split Enz, The Dudes and Citizen Band among others.
The mystic that surrounded these recently departed old boys was palpable and I found myself becoming swept up in at all.
I had discovered Kiwi music and I liked it.
Later, two incidents in particular inspired my growing and passionate advocacy for Kiwi music.
The first involved Radio Waikato.
It was 1977 and I was home for the school holidays and Dads radio was tuned to the station in question.
I was thrilled and surprised to realise the song I was hearing was My Mistake from the new Split Enz album Dizrhythmia.
His attitude was much the same as Radio Waikato.
Local music was by in large second rate nonsense undeserving of the industries blackjack new zealand band />The sad state of affairs was such that by 1991, local radio was playing less than 2% local music, this despite a healthy live scene and a vibrant DIY recording industry that was scoring with both critics and audiences alike.
In 1997 a Government and Recording Industry initiative, The Kiwi Music Action Group was formed to compel radio stations to broadcast New Zealand music.
The group initiated New Zealand Music Week and in 2000 this grew into New Zealand Music Month which further served the cause of struggling local artists.
The Radio Industry grudgingly consented to a voluntary 15% local music quota and the result was miraculous.
Exposed to hitherto unheard artists, audiences lapped it up and the demand for local music exploded.
By 2005, the local content on commercial radio had risen to 20% and local artists were scoring number one albums and singles with clockwork regularity.
Once upon a time the NZ Music awards was a poverty stricken operation but not anymore.
I found a nice vantage point near the stage door and got some amusement from the entourage that accompanied Lorde from podium to media room and back again.
I was glad to be of service and to give them something to do.
The collective of coiffured blonds with clipboards sailing in her wake were also quite funny.
She sounded like a Kiwi who was trying to speak clearly for the benefit of an international audience.
We forget that our fast and high pitched brand of English can be incomprehensible to foreigners and more and more The NZ Music awards are being pitched at an increasingly interested overseas market.
All in all, a brilliant night.
After hearing her play Fraser was already and accomplished musicianhe introduced her to producer Matty J.
They recorded some demos and shopped them around.
The interest from various record companies was immediate and after some thought Fraser signed a multi-album deal with Sony Music NZ.
Her first album What to Do with Daylight was released in 2003.
It debuted at number one on the NZ charts and yielded five top twenty singles.
Demonstrating her talent for thoughtful lyrics, a gift for melody and a penchant for powerful and uplifting choruses, the album established the basic template for what was to follow.
Albertine arrived three years later — an album forged through her experiences promoting social causes in Africa, in particular, Rwanda.
Like its predecessor it was a huge hit in Australasia and broke through in North America, peaking at number 90 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
After an extended period of touring, Fraser took time off to get married and then went travelling, searching for ideas and inspiration for new songs — a journey that has taken her and her husband from Stockholm to New York and finally Los Angles, the city she currently calls home.
Preparing for her new album she put aside her usual compositional tools, the piano and guitar, and applied herself to learning to write music on a computer, an arduous and exhilarating process which opened many new doors for her creative expression.
It was while in Stockholm when suffering from the flu that the ideas that would establish the themes for her new album took root.
Lying in her bed, she was contemplating the forms of social interaction that have proliferated since the arrival of the internet when the song Psychosocial appeared fully-formed in her head.
She sang it straight in to her laptop, some of the original vocals remaining on the finished album track.
The new album Brutal Romantic, co-produced by Fraser, was recorded in stages over the last two years in various London studios.
With bigger beats and layers of synthesizers, there is a harder edge to her sound.
She acknowledges that while some fans would prefer her to keep on making What to do with Daylight over and over, her instincts have always been to challenge herself and innovate rather than rely on a workable formula.
She appreciates the opportunities NZ affords women — an encouraging society that she says makes no distinction between the sexes when it comes to career and life choices.
When asked about the explicit sexuality exhibited by many current female artists, in particular American performers, she says that while she is no prude, she is disturbed by the exhibitionism that many women feel they must resort to in order to sell albums.
Fraser recently attended the MTV awards in Los Angeles and was somewhat shocked by the overt sexuality on display.
She expresses pride in the fact that for most NZ female artists, the music is first and foremost and that sexual themes are mostly explored with subtlety and depth of feeling rather than bombast.
Her musical career has been unexpected and largely unplanned and she has no concrete goals for the future other than to keep writing songs.
Fraser will be touring the country to promote her new album Brutal Romantic early next year, beginning March 20 at the Founders Theatre Hamilton and finishing April 1 at the ASB Bank Arena Tauranga.
Check out the full interview below: Lorde, The big winner on the night In 1976 I left the farm to become a boarder at Sacred Heart College in Au ckland, a school that had recently educated boys that went on to form bands like Split Enz, The Dudes and Citizen Band, among others.
The mystique that surrounded these old boys was palpable, and I found myself becoming swept up in at all.
I had discovered Kiwi music, and I liked it.
Further down the track, two incidents in particular inspired my growing and passionate advocacy of Kiwi music.
The first involved Radio Waikato.
I was thrilled to realise the song I was hearing was My Mistake from the new Split Enz album Dizrhythmia.
His attitude was much the same as Radio Waikato.
The sad state of affairs was such that by 1991 local radio was playing less than 2 per cent local music — this despite a healthy live scene and a vibrant DIY recording industry that was scoring with both critics and audiences alike.
In 1997 a Government and Recording Industry initiative, The Kiwi Music Action Group, was formed to compel radio stations to broadcast New Zealand music.
The group initiated New Zealand Music Week, and in 2000 this grew into New Zealand Music Month.
The radio Industry grudgingly consented to a voluntary 15 per cent local music quota and the result was miraculous.
Exposed to hitherto unheard artists, audiences lapped it up and the demand for local music exploded.
By 2005, the local content on commercial radio had risen to 20 per cent and local artists were scoring number one albums and singles with clockwork regularity.
I found a nice vantage point near the stage door and got some amusement from the entourage that accompanied Lorde from podium to media room and back again.
I was glad to be of service and to give him something to do.
The collective of coiffured blondes with clipboards sailing in her wake were also quite interesting.
She sounded to me like a Kiwi who was trying to speak clearly for the benefit of an international audience.
We forget that our fast and high pitched brand of English can be incomprehensible to foreigners, and more and more the NZ Music Awards are being pitched at an increasingly interested overseas market.
All in all, a brilliant night.
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