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February 26, 2017 | by  | in Music |
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Laneway Vocals

Auckland’s seventh Laneway festival took place, at the start of February, up the road from its traditional Silo Park venue. The move to Albert Park, a more open and shadier space, was welcomed by the many pasty, indoorsy types who frequent the festival. A few scheduling and technical difficulties were largely overlooked and the performers seemed pleased to be there and able to play on some particularly idyllic stages. Olly Clifton, Salient’s music editor, managed to get a chance to talk to some of our favourite local and international acts:








 

White Lung

White Lung are a Canadian punk-rock band that formed in Vancouver in 2006. Olly chats with vocalist Mish Way-Barber and guitarist Kenneth William.

Salient: Your record Paradise came out in 2016 but it was recorded the year before. How was the recording?

Mish: We recorded in LA at the end of 2015.

Kenneth: With a guy named Lars at his studio. He produced the HEALTH record and he’s working on one with Alice Glass right now I think.

Salient: Your new record has often been called indie-punk rather than noise-punk; what brought on the change in your sound?

Mish: I just think that was a difference in production.

Kenneth: Yeah, but I also listen to a lot of music that comes out all the time and I’ve heard five years worth of stuff that didn’t exist in the time since we made the first record. Obviously some things are going to change. Every time you do a record you use up ten ideas, so you’ve got to get new ones.

Salient: You guys have been together for about ten years now?

Mish: Technically Anne-Marie and I started the band ten years ago but we didn’t do anything for the first four. It was four girls, we fought, I went and lived in the Netherlands for a year, we made one seven inch. When [Kenneth] joined we actually made a full length record and we started touring. It doesn’t count until you start touring.

Salient: How does the songwriting process work now you’re scattered around?

Mish: We all do our own parts. I write all the melodies and lyrics, Kenny writes all the guitar and the bass, and Anne-Marie plays the drums. When it comes to do a record Kenny will throw us parts that we’ll hear, him and Anne-Marie will work together, and then they’ll show me what they’re working on because I live in a different city. But mostly everything is done in the studio because that’s the time that we’re together and can actually work.

 

The Veils

The Veils are an indie-alternative band that formed in Auckland in 2001 and are now based in London. Olly sat down with lead singer and songwriter Finn Andrews.

Salient: So you’re based in London, is this where the latest record Total Depravity was put together?

Finn: The latest one was done all over the place because of working with EL-P [Run The Jewels]. They were on tour a lot so we’d go out and meet them wherever they were. We did some of it in Portugal and some of it in New York and Los Angeles.

Salient: Sonically this record is quite a bit different — more electronic and noise-poppy. Was EL-P involved in bringing that about?

Finn: Yeah it was a mixture of him, and I think because we had a few years of writing it. We had our own little studio I was going into everyday and just sort of fucking around really.

Salient: Have you got your own setup at home?

Finn: We’re always moving around so this was the first time we had a dedicated space to go into everyday, and all the gear was there so I could write songs from a different angle. I’d begin with weird loops, mutilated sort of sounds rather than the more traditional beginning of a piano. It began in a different way so it went down a different direction. I was learning more about production and it was quite nice not to be tied to the piano as I usually am.

Salient: The drums sounds are pretty crazy, were they all done on loops?

Finn: A lot of the time we’d play them live and then we’d fuck with the drums afterwards — stretch them and distort them.

Salient: I’ve also heard you’ve been working with David Lynch and that the track “In the Nightfall” was recorded at his house. How did this come about?

Finn: That was through his producer/engineer Dean Hurley who has worked with him for years. He was the one that invited us up to David’s house and we did a song there, and then got asked to be involved with Twin Peaks — sadly we’re not allowed to talk about until it comes out.

 

Tycho

Tycho is the ambient music project of Scott Hansen, who is originally from San Francisco and involved in design and photography. Olly sat down with Scott and talked about his project.

Salient: I heard you got into music through computers and computer science.

Scott: I studied computer science but I never finished. I was a visual artist and then I started messing around with computers and using photoshop. I then realised you could use them to make music.

Salient: It was just you on the original albums right, and now you’ve got a band that came in on Dive [2011]?

Scott: Yeah Dive was limited, I worked with Zac Brennan who plays guitar and bass on a few songs, and then we got a drummer for the live show. It wasn’t until Awake [2014] when we all worked together.

Salient: How would you compare working solo to working with your band?

Scott: What I liked about the process of making Dive was just spending a lot of time alone really drilling down on the details of everything. That’s what Epoch [2016] was for me. I wanted to go back and do that again. I spend four months really mapping out what the record might look like and then everybody else comes in, it’s a nice two-tiered approach.

Salient: How does recording work for you? Have you got a home studio or do you tend to get out?

Scott: We spent time in Tahoe and then we went to Stinson Beach to a studio there and we recorded some drums in Brooklyn. I like to get outside when I’m working with the band.

Salient: I’ve heard you’re really interested in post-rock too and see elements of that coming into your music, did you grow up playing guitar or other instruments?

Scott: No, I never touched a musical instrument until I was like twenty and it was a drum machine. I learned guitar later but I love guitar rock. Rush, Led Zeppelin, Creedence Clearwater — all that old stuff. I was into heavy metal in high school. Those things have found their way back into the music and that was always kind of the goal.

 

Purple Pilgrims

Purple Pilgrims is the ethereal project of sisters Clementine and Valentine Adams. Olly sat down with both of them.

Salient: You guys have been a bit in and out of the country for a while right? When did you last play in New Zealand?

Valentine: We last played a secret show for New Years. It was at A Low Hum, just outside of Wellington. We played at 3am in the forest.

Clementine: We were covered in huhu bugs because of the UV glow.

Salient: What’s the deal with the new track “Drink The Juice” that just came out, is this a one-off single or off of an album?

Valentine: It was a track we wrote that felt really complete. We’re working on album right now, the next release. But it just felt so finished and complete, and it had its own story so we just decided to put it out by itself.

Salient: How are you guys recording the new album?

Clementine: We have a property that we go to in Coromandel. This time we’ve been collaborating with some friends in the states as well. So we’ll send bits of songs and they’ll send back percussion, things like that.

Salient: Who are the friends in the US?

Valentine: Our friend Nick Malkin; he’s from LA and has a solo project ‘afterhours’.

Clementine: And another friend George Elbridge who we’ve toured with in the past that’s mixing

Valentine: George plays in Ariel Pink’s band and we did a tour with them around the states.

Salient: How was touring with Ariel Pink?

Clementine: It was eventful, fun.

Valentine: He’s a good guy; he’s got a stage persona.

Salient: How did that relationship come about?

Valentine: We’d been in the states doing DIY tours ourselves and met up with some of the members in his band. We became friends and it sort of dominoed from there.

Salient: You guys grew up split between New Zealand and Hong Kong why was that?

Clementine: Our father got a job there and we moved there when we were really really young. Valentine was five.

Valentine: We spent a lot of time there up until really recently. Hong Kong is a really great place to move around from. It feels like a good center point for travel and stuff.

Salient: Do you feel more like your from Hong Kong than NZ?

Clementine: Feel like it’s a fifty-fifty.

Valentine: We’ve got kind of split personalities. When we’re in one place we’re always pulled to the other.

Salient: How did you find your way into making music together? Has that always been part of your family life?

Clementine: We come from a family where music is really present but neither of our parents actually play.

Valentine: Our grandparents were musicians. We started doing music together in late 2011. I did some folk before, then started doing stuff with Clementine and she just had a whole new perspective — we went way more experimental.

Clementine: I was at art school and into experimental music and sound art, manipulating pedals and stuff.

Valentine: We booked our first show before we had a set. We’d just been messing around for a while and then we played at a gallery in Christchurch and that was our first show.

Salient: Did you get quite into gear and stuff?

Clementine: Yeah it started with guitar pedals. We got a Space Echo pedal, it was one of our first, and then built from there realising the capabilities of what you can do manipulating vocals, guitar, and samples.

Valentine: Recently we’ve been getting more into post production and that has opened up a whole world to us.

Clementine: We were far more of a live band. We didn’t even know how to go about recording what we were doing. So then once we started focusing on trying to record something it just opened up a whole new level of possibilities and experimentation.

Salient: I heard you had some really cool backup dancers at your set?

Valentine: For our new song that just came out with a video, we had two excellent dancers Piripi Macki and Siabhan Leilani. They did such a good job that we were like ‘ahhh have to do it at Laneway’.

 

DMA’s

DMA’s are an Australian rock-band, Olly sat down with Johnny Took.

Salient: I hear you’re working on some new stuff at the moment, how’s that going?

Johnny: We’ve just come back from nearly two years of touring. And now we got home in late November and it’s been really nice. My things more songwriting. Live I play acoustic guitar so I’m playing e-minors and cs, and shit like that, so it’s not very exciting. I still have fun. But it’s nice to come home and have a bit of time and actually be in the studio and record and write and get back to that again. It’s kind of when I’m most happy and that’s how me, Tommy, and Mason first met. We were recording for nearly three years before we played a live gig.

Salient: So is this Laneway date a one off while you work on new stuff?

Johnny: Yeah exactly. I’m stoked I’m gonna hang out here for a few days. Go to Hot Water Beach get my shovel out and shit. Gonna go to Hamilton because Joel’s [bass player] dad owns a pub, so we’re gonna sit at the bar and drink fifty guiness. A mad Irish pub in Hamilton, I’m into it. It’s gonna be sick. Then we’re gonna party in Auckland for a day.

Salient: How was the world tour you guys just got back from?

Johnny: UK is amazing, Europe’s coming together, the US was fucking shit. New York was cool, San Fran was mad, Los Angeles was sick, and the festivals we did were cool. Guitar music in the states is hard enough at the moment, in such an EDM filled landscape.

Salient: How did you guys meet and form DMA’s?

Johnny: Tommy was the drummer in this psych band I used to be in. It was called Underlights. Indie-psych shit. I played bass and he played drums. Mason used to play blue-grass music around town and then me and Tommy were living with each other and Mason was always just hanging out. We’d be in rehearsal and Tommy’s like ‘you know in that part’, sitting behind the kit, and would sing the chorus. I was looking around the room like ‘is anyone noticing this?’ One time he was dropping of some drum gear and I was recording another folk song called “The Tamers” (which we might release) and it was the first time he’d ever recorded into a microphone and then we played it back. And he’s like ‘do I sound like that Johnny’ and I was like ‘yeah dude you fucking do.’ He didn’t even know! That’s the beauty of Tommy; he didn’t even know he was a good singer.

 

Yukon Era

Yukon Era are a four-piece melodious punk band from Auckland. Olly chatted to all four members.

Salient: Your latest song “Tongue” just came out and was recorded at Red Bull Studios in Auckland. How did that come about?

Lachie: I know Dan who looks after all their music stuff and he was like just come in and do a single or two and we ended up doing two songs. The other one will probably come out at some point, maybe on an album.

Salient: How was the process working with an engineer, and in a studio, rather than recording it yourselves?

Lachie: If we tried to explain to him how we wanted it to sound, he’d kind of know how to produce that sound. In terms of using which microphone and all that which we’d have no idea about. We showed him a few reference tracks as well: Preoccupations [Viet Cong], Chicks who Love Guns, Telstar drugs.

James: He didn’t really make it sound the same, just did such a good job of relating that sound to our sound.

Salient: So now you’re all (mostly) finished school, what are you guys all up to this year?

Christian: We’re all doing different stuff which is weird, but we’ll see what happens I guess.

Lachie: We’re doing a bit of touring to start the year. Piere is doing university, Christian is doing university in Melbourne, James is doing Year Eleven, and I’m spending a lot of time overseas for pretty much the first half of the year.

Salient: So are you planning on doing the record sometime within the year?

Lachie: I’d like to get it done before we go away, but I mean that’s getting close.

Pierre: Never stop dreaming though.

Salient: How do you guys like to describe your music, are you into the post-punk kind of description?

Christian: We just don’t know what to call it in fear of someone being like what? You’re not like that.

Lachie: I think our sound has changed heaps as well

Christian: Yeah when we started we were definitely more party / garage kinda stuff, but I think as we’ve gotten a bit older we’ve just gotten into different music. Kind of punky sometimes.

Pierre: It’s melodious punk.

 

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