Interview

Carb On Carb

Carb On Carb

By Ben Coley

Thursday 7th May, 2015 11:41AM

Auckland two-piece Carb on Carb have been going strong on the DIY scene since releasing their first EP no body perfect back in 2012. Fast forward to 2015 and the two are just about to embark on a New Zealand tour to support their debut self-titled album, which dropped back in February. In time between the two releases the pair, made up of James Stuteley and Nicole Gaffney, have evolved their sound, progressing from their punk roots into an emo/indie sound. UnderTheRadar caught up with James ahead of their seven-show nationwide tour kicking off this weekend to pick his brains on touring and find out more about the new album...


UTR: Hey, how's it going? what did you have for breakfast?

I had cheese, tomato and sauerkraut on toast. It was good. I'm good.


Congrats on the release of your album. Can you give a quick rundown on how it all came about?

Cheers. We wrote and worked on the songs for most of last year, then in December we went down to Wellington to record it with James Goldsmith. It was real fun actually, we spent a day at Munki (recording drums in the vault/using fancy gear), then spent three more days (with plenty of snack breaks) doing vocals, overdubs etc at The Blue Room in Toi Poneke. James mixed it over January and we sent it off to Carl Saff to get mastered (a guy in Chicago who does lots of the big emo bands like You Blew It, Empire! Empire! etc). We released the CD/digital ourselves, and our Malaysian label Toothache Splinter released it on tape over there.


Your sound has shifted from your previous EP's towards a 90's American Midwest emo/indie sound. Are those bands and that genre a big influence at the moment?

Totally. We were listening to emo before Carb on Carb started, but since then we've just listened to more and more, and at some point between our last EP and the album the balance tipped and we were an emo band.


You tour heaps and are just about to embark on another New Zealand tour for the release of this album. What is it about touring that you like so much, and what are you looking forward to on this tour?

The best parts of touring are different depending on where we are, but are mostly obvious. On the last tour I really enjoyed the simplicity of the play/hang out/travel routine. This tour I'm looking forward to hanging out on the family farm with my parents, finally playing a show at Great Job, playing our first house party in far too long, checking out our friends' new business Punky Brewster, hanging out with said friends and I'll stop there cos otherwise it'll get boring.


You've toured some interesting places including a lot of South East Asia and China. Can you tell me a some of the good and bad parts and what it's like to tour there?

Every country is pretty different. In China the venues were super professional, huge PAs and lighting set ups. We didn't have support bands most nights but that's apparently normal there. Crowds were really varied in different cities, some shows there was only a few people there but they were super into it, others there was like 80 but they were subdued. Singapore can be pretty hard work, you're supposed to get permits to play, submit your lyrics to the government and stuff, (actually China too) and venue hire can be crazy expensive. Like $120 an hour for a semi-DIY sorta place. Luckily we've had a super nice and helpful promoter (Other Sounds) both times we've been there who sorted all that stuff out for us. Malaysia has a really thriving DIY scene, pretty heavily weighted towards punk (but we got by all right). Shows don't earn much but they go hard on merch. Depending on the band I would totally recommend playing those countries. We actually met some people who are really keen to get more New Zealand bands over to Malaysia, so anyone who wants to go over, let me know, you can do 8+ date tours there. As a blanket recommendation I'd probably say go to SE Asia and play Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, they're easier, closer and cheaper.


How organised do you have to be when touring on a DIY level? And how hard is it on financial level?

By the time we're actually on tour most of the details have been sorted out. Its just a case staying on top of things like travel times and money. Financially, we're pretty good at saving, live cheaply, and prioritise touring - so I dunno, not too rough. Touring places like SE Asia also makes it easier, meals being like $2. We will be fully broke at the end of the year though haha.


You have a show lined up in the United States at the end of the year. Can you tell me more about that and are you planning a full tour there as well?

Yeah! We're playing at Fest! It's this pretty big punk rock festival but its basically the premiere festival for emo bands. It's over Halloween weekend (!!) and in Florida (!?). But yeah, doing a tour for a few weeks before it too.


What other plans do you have this year?

After our New Zealand tour, we're doing a small Australian tour in July. That's it for now.


Finally, if you could tour any country, what would it be and why?

At present, it'd be the US, it has always been Nicole's dream, and so many of our current favourite bands are there. Just wanna play emo shows in Midwestern basements eh.


Carb On Carb are kicking off their nationwide tour this Friday 8th May at Great Job! in Palmerston North with support from T54, Tuff Wizard and Man In Rug. Head over here for full dates and information.


related gigs
Carb On Carb Album Release Tour With Shunkan And Males
Fri 15th May, Chicks Hotel , Port Chalmers
Carb On Carb Album Release Tour
Fri 29th May, Absolutely Trashed, Auckland
Carb On Carb Album Release Tour With Ie Crazy And Ancient Tapes
Sat 30th May, Creative Waikato Exhibition Room, Hamilton


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