Interview

The Postures

The Postures

Monday 9th August, 2010 11:30AM

Recent Muzai Records Signee's The Postures are looking forward to a busy second half of 2010. It's all about shows, including the Auckland EP release shows this month. Band members Havell, Harvey and Nolan joined together to give Under The Radar an insight into how the band operates and what the future has in store for them.

Hello, how are you?

Michael Havell: Top Notch thanks.

Michael Harvey: Great, thank'ee.

Jeremy Nolan: Bloody lovely.

Can you give some brief background on how The Postures got together?

Havell: I met Jeremy via my girlfriend, we both liked loud guitar music and beer. I'd been doing noise stuff in Dunedin and was on a kind of break from music when I moved to Wellington, we talked about starting a band for about four years or so. The Postures finally got started when we met Michael through some Palmy friends (probably Dukes of Leisure related) and then accosted him at a party asking him if he wanted to play drums in our band and move to Wellington. I think the personalities thing was really important, waiting to meet the right people to play the right music with.

Harvey: That was back in 2006.

Nolan: I should probably add, that in wellington back in 2002 when I met Havell, pretty much everyone I knew was into Drum and Bass and stuff, so it was a pretty big deal to meet someone who was into noisy guitar stuff. I hadn't really played music since high school, and was really keen to start up a band...

Who is in the band and what do they play?

Michael Havell: Guitar and vocals.

Michael Harvey: Drums.

Jeremy Nolan: Guitar, some vocals.

What's been happening with The Postures Recently?

Havell: Same old really, jamming, playing shows, though we did some recording recently.

Harvey: Things seem to be growing exponentially, I think we've played more shows in the past year than we have over the past four. Which is good obviously!

Nolan: And we seem to be writing more songs these days too.

How did you come to sign with Muzai records?

Havell: Through Martin, and then Benjii. I realized that we were going to struggle putting out the EP by ourselves in terms of distro and asked Martin if they'd mind helping us out, which led to Benjii being involved. Pretty sure Martin asked us if we wanted to put something on 'Fuck These Bands' ages ago, but we just weren't ready in terms of recordings.. but I really liked what they were doing. Basically it evolved into us signing after Benjii had more time to deal with another band, and us deciding that they were a label we could work quite happily with, and he liked our work ethic.

What is the best thing about the deal for you?

Havell: Working with Benjii, and Martin, and I like what they're trying to do.

Harvey: I think it comes down to working with people who are on the same page as us, musically as well as personally. Plus, I can't think of a more shit-hot label happening in NZ right now - it's an honour to be amongst bands like God Bows To Math and Cat Venom.

Nolan: For me, it's great having people in Auckland who are really into what we do - and it's a mutual thing, I think Muzai are doing really good things as well - Plus they are great guys, so its win/win really.

What are you most looking forward to about your Auckland EP release shows?

Havell: Playing music with bands we like, hanging with friends, my parents are putting on a mean BBQ I hear, and buying some vinyl.

Harvey: I'm even more excited now that I know there's a mean BBQ. But yeah, I'm looking forward to playing at the Kings Arms, and this all-ages show at the Scout Hall in Mt. Eden should be a blast. I think all-ages shows/venues are incredibly important in any music community - for me, and Havell as well, growing up in Palmerston North would have been a hell of a lot worse if there wasn't an AA venue like the Stomach.

Havell: I should add the BBQ is on Sunday, after our shows, and that AA scenes are vital to any healthy music scene... but it's a process. Play some shows, eat some food, go home. The circle of life.

Nolan: I've enjoyed all the shows we've played in Auckland so far - and I don't expect this one will be any different. It's always been great fun getting out of town, playing some different venues, catching up with mates, and getting razzed in another city...

What can audiences expect from a Postures live show?

Havell: Loud volume, sweat, bad jokes, tuning, bad jokes.

Harvey: I think our love of extreme volume is about making us impossible to ignore, obnoxious as that sounds. One thing I get sick of is going to some show just to wind up yarning to someone while the band plays, not because of any fault on the band's part, unless of course you consider making inoffensive wallpaper music a fault! We're the opposite of that. Offensive wallpaper music maybe?

Have you played with any of the bands that will be supporting you before?

Havell: We've played a bunch of shows with GBTM, they're our homies. Jeremy has played with Sora Shima and Cat Venom with his other band Force Fields. I've known Luke from The Hairdos for ages.

If you could tour with any band, who would it be?

Havell: I'd love to tour with Mountaineater again, they're a great bunch of guys, and make a nice racket too.

Harvey: God Bows To Math, but fortunately that's already happening in August.

Do you have any other releases on the way or that you're working on?

Havell: Yes.

Harvey: We're working on an upcoming split release with God Bows To Math, and I'm keen to put out a limited run of cassettes at some point.

How does the band write and record it's material?

Havell: Jams, everyone does what needs to be done for a song. Recording is by and large done live, with right on mic placement, and vocal overdubs. For the EP with Warwick Donald at Happy last year, that was all stuff we'd already written, though songs like Algebra and Difference Engine don't have a set structure, which can be challenging if you're me, and have a tendency to go before the sound tech says you're rolling... then have to capture the feel of a song again. Those two instrumentals have parts that we play for as long as we feel necessary. Recently we recorded some songs with James Goldsmith, which were recorded live again, though I don't want to say too much about those yet, because they're not finished.

Harvey: Mike and Jeremy sometimes bring in riffs that we work into a song, other times we just mess about until we come up with something. Occasionally someone has the foresight to bring a recording device with which we can capture these moments of genius. Though that's rare - there has been literally hours of awesome metal lost to the ether. When we do finally get our shit together to record, for me, keeping it true to what we sound like in the room is the most important thing. Few overdubs, no synths!

Nolan: I guess the hardest part of our "song writing process" is taking one of our epic 45 minute psyche-metal jams, and turning it in a 3 minute pop masterpiece...

What are the biggest influences on the band?

Havell: The initial idea for the band from my perspective was for a stripped back sound, nothing too complex, relatively straight forward noise rock/post punk. In terms of bands I listen too, or get inspired by, it's anything from the likes of The Gordons and The 3Ds, The Dead C, to The Mummies and stuff like Coachwhips, and anything awkward like Flex by Jean Paul Sartre Experience, or Neurons by King Loser, so cool primitive thrashy stuff and loser dorky stuff I guess.

Harvey: The minimal/stripped-back thing has been pretty important from the get-go, we've kinda kept true to the two guitars 'n' drums line-up for the most part. We've flirted with the idea of using a bass guitar, but it turns out we were just being teases. As far as listening tastes go, it's all pretty varied between us, but the common ground would be a lot of the NZ noise-rock and post-punk stuff. The Gordons definitely. And Wire. Everybody loves Wire.

Nolan: I would say the influence of sci-fi on the band cannot be overstated. I think its safe to say we are all huge sci-fi nerds?

Havell: Heck yes.

What's the best or most memorable gig that you have played?

Havell: I really enjoyed our EP release at Mighty Mighty, seeing Jeremy play guitar on some dudes shoulders was a riot, though the first show we played in Auckland with Yokel Ono and Mean Street (Street Chant) was up there, maybe a house party we played with GBTM and Hoopla! that was pretty mean.

Harvey: The EP release was awesome. Camp VBC last year was pretty special, playing in a hall in the Pohangina Valley in the middle of winter is something to remember. Also, the parties we played at my old flat in Aro Valley, Wellington were great times.

Nolan: Our renegade set at camp alowhum this year was flat-out bat-shit crazy. Not sure if it counts as memorable tho, cos I actually don't remember a thing. But the video was pretty sweet. And yeah, some good times playing at our old flat on Boston Tce. Playing Chicks in port chalmers with Mountaineater, then playing pingpong and yarning with the locals till the small hours was a blast as well...

What else does the future hold for The Postures?

Havell: A tour with GBTM in August, S'trayla in November, I'd like to do a music video....

Harvey: Things are looking pretty busy already for the rest of the year, shows, shows and more shows. Aussie is gonna be choice. There should be a couple more releases before the year is out too.

Nolan: Heck yes. we should totally do a music vid.

The state of music in NZ is...

Havell: Awesome, we're very lucky, there's lots of people being creative and bringing bands over, putting out records.. with the whole MUZAI thing happening, Flying Nun starting back up, Stink Magnetic are owning, I mean have you heard the ghost of tapeman 7"? it's wicked good. The whole Chicks thing in Port Chalmers, the noise scene in Dunedin with None Gallery and the scene that TFF are a part of. Whammy Bar and the Wine Cellar in Auckland, my old local the Kings Arms is still going. Blink puts on an amazing festival every year, which puts most other festivals to shame... Wellington has great stuff happening all the time.

Harvey: Incredible, if you're looking in the right places! Wellington has some very cool and passionate people making some amazing music. Orchestra of Spheres, Neon Bastard, Cult of the Cobra, the Body Lyre, I.Ryoko, and Teen Hygiene are just some bands from round here who are ruling right now. The VBC 88.3FM deserves a holla too, because they have been incredibly supportive of us and many others locally as well.




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