Interview

Haunted Love

Haunted Love

Friday 16th September, 2011 1:55PM

Haunted Love will release their album Spirit Revival on Monday. UTR caught up with the duo to find out what they've been up to, the writing and recording process of Spirit Revival and why we should all head along to their album release parties.

For those who don't know anything about you guys, tell us a little bit about how Haunted Love started.

We've been making music together since 2005 when we met at work (Dunedin Public Art Gallery) and instantly bonded over having weird names, sensitive souls and eerily similar childhoods. We've been through good times and bad, played many gigs, and grown and changed a lot. Our music is always the strong glue that holds our two lives together. We made an EP with Tex Houston in 2009 called Darkness in Diamond City.

What drew you to the sound you're currently exploring?

Well, we started off by trying to get the most amazing sounds we could from our vintage instruments and because we could never give up the wood veneer of our Casio keyboards and Zachary Enchanter living room organs we just keep adding more. We always want to create a full palette of sounds to illustrate our ideas and bring the magic to life, but we like space for the song to breathe as well.

You guys are from Dunedin. Is the sound that's coming from there now similar to 'The Dunedin Sound' or have things totally changed?

The sounds that come out of Dunedin lately are different from the original Flying Nun era but yes, you bet there is a DIY vibe! Dunedin is a really supportive community to be a musician in; but sometimes there can be holes in the infrastructure due to Dunedin's size - for example the range of venues is quite slender so you have to be creative and resourceful if you want to put on a specific kind of show. And you need your buddies to pitch in.

That being said, people still love and talk about Flying Nun when they could be talking about... swiss cheese! Although it's a mythology and a legacy it's still relevant and exciting because the people who made it famous, The Clean, The Chills, The Verlaines etc are still making exciting, relevant music and engaging with the musicians who are shaping whatever comes next that will be added to that legacy.

The press release describes the thematic countenance of your new album as "transmogrification, transexuality, medicine, altered states, teenage love and fantastical worlds of science fiction and fairytale". What does it all mean?!

We like to use unusual subject matter and metaphors in a pop format so basically we're always singing about love but it's just dressed up in different costumes and sometimes acting weird.

Tell us a little bit about writing this album more generally. How does your process go down?

We fitted in the writing and recording around all of our lives and commitments - it's been a labour of love. Our favourite memories of recording this album are: recording "Apokha" in an old ballet studio in Dunedin using a system of a speaker swinging from ceiling beam (to create a Leslie effect), sleeping on Downtown Puff (the pillow Ed's album was named after) in Platform Studios on Queen St, rapping with Andy Stanton (children's author of such classics as "Here Comes the Poo BUs!"), trying to convince any children we met to to sing on the album, all of whom politely declined...

Ed Cake recorded the album; what was it like working with him?

When Ed's not cooking up hefty portions of Uncle Daddy's Chinese Chicken, he's doing stuff like recording background music to promote the new wave of children's credit cards. Ed uses mashed banana as a face mask smears it on then eats it off as it slides down. So basically he understood the character of the music.

What kind of vibe did you want Spirit Revival to emanate?

We want it to encompass the familiar and the domestic as well as the fantastical and outrageous. We like to imagine single mums dancing with their kids to this album. That would be perfect.

You're playing a couple of shows in support of the album release. What can we expect from the live shows?

Expect a great, happy celebration because it's not just an introduction to this album, it's also a party! We need a Super Party Payoff after four years of nurturing this little twelve-track son-of-a-gun. So expect us to be dressed up, psyched up and expect there to be celebrities in the audience and umbrellas in the drinks.

What are the future plans with Haunted Love?

After the release shows we're beginning work on a music video. We were lucky enough to receive a NZonAir grant for our song "Love Underwater" for this purpose. After that we'll start to record another album that we have been writing!

- Courtney Sanders




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