The Checks

The Checks

Monday 9th August, 2010 12:06PM

Been around since?


Current line up?

Ed Knowles, Karel Chabera, Callum Martin, Jake Moore, Sven Pettersen

Musical history?

We were just five mates from school who put a band together. I did play in Cuesta and Jake in Blue Tak before.

You’ve just moved back from London – how as your time over there? What were your highlights? Any dramas?

We learnt how to play in London. Playing over a hundred shows in a series of mainly toilets mixed with some arenas made us really concentrate on how we sounded night by night. To be honest the best we've ever played Hunting Whales record was in New York having just left London. We spent all our time together. I got opened up to a whole stack of new music. Callum thought he'd been biten by a poisonous spider even though there aren't any in England, which was my fault. Paranoia can spread fast in a 12 seat van.

Did you discover any bands you think we should know about?

The Thirst are an ace band. Our last run round the UK they opened up for us. They were four huge guys from Brixton and I think they thought it was strange opening for five scrawny New Zealanders. But they liked our music and us theirs and each night we watched each other and kind of pushed each other.

What [else] have you been listening to lately?

This last year I’ve been listening to: Devendra Banhart, Gorrilaz, the good the bad and the Queen. Black Sabbath, Ratatat, Jay-Z, Dr Dre, J.J Cale, Outkast, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Babyshambles. Peter Doherty, Wu Tang, Demos, Jack Hwang.

What is your writing/recording process?

Either Ed, Cal or I come up with a piece like some chords and melody or a riff or anything. We will usually jam it between the three of us then make an arrangement with the band and jam it straight away. It really varies, any which way that it works is fine.

Your Dream Collaboration?

Bridget Bardot.

You’re just about to release your second album, Alice By The Moon, tell us about it...

It was recorded at the Lab in Mt Eden in two and a half weeks starting in late February by Jol Mulholland and produced by us. We went a lot harder on the over dubs and paid more attention to the detail of tones and takes. I thik it is a combination of way more raw than Hunting Whales and also a lot more produced. Kind of in the way that we'd set up some interesting ideas for overdubs and use a really raw unpolished take with an interesting sound. Jol was great as he was happy to experiment and fool around with ideas. A lot of my playing on the record happened by me playing the part then just fooling around, and then we’d end up using the fooling around bit.

Has did your experience with releasing your debut album Hunting Whales help with this release?

Absolutely. I've tried to stay as far from offices and conversations about the album as possible as it ‘s time consuming and I think other people are better at it.

Are you releasing the album on vinyl and/or any 7” singles this time around?

There is talk of a limited run of vinyl L.P's which would make me happy as it's a beautiful album cover and the covers these days never get the credit they deserve especially when just viewed from a computer screen.

If you could have any original vinyl release in the world what would it be?

Kind of Blue- Miles Davis

Of all the instruments you own, or have owned, what is your favourite?

My black guitar. It was my first nice guitar I bought when I was thirteen . Before then it was this tiny tiny nylon string and this unplayably shit electric. I have more expensive ones but I always play this, I'm very attached to it and it sounds the best.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt musically in the last year?

How to read and write music notation. It just looks so awesome and when you start to hear what a beautiful page with all these symbols on it sounds like it ‘s pretty cool.

What has been your favourite show to date?

Midway, Lower East side, New York City, November 07. Or Cassette last Wednesday.

If you could share the stage with anyone (band or person) who would it be?

Peter Green

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Seven Quick Questions... Madison Van StadenLove your lyrics and sounds! ...Seven Quick Questions... Madison Van Staden

Seven Quick Questions... Madison Van StadenLove the stage name, enjoying your sound cloud MvS. ...Seven Quick Questions... Madison Van Staden