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Astro Children

Astro Children

Interviewed by
Sam Valentine
Thursday 23rd August, 2012 9:59AM

Astro Children have been almost inescapable in Dunedin this year, the pair of Mille Lovelock and Isaac Hickey gaining traction on the back on their distinct spaceship pop. Runner’s up at the OUSA Battle of the Bands, and currently sitting at number six on the BFM top ten ahead of an Auckland show, UTR sent Sam Valentine to catch up with guitarist/vocalist Millie Lovelock.

Hey Astro Children, how’s it going?

We’re going great, thanks Sam!

How did you and Isaac meet?

We have been friends since we were little kids, because our parents are friends... Lots of family gatherings eventuated in musical collaboration.

Astro Children initially formed with a bassist, right?

That’s right. Isaac and I decided to start a “punk” band, and wanted a bassist. That’s how we met Steph, but then she moved to Auckland to study.

Has that altered you sound at all, dropping down to a two-piece?

It has altered our sound a whole lot. We were initially really scared of playing so stripped down, and the first time we did was terrifying. But we just sat down and worked out what we could do to beef things up and just went with it. Strangely we got a lot more instrumental and a lot louder.

Do guitar pedals play a big part in your band now?

Guitar pedals play a huge part in our band now. They fill out the sound quite a bit and, to be perfectly honest, they are mostly just for our own enjoyment. The blooping noises never get old, and I always think they are way cooler than hearing my guitar playing.

Is It Came From the Attic something you’re pretty proud to be associated with?

We are super proud to be associated with this, and so grateful that we were invited to be a part of this. There are so many great musicians featured on this, it really is an essential compilation for Dunedin music.

What’s your favourite song on the compilation, excluding your own?

Probably Himalayas by Trick Mammoth. Fantastic song.

What’s Dunedin (in general) like as a space to be creative?

I don’t know if I could say that it is better than any other place to be creative in, but it has its own vibe and so many places to draw inspiration from. I guess it is home for both of us and so we feel really comfortable making music here, about things that we know. Plus, the music community here is such a nice place, with people like those at the Attic there to support you. We definitely couldn’t have done much without the incredible support we have received here.

You’re about to release your debut EP. Tell me a bit about the writing and recording process.

Some of our songs (Like “The One We Start With”) are from when we first started. The single is actually the first song Isaac and I ever wrote together. We just adapted them when we lost the bass and so they sound really different and have just grown. Some of the other songs are newer and were born into the way we sound now, so to speak. Writing is pretty laid back for us, we usually just jam or build on a tiny idea and I improvise on a lyrical idea. The recording process was heaps of fun, Lee and Daniel are great to work with. It was quite cold but we got heaps done in one night, finishing at one in the morning. We had a pedals expert on hand and so that was cool, and we got to work the way we wanted to, recording live and then adding bits, so we didn’t feel pulled to pieces.

You two are also just about to leave for Auckland for a couple of shows. You’ll be pretty excited I imagine?

Yeah! Really excited! It is only just starting to feel real. And a huge thanks to Anthonie Tonnon, of course, for organising it.

It hasn’t been long since I last spoke to you guys. Tell me something cool that’s happened to you since then.

This has happened since we last spoke! We don’t have very exciting lives, but we’ve had band practice for the first time in months, which was pretty exciting, we wrote some new songs. And played in the smallest bar in the universe, with a microphone taped to a table.


Tickets for Astro Children's debut Auckland performance are on sale now from here at UTR - see below for details.

Click here to grab a copy of the It Came From The Attic compilation.



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