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Friday 11th October, 2013 8:35AM

Mountaineater released their eagerly awaited debut album today and we caught up with frontman and hugely respected musician Tristan Dingemans about the record....

Your debut album has been a long time coming, how are you feeling about it?

Feeling very happy the album is now set for release. It has been a long time coming but everything is coordinating beautifully. We have a great album and a fantastic video for Lord Of Sumo by Reuben Wood. Greatly looking forward to the upcoming gigs and a chance to work on new material in our rehearsals.

Tell us a little about the writing and recording process?

The majority of the songs were written by myself. I'd bring an arranged song to Chris and Anaru, with bass parts and at least a feel or time signature for the drums. We'd then play it, jam it and fine tune the arrangement. The recording started with all of us tracking together to get an awesome drum take from Chris. Anaru and myself running through preamps and us all with headphones. This was a weekends work. Anaru had less than a week to overdub bass. And then I took the better part of a year and half to finish guitar and vocals... Guitarists eh.

This album nearly winds up the release of the first body of Mountaineater songs.

What are some of the key influences/inspirations on this record?

Influences and inspiration? Pizzicato notes on a double bass. The arc and drop of a Kereru. The vista from any mountain. Flares of solarisation. Despair and joy. The band came in to being via my desire to play in a band again basically. The songs I was writing needed drums especially and I sought out Anaru and Chris after jamming with them just once a year or so before we got Mountaineater together. They are both wonderfully intuitive players who were also happy for me to direct things musically. I feel totally blessed to have such awesome brothers to work with.

What is crucial to Mountaineater's sound?

This is implied in last answer. It's the camraderie. With Dale who engineered the album. With Deano our manager. It's the desire to make good music. Play a good show. And, record a great album.

Take us through some of the tracks from the album...

'Gutterball' -  In the writing process this one just kept wanting more parts. It's interesting how the path to resolution of a song can feature many forks or sometimes none at all. Main riff is an homage to Albini. Lyrics: a psychedelic biography.

'Lord Of Sumo': This came to us from the seething brain and mill pond still soul of Mr. Anaru Ngata ( bass guitar ). Chris Livingstone ( drums) and I along for the ride with words by myself. Hashomon the Dis'ssembler ( as in disassemble ) was an anime inspired character my eldest daughter came up with when she was 6.

'Exegesis VII' - the fourth born song as I recall. The intro celebrates the joy and pain of living. The verses speak of my children. Chris leads the breakdown at the end: a drum solo with accompaniment.

'Ch'an Ra' - This was the first song written of this set. Ch'an is the Chinese word that Zen comes from. Ra is the word for the sun ( or "divine light" ) in both the Maori and Egyptian languages. This one ( and Exegesis VII ) explores the idea of actually leaving space in the music more than any song I've written. Have realised that wrestling with mass/space ratios is a primary focus for me as a musician. As you can tell, I still tend toward mass.

'Spiderbaby' - A song about meeting. Self doubt and destiny. The perils and pleasures of flying. Helix entwined or entangled? This is an attempt to grow a crystal. A moment captured.

'Jerusalem' - The opening scenario pits Warren Ellis' ( the writer not the violin player ) Spider Jerusalem against Lucius Verinus of the tv series Rome. This song is the baby of the set. A riff, a verse had been conceived. The rest very much written on the fly. The closing section just coalesced in the jamming. This section's lyrics were written by my dear friend Peter Gordon Kirk who passed away two years ago.


Mountaineater commence their album release tour tonight in Wellington - see below for tour dates and to grab tickets.


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