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Interview: A Quick Chat With Hedge Fund Trader

Interview: A Quick Chat With Hedge Fund Trader

Fluffy / Friday 21st July, 2017 12:33PM

Hedge Fund Trader are a post-hardcore/powerviolence band that are swiftly making their mark on the North Island, playing a myriad of shows in their native Hamilton and up the road in the sprawling metropolis of Auckland city. Their debut EP Discography is in equal parts challenging and intriguing. To find out more about their buzz, we sat down with band members Kelly, Adam and Michael ahead of their show at Biddy Mulligans this weekend...

UTR: Evidently I have a one track mind and presumed a Hedge Fund Trader was a person who trades particular plants for cash money. After attempting to Google your band, I see this probably isn’t the case. Can you tell us what the term means to you?

A: The title of Hedge Fund Trader I have always found to have such an innocuousness to it given that it represents one of the most predatory byproducts of free enterprise. In my mind the name works as well for an abrasive post-hardcore band as for the kings of deregulated trading.

K: I think hedge fund traders are the polar opposite of who we fundamentally are as people. So naturally, it's our name.

Your debut recorded opus was titled Discography. Does this mean it is the beginning and the end for your tunes?

K: It's definitely not the end! The word 'discography' tends to inspire thoughts of extensive albums, hundreds of songs, and hours of material. Our songs are all extremely short and the sum total is less than ten minutes. So naturally, it's the name of our EP.

M: I also like the nod to the near ubiquitous trend of 90s screamo bands and the like, to eventually throw out any and all recordings at once under a label like ‘Everything’, or ‘Collected’.

The music on the aforementioned release seems to draw inspiration from a good variation of places. Any artists in particular that inspire you?

A: Mike and I were referencing a lot of older American screamo and powerviolence stuff like Funeral Diner, Failures, Charles Bronson etc. when we first started playing together. Clean Plate records and Head First are who I will usually go to when I need to plagiarise some drum material.

K: Orchid, early Ceremony, Barcelona, DIAL.

M: Definitely Failures and Ceremony, and the early screamo back catalogue. I’ve drawn from hardcore bands like True Love, Trash Talk and Weekend Nachos as well.

I noticed one of the tracks on Discography is called ‘Fire Walk With Me’. Is this a cover of a score or an alternate homage to David Lynch?

K: Definitely a homage to Lynch. The lyrics are from an iconic sinister poem in Twin Peaks.

I would have been able to discern the answer to the above question, were it not for ‘Fire Walk With Me’ and another track ‘Nothing To Show’ being listed on the Bandcamp release but labelled ‘Cassette Only’ and thus unable to be played online. This is a well shrewd marketing strategy for a physical medium in this day and age. Where did the idea for this spring from?

K: 'Buy 6 minutes of really fast abrasive music from Hamilton and get 2 minutes free!' is a hard offer to refuse. Physical media is fun to make and nice to own, and has always been a part of DIY culture. Plus there's something perversely appealing about the inconvenience and expense of making tapes as a band.

M: There is certainly more of the personality of the band in the physical product than an online stream or download. I think of any extra features or aspects that come with that as being an expression of gratitude for support.

From an outsider perspective, the scene in Hamilton seems to be growing at a reasonable rate lately. Do you find this is the case?

K: If the jam-packed schedule at the practice space is any indication, I'd say so. The bands that are around at the moment are really diverse and interesting, but the diversity in genre can make it hard to unify the music scene. Regardless, our local shows tend to be a mashup of all sorts of bands which is cool.

M: I think if it were a little easier to practice or put on shows that would be beneficial. A lot of the bands that are very active here are fairly resourceful by necessity, if that trend continues I think the scene will continue to grow. It is a great opportunity for the DIY approach to continue to flourish.

I’m also loving that three (or less) piece bands seem to be rising in prominence, especially those with less than conventional configurations, such as missing bass or guitar. Why do you think this is?

K: Man, being in a three piece is the best. It's easier to organise practices, write songs, share snacks, transport equipment, and agree on stuff. I think people also enjoy the challenge of creating a full sound with less people. No one feels left out if there is no bassist.

A: Drum/guitar/vocals is not a wildly uncommon lineup for a lot of PV/grindcore bands. Magrudergrind stayed at out house last year when they played in Hamilton, and I was so envious of how simple their touring setup was. We have had seven different members since getting together a year or so back, but the reason we settled on the three of us now is that life is simply easier without a bassist or second guitarist. We also all live in the same house, so if we got a bassist we would have to kick one of our existing flatmates out to make room.

M: All of our bassists left the band. One fled the country.

If you're in Hamilton tomorrow night, you can catch Hedge Fund Trader at Biddy Mulligan's along with Spiteful Urinator, Brainfreeze and Glass Shards. Head over HERE for full details

Interview by Fluffy


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