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Interview: Seven Questions For Two Cartoons

Interview: Seven Questions For Two Cartoons

Thursday 4th April, 2019 2:13PM

Auckland-via-Dunedin guitar-pop duo Two Cartoons are sadly calling it a day, following eight years of thrilling audiences throughout Aotearoa and beyond with their infectious and energising brand of guitar pop. Formed in 2011 by Isaac McFarlane and Bradley Craig, they're playing their last ever show at Auckland's Whammy Backroom on Saturday 13th April, leaving in their wake such catchy earworms as recent student radio hit 'Less People (Less Traffic)' and a fistful of collections and video releases. We had to catch up with the gang before their pulled the plug on their much-loved project – McFarlane graciously answered our nosey questions about the imminent death of Two Cartoons via email in advance of next week's farewell party...

The Death Of Two Cartoons
Saturday 13th April - Whammy Backroom, Auckland
Snag your tickets HERE via UTR

We'll start with an obvious question but the fans need to know: why are Two Cartoons calling it a day? What other projects or plans do you guys have on the boil?

Two Cartoons was our first proper band and wasn’t meant to be anything serious, but once it started it kind of never stopped. We got to learn everything from the ground up in the band which meant quite often we were doing things without much thought or experience. Now years later we have grown and learnt so much, we are both ready to move onto new projects with confidence, and not having to be tied to our lesson learning. Looking forward, Brad is hard at work on music with Luke Walker for Flamingo Pier, while also gearing up to release the debut Mini Simmons record which he plays guitar in. I’m currently playing bass in the band SPAWTS and working on solo material.

What was the best show you've played together and what was the absolutely worst one?

I think our best show would have to be our last show in Dunedin before we moved overseas to London. It really felt like an ending, playing with our best friends Males to a packed out ReFuel Bar and then DJing till we got kicked out. It was emotional and really positive. The worst shows were probably the showcases in London, soulless affairs with no crowd, no vibe and no fun. We just started playing house parties after a few of those.

Is there a Two Cartoons song that you're particularly personally proud of?

Our latest single ‘Less People’ is the song this band was always wanting to write, and the only song that came out the other end exactly as we wanted.

Two Cartoons has taken you both to the other side of the globe. What challenges or contrasts were involved in moving from New Zealand's music community to London's?

We were so lucky with the support from our label and management in London that we never had any challenges ever, I think they would agree we were the challenge. But it was a big contrast in many obvious ways. If you don’t have a plan here in NZ and are just doing whatever, then you’re gonna do that in London too, except now you’re in a place that has distractions for you every minute of every day to get lost in. We got lost.

What advice would you give to Two Cartoons when they were first setting out? Anything surprising that you feel you've learned from the whole experience?

I’d refuse to give us a heads up on anything coming and instead just try tell us to not take everything so seriously, especially ourselves. But I wouldn’t have listened most likely. No listening to others and no compromise! What a dummy.

How do you feel your approach to making art, or your own musical interests have developed or changed, during the time you've been in Two Cartoons?

I would say we have gone from not making art to trying to think about it a little bit. We have never taken our music seriously enough to ever view what we were doing as art until later in our time. Mostly we wanted to be dumb fun and loud which I think we really nailed early on. Later I did start thinking a lot more about lyrics, tone and voice but there is still a lot of exploration there for me and I feel that because of our early career, the people paying attention to us weren’t really into the more cerebral pretentious parts of us, they just wanted to dance and sing hooks & who can blame them!

What can we look forward to at next Saturday's show?

You can look forward to the tightest and fullest Two Cartoons set that has ever been. This version of the live band, ft Kieran and Jamie from SPAWTS, is the most comfortable and impressive lineup we’ve ever had. It’ll be a loud, dumb & fun celebration, and a thank you from us to everyone that enjoyed our noise.


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