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Interview: Rising Stars Of The Others Way 2019 Festival

Interview: Rising Stars Of The Others Way 2019 Festival

A.K. / C.C. / Wednesday 28th August, 2019 1:08PM

Tāmaki Makaurau's The Others Way festival is just days away from rearing its beautiful head for another night of speed-walking between venues, putting on your wristband a bit too tightly, and the hardest decision of all: Sals or Lord Of The Fries? For those who have already scribbled an impossible path on their TOW schedule, think again! The 2019 lineup is stacked with rising stars, and how else would you know to include them on your travels if you didn’t speed date them first. Dateline’s Katie Ham, Vayne, half of Contenders, Brad Fafejta from Créme Jéan, and Negative Nancies sat themselves down for our quickfire email questions, presumably with a single red rose, a bell and an egg timer by their side. Break the ice before seeing them this Friday at The Others Way…


Describe your perfect date.

Cute. Easy question, the answer is definitely plane watching. Especially if timed for the arrival of an A380.. No need to elaborate, I’m sure most people can relate.

How do you manage practices and gigs with your songwriter in a different city from the rest of the band?

It is actually a lot harder than I had naively expected it to be. In the lead up to Others Way I’ve tried to make a few trips up to practise but unless you book far in advance flights are quite pricey, and the drive is about 5-6 hours each way so in short, a lot of energy goes in to making it happen. Also, when you’re in a band with such musical geniuses everyone is very busy! so teeing up times and dates that work for everyone is a whole other thing. Once we are together and playing it feels incredibly worth it but a lot goes in to managing it on everyones part really. I only moved in February so I am interested to see if this time next year I have a better answer.. hopefully we figure it out!

When can we expect your debut album, and is ‘If You Want It’ a good indicator of what’s in store?

Good question! It’s been recorded but re the actual release I’m not 100% sure. I would be pretty pleased if by earlyish next year it was finished. Quite a few wonderful people have helped and are helping make it happen, so I’m very appreciative of that and will just be happy whenever it’s ready for the world!

To me, ‘If You Want It’, is completely different to the other songs on the album. And they’re all different from each other. The album doesn’t really have one obvious genre. The (very unserious) working titles of some songs give a good indication of the mix I think.. There is Surfing good times, country rock emo, Mick fleetwood blues explosion, ‘If You Want It’ was called ‘Wobbly song’, for example.. So there are a lot of (likely too many) things going on. I’d say for the next album it may be time to work on a bit of musical cohesion…

Which bands are on your list to see at The Others Way?

So many bands! I always love Bad Timing. Hans Pucket. N.T Honey is brilliant. Straitjacket Fits. Reb Fountain. Mermaidens. Carnivorous Plant Society. I missed them in Waipawa last month so I’m really looking forward to seeing them. I mean, most of the acts. What a line up!


Photo credit: via Sniffers, photography by deadnakedparty!

What’s a favourite album of yours that people might not expect?

AM by Arctic Monkeys.

What is Soulection and how did you get linked up with them?

Soulection is an LA based, collective, record label and radio show made up of DJs and producers. They’re known for being big on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, I listened to them when I was 14. Joe Kay (the founder of Soulection) reached out to me directly through email and Instagram about being featured on a Soulection radio episode, since then we’ve kept in touch. He has a good ear and probably heard about your favourite artist now, a couple years ago. 

What's on the horizon for Vayne moving into 2020?

New music, videos, shows and collaborations.

Who are your must-sees for The Others Way?

Bailey Wiley [sadly no longer performing this year - ed.], Church & AP.


What’s the music scene currently like in Hamilton? What and where are the highs and lows?

Highs: A surge of punk bands. The Crypt. Needle in the Hay. 

Lows: The music scene in Hamilton has a quick turn over of quality venues, which can make it tricky at times to feel like there’s a space for a music scene to define itself. 

What is Contenders' origin story?

Justin: Contenders started as a straight to the bargain bin at your local car wash, sequel to Electric Mayhem which ended up turning into a revolving door of drummers and a constant pain in my ass. 

Cilla: Contenders started as two piece with Sam on drums and Justin on guitar. They wrote a few songs, two of which are used today (skate assault and dead brain rot) five years later. Rhett joined in on drums relatively early, and Alex on bass. Sam moved to vocals, but then moved city.  

The band used to jam in a room along the iconic railway building, run by Jelo. I would go along to practices and listen every now and then, enjoying the bands slight country rock ’n’ roll sound that was unusual and fun. At one point band wanted to learn a cover, GG Allin’s ‘You Hate Me and I Hate You’. For fun I joined in on vocals, and the sound clicked. From there Contenders got a set down, and after a year or so invited Liam to play bass. Alex moved to guitar, the whole band developed a richer sound.  

Recently, Contenders have released their debut album on 7” vinyl. Cam Reid joined the band on drums, helping to further define the bands genre bending sound. 

If Contenders was a five course meal what would it be?

Appetiser: 1800 
Soup: Frozen margarita 
Entree: Spicy broad beans 
Main: Saki 
Dessert: Late night big breakfast

Who are you looking forward to seeing at The Others Way?

Looking forward to seeing as many bands as possible, especially Dog Power & Ounce.


How did NN come to be? What other projects are you each involved with?

We wanted to play instruments we hadn’t played before, Tess to sing and Emilie the drums… after a couple of gigs we decided the sound needed a guitar. Mick Elborado is the finest guitarist money can buy, we pay him 10 grand a gig. Mick currently also plays bass in Francisca Griffen and the Bus Shelter Boy’s. Emilie and Tess are Richard Maybes Passion For Nature (RMPFN). And Emilie is Smith.

What is polka punk?

Who knows? Ask Regan Von Spleegan who owns the record label Coco Muse Records who, without our knowledge, released our EP You Do You. 

Who are currently your favourite NZ artists and why?


Hermione Johnson, L$D Fundraiser, Girls Pissing On Girls Pissing, Wet Specimen, Cash Guitar, Sewage, Ducklingmonster, Pat Kraus, Alastair Galbraith, Jackson Harry, Terminals, Eye, Orchestra of Spheres, Power Nap, Isaac Smith, Jeff Henderson, Sam Longmore, Futurians, Clayton No One, Forbes Williams, Murderbike, Heka, Mud Death, Gorge, Bec Coogan, Crone, Motte, Sewage, Bob Cardy, this amazing band from Invercargill we can’t remember name of, Hamish Kilgour, Colt 45, Charlotte Parallel, Rose James, Gate, Stef Animal, Dead C (on a good night), Handful of Dust, Bad Sav... so so so many too many to name.

When you’re not on stage yourself, who do you plan to see on the night of TOW?

Whatever we can get to!


How did you make the transition from home recording artist to live band? How did you meet your bandmates?

I have been recording little demos at home for years. Some were for bands I was in that never saw the light of day, others were less 'bandy' and more personal / emo… too idiosyncratic to do in a group. I ended working up the courage to go "El solo" after another band fizzled and I realised that no one can make your music happen but you. So I thought "fuck it" I'll just record everything myself and book some shows and try put together a band and if not I'll just do it with a backing beat. Thankfully I was put in touch with Moe Albrecht (Cindy) on bass, so it was then a two piece.

We went through a bunch of drummer options and just as it was getting stressful Eddie was finishing up a Dictaphone Blues tour and said 'yo let's jam' (like in a Michael Jordan voice). We played together for years in the Conjurors so clicked easy and he knew Annabel's sister, so she popped in on keys and it worked out well. It's been a really chill and easy ride so far and everyone is awesome. Mo ended up hanging up her Crème Jéan spurs but we seemed to stumble into Sean pretty easily and now it's like he was always in the band. I've always collaborated on music and was always really worried about not being friends with bandmates first or approaching the band situation as a solo artiste/dictator but the whole experience has turned out really well which is a HUGE FREAKING RELIEF. 

How are you balancing your time, being a fresh Dad plus squeezing in shows + tours?

I have no idea. Something about the nature of time and how it's more relative the less of it you have? It's definitely made me more pointed about what I do and how long I have to spend on it, which is not an intrinsic trait of mine. So yeah, less time = better self management. Thought having a baby meant I wouldn't be able to play for a while but it's somehow working out... I love playing live and it's great to be doing it again. 

What's the reception been like for your debut album Créme Emporium?

I think good? A few years away and I have no idea how to gauge what metrics count for what means good or average. But I like the songs I'm making and that people come to the shows - we sold some shirts, we have video hits climbing... We've been invited to play some cool events like Others Way (which was a thing I've always wanted to do). I'm mostly happy when people dance and sing along to 'Dogs'. I think that's pretty good for someone who thought they were gonna be playing guitar to a tape track and 10 people this time last year. 

Are there any must-see acts for you at The Others Way 2019?

Too many

The Chills
Dog Power
Troy Kingi
Straitjacket Fits

Explore the full lineup and timetable info for The Others Ways festival 2019 right here.


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