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Pikachunes Returns With 'P.E' EP + Interview

Pikachunes Returns With 'P.E' EP + Interview

Kermath / Thursday 31st October, 2019 11:22AM

After a two year hiatus, Pikachunes is back on the grid with a new EP, P.E and its tracks are as beautiful as the album cover. Since Miles G. Loveless has moved back to New Zealand from Melbourne, I’ve been very curious to find out how he’s been coping with living back in Christchurch, and what his main sources of inspiration have been for his new record, so I called him up...

Kermath: First and foremost, for those who don’t know, you’ve moved back to Christchurch and started a pizza business, how’s that going?

Pikachunes: The idea was to open a restaurant off the bat, instead I started with a little pop-up within a hotel, and after seeing the climate of hospitality in Christchurch, I pulled back and thought it would be an ill advised investment on something big, right away.

I’ve been given a really cool opportunity to help rebuild stuff that’s already here, with people who are top of the game, and bring those spaces into a modern, and international place. Rather than being competition it’s probably better to just help right now.

How was your show at darkroom in Christchurch last week?

Lots of the creative crowd came out of the woodwork for that show, which was really great to see, but for the turnout expected, versus the people that were actually there, it showed the real tentativeness within the public to get out of their homes and come into the CBD.

Everyone’s still rightfully suffering from a bit of PTSD. A large truck will go by and you’ll see peoples bodies tense, something the wider NZ population doesn’t really see or understand. And that’s just surface level. The byproduct of that kind of stress goes much deeper.

The album cover and name of your new E.P is called P.E, what inspired the name and the image?

Hahah, I think New Zealand’s always been quite prudish in a public forum, and preferred to keep the pillow talk behind closed doors. I wanted to focus on the idea of how music can be sexy, not sexualised, so really push something driven by lust without it coming across exploitative. Just have fun with it, be tongue-in-cheek, a little camp, but also to make sure that the music itself was inclusive for everyone. The album cover, Ah man, my poor mother, ughhh.

You’ve been out of the music game for about 2 years now, what’s made you come back and put out more songs?

The big reason for me stepping away from the music industry, was for personal growth and development. Something I felt I couldn't do in a position where drugs and alcohol were so readily available and also being put on a pedestal to some degree - it wasn’t really allowing me to grow as a person having people saying yes to me all the time, so I stepped away to do that. What I learnt was a lot about myself through conversations with those who truly cared.

A lot of people step away in that situation for “self-preservation” purposes, even if they were front and centre for all the dope shit. So, the re-approach for releasing music for me is to be able to try and build a platform to whatever scale to push a more positive conversation.

Your lyrics and the way you articulate them in your songs are very much in the foreground - this album I think more than the others, why do you think that is?

I gained a lot more confidence within myself through age, knowledge, accepting of who I was, and loving who I am. Also dealing with my own anxieties surrounding putting myself out there through art. Something people never really think about when somebody’s on the stage, that maybe it’s a real struggle to be up there.

Dealing with mental health is a huge problem for people all around the world. The music industry is also a pretty harsh place with a lot of rejection to mentally cope with. Do you think, especially here in New Zealand and Australia, the music industry is a safe space?

Not really, no. I think there’s a real conversation around this. Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby talked about someone harassing her after a show for taking medication for mental illness, saying something along the lines of “if Vincent Van Gogh had taken medication, we wouldn't have had the sunflowers” and I think that rhetoric is very very real you know. That whole thing about as an artist you need to struggle, you got to be living on the bones on your ass, otherwise how do you justify your art form. But for me, it’s such an unhealthy dynamic, to think that for someone’s profession, they’re meant to be suffering. And certainly suffering for other people’s enjoyment.

The industry pushes the idea of this rock‘n’roll lifestyle, also extremely prevalent throughout the hip-hop community, seeing that [in the media] and not realising with that comes a real dark side, and a real kind of lonely side. It’s just a vicious cycle to be pushing.

Your lyrics are disarming and you hit some mental health themes pretty much right on their head, who are you hoping to reach out to with this EP?

A lot of people always approach me thinking that, because the music is so vocal and delivered more poetically, these are things that have happened to me directly, or like, my lifestyle. It’s always taken from experiences but also conversations I’ve had.

For me this EP, I hope that it reaches an LGBTQI+ all inclusive rhetoric in music, which has already happened to some degree in NZ. But also to encourage people to be sex positive and body positive, and not push any negative stereotypes that can be approached as real life.

As I said earlier, with any sort of public forum I have, I’m obviously trying to reach out to the young men, because the stats surrounding the lead-on effects of men's mental health is so heavy, and coming back to that in NZ is really hard. Having been through that myself, and continuing that myself as a man, always trying to progress and step up, honestly I’m trying to reach out to anyone that I can so that a positive message can be pushed.

I fucking love your new music video for ‘Submission’ and the themes you talk about. Do you think it’s harder to deal with depression these days because we’re all on our phones, or do you think it’s actually helping?

When you’re growing up in a situation where your self-worth hinges on people double-tapping your Insta post, and then when your idols are maybe influencers in the digital realm, and then you try the same formula and don’t get the same response, a lot of people turn that inwards on themselves.

It sets up a place where people will do just about anything to get the likes, both digitally and internally. It’s also a young person market and they just don’t understand the repercussions - how what they put out there is going to affect them as they grow up. The cam girl, cam boy culture looking at that and being like hey I can masturbate on camera and get tons more cash than working minimum wage or being on the dole, so why wouldn’t I? And also there’s seeing it online and seeing it being so normalised, and then being like, well fuck it, doesn’t matter, I’m going to do that.

There’s obviously people that approach that with a really strong head on their shoulders and a business mind, but others, who’ll get taken advantage of by people that know better and can see that vulnerability.

The first song ‘A Little While Longer’ sets the scene for the rest of the E.P pretty well, although it’s got the word “panties” in it and my extremely immature brain just makes me think of dank old knickers. What the hell’s going on in that song and what’s going on with that word because it’s so funny?

Aahaha why do I use the word panties in the song? I wanted to firstly use a word that is instantly attention grabbing, which obviously it was as your asking me a question directly about it. Secondly to me, panties could be a cute little lacy number or something comfortable and everyday. It’s open to interpretation. But nonetheless it’s used to say that you should feel sexy in whatever you put on.

There’s actually a lot of "girl talk" in your new songs. Are they about your previous relationships that you’ve pushed into this album?

I don’t like to bring up any individual / relationship stuff into the songs, but just talk about relationships in general. I really want people to understand I’m not just talking about a standard, what some people call biological woman. Eughhhh. It’s about what the individual takes from it, and they should hear it that way. You’re a woman if you feel like a woman, you’re a man if you feel like a man. You don’t have to be within the gender binary to feel sexy or to relate to these songs. It’s not necessarily Miles singing about a woman.

Is this the beginning of a new chapter for Pikachunes? This EP sounds much more different than the kind of stuff you were putting out say, seven or eight years ago.

Haha yeah, approaching music again, I’ve approached it because I’m inspired by what’s happening in the world, so a new chapter? The world is constantly evolving, I’m constantly evolving as a person. I think there’s a potential there for a number of new chapters depending on how I’m feeling or how I want to express that, whether it’s music as an art or food, or whichever way is the best approach for me in the future to push positivity towards people. If these conversations can be opened here in Christchurch, then surely they can be opened everywhere else.

Will you be coming up to Auckland, or any other part of the country any time soon to play IRL?

I’m waiting to do a show here in Christchurch, it’s a festival that’s been running here a few years called Nostalgia Festival, and then who knows. I plan on personally coming up to Auckland through summer, and hopefully with the album coming out, that will give me a space to perform live in Auckland once again. It’s a different lineup with this record, it’s not just me on stage anymore. There’s a couple of other Christchurch artists that are going to be involved with the live performance, so it’s definitely set up for me to perform, I just haven’t really approached booking things properly just yet, and just focussing on getting the album out first.

Ah dude it’s sounding rad and I think it’s the new era of Pikachunes for sure and I’m loving what’s come out. I’m hoping that your future stuff will kind of have the same vibe. Good luck for the launch and I can’t wait to see the buzz around it once it gets out there.

'P.E' is now available to listen on Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify via this link.

MusicHelps provide a 24/7 Wellbeing Service – an online, on the phone (tollfree 0508MUSICHELP) and in-person counselling service provided free of charge to those that make live or recorded music possible in Aotearoa. For more info head along here.


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