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Interview: Carb On Carb Talk About Their New Album 'Take Time'

Interview: Carb On Carb Talk About Their New Album 'Take Time'

C.C. / Interview by Samantha Cheong / Photo credit: Ezra Simons / Friday 17th May, 2024 9:57AM

It's been a six year journey since Aotearoa emo-punk figureheads Carb on Carb unfurled their previous album For Ages, a fact acknowledged in the title of Nicole Gaffney and James Stutely (How Get)'s brand new studio record Take Time. Now based in Whanganui following an extended stay in Tāmaki Makaurau, the pair are at long last back in their international touring element, warming up for an Australian flurry of release gigs with a support slot for buds REPAIRS' album launch show tonight at The Wine Cellar, also featuring Family Band (who also have a new EP out) — essentially a triple release event! James generously spilled the beans about the wending process towards Take Time, crucial firsthand insights into DIY touring, their personal Aotearoa emo canon and more.

Recorded with Harry Lilley at The Stomach in Te Papaioea, listen to Carb on Carb's ace third album —including the punchy and wistful 'Home Alone 7', a consistent thread in the Papaiti Records community — and don't miss them tearing up Australasian stages with friends at the following dates...

Carb on Carb Take Time Album Release Tour

Friday 17th May - The Wine Cellar, Auckland w/ REPAIRS, Family Band^
Saturday 18th May - Sideway, Canberra w/ Sun Run*
Sunday 19th May - Pari, Parramatta w/ Sun Run*
Thursday 23rd May - The Retreat, Melbourne*
Friday 24th May - The Oak Tighes Hill, Newcastle*
Saturday 25th May - Lazy Thinking, Sydney w/ Sun Run*
Friday 7th June - Yours, Dunedin w/ Dale Kerrigan & Hōhā
Saturday 8th June - Space Academy, Christchurch w/ Model Home & This Dog
Friday 14th June - Welsh Dragon, Wellington w/ Welcomer & Feshh
Saturday 15th June - Snails, Palmerston North w/ Pining Radiata And Our Beloved Ditch

Tickets available HERE via UTR
^Tickets available HERE via UTR
*Australia tour tickets available HERE

What factors do you reckon contributed to it taking a long time to make Take Time?

We can lay that one squarely at the feet of covid. A lot of the instrumental parts were written in 2020 but then we pretty much stopped working on it for 2 years, because we decided if we couldn't tour we didn't want to put out an album. Touring has always kind of been our priority.

Did you both approach the making of the album in a different manner than Carb on Carb's previous long players?

For sure, the main difference was that we weren't trying to prove anything, and just focusing on making songs we really liked. Also the extended time period meant we actually cut songs for the first time because we had time to leave and come back and review them.

‘OK Bye’ ponders the construction and meaning of home. What conditions might make you feel safe and excited to build one, and at a particular place?

That's a hard question, when I find out I'll let you know! That song is kind of us in that epically long Auckland covid lockdown trying to decide whether to move to Whanganui (we did, hence ok bye).

‘Motuihe’ has some vivid, natural imagery, such as “compost”. Why name the track after the little island?

We spent some time on Motuihe with some friends just before we recorded the album and it felt like a pivotal moment. I personally find the majority of these moments in my life happen when I have time and space in nature. That song to me feels like — in a good way — a compost pile where I've left things I needed to let go of so new things can grow in their place.

If there was a gallery exhibition for those new to Aotearoa emo history — what would you include? Would Papaiti consider curating an Aotearoa emo festival?

Pieces included might be: the reel to reel tape of Coate's only album kōt that was recorded in a church, cymbals broken by Lawrence from Caroles at epic Lucha Lounge shows, live audio of Prizegiving's show in a laundromat in Adelaide, the Carb on Carb rugby shorts that say Aotearoa Emo 100%, the Scarp t-shirt that says Aotearoa Emo Club, video of Model Home covering 'Run Away With Me' at Camp A Low Hum while Rachael has a broken arm, and posters of the Sad by Sad South and Slow Note festivals, and the foyer would be playing Smile Lines by Hospital Sports a clear contender for best Aotearoa emo song.

We already did an Aotearoa emo fest — Sad by Sad South in 2017 — would maybe consider again. Lots of people asked us to after the Papaiti Fest at Camp this year haha.

Side note — I don't know much about any NZ emo pre-2007, always keen to hear if you are reading this and know of any!

How has DIY touring abroad changed since your last album For Ages? What do you look for when researching / sourcing supporting acts, venues and logistics? Do you have any road-tested tips for those wanting to organise their own DIY tours?

From my perspective, the changes in DIY touring are mostly the platforms and specific people, but otherwise it's pretty constant. In terms of what to look for, I think the best is when you can find a cohesive scene — good bands that you like and that you can tell local people like, that play together and regularly at the same places. If you can string a few of those together that usually means a good show. Beware of bands whose Instagrams are too slick, you'll probably have to deal with a manager or they'll just play with you because you're international and not because they like the music or will promote the show. Hunt those cheap flights and car rentals.

The best tip I can give is use Blink's DIY Touring the World book, it really works.

And now let me use this space to say to NZ bands who are considering going to Australia to play only Melbourne — go to other cities too! Melbourne is the hardest to book and promote imo.

Tonight at The Wine Cellar, you’ve got a show with REPAIRS plus Family Band. What do you admire about these acts?

Have always loved the way Martin's bands have gone about things, DIY hard, music so heavy and people so kind. Family Band are our friends from way back and it has been so cool to see them come together - shoutout to Brandee for picking up 2 instruments incredibly quickly! Fun fact Maté actually recorded a great emo song with me years ago that was never released!

'Take Time' is out today on major streaming platforms, vinyl LPs available now via Flying Out (NZ), 19th Nervous Breakdown (AU) and Salinas Records (US).



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REPAIRS, Carb On Carb, Household Spirits and Family Band
Fri 17th May 8:00pm
The Wine Cellar, Auckland
Carb On Carb Album Release With Puketiro Superhero & Hōhā
Fri 7th Jun 7:00pm
Yours, Dunedin
Carb On Carb Album Release With Model Home & This Dog
Sat 8th Jun 8:00pm
Space Academy, Christchurch
Carb On Carb Album Release With Feshh
Fri 14th Jun 8:00pm
The Welsh Dragon, Wellington
Carb On Carb Album Release With Pining Radiata And Our Beloved Ditch
Sat 15th Jun 8:30pm
Snails, Palmerston North