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Tuesday 19th October, 2010 10:53AM

We catch up with Michael Hall from Auckland band Carthaginian who are set to release their debut album next Monday (25th October).

Been around since?

2006 as 'Carthaginian Solution', then we changed our sound a bit, got sick of the extra word and as of 2009 are now known as 'Carthaginian'

Where are you based?


Current line-up?

Peter Wujkowski – Vocals
Michael Hall – Guitar
Dave Dawn – Bass
Logan Compain - Drums

What got you into music?

Hearing my Dads albums when I was a very young one: Led Zepplin, Beatles, Michael Jackson, Queen.

How did you get together?

Logan and I met through a mutual friend and started jamming together. Pete and Dave were best friends who we found through a musicians wanted ad on the internet!

What other bands/projects have you been involved in?

Pegasus - a short-lived Stoner/Doom project. Carthaginian is the only real 'band' I've ever been in.

How would you describe your sound?

Apocalyptic Rock Music? Generally I would say we play mostly fast, noisy rock songs that are a little bit catchy and a little bit weird.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Lots of electronic stuff: Clark, Autechre, Actress, Matthew Dear. I love the new Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene albums too.

What is your writing/recording process?

Endlessly playing my guitar and recording ideas/melodies etc and then constructing the framework of a song on my computer for everyone to learn. Once we can play it together we end up messing with the parts and song structure until the it feels 'right'.We recorded the bulk of our album songs over 6 or 7 days in total I think. We tracked most of it live with all of us playing together in a room doing about 5-10 takes of each song and then moving on to the next. Vocals and edits were done on and off over a couple of months after this.

Your Dream Collaboration?

Damon Che from Don Caballero on drums, Caleb Scofield from Cave In on Bass and Vocals, Michael Hall from Carthaginian on Guitar, Robert Fripp from King Crimson on Guitar. Cool Band.

You guys have an album, Crosses, coming out pretty soon – tell us a bit about it...

I started writing 'Crosses' about 2 1/2 years ago and getting the album recorded and released has been a massive part of all of our lives since then. We're really proud of the end result and that we didn't murder each other in the process of making it! We set out to make an album that we wished existed, but hadn't been made yet: Something intense and aggressive yet still melodic, detailed, catchy and not easily definable as 'metal' (even though we are all metal heads from way back). Something musically and thematically surprising and interesting thats hard to pin down and describe but enjoyable none the less. We wanted the overall sound of the album to avoid the overproduced, drum-replaced sound that 99% of aggressive sounding bands seem to love. I think the album sounds 'live' and a bit dangerous, we left the flubbed notes and fuck ups in and tried to create the experience of being in the same room as a band playing their asses off and only just pulling it off!

What do you enjoy most about music?

The notes and rhythms

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt musically in the last year?

Using modular musical environments like Max/MSP. Interesting, but practically useless!

What’s the best concert you have ever been to?

Jeff Beck at the Aotea Center. My guitar god in the flesh! and he DESTROYED.

Best or most memorable gig you have played?

Sharkfest in Wellington 2006: Exploding amps, bodies flying everywhere, non stop mosh. I wish people just went spastic every show we played.

If you could share the stage with anyone (band or person) who would it be?

Chris Clark

Most overrated band at the moment?


Most underrated band at the moment?


What does the future hold for Carthaginian?

National Tour in October. Probably more gigs after that.

The state of music in NZ is….

Great, New Zealand music is virtually flawless. Even if you aren't a top 40 band you still get lots of help and support! Nobody is really cynical and jaded about the scene. Gigs and crowds are always plentiful. Being different and challenging is celebrated!


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