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Cool Cult

Cool Cult

Sunday 2nd January, 2011 9:35AM

Cool Cult’s impressive track ‘Clouds’ was one of many highlights on the 18-and-under compilation Pressure To Be released earlier this month. Cool Cult are one of the newer and younger bands on the CD, having already gained some admirers in the local scene. As part of our feature on the compilation, we discussed a few things with singer Lliam Powell about their music, the bands they play with and the crowd they play to.

What’s going down with Cool Cult?

We’ve finished exams for the year so that’s sweet.

When did you start off?

Maté joined in April and before then it was way noisier and we had a different guitarist. But that was just early 2010 and it was hardly a band.

How are you finding the process of gigging around Auckland?

It’s getting way easier. But it was always pretty easy to find gigs when no one knew us as well, cause of Reuben [Winter, Kitsunegari/Fatangryman]. But yeah, I like it. I just wish there were more all ages venues.

Any plans to get out of town for some shows in other cities?

Um, well we’re hoping to head down to Wellington and maybe Christchurch in like March/April next year with Kitsunegari and play some shows. So that will be cool.

What about releases? Any on the way?

Um, we’ve released one EP called Zombies. But all of us really dislike it. We wish we hadn’t put all those songs on it like Zombies Forever and How To Have Fun. Especially How To Have Fun actually, that’s so many peoples’ favourite song on the EP and it’s just ridiculous cause it’s a joke and I don’t like that people like that one the most. It’s just lame. It’s not even our song. They seriously ruin the EP. It was a really bad idea, especially for our first release. Anyway, our new EP is called Try Crunch and it’s going to have eight songs on it. It’s really not that surfy compared to Zombies. Like, it has Try Crunch and Cross Trees on it (the one where Maté shreds for the whole song) but apart from that it’s pretty different. We’ve kind of done everything we can with the whole surf thing and I don’t always want our songs to just make people happy like Try Crunch and stuff. You know?

Tell us a bit about the track you’re including on the Under 18 ‘Pressure To Be’ compilation.

UH GEEZ. Well um, Clouds is pretty much about broken homes and shit. Like, so many of my friends’ parents are divorced and I just wanted to write a song about it I guess. It wasn’t supposed to be a happy song really. I don’t know if it is? My lyrics suck anyway.

Do you see yourselves as an ‘all ages’ band? How many of you are under 18?

Yeah, sort of. Two of us! Maté’s just turned 18 and Adam and I have both just turned 16. But Maté is totally allgood with it. We all get along well so it works.

Do you think the ‘all ages’ scene in Auckland is defined by a response to alcohol consumption, like Minor Threat and the Straight Edge scene, or more a response to a willingness to play music but not being able to get into bars? Or…?

I don’t think it’s defined by just one thing. Like obviously not being able to play in bars by ourselves is part of it. But so many of the young bands in New Zealand are just as good as the ‘not-young’ bands. I’m not sure how to answer this question. I know that we just like writing music and there are some people who kind of seem to like it. So it works?

You recently played at the first Hell Is Now Love zine ‘These Bands Could Be Your Life’ show in Mt Eden – would you say Cool Cult is your life?

Um, yeah. It’s a big part of it. I think it’s more like the whole gig scene is. Like going to gigs is just as important as playing them and writing music and stuff. But yeah, it’s really important to me. Like I don’t know what I’d be doing instead if I wasn’t going to gigs and writing music.

What’s more important – having fun in your band or making a step towards your future with it?

Totally having fun! I know this is so clichéd but we’re always going to write songs that we’re happy with and that we like playing and if other people like them then that’s sweet. But if they don’t, we’re not going to play what they want us to play. It would be cool to be able to make a living being in a band but I don’t think it’s integral.

Everyone hates categorising themselves – but is there anything in particular you’d like to ‘sound’ like?

We used to just want to sound like The Sonics and Abe Vigoda, which I think was super obvious. Now it’s less us aiming towards sounding like something and more just writing music that makes us feel or think something when we listen to it. I’ve been listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain lots too! So them I guess. We’re still using reverb and delay heaps, just differently.

How are you tied to your particular scene? Do you consider this a positive thing? And what’s wrong with ‘scenes’ and the bands within it?

I think we were kind of the only “pop” band in it at first. Like considering Kitsunegari and FATANGRYMAN and Nevernudes. I’m not sure what our scene is really? I really like all the bands we play with and other bands that we haven’t played with yet, like Mammal Airlines.


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