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Mr. Hayday

Mr. Hayday

Monday 20th June, 2011 9:50AM

James Hayday’s approach to music is warped and convoluted by the many gadgets he utilizes during recording. Under the name Mr. Hayday he’s releasing an EP of his creations at Tabac on Friday June 24th and UTR talked to him about what to expect from both the EP and his upcoming release party.

What’s your approach to making music?

I always want to skew things a bit. I grew up loving hip hop and electronic music so there’s a lot of that making its way in there, and I try to play those influences off against more mainstream sounds because I like that kind of thing. I spend my nine-to-five in ProTools as a sound designer so inevitably my work style has affected my music making, and I think it’s a really good thing. My days are spent making subtle but tangible links between characters and sound effects, which is pretty much what creating music is about for me as well. But then aside from all those sort of considerations... I like just letting the electronic things loose in the yard for a bit, and trying to capture some of that crazy energy.

How often do you play gigs? Would you like to play more?

I haven’t played many for quite a while, been too busy with the record. I’ll be playing more soon though once it’s out.

How and where do you record your music?

I’ve got a room full of goodies and junk at home. A lot of the sounds from my music are created on old mono synths that can speak MIDI with the help of a translator, so they aren’t recorded until I feel like I want to lock those parts in, so the computer is sort of Ganesh in my setup. I always try to get the electronics feeling a bit harassed and imperfect, playing them out of amps in rooms and that sort of thing. I like distortion. One of the better distortion sounds for my SH101 is made from feeding it through a Sony Walkman that I took to with a screwdriver and soldering iron. As far as mixing goes, one of the major perks of my job is having an entire mix studio at my disposal. So I can pack down my tracks at home and bring them to a new pair of speakers and a new room and mix things pretty fresh. It’s a treat.

Is it difficult reproducing your music on stage?

Yeah it can take quite a bit of preparation. It just takes a while to figure out how to stay in charge without trying to re-invent the wheel.

How do people usually respond?

Sometimes they dance, but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always easy.

What other musicians do you hang out with?

It’s Auckland, if you haven’t lent someone a microphone they’ve probably nicked one. My last flat was in St. Kevin’s Arcade so pretty much any band playing at Whammy was in and perused the fridge. Mike Logie lives in my old room there, but I live in Ponsonby now so who’s really making it? You tell me.

How long did you work on your EP for?

On and off for the last year and a half which, let’s face it, is a long time for an EP. But I’ve been busy with ‘career things’ that have been just as rewarding as the music, so it’s just taken as long as it has. Sometimes that’s good and tracks get better with more work, and sometimes they lose their dark essence and go bad. But when I have to tear them apart and piece them back together again, that’s always been a good thing!

Who are you releasing it with?

Mole Music and Border are distributing for me again. Very good people.

Any hopes to get overseas attention?

Yeah sure, but right now I just need to conquer Tabac on June the 24th.

How do you juggle your music and day-to-day life?

Quite badly, but it’s good having these mildly opposing yet mutually beneficial forces. I really think that if I had all the time in the world for music, I would have just that. It’s a yin and yang car-pool.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Listening to that Take album from last year.

Any recommendations for people who are into Mr. Hayday?

Maybe take a listen to Lucky Paul, he’s ruling. If you’re interested in some oddball white-coat electronic pop it’s worth seeking out some Raymond Scott recordings. That guy was rocking a DeLorean in the ‘50’s.

Michael McClelland.

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