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Catch up with The Undercurrents

Catch up with The Undercurrents

Monday 9th August, 2010 12:04PM

Been around since?
MARCUS: We've been around since early 2003... that's when we released our first EP, anyway. i can't remember exactly when our first informal jams started happening... it stands to reason that it was probably before the release of our first ep though... JAMEY: August 03
MARCUS: oh right…

Current line up?
MARCUS: Has changed a bit since first forming. We've been through a couple of drummers and we added a violin player about a year or so back. We're really solid now though. Simon plays drums, Nik plays bass, Jamey plays guitar, Marcus plays guitar and Mikey plays Violin, keyboard, Maracas, Tambourine etc. We all sing.
JAMEY: Sometimes even in tune

Where are you based?
MARCUS:We're from Chch, but we're OK… we're not retarded or anything.

Your current label is?
JAMEY: We released our first EP on Arclife. Second was All Plastic (DIY). Third is out this month on All Plastic via Global Routes and Smoke CDs

Musical history?
What were you listening to back in high school?

JAMEY: Ziggy Stardust, Let’s Dance and Best of Bowie; The Idiot, Lust for Life & Blah Blah Blah, Let It Be, White Album, Abbey Road, Help and Sgt Peppers; SJ Fits Life in One Chord EP; Lou Reed’s Greatest Hits and Growing Up In Public; Zep I, II & IV, the Chills Lost EP, and all of Pink Floyd up to the Final Cut. On a ghetto blaster that turned itself over and would keep one tape going all night.
JAMEY: Primary school was important too – Talking Heads, Wham, Born in the USA, Brother’s in Arms & Love Over Gold.
Mikey claims to never have listened to Dire Straits and he’s young enough that we believe him.

The state of music in NZ is..?
JAMEY: I don’t know about the industry but the means of production is in the hands of the workers. Which unfortunately means that the workers have to do the work & we’re quite lazy. We’re still going to take over the world and win several Tuis though.

What's your favourite place to play?
MARCUS: We've played some great gigs at Arc Cafe in Dunedin, they're always fun. Wunderbar in Chch is great too.

What was your favourite show?
MARCUS:My personal fave was with The Reduction Agents & Over the Atlantic at The Wunderbar last April. There were some sublime moments during that gig... but we were already incredibly ripped.

JAMEY: I liked the Odeon in September 04 for some reason. We had borrowed those fender twins, there was a piano and the wood made it sound real good…

What is your recording process?
MARCUS: Nik is cool because he likes living in warehouses. So we build little recording studios in them. The process is basically digital. We can record 8 mics at a time which is good for getting a pretty sweet drum sound. Problem is, that's all we can get at once so songs need to be built from the drums up. Luckily Simon is the best drummer in Selwyn St, so we always have really solid beats to build around. Our songs are always fairly much written before we record them so the structure is there already. We practice quite a lot and this is where the songs get fine tuned... well, as fine tuned as we can make them

What's been your best recording experience?
MARCUS: Just making songs at home. We've started on putting down songs for a new album which will hopefully be out early next year. So far this experience has been great.
JAMEY: It’s yet to be seen whether we get to EP length, put it out and start on the next one though
MARCUS: Our gear keeps improving and expanding all the time and we're getting better at communicating with each other during the recording process which is incredibly important when there are 5 people collaborating. What's been your worst recording experience?
MARCUS: We went into a proper 24 track studio to record our ep, thinking that we'd be able to set up in a big room and bang out the songs all together like a gig, except, when we got there the engineer wanted us to play all our bits separately to get the cleanest signals. It was our best option at the time so we had to go with it but we doubt we'll go to a proper studio again. The results were adequate but not amazing and the working environment was a little alienating. Also, some of these songs had been recorded 3 times by then and we're over a year old... we dunno how we got to that stage with these recordings, but it wasn't very helpful.
JAMEY: I know how, we had them all sweetly canned prior to that but you got anal and wanted to re do them in hi-fi. But it was a good experience anyway. That big desk, all that glass. Swivel chairs. Let’s go back there and do some stuff live…
MARCUS: Well, I was acting on the advice of a prospective record label at the time - but anyway - we like the songs and people dance when we play them live... well, the danceable ones...

Favorite radio show/station?
MARCUS: National Radio/RDU 1st equal.

The Future holds…?
JAMEY: Nikky quits, Marcus gets married, shoulda known we’d never get far. Simon standing on his mama's porch, telling Mikey he could wait forever…
MARCUS: yeah… I reckon that about sums things up

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