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The Boxcar Rattle

The Boxcar Rattle

Interviewed by
Natalie Finnigan
Wednesday 2nd May, 2012 3:04PM

Wellington trio The Boxcar Rattle sneakily released their brilliant No Justice EP online late last year featuring standout tracks 'Miscommunication' and  'Hallucinogens'.  With an album in the works, we tracked down frontman Roland Brown, brother to our favourite northland hillbilly Elliot Brown, for a quick chat ahead of their debut Auckland show this Friday...

How did The Boxcar Rattle come about and who's involved?

The Boxcar Rattle came about when I, Roland met Isaac at a party in Newtown. I heard some Harry Nilsson cranking on the vinyl player and asked who put it on. Isaac (the drummer) who had just played a set at the party with his band Red Country stepped forth. I knew from that moment on that we were destined to make music together. We started jamming and then Alden joined on bass a few weeks later.

What other projects have you been involved in?

I had mostly been doing solo stuff up until that point. Isaac had already played drums in various projects, including Full Moon Fiasco, Red Country and The Pickups. Alden was in a band called Hoon.

Your sound is quite hard to categorize - what, if anything, are you going for?

We have a sort of folk-punk, hillbilly, sound and we've even brought in some B-52's sounding surf guitar elements in our latest stuff. Sometimes I think my stuff sounds like Jack Black, because the songs have this dark influence and random anger.

When did you start writing music?

When I was about 14 or 15 I began experimenting with music. I grew up in Northland and moved to Wellington at the beginning of last year.

Have you considered going to music school?

I think music theory would spoil what I can do, which is pretty simple stuff.

When can we expect your from your album?

We haven't really written most of the songs yet. We're still finishing them but we think it will be a bit more groovy than the EP. I honestly don't know how it's going to turn out yet, but I guess we want this one to make you think more than it makes you dance.

You've made a few videos already, how do you fund that?

Everything we've done so far has been self produced and funded. We recorded our EP with Warwick at the studio behind Happy. We recorded it four-track to get that 'old school' sound - not too produced. Jack from the Shocking and Stunning mastered it - I think we know we can get the sound we want without money if we do it the right way.

How do you find the performance aspect of making music?

I used to do a lot of theatre at High School, Sheliah Winn Shakespeare competitions, speeches and debating etc. Music is different because it was something I would do in isolation and then bring to an audience. Once I started performing I did change the way I write. I don't want to let it impact me too much, because making music is about you as the musician and not the audience. But, there is some stuff you think, 'I just can't say that in front of an audience'.

What have been your best experiences performing so far?

Camp a Low Hum was the best show we've ever played. We were all pretty wasted and there were a lot of people there so we decided to keep it simple and short - we only played a 30 minute set. I think Camp is great because everyone there is so appreciative and open-minded. It's a great atmosphere.

What are you plans for the future?

We're planning a tour for two or three months after the album is finished and hope to play with other bands around the country.


The Boxcar Rattle play this Friday at Whammy Bar with equally impressive Wellington band The Shocking and Stunning who are also making their Auckland debut - see below for more details.

Click here to check out The Boxcar Rattle's No Justice EP + download a copy free.