Thanks to Bradley for answering these questions:
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
Stick to your guns.
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands, and why?
There's alot of good bands out there now. I remember in the 90's NZ music wasn't really doing too well. It's only been in the last 6 years that things have really picked up. There's so many good Kiwi bands and alot of different genres are getting played at a international sound. I'm really digging the Sons of Zion crew just for their amazing musical skills. Tight band man.
What will Kora'a next release be?
That one's got stay tight to the big lady gives the O.K. haha
How do you come up with your lyrics?
That's a hard one to answer. What we've done in the past is get the beat or backing music down and then start creating lyrics. But this process is very hard. I think it's much easier to have the lyrics/story down before you even think about the backing music, unless of course if your a Hip Hop artist, which seems more based around poetry over music. Writing lyrics is an art in itself. You gotta take into account alot of things. Does the music suit the words and vice versa? Are the lyrics clich'e?..There's nothing worst than turning on the radio and hearing a song with the lyrics "Lets party on till the break off dawn" or "Keep the party moving". That's some major cheeseballs stuff going on. haha
Who would you most like to support live?
Dr Dre or Radiohead. That's some dam good music. Had the pleasure of supporting Shihad a few years back. Had great memories with those guys. I think the boys ended up calling Shihad's lead singer Hone Tumeke, which means John Toogood in maori. haha. Suits him to the T. Such a top man.
How do you believe Kora fits into the NZ music industry?
Does it? haha. We're definitely a kinda of theatrical style of band. We're just a band that plays whatever style we want and are very lucky that we ingrained that in our earlier days. There are alot of bands that have there genre and sometimes I can hear them trying to mix it up on the next album. But it's kinda hard when your known for being a country band on the first album for example. People will expect the same. Our first album was a mix match of everything. Man I don't even know what style we actually are?
What can you never leave home without?
Socks and passport.
How do you describe Kora's music?
Like I said before, everything I guess. I'm just glad we didn't put ourselves into a position of playing one style. the crazier the music, the better. Would be cool to have a song on the album being played absolutely drunk.
What is your favourite NZ venue?
Any venue in our hometown, Whakatane. Love being around friends and family, and my fat little Bulldog.
What is the best part of being a musician?
Seeing the world for starters. And just standing backstage watching other musos rip it up. I play drums, so I get to see alot of amazing drummers from backstage. There are some guys out there that need more recognition man.
What is in your CD collection at home?
Digging the fresh Dubstep sound of Benga, Dre 2001, Al Green, old school Metal, and ALOT of Daft Punk.
What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?
There are heaps. The worst was playing in Singapore and the kick drum skin ripped. So I'm playing a whole set with no kickdrum and trying to make up for it on the floor tom.
What is your favourite place in NZ to be?
Whakatane. That's my hometown. It's small, Got surf. The people are good. I tried living in Auckland and hated every second of it. I was born in Whakatane and have never left it. It's such a beautiful place.
What inspired you to become a start Kora?
We just wanted to see if we had the goods to do it. Just before Kora started, Stu, Fran, and myself were playing in alot of Metal bands. That was a while back now. Laughton and Dan were still in Queenstown jamming alot of Dub. It all started from a thought. Like most things in life.
How did you come up with the name Kora?
It's our family surname. I don't really know. It's simple and easy to remember I guess. Personally I was thinking of "Decapitated frogs".
What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?
Every gig I've ever done with Kora has been gold. Big Day out on the main stage was probably a major stand out. Looking back when we were kids playing with dad at the RSA's and then BDO. Left a simle for days. It's definitely a journey in life I'll cherish.
How do you keep in contact with your fans?
I guess Facebook?? haha
What rumour would you like to start about Kora?
I'm the only one that probably doesn't like doing the dishes.
Originally hailing from Whakatane, two of the four musical brothers from the Kora family, Laughton and Brad, began playing together in the early 1990s in a band called Aunty Beatrice, winning the national Rockquest high school band competition in 1991 and the East Coast region Battle Of The Bands three years running, earning a release on Tangata Records for their efforts.
Dan McGruer studied commercial music at Whitireia Community College and is the only non-related member of Kora. He first hooked up with Laughton when they performed together in Queenstown band Soul Charge, playing and writing their own music.
In 2001 Laughton and Dan went out on their own, recording four tracks while on holiday in Queenstown, including 'Crazy Things' and 'Barely Can See', inviting visiting Madagascan tourist Lilou to lay down vocals on the song 'Barely Can See'.