What can you never leave home without?
Lou: my phone & lip balm
Pagey: Legs. I’ve tried other ways, but dragging myself up the driveway is exhausting, especially with my Drumkit on my back.
How do you describe Ishtar's music?
Simone: Modern Hard Rock with roots in classic rock.
Pagey: I hear pop songs dressed in rocks clothing.
Jamie: Fun, technical, loud, hook-laden rock n roll.
Who would you most like to support live?
Simone: Dream Theater, Muse
Jamie: Anberlin, Funeral for a Friend, Story of the Year
What can we expect to see from Ishtar over the next year?
Lou: A whole lot of Ishtar having fun!
Simone: an EP and a couple of singles.
Jamie: Definitely, some material with the new lineup.
What is the best part of being a musician?
Pagey: Playing to the absolute limit of your own technical ability and smashing a whole lot of stuff in the process.
Lou: Working with likeminded ppl to create a piece of art that other people enjoy
Simone: Painting pictures in sounds and words.
Jamie: Being able to have the time of my life for 45 minutes per night, and then hang out, all sweaty, with great people and enjoy a couple of beers
What rumour would you like to start about Ishtar? :)
Lou: I think Ishtar has enuff rumours! & most are true :P - the bass player wears suspenders & loves it!
Jamie: Ishtar is an anagram that will convert the nation's children into gaunt, white-haired, unblinking monsters like the Children Of The Corn when its revealed in full on our debut album.
Pagey: The singer made the rest of the band sign an agreement that stipulates “No eye contact with her at any performance”
The name ishtar, was actually meant to be 'A STAR' But one band member has a terrible speech impediment and it has been misheard ever since.
The band rehearse in a sauna, often only wearing towels.
Each Ishtar song has been engineered to subconsciously hypnotize audience members into buying certain brands of liquor at the bar.
Ishtar is a band moniker for Transgendered Guitar Goddess Simone Whitlow’s musical outlet over the last decade. A Hard Rock group based out of Auckland, Ishtar is Musically cinematic, mixing stadium-esque riffs, big hooks and often disparate elements into their songwriting style. Ishtar’s music draws comparisons to bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Van Halen, Kansas, Styx, Iron Maiden, Nightwish and Dream Theater, to name a few.
Ishtar have had numerous highlights including playing to a packed out Aotea Square during New Years & releasing 2 EPs (South of Sanity (2006) and the internet only release Ambigram (2007). They scored airplay on numerous indie and student Rock stations across NZ, featured on a Tsunami charity CD 'Reconstruction' & filmed a yet to be released Video for their song 'South of Sanity'
The band has seen numerous incarnations. Mk 1, Featuring Simone (then Simon) on guitars also consisted of Angel & Johnny Walker (A Beautiful Chaos, vocals and drums) and Warren Keene on Bass. This incarnation was a proggy affair also with elements of Black Sabbath and hair metal. In Mk 3, Simone was joined by Mel Wright (vocals), Dave Cannon (drums) and Jamie Denton (bass) This version of the band forged the Ishtar sound and also recorded the bulk of Ishtar’s material. Collaborative and still heavy but a more commercial, rock orientated approach, the band crossed the line from Metal to Rock, while also indulging their musicality beyond that typical of Rock bands of the day. In 2007, just prior to folding Ishtar Mk3 (at this point Mel, Dave, Simone and bassist Matt Farley) filmed a video for their song ‘South Of Sanity’ since disregarded due to the fact Simone featured on it while still ‘Simon’.