It is quite possible that Grant Hislop has the biggest balls in all of Aotearoa. And he's proving it this weekend. Hislop is, among other things in the NZ music scene, Channel Z's program director. Not a lot of reason to celebrate his knackers, you might say, but only if you didn't know that on Waitangi Day he's pulling the plug on all overseas content and converting Z into a brand new station they call Kiwi.
100% NZ music, every day, forever. It's certainly going to make Kiwi different from any other station. And it's also one hell of a bold move. A new station, broadcasting to our three biggest cities (and Sky TV's digital subscribers), putting all of its faith on the creative output of our single, tiny country. And it's trusting in the listeners out there to go along with the vision. Will Kiwi fly?
Channel Z has reportedly not had a great run in the ratings with its current "alternative" format. Kiwi needs the radio-listening public to be drawn to NZ music to a greater degree than it was to what Z offered. Whether this will happen is tough to predict. Marketers call it "segmenting" - basically, making yourself different from the competition in order to attract different people. Radio stations generally segment themselves along genre lines - easy listening, rock, pop, whatever - rather than anything else. b.net stations buck that trend by broadcasting anything relatively unknown, but theirs is not an overwhelming commercial success story. To separate yourself from the competition by restricting your playlist not to songs of a certain type, but music of a certain country is a new idea. Kiwi is going to have to broadcast across genres and this, according to accepted radio practices, is a big risk. Your average Joe or Jane puts on whatever station plays the type of music they like. It could be that Kiwi is asking too many people to have too wide a musical taste.
But people do recognise NZ music as a distinct type. Look in the stores and you'll see, among others, sections for pop, metal, rock, world, hiphop, and New Zealand. One of these kids is not like the others. By virtue of the way NZ music is perceived, it could hold a radio station together. There is something that means that we group Greg Johnson, King Kapisi and Blindspott together in our minds almost as much as do Chingy, Ja Rule and Nelly. If the perception of NZ music as its own genre can carry listeners to Kiwi, Hislop will have himself a winner. But if the station is seen to lack any particular sound, or be too eclectic to attract the average listener, he will have a problem on his hands. Let's just hope that they're also oversized.
Flouting accepted norms in any media is inherently risky, but the biggest payoffs usually come from the biggest risks. The idea behind Kiwi is simple, but fantastic. If the station is a success, it can only be a good thing for NZ music and NZ artists. We've had the talent to pull this off for years, and now we've got a man with the broadcast frequencies and the bravery to give it a go. All we need now is the audience.
"Rezinator" (Stephen & Louie) this year plan to release our first album "Who's to Blame" in late Febrary '05. Then of course to promote and perform our tracks live. We are currently gigging around Auckland at present, and planning to tour NZ to promote the album.
Production for a few music videos is underway to accompany the album, to be distributed to various TV Stations (C4 etc).
We are still writing and working hard on our 2nd album hopefully to be released by October this year.
We have been having some airplay and WRGL Radio in the USA have requested our CD there, so we have a small fan base in the States.
We would LOVE to be nominated for "New Rock Album of the Year", but hey we'll see what happens.
Ultimately Rezinator would just like to contribute in a positive way to the New Zealand ROCK Music Industry!
For more information on Rezinator, please check them out on muzic.net.nz.
muzic.net.nz spoke to Simon from Hamilton Hard-rockers 8forty8 recently, here's what he had to say:
Which Nz band/artist do you think will be a huge international success one day?
8Forty8 (i hope)
Who would you most like to tour with?
We'd love to tour with any of the classic rock legends that are still around, or modern day groups i'd say Audioslave or Velvet Revolver.
What is your most embarrassing concert moment?
Tuning the acoustic guitar a 1/4 step flat by accident, doing the first verse then in comes the band a 1/4 tone out(Yuck!),song finished abruptly.
What are you planning on doing in 2005?
We will be releasing our second album which we are currently working on, after that's released we'll be out on the road to promote it.
How did you come up with the name 8 Forty8?
Marcel our lead singer and our first guitarist Derrin were up all night drinking, writing and recording an instrumental demo. It was completed at 8:48 am so that became the title. Soon after that the band had a gig to play, had no name so said let's call it 8Forty8 for now. The gig went great and the name stuck.
What is in your cd collection at home?
Mostly classic rock stuff, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd etc..
What advice would you give other budding musicians/bands?
Stay true to yourself, play music you enjoy cause if you love what you do you receive reward everytime you write and record or play live.
For more information on 8forty8, please check them out on muzic.net.nz.
We're always adding new artist listings to our huge artist database. New listings for this week include:
|The Unusuals||Batucada Sound Machine||Jonny Doom and The Forcefields|
|The Void||The War Within||Larry Bell|
|The Akadmcs||Rimu||The Bittersweet|
|Rival State||Dangerpin||Maori Platoon|
Please show your support and check some of these great acts out!
We've added some hot new competitions this week:
The D4 Sake Bomb Prize Packs
8 Foot Sativa - 'Breed The Pain' - Their brand new album!
The Axe Attack - 'New Zealand Metal Vol. 1' - The hottest NZ metal compilation
As a member you can enter any or all of our competitions via our compeititions page!