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Goodnight Nurse - Goodnight Nurse Interview

25 Feb 2006 // An interview by Andrew
The other week I talked to Joel from Goodnight Nurse. I was running late and had to be at work in an hour. Joel was already at the Café in Ponsonby, sipping on a Spirulina drink or some other healthy drink you get from cafes. We decided to go out the back of the café, where we found ourselves surrounded by little kids running round…. there seemed to be a little more space than inside so we decided to go with it.

Andrew: 'Always and Never', your debut album is out and in stores! Where did you record the album?

Joel: We recorded the drums at York Street Studios and the rest of it in Hamilton at Hook from 48 Mays studio.

Andrew: So Hook produced the album?

Joel: Yeah he produced it, mixed it and engineered it.

Andrew: You recorded a couple of your singles with Hook before the album, you obviously think of him pretty highly?

Joel: Ha, yeah he’s one of those guys who’s annoyingly good at everything. He’s just this real talented, smart, asshole. He’s a really good live sound engineer too.

Andrew: Awesome. So how many songs did you have ready to record before you went in to the studio?

Joel: We had a lot. We’d written a whole bunch of songs but we probably considered only about 15 for the album. There was probably around another 20 songs that we’d written in the past but we just don’t play them anymore. So we cut it all down to 12 songs, then we made an intro and a secret track which is also on the album too… but um… it isn’t really a secret anymore.

Andrew: So how did it all start for you guys? You played around for a bit before getting a NZ On Air grant and that was quite well received, and then you went on the schools tour. But how did all that start?

Joel: Basically we just followed our noses… We started playing in 2001, playing our first show at the start of 2002. I saw 48 May play at the start of 2003 I think it was and it was their first show. I was really jealous because they’d already got a NZ On Air recording grant and a video grant. We’d been playing together for about 2 years, nobody ever came to our shows and there were all these people here to see 48 May. Then after seeing them play, I went home and thought it was actually pretty cool that someone similar to the sort of music we play, is doing so well. So I emailed them and said “It’s cool to see you guys doing so well at what you’re doing” and “We’d be keen to play a show with you guys some time” and then they emailed back and said “We’re about to do a North Island tour, do you guys want to come and do it with us?” so that was our first experience of touring. We learnt a lot from Shannon and Jarrod who had been in Mama Said and already knew quite a bit about the industry and they tried to help us as much as they could.

Andrew: So what lead to the New Zealand On Air grant?

Joel: We recorded a demo at MAINZ with a friend, Clancy Cummins who was doing an audio engineering course at the time and sent it in to New Zealand On Air. After our tour with 48 May we had no idea what we were going to do and then we found out that we’d got the recording grant.

We didn’t really have any idea what we were supposed to be doing. People just really seemed to like the song and New Zealand On Air liked it too, so they pushed it on to radio and that sort of thing. And people started requesting it. And that’s when the Schools Tour approached us. Cause they’d heard the song.

Andrew: Did you know any of the guys involved in the Schools Tour?

Joel: I met Sam who plays in Streetwise Scarlet and he was a big part of the Schools Tour back then. We were watching some bands at the Kings Arms and he came up to me and said, “You’re the guy from Goodnight Nurse. I’m involved in the Schools Tour and we’re looking for a band to tour New Zealand” so I was like “Yeah man, we’d be real keen”. So there was a bit of action behind the scenes and eventually we were the band who was going to do the tour and that’s pretty much when our profile started to take off.

This stuff is disgusting man [talking about his drink]. I burnt the roof of my mouth last night when I was eating some cheese on toast and it makes it taste even worse.

Andrew: yeah, hate that. Is that what you usually drink?

Joel: Well, I don’t really drink coffee that much so I thought I’d give it a try.

Andrew: Ha. Cool, so was it during the schools tour that you got the record deal?

Joel: Nah. What happened was we were doing the schools tour and our lawyer, at the same time was talking to a few different people about us because, when you’re playing in front of that many people, then you’re at least going to get some sort of profile. Well hopefully anyway…

So we started talking with FMR (Festival Mushroom Records) and they released our first CD single, which had ‘Taking Over’ and ‘Loner’ on it. That got to number 19, I think, in the singles chart. We didn’t sign with FMR originally, we just did the single. But then after that, things kind of died down and we thought we’d go and record an album. So we did that…. We didn’t have any money, we just started making one. We brought Hook in because he’s got really good ideas when it comes to song structure and melody. Because we’re good friends with him, we all can speak our ideas and no one will really get too pissed off. So we recorded the album over six months and got the album grant from New Zealand on air, but it wasn’t until we’d finished the album until we went back and started talking to FMR again. So we hooked up with them, the album was pressed and we had a release date. Then it got delayed to another date, and then that date got moved to another… and then we found out that Warner had bought FMR. So we really had no idea what was going to happen. Then we found out Warner were keen to release our album so it all worked out.

Andrew: So where to from where? What are you goals, playing in Goodnight Nurse?

Joel: One of the things that I always thought would be awesome would be to get a gold record and then in the first week of our album, we went gold. So I was like, what the hell? This is crazy. That was a dream come true right there.

But overall, we just want to keep touring and playing shows. We’d love to go overseas, like I’m sure most other bands want to go live the dream overseas.

I mean… anything would be awesome. We started, not knowing really what we were doing and then every show we’d learn a little bit more, so for now we just want to establish ourselves in New Zealand and get the album out!

About Goodnight Nurse

Let's remind ourselves of the Goodnight Nurse facts:

Goodnight Nurse have had a Top 40 single in New Zealand 7 times. Their debut album Always And Never debuted at #5 on the NZ charts and went gold in its first week. The album included the hit singles Loner, My Only, Death Goes To Disco, Our Song and All For You.

Goodnight Nurse won the 2007 MTV Australia Video Music Award for NZ Viewers Choice. This sits proudly alongside their Juice TV Best Breakthrough Video and Best Rock Video Awards.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Goodnight Nurse


Keep Me On Your Side
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Always And Never
Year: 2006
Type: Album

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