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Paul McLaney - Paul McLaney Newsletter Interview

25 Sep 2006 // An interview by Shade
Thirteen schools by the age of 12, growing up in the shadows of North-East England’s sprawling petrochemical factories then transplanted worlds away to the idle wiles of Aotearoa’s northern reaches; music was the only constant in the life of Paul McLaney, singer, guitar-player. Yet his music has only furthered his travels, and his stylistic leanings have been anything but constant. From folky pop and thunderous rock’n’roll spanning the exploits of his band Gramsci to complete immersion in electronica of dance music collaborations and new excursion The Blush Response, McLaney’s life has been one of movement.

1) Who are your favourite NZ bands and artists?

I'm a big fan of Jakob - it takes a great deal of presence to create a mood as powerful and emotional as theirs. They are a constant inspiration actually. As a teenager I was a huge fan of Straitjacket Fits and that has bled into a healthy respect for the Dimmer recordings. I think Sam Scott and James Milne are 2 of the best writers around at the moment and Sean James Donnelly continues to make me want to write better songs.

2) What is your favourite NZ venue?

The Opera House in Wellington.

3) What is the best live gig you have ever been to?

One I wasn't expecting - Portishead live at the North Shore Events Centre. I had seen Radiohead the week before and expected great things from them. They were fantastic. I don't know what I thought Portishead would be like live but they were totally mindblowing.

4) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I've recently come to understand that acoustic music is where my primary passion resides; apart from my girlfriend that is... It's nice to experiment and involve yourself in music outside of your natural comfort zone - I know it's certainly stretched my abilities as a musician. But at some stage all of those excursions lead you home and you assimilate that knowledge and understanding into your own identity and that's the thing I'm striving for now. In 5 yeras time I'd like to be a little further down that track.

5) How do you keep in contact with your fans?

Gigs. I have always believed that the primary function of a musician is to play live, to help create that communion that music allows.

6) What rumour would you like to start about yourself?

That my real name is Gramsci and that I have a band called Paul McLaney.

7) What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

There are plenty of awful jobs in the world without making music one. Music is as important to me as breathing and for that reason I try to give it all of the respect it deserves by staying true to myself. It's not a passport to anything other than itself, but it is an invitation to share.
 

About Paul McLaney

Growing up in the shadows of North-East England's sprawling petrochemical factories then transplanted worlds away to the idle wiles of Aotearoa's northern reaches; music was the only constant in the life of Paul McLaney, singer and guitar-player. Yet his music has only furthered his travels, and his stylistic leanings have been anything but constant. From folky pop and thunderous rock 'n' roll spanning the exploits of his band Gramsci to complete immersion in electronic music collaborations, McLaney's life has been one of movement.

McLaney’s earlier efforts illustrate the many threads that he weaves into his musical tapestry. Beginning with 1998’s The Prayer Engine, a solo effort of 2000 copies sold at McLaney’s first public outings as a performer, turning through the gentle electronically-tinged folk pop of Gramsci’s first two albums Permanence (2000) and Object (2001) with collaborator David Holmes, the soul-searching acoustic purity of 2003’s The Shadows of Birds Flying Fall Slowly Down the Tall Buildings before 2005’s critically-acclaimed return of Gramsci, complete with hard-charged grandiose guitar rock, on Like Stray Voltage, McLaney has traversed musical horizons like the traveller he is.

In 2006, McLaney went south, heading to Dunedin to record his first Loop released album, Edin – at the NZBC recording studio with recording engineer, Dale Cotton, drummer Nick Gaffeney and bass player Richie Pickard. The critically acclaimed and Tui nominated album, was a turning point for McLaney and saw him come close to finding paradise, and to finding himself as a musician.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Paul McLaney

Releases

Play On
Year: 2017
Type: Album
Diamond Side
Year: 2007
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Edin
Year: 2006
Type: Album

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