13 Aug 2022

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Payola - Payola Newsletter Interview

07 Jun 2009 // An interview by Shade
What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

On this years Summer of Sin Tour we headlined the River-fest in Levin alongside great acts like The Volunteers and An Emerald City etc. There were so many issues leading up to going onstage at around 11pm. We had guitars stolen in Auckland before we left, the show the night before didn't happen as they had a power-cut, issues with the van etc but once we hit the stage and the crowd was up for it the whole show it was a brilliant night and one of the best for sure. That and opening Homegrown Festival 2008.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

At the moment it's The Yot Club in Raglan, it's always a full house there going off and Peter the owner is great.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

I really like Kora, out of all NZ acts they stand out to me of being of international standard for the show and the tunes. Having lived overseas for a long time I can see how they would go down well in Europe

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

On the Summer of Sin Tour we rushed from Auckland to Palmy to make it in time for sound-check, we bypassed a hot summer's day in Taupo w/out stopping for a swim as we were running late and thought we'll do it on the way back. Got to Bar Mode and the power had being cut off for the night so the show didn't go ahead. On our return through Taupo it was pouring with rain so we missed that as well.

How did you come up with the band name Payola?

Payola was the original name for the solo album I was releasing through Jayrem Records, I found a band and we wrote the first record 'Gone To Ground' and so needed a name so I just swapped the title from the record. Also has the "bribery" aspect about in the early days of rock n roll with Alan Freedman and Dick Clark which is cool.

How do you describe your music?

Well the website says, Payola combine the minor keys of classic soul music and the grit, swagger, and inventiveness of epic rock'n'roll, perfectly bridging the gap in sweat and volume between Aretha Franklin and Led Zeppelin. Their live performances epitomize the sexually charged revues of Ike and Tina Turner with the charisma and feel good nature of Sly and The Family Stone. Throw in MC5, MGMT, Nina Simone, AC/DC and Funkadelic and you have a party.

What can we expect to see from Payola over the next year?

We have a new album tracked at The Lab done called 'Black Swan', it's a vinyl release only, we have an australian tour booked in nov and another album really quick after that as we continue to just tour, tour, tour and release records. We are having too much fun at the moment to stop.

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

Don't let band members, life, work or anything get in the way because the pay off is really when that record has been tracked, fully overdubbed and finally mixed and you can sit back and listen to the finished record through the big speakers and get off on it. That moment is what it's all about without a doubt.

About Payola

Payola combine the minor keys of classic soul music and the grit, swagger, and inventiveness of epic rock'n'roll, perfectly bridging the gap in volume & sweat between Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin and early Prince.

Their live performances epitomize the sexually charged revues of Ike and Tina Turner with the charisma and feel good nature of Sly and The Family Stone. Ms Sophia's wild 'fro and honey laden tones are the perfect foil for Solomon Cole's primal electric. All this anchored by the weight of a barreling rhythm section makes Payola's mission clear, to have you hung from the rafters, your feet moving in rapid succession and taking you where you need to go.

In 2005 they released their debut album Gone To Ground via Jayrem Records and established themselves locally as a veritable point of difference amid the local climate. It reached American college radio, Canadian and Australian radio and its first single Every Little Step was included in American independent film Dead In Love. Following on from that, NZ's premiere digital-download store Amplifier placed their 2007 EP Dirt and Stars in the Top 20 releases of that year . The title track from the EP was featured in series 4, episodes 5 & 7 of the highly popular local drama Outrageous Fortune and episodes 9 & 12 contained further tracks.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Payola


Dirt and Stars
Year: 2007
Type: EP
Gone To Ground
Year: 2005
Type: Album

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