18 Aug 2022

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The Checks - The Checks Newsletter Interview

07 Jun 2009 // An interview by Shade
Thanks to Callum for answering these questions:

What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

We did a show at the Vector Arena with The Killers. It was kinda our first proper gig after getting out of the studio so I was pretty nervous about playing new stuff. I thought there might be bottles thrown.. a few boo's or something or something, who knows. Then we got word to go out, we walked on stage and the crowd was mental! the lights came up and the music went down and we said 'hi' it was an amazing buzz. For me, The fact they got really into it meant it was primo conditions to play our show. We couldn't have been more stoked with that one

What is your favourite NZ venue?

Wow, I had to think on this one for a bit

In 2004 we were lucky enough to get a gig at the Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth with REM. The location of the venue couldn't be any more special; - it’s in a big park, in the middle of nowhere (you can be as loud as you like!), the bowl shapes out a natural kinda 'grandstand so no one is bickering over their view of the stage. Also, the stage is surrounded by a massive moat all the way around and you have to walk through a small forest to get to it!!.. I suppose having a moat does help eliminate drunken enthusiasts who may be eager to kick you or mess with guitar pedals - That was until Michael Stipe pulled out CCR's 'Have you ever seen the rain', encouraging the crowd to wade through the water and duck crap!

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

We've got a bunch of friends who make up some awesome bands I wouldn't mind seeing more of; The Electric Confectionaires, White Birds & Lemons and Brain Slaves - They've all got cool, unique sounds of their own which is what is intriguing about a band for me, the music has to be interesting and not completely obvious or in your face. I mean I'm biased too because I know them all so well.. but I honestly think if people are interested in the music then they'll be interested in these guys, they're definitely worth checking out.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

This one's pretty vivid in my mind. I remember one gig in Manchester where I walked out on stage, picked up my guitar. Everything was moving fairly fast so I didn't realize that there was no strap on my guitar. At that point Jake and Karel went straight into the build up of one of our songs called 'What you Heard'. So now I'm standing there dazed, wondering what to do.. hoping and praying wasn't really cutting it ! I walked off the side of the stage where my friend Tim handed me another spare strap so I could play again. I'm not sure even now, but I suspect it was some kind of welcoming present from one of Jets crew...??

How did you come up with the band name The Checks?

We were trying to think of a better name than 'The Old Wives' - a previous option we had going. It was like one of those things that seemed to be really right at the time. Karel was certain that we'd be called Czech's, as in the Czech Republic- that's where he's from, which I think we agreed on! -on the condition that we'd make it The Checks instead.

How do you describe your music?

Music that can fix your back problems and make you feel like a piece of guarana.

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

Expect to hear our album 'Alice by the Moon' - due out June 8th

Maybe some travel too up and down the country- hell maybe we'll even play at yours!

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

Try to find some people similar to you to be friends with. Show each other music and bands you like, That way you get to hear lots of different stuff. Then you can rock out and play music together. If you get lessons from a teacher, make sure it's a teacher that you like and who actually listens to you.

About The Checks

The Checks' brand of blues-driven, jazzed-up, high-energy, raw, soul madness has seen the young band sell out venues that are packed to the rafters with dance-crazed punters.

In January 2003, Embraced by student radio, the five teenagers from Auckland’s Devonport first performed at a friend's birthday party. The set consisted of an eclectic mix of cover songs.

March 2003: Buoyed by the enthusiastic response to their first ever performance, the lads decide to enter the school music competition, and proceed to rock the house. Despite having the crowd on their side, they come second to the only band that played an original song; a lesson that may eventually benefit all lovers of guitar driven rock music, as the lads go home and write their first ever self written song The Creek.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Checks


Deadly Summer Sway
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Alice By The Moon
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Hunting Whales
Year: 2007
Type: Album
What You Heard
Year: 2005
Type: EP

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