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Eclipse - Pink Floyd tribute band Interview 15/02/2014

16 Feb 2014 // An interview by Asmith

How long has Eclipse been performing together?
Eclipse doesn't really have a fixed start date, it evolved from covers band Twisted performing at a biennial private Pink Floyd party well over 10 years ago. Every second year, the guys added more members, more lighting and more sound, until eventually the overwhelming requests to perform outside of the private party got so loud, Eclipse was born. Eclipse has been performing public shows for around 4 years.

What do you think separates you from other Pink Floyd tribute acts?
We don't aim to copy other Pink Floyd tribute shows (there would be some irony in that), and in some aspects we don't even try to copy Pink Floyd. Most Pink Floyd tribute shows are performed in sit down theaters and are quite theatrical in nature. Eclipse shows are only ever performed in venues where the audience can stand. Standing is important because it makes people feel more immersed in the performance, especially with the lasers and Quadraphonic sound. When you sit you are far more reserved and are far less inclined to jam your hand up into a laser beam, or chant out the words to your favorite song. When you sit, the band performs to you, when you stand you are part of the performance. That's a very important distinction for us.

There are some very talented musicians in the band, how did you all come together?
We have all performed in different bands with each other at some point. The core original members are Brodie Noon (lead guitar) and Peter Holmes (Bass Guitar) from Twisted, whenever Eclipse has looked to add a new member, its always been as a result of an "I used to play with this awesome xxx" I'll see if they are keen. More often than not, they turn out to be die hard fans.

What made you pick Stonehenge as a concert location?
For us the venue is one of the most important aspects of the show. We spend a great deal of time between shows looking for the next venue which is one of the reasons why we could not easily tour the show. Its not a cookie cutter show where we lug the same equipment to every venue, each show is custom crafted to suit the specific venue. That often means it takes 3 to 6 months to put it all together. When Stonehenge opened, it was an obvious choice, but it has taken nearly 5 years of waiting for the stars to all align in order to make it feasible. We were just glad nobody else actually put on a large scale concert there first. Its an amazing venue.

Most people focus on how exciting a show was for the fans, how did YOU find the experience of playing at Stonehenge?
I suppose thats the sad part, while you are performing, you don't see the light show because it all comes from behind you. The lights in front of you blind you so you can only really see the first two rows of people. You only know there an audience there when you hear them between songs. During the show, there is so much technical stuff going on in addition to performing that you don't get a lot of time to think about how awesome it is. Its not until afterwards, when the show is all over and you see the photos and video and hear back the board mix that you realise how awesome it was.

The Stonehenge concert was one of the best I've seen in a long time, how are you planning to “one-up” that?
We have been inundated with people asking us if we will ever go back to Stonehenge. The answer is that its highly likely. It was a slightly experimental show given that was the first large concert ever held in the venue. There were aspects of it that we would really like to improve on and do even better so we already have a long list. We would definitely like to do more with the Henge itself, so if there is another show there will definitely be something more in that regard. In terms of other shows, we have our scouts out now looking for the next venue somewhere in NZ so keep tuned as it will likely be just as special.

Any chance there will be a full production of The Wall in the future?
It's unlikely, the theatrical aspects are not where we focus and The Wall suits an indoor seated theatre type environment. For us a seated audience is not really an option. If we could find a venue where it could work technically, we might consider it, but it seems unlikely in NZ.

What is your favorite Pink Floyd album/ track?
That is impossible to answer because it changes on a week by week or sometimes day by day basis.

Do you have any other musical projects outside Eclipse?
We all do, which is another reason why we don't perform a lot, co-coordinating the calendars and finding available dates for the band and key crew is a nightmare. I personally play in 4 other bands as well as run an audio production company. Twisted still has a heavy performance schedule and all of the other members have at least 2 or 3 other musical projects each.

Who are your current favourite NZ acts?
That is also a hard question, as a sound engineer I've seen and worked with nearly every NZ act so my favorite is usually the last one I worked with. Yesterday it was "The Johnnys" who really impressed me (especially their bass player), but next week it will be someone else.

What's the funniest thing you have ever seen at a concert?
At Stonehenge, a particularly well endowed middle woman in the front row was REALLY into it, so much so that she felt the overwhelming desire to take her top off. She had obviously had a few drinks because she was leaning on the crowd barrier and resting her breasts on it which were then drooping down the other side of the barrier. It reminded me of Kilroy with boobs.

What is the best part about being a musician?
It consumes your life and its more addictive than crack cocaine. You can simultaneously love it and hate it at the same time and it becomes part of who you are.
The best part is getting to play with other like minded musicians who you are compatible with both musically and socially. Eclipse is now a family of people that all get on so well, and when we come together it is like a giant family reunion. You don't tend to get that working in a call center.

What advice would you give to other aspiring musicians?
Play in as many bands as you can even if you hate the Genre. Do the covers circuit for a while, it will fine tune your chops and make you a far better overall musician, you can then apply your new skills to your original endeavors Have a backup plan, its nearly impossible to pay the bills solely from being a musician. Learn about the technical aspects of musicianship, learn how to mix, use a sound and lighting desk, it will make you far more valuable as a musician.

If you could say anything to your fans what would it be?
Thank you for coming to our shows!
You make it possible to put on bigger and better shows.

 

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