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Malcolm Menzies Newsletter Interview

05 Oct 2014 // An interview by Shade

Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands?

I go busking a lot of the time, so I like to listen to the other people that do this when I am not at it myself. There are some really good buskers in Wanganui.

What are your influences?

I think a lot of my music is accidentally based on life experiences.

What inspires you the most when writing your lyrics?

I love the dark, I love silence, I love sunlight and beaches too.

Who would you most like to support live?

Hendrix, Faith No More or the original line up of Guns n' Roses.

How would you describe your music?

Alone in Seaview is Guitar themed pop punk.

How did you come up with the name Alone in Seaview?

My first band used to practice in a room in a place called Seaview in Lower Hutt, Wellington. The room was shared between a few bands. When my band split I started playing there by myself. It was a really special time for me as a musician.

What can you never leave home without?

I always try to take my guitar and more recently my skateboard.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

There is this Castle in Scotland, I would like to play there someday.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

I have to finish the other two albums from Alone in Seaview and also I have an original live acoustic album to release.

What advice would you like to give other budding musicians/bands?

I'd like to pass on the advice singer/songwriter Jim Ward offers and that is to just play, I forget what he says exactly but it meant a lot to me when I heard it.

What is in your CD collection at home?

I think the first CD I ever bought was The Sky's Gone Out by Bauhaus.

What music do you enjoy listening to?

I like listening to classic rock, I have one of those lame best of classic rock mixes I am always listening to when I need to relax. It sounds like a Rock radio station should I guess.

What do you think could be done to make the NZ music industry better?

I think us "industry professionals" need to learn that people will respond really well to you if you give them a chance instead of adding to the pile of people already burning their dreams. I try and always work with anyone that is keen regardless of their age or skill.

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

Iron Maiden.

What inspired you to start a band?

I just wanted to be like those guys, I remember walking from a library when I was about 5 years old and saying to my best friend I'm going to be a singer like Axel... I guess we had been reading magazines or something.

What were you doing before you made a name for yourself?

I'm always trying to get somewhere, I have done so many different jobs. I've worked in a lot of bars and been both good and bad at that but I have also tried to do a lot of more modern trades.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

The Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant or for big shows the Cake Tin.

What was the best event you performed at, and why?

My first ever real feeling gig was at the Te Puna Tavern. My Dad had talked the band playing that night into letting me play some guitar on stage to open the night up, I was about 12. There was probably like 80 people tops in the place but it looked like 200 to me and lights and massive amps and effects and all that. I played a guitar solo I had just learned that week and the place when nuts so i just kept on playing, I think they (the band) turned the amp off when they wanted to start playing. They were really cool about everything though.

Which band/musician would you most like to be compared to?

The Jimi Hendrix Experience... But I should probably say Blink 182.

How do you feel now that The Blindness of Strangers has been released?

Odd, It was a very strange time and I had no idea what I was doing so it just sat with me for months. The production too, I think that shows up on the album a lot but it was so much fun and I learned more than I can ever say.

What is your favourite track on Paying the Goat?

The Tree's I See.

If you had to be confined to one room for 6 months what CD would you take with you?

Appetite for Destruction, I got that album when I was 6 or so and the first time I pressed play I visualised everything I was hearing, It was the guitar outro soloing in Paradise City and I wasn’t even sure what I was hearing at the time. It sounded like a truck rodeo I had recently been to, like in a good way. Maybe they had just been playing that song too. It was really cool.

Who do you admire in NZ music at the moment?

The Black Trio, they are opening for the Herbs tour and I think that is really cool. They are really good dudes and sound great live.

Do you prefer to play large stadium gigs or quiet intimate gigs?

I always dreamed of playing a stadium gig but I have never really written for that sort of thing, I have played a lot of small shows and had some great times doing that.

What rumour would you like to start about yourselves?

I was responsible for breaking up Avril Lavigne and Nickeleback, I have nothing against that guy or anything I just really want Avril to come and sing in my band, I am a guitarist at heart, like her. I don't know her but Canada is so cool so I'm sure they are both great.

What has got you to where you are today?

A lot of hard work and a lot of mistakes, knowing when to take time to relax and when to have to take a fall.

If you were to retire, what would you do?

My brother and I made a plan a long time ago, we picked out some land and have been working toward freeing it. I guess we will make a house there and our friends and family will have a really nice place to stay. I want to open it to the public.

How do you feel about people copying your style?

Great, It's certainly not mine, it's just come about from other music I like or loath.

What will your next single release be?

I have two albums to release, I haven’t picked the singles yet... I need to listen to it a few times with my friends and then just go about filming some music videos for those songs.

What do you love the most about being in the NZ music industry?

I like a challenge. Most of the people I meet are honest, intelligent and yet still really hardworking and that can be a lot of fun when you put these things together.

What is your secret to staying together?

I have to try to be good and stay clean and sleep at the right times or the band gets new members, heh and I have to try and find instruments they can play without getting upset with the other guys.


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