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These Four Walls - Family of Strangers Tour - These Four Walls Interview

22 Apr 2017 // An interview by jdiddynz

With the Family of Strangers NZ tour kicking off next Friday the 28th of April at the Darkroom in Christchurch, it was high time I caught up with various members of These Four Walls, Armed in Advance, and His Masters Voice to talk music, pockets, spirit animals and sausages. Here’s what went down with These Four Walls:

These Four Walls - Gray Vickers

Hi. How are you doing?

Pretty damn fine, thank you!

How does it feel to be coming back to NZ for the Family of Strangers tour?

It feels incredibly long overdue! This whole tour started as a conversation between the tour promoter and myself probably 2 years ago. He was really behind doing a tour that was in the same vein as the old Family Values tours, with a group of bands all travelling together and putting on shows. We've always struggled to get that kind of line up together to travel – More often than not, we'll take a main support with us on tours through the whole run, but rarely have we taken openers as well, which Is really damn exciting. And of course, with the release of the new single Bravery, it's great to have something totally fresh to promote.

What are you looking forward to most on the tour?

Just being able to play. It's tough getting back to New Zealand to do one off's, which we've been doing over the last 15 months, so now we actually get to play a run of shows in succession. It's been almost 5 years since we've headlined a show in Wellington which is really exciting for us. I'm really looking forward to all the adventures you can get up to with a touring party involved. It's going to be 4 bands causing a ruckus at each stop, playing loud rock and roll and imbibing some of the delightful Epic Beer that's coming with us – who wouldn't be excited about those prospects?

What can punters expect from the shows?

4 killer bands, a lot of music diversity and great production – symptoms may include a feeling of euphoria and a soft ringing in the ears for a few days afterwards. I can’t speak for the specifics of what the other bands are bringing to the table, but I know everyone's excited and we all want to bring our A game. As for us, I think this is one of the most ambitious set lists we've ever put together. We're throwing in some of the new songs that no one's heard before, as well as mixing in some of the older crowd favourites. We may or may not be dusting off some of the deeper cuts, and there may or may not be some very cool surprises mid set. Who knows? Well, I guess the people who come and enjoy an incredible night will know...

Tell me a bit about the new single Bravery and when is it being released?

We’ve been working on new material for the last couple of years, and we have some pretty wicked new stuff that we’re excited about, but the writing would sometimes go in some different directions. Like, we would write a cool song, but it would sometimes sound like another band. It didn’t feel right, you know? When we came around to doing this song, Bravery, it was the first one in our new batch that really felt like it belonged to us, but was also a progression from what we’ve done in the past. A heavier, grittier version of our sound, that’s super fun to play and will be an awesome track for the crowd to bounce around to. It came together really naturally in the practice room, and it quickly became clear that this is the song we should lead with going forwards.

The music video is in the final stage of editing and the song will be out one week before the tour begins. We’re really pumped for everyone to hear it.

Which of the other bands are you looking forward to playing with/seeing the most?

You can't ask me that, man! All of them – they're all fucking amazing bands and if anyone comes to the show and misses ANY of them, then you've only cheated yourself, really! We've had the pleasure of playing with Armed in Advance multiple times, so I know they're going to blow everyone away. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing His Master's Voice yet, but I've been lucky enough to see those guys in some of their other bands, so I know how damn good they are at what they do. Blue Ruin will be a bit of a wild card for everyone – they're unapologetically bad-ass and they're super abrasive which I think is so damn cool. We've known those cats for a long time through them being fans of ours for years – so to be able to be a part of helping them get their name out there, is just a really cool thing for us to be able to do.

You relocated to Australia. How is that going and how does the Oz rock scene compare to NZ?

Yeah, it’s been three years now going back and forth between Australia and NZ. First of all, can I say our best crowds are still in NZ and we love coming back to play shows, we definitely feel at home. Australia has some huge potential for us in terms of population and some challenges as well. I would say the scene here is more fragmented – There’s a big indie scene, a big prog scene, a big metalcore scene. Most of the big rock bands in Australia fit into one of those categories, and there’s not a lot of crossover. In terms of live music support, Australia and NZ are facing similar challenges with things like noise complaints threatening established music venues, as we saw with the King’s Arms the other week. This shit is heart-breaking for us, as we practically lived at the King’s Arms when we were in NZ, but it’s happening in Australia as well, and it something we have to fight for if we want to keep it.

What is your band’s spirit animal?

I’ll tell you, and I’ll go one step further to explain our working. It’s no secret that, even though not all or our members can grow one, we love beards. Who has the most powerful beard in the universe? Chuck Norris. And what is the Chuck Norris of the Animal Kingdom? The Honey Badger.

Catch the tour:

Friday April 28th – Darkroom, Christchurch
Saturday April 29th – Valhalla, Wellington
Friday May 5th – Totara Street, Tauranga
Saturday May 6th – Kings Arms Tavern – Auckland

Tickets available from eventfinder

These Four Walls - https://www.facebook.com/thesefourwalls/

 

About These Four Walls

These Four Walls have achieved a lot in the last two and a half years. Since releasing their debut album Down Falls An Empire in September 2009, they have had two songs reach the Top 10 on the Rock Charts (Sweet December, Lay it Out), the album itself reached #22 on the Album charts, and also set a record for pre-orders on www.amplifier.co.nz, beating the previous record set by Fat Freddy’s Drop.

The band has supported international acts such as Disturbed, Nickelback, Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect; they’ve toured Australia and undertaken multiple headlining tours of New Zealand, consistently growing their fanbase.

And most impressively, they’ve done all of this as an unsigned, independent act. Their successes to date have been the result of hard work, a dedication to crafting great rock songs, and an impressive live show that incorporates their powerful, heavy riffing with soaring melodies and a tight, energetic performance.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for These Four Walls

Releases

Live At Loose Stones Studios
Year: 2014
Type: EP
Living To Write The End
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Down Falls An Empire
Year: 2009
Type: Album
These Four Walls
Year: 2007
Type: EP

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