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INSIDE THE MUSIC: Kris from Coridian & JP from Armed in Advance

24 May 2017 // An interview by butch181
Alex Moulton and Chris Morgan sat down with Kris Raven of Coridian and JP Carroll of Armed in Advance to discuss their upcoming tour with Curlys Jewels.

You can watch the video over on YouTube or read the interview below:

Alex: Today you’re here to talk to us about your bands and an upcoming tour with Curlys Jewels at the end of NZ Music Month. Tell us about your bands.

Kris (Coridian): Coridian are a four piece from Auckland. Alternative Rock, and been around for about 2 years. We have an EP out, and have recently released a single Blind Faith, and are releasing another single for NZ Music Month. Very happy to be a part of the Curlys Jewels tour.

JP (Armed in Advance): Armed in Advance are a three piece from Auckland. We have a post grunge sound, just released a record in October of last year, and are looking forward to getting back on the road.

A: What would be the bands musical influences? If you had to pick three international and three local bands?

K: Deftones, Incubus, Karnivool are bands that we’ve been told that can be heard in our music. New Zealand bands, would say City of Souls, New Way Home, and probably Shihad, the classic kiwi massive rock band.

J: Internationally, I’d say Chevelle, Deftones, a lot of 90’s grunge like Nirvana. Bands with simple arrangements and sound. Locally, Shihad and I Am Giant, and I really like what bands like City of Souls are doing.

A: So City of Souls, New Way Home, there’s a lot of Richie Simpson (vocalist) and Zorran Mendonsa (producer). Is that why you picked Zorran to produce the new single?

K: Yeah, we love how he makes things sound, it works, and I look forward to working with him in the future too.

A: And James Alexander Boyd produced Armed in Advanced’s album?

J: Zorran produced a track on the album Shallow, James Alexander Boyd worked with Dreadstorm Media to get some recordings done, and it worked out quite well.

A: What was the first album you guys ever bought when you were growing up?

K: I still have all my tapes, my first CD was Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, but I lost it. My first tape was Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, which was pretty cool to have on cassette.

J: I think my first tape was Thriller by Michael Jackson, but I think I was 5. I really liked the Ghostbusters soundtrack, but my first Rock album would have been The Offspring’s Smash.

A: Before you were Coridian, you were the Chuck Norris Trio. Did your fans transfer over easily enough?

K: Chuck Norris Trio was just me and my brothers, but it was a good transition. We did actually have another singer, Brent. That didn’t end up working out, but then we found Dity, and it’s really helped.

A: And Armed in Advance used to be Stitches?

J: Yeah, there was a rapper called Stitches from the States and he had AK47s on his face. We figured we could either get matching tattoos or change our name. So we went for what we figured was a better name, and the rest is history.

A: So what have you guys got planned for NZ Music Month?

K: We have a single release show at Ding Dong Lounge on the 20th of May. It’s  free gig, and we’re playing at Totara St in Rotorua the night before at the Mount. Then we jump on the “The Skin We Shed Tour” in Porirua, so we have some good shows lined up.

J: We are on the “Family of Strangers” Tour with These Four Walls, His Masters Voice, and Blue Ruin. We’re playing Christchurch on Friday 28th April, Wellington on the 29th, and playing Tauranga and Auckland on the 5th and 6th of May. Not long after that, we’ll be heading on the road with Coridian and Curlys Jewels on the “The Skin We Shed” Tour.

A: Does New Zealand Music Month have any effect on your bands? Extra promotion?

K: Maybe more people actually come to gigs because they feel they have to?

J: I remember someone cracking a joke last year: It’s NZ Music Month, or as us musician’s like to call it, “Month”. Because it’s just day-to-day life for us. We’re always going out to gigs, supporting each other, liking posts on facebook. It’s business as usual for us, but it’s nice to have a spotlight put on for a month. It would be cool if we could keep the spotlight on for the whole time, though it would negate the point of the spotlight.

K: I think the concept is really good, and when it first came out it was really good, but I don’t think it does anything for independent local artists; it does a lot for bigger artists, but it doesn’t do anything for us.

A: Let’s talk the Curlys Jewels tour. You’re going to Auckland, Porirua, and Napier. Curlys Jewels haven’t played in Auckland, Armed in Advance haven’t played in Napier, and Coridian haven’t played in Porirua. With the reach of the internet, how important is touring for getting new fans?

J: It’s an entirely different experience going out to see a band, compared to using social media and the internet. There’s a much different atmosphere when you’re at a show and you understand different aspects of the show and the songs. Both the internet and live are different but important, so do both.

K: we’re still new to the touring game. This will be our 3rdtime heading out of Auckland, but every time it has been successful in a bunch of different ways. It’s just really nice to meet people from other places, playing at other venues, it keeps things interesting. I find crowds outside of Auckland are ridiculously amazing, they aren’t afraid to come near the stage. It’s definitely needed, and even on a national scale, you can’t make money from selling music, you have to go out and work for it

A: There is often a semicircle around the front of stage where people fear to tread.

J: That’s where I love to be, making everyone feel awkward; whether the band, or the rest of the crowd. But I like to be upfront because I get a wash of empathy. I’ve been up on stage, and I know what it’s like to try get people to move up, so I like to support them. But then it ends up being just me…

A: for any musicians that want to get started, do you have any tips for getting funding, or getting your name known?

J: Go to shows, play shows, and write lots of songs. Every time you write songs they get better if you’re constantly doing it, so keep writing. Just do it, don’t wait for the perfect moment, just start doing it. Hopefully you’ll go from good to better.

K: Be prepared to go for the long haul. You won’t be the best band in NZ overnight, or you may never be at all, but you’ve got to keep going all the time. Try not to disappear for six months, people forget pretty quickly, so you’ve got to keep your name and brand out there. Try do gigs that your mates will want to go to. Find cool things that make people want to come out.

A: Is meeting fans face-to-face more helpful for keeping your band in their minds for longer?

K: There are certain roles in the band, certain people are good at that. I think it’s best to have a representative in the band that is really good at communicating with people at the show.

J: I think personal connections are really important, to have a bunch of people that come to your shows that you can call friends. The further we go, the more people we meet, more followers. No real downside to it.

K: I feel there’s a scene growing in Auckland again, it had dropped off for a while. A lot of the bands are mates and have similar sounds, have similar fans. You see these people and get to know them. It’s fun.

A: it’s a pity about the sale of the Kings Arms Tavern.

J: I’m interested to see what will happen with the Auckland scene afterwards. The Kings Arms has been such a stalwart, so it’ll be interesting to see where the slack gets picked up.

K: I’m amazed it’s not a historical building. It’s the one venue along with the Powerstation where you get both local and international bands sharing the stage, and always sounds amazing. It’s a shame, but hopefully other venues pick up, and the problems they’ve had with sound control stops. It’s hard to come to terms with this without people trying to kill it early.

A: If you had the opportunity to have anyone in the NZ music industry to collaborate with, who would you pick?

K: I think it would be cool to go against the grain and get someone like Dave Dobbyn, that would be cool. To have someone that’s been around for a while and knows their stuff. Actually, Neil Finn. Get him on a producer level, making a softer album, he could play the guitar, have a sing, help with the songwriting. That would be cool.

J: I’d like to jam with Anika Moa. Her yarns would be great, she’s hilarious. That would be cool. I don’t think she’d like to jam with me, but it’s part of the five-year plan (laughing).

A: Well thanks for coming for a chat. Good luck with the Curlys Jewels Tour. You’ve all already played a show together in November, so it’ll be good to have a little reunion.

J: Yeah it’s going to be a great tour.

K: They’re playing their first Auckland show, so come support them guys! It’s a big deal!

Filmed by Chris Morgan
Audio by Chris Morgan
Interviewed by Alex Moulton
Title Screen by Chris Morgan and Blake Jones


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