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Curlys Jewels - INSIDE THE MUSIC: Curlys Jewels

27 Jun 2017 // An interview by butch181

Alex Moulton and Chris Morgan sat down with Curlys Jewels to discuss their mini-tour and new EP The Skin We Shed and dive in for a look Inside The Music.

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


Alex (Interviewer): Today we have Curlys Jewels. Thanks for chatting with us today. Why don’t you tell us about yourself?

Aaron (Guitarist): We are a rock band from Wellington, and we’ve been together for around 5 years now. We play original music, and are currently touring.

Alex: What instruments do we have in the band?

Andy (Bassist): Pretty stock standard; guitars, bass, drums, and vocals. Janelle will pick up the guitar every now and again.

Alex: How would you describe your music?

Janelle: That is always a difficult one. Banshee-esque grungy hard rock

Aaron: We’re basically a rock band.

Alex: What are your musical influences?

Aaron: *reads Andy’s shirt* Smashing Pumpkins?

Andy: All sorts really. Everyone has random and varied influences. Rock, 90’s grunge, metal, hip hop here and there

Aaron: The variety is what makes our sound interesting. Janelle has that Banshee style.

Janelle: I was taught by Tina Turner, from a jukebox at the age of 3.

Aaron: Most of us come from a grunge background, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Alex: From a vocal standpoint, do you get your influence from any specific male or female vocalists? You mentioned Tina Turner.

Janelle: Inspiration is a hard thing to encapsulate. Stuff that you like that encourages you to sing. I was brought up in a pub, so the jukebox was always cranking Tina Turner, or Shirley Bassey, or Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection. Otherwise we get influenced by the bands that we jam with, and New Zealand is full of talented people.

Alex: Favourite local acts?

Janelle: Lots. We are currently on tour with Armed in Advance and Coridian, and they have to be two faves. They are awesome, and we get excited to watch them. We are very lucky in New Zealand, it’s a shame that we can’t get more people to come along to watch them. There is so much talent, particularly in rock.

Alex: Being a female-led rock band, have you had any difficulties in New Zealand? Gender equality in the music scene is the new hot topic. Have you had any issues with it?

Janelle: Havent come across anything. There are connotations around what rock is; sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But it’s really just full of GC’s that want to play good music. That’s who we’ve met, so that makes it easy. When you are surrounded by people that are like-minded and just want to have a good time, it’s easy. We’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve been pretty lucky, being surrounded by nice lads.

Andy: We don’t really think of ourselves primarily as a female vocal band. We’re just a band. We’re just a bunch of mates that had the good fortune to fall into each other, and write music we all enjoy and meet other bands that are up our alley.

Alex: It has to be asked, how did the name Curlys Jewels come about?

Janelle: We started out about 6 years ago. Aaron and I wanted to play some music, do some acoustic rock covers, so we had to make a Facebook page, and needed a name, so I just said "What about Curlys Jewels?". It’s ridiculous and stupid, and we got stuck with it.

Andy: There are a lot of completely unintentional connotations. It’s always interesting when someone asks what your band is called. Curlys Jewels doesn’t actually mean anything

Janelle: We’ve spent the last 6 years with all the incorrect spellings of the name.

Alex: Is that why you had the album called No Apostrophe?

Janelle: Exactly. It was Corey’s idea, but even at our own album release it was spelled wrong. Still with an apostrophe in there.

Alex: You’ve finally made it up to Auckland for the last date in your EP tour. What has taken you so long to perform here?

Andy: Money. It’s expensive. We’ve been wanting to come up for ages. The furthest north we’ve been was Napier, and the lower North Island. Time to try our luck in the big smoke and see how we shape up.

Janelle: It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been getting stick from all the Auckland bands. It better go well!

Aaron: We’ve done a lot of shows with Auckland bands. The majority of bands that we gig with are from Auckland. They are always coming down, so finally we’re up here.

Alex: How has the tour been so far?

Janelle: Good. We had so much fun in Napier. There's a backpackers right next to the venue, The Cabana. Tours aren’t like they used to be, where you all get in a big van and go day after day. We have day jobs, so we have to do it weekend to weekend. There’s not often a chance to hang out with the bands outside of soundcheck, so it was nice to all be staying at the backpackers next door on the rooftop, screaming until 3 in the morning. That’s part of the enjoyment that we love, we love playing, but also hanging with the other bands and the people that come to see us play.

Aaron: Yeah it was cool; a couple acoustic guitars and all the bands jamming together. It must have sounded horrific.

Janelle: It’s a mini tour, so we just did a gig in Wellington at Lovelands, which is our beautiful underground venue (if anyone wants to know about it, talk to us on the Curlys Jewels Facebook page), but it’s a place where people love the music and always get up and dance. It’s really supportive and fun so we love it there as well.

Alex: You mentioned day jobs. What do you do outside of the band?

Aaron: I wear a suit.

Andy: Boring random stuff.

Janelle: We have all kinds of things going on. I flang around in mouth holes all day. I work with an oral surgeon. Playnig around with saliva and blood. But we all have our own things going on.

Alex: Any hobbies that feed into your music creatively?

Aaron: Music is our hobby, if you can call it a hobby. Music is our other life.

Andy: It would be nice to switch them around and have work as a hobby. It’d never happen. It’d be a sh*t hobby anyway.

Janelle: I do a lot of theatre stuff, which feeds into it a lot; hanging out with creative folk. It would be nice to get some theatrical singing into rock, but I can’t figure it out yet. Working on it.

Corey (Drummer): Checking out the local acts, and heading out the see some gigs as we are more influenced by people we are immediately around. It’s cool to see people doing things and trying things, and gives us ideas of things to walk away and try ourselves. That’s the thing with NZ music; it’s on par with any other music around the world, we just don’t get the exposure because we are so far away. So many bands that could be nailing it around the world, but just don’t get the opportunity. That’s why you have to treat it like a hobby; it’s a passion, but you have to treat it like a hobby and put all your money into it. We’re all getting older now, and have bills to pay, so disposable income is short.

Janelle: And that’s the way for all musicians in NZ. Ain’t no money coming out of anything. It all comes out of our back pockets.

Aaron: We try to get to most local gigs. At least one of us will be at a gig. If not all of us, at least some of us will be there.

Corey: We’ve been to so many that were all friends anyway, so we want to catch up with our friends, and we meet other bands through that too. It’s amazing the people you find are musicians

Alex: How has the response been to the The Skin We Shed EP?

Corey: Really Good. Pretty positive.

Andy: Its been a long time from recording to releasing it. We’ve been sitting on it, pretty anxious to see how people react to it. It’s been pretty good. People seem to dig it.

Aaron: We’ve had some good support from the BayRock radio station; they have two of our songs on rotation. So that’s been really helpful, as well as a lot of independent radio stations as well. That is the other side of the music; you have the bands, but a lot of other people that bring the music, like radio stations.

Janelle: Our first single from the EP, Bastard Fate got on the charts, and we just about fell out of our seats.

Aaron: Janelle wrote that song long before Curly Jewels, years and years ago, and it happened to be our first single.

Janelle: The first track to make some headway. That happens with so many musicians. You write stuff that is years old. You forget that nobody else has heard that, but to you it’s millions of years old. Happy as Larry that something had gone that way and is getting played, it’s fabulous.

Alex: Do you have any favourite equipment to use when you are recording or live?

Aaron: I play pretty minimal with guitars, Les Paul's and Marshall's and a couple of modulator pedals. I try to keep it real stripped back. I’m not a gear freak or anything. Some of our friends have pedal-boards the size of this room.

Janelle: And they have to do a jig to change their settings

Aaron: and it sounds cool. But we don’t need that; we have that 90's grunge rock sound, so it doesn’t need to sound flashy.

Andy: I keep it simple because I have a notorious reputation for something to go wrong with one part of my gear every time. I try to keep it to guitar, pedal, and amp.

Aaron: Every time. 9 times out of 10 he hasn’t plugged in the speaker cable

Andy: Yeah, I should have a checklist. It usually works fine during soundcheck then craps out during the gig, but we make do.

Janelle: We’ve got a pretty good “She’ll be right” attitude to this stuff. We don’t have fancy in-ears. We’re pretty gumboot-y. It means less gear in the car. I can’t handle more than two pedals; just a tuner and a foot switch.

Alex: How long are you guys up in Auckland?

Andy: We rocked up yesterday and chilled out last night.

Janelle: We’re heading to Whakatane tomorrow to have a yarn and do an acoustic thing for BayRock. We’d have loved to do a Tauranga gig, but it didn’t work out this time because of the cost. I want to go to the Cat Café but I heard its far away?

Alex: I’m allergic to cats, so I wouldn’t know…

Janelle: Better not come around for a coffee after then

Alex: Who would be your ideal tour mates? Who would you love to tour with?

Janelle: Faith No More, Steel Panther…

Aaron: All of our mates bands really

Janelle: It would be great to do a festival with all our mates

Aaron: On the road with 10 bands, that would be sick as

Corey: There have never been bad times at the gigs we’ve done. They’ve all been good times

Andy: It doesn’t matter about the style either. We’ve done gigs with metal bands, rock and hip hop. If you listen to the same bands, it gets boring so it’s good to change it up with different styles and make it more interesting.

Janelle: We’re lucky with the boys we’re touring with now. They are legitimately good guys. You can give them a bit of shit and they don’t mind. They give it back to you. We’ve been lucky with everyone that we’ve toured with so far, so it would be hard to pick anyone. Internationally there might be a few, but…dreams.


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

Filmed on location at Aeroplane Music, Auckland

 

About Curlys Jewels

Wellington band Curlys Jewels had a huge 2018 including 4 sold out shows on tour with rock legends The Feelers (NZ) and support slot with international rock stars Living Colour (USA), Curlys Jewels have been recording at Roundhead Studios with the legendary producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers, The Feelers, OpShop), and mixed by the 2017 NZ Music award winning producer Clint Murphy (Devilskin). The bands tracks capture the tight grooves, solid riffs and soaring vocals that Curlys Jewels are known for. New music out very soon!

“Great tunes. Rockin’ band! Killer vocalist” (Vernon Reid, Living Colour)


Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Curlys Jewels

Releases

The Skin We Shed
Year: 2017
Type: EP
No Apostrophe
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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