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Dead Favours - INSIDE THE MUSIC: Dead Favours

02 Jul 2017 // An interview by butch181
Alex Moulton and Chris Morgan sat down with Charlie Smith and Ross Larsen of Dead Favours to discuss their debut single, Dig, and upcoming shows, taking a look Inside The Music.

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

Alex (Interviewer); Welcome to Inside the Music. Today we have Charlie and Ross from Dead Favours. Thank you for speaking with us. You guys are a newly formed Auckland supergroup?

Charlie (Drummer): Supergroup? Yeah, we’ve all been in bands before. We’ve been in Dead Favours since the beginning of last year. We’ve just started really hitting it hard. We’ve just released our first single, which is tracking really well. We have our next single ready to go, but we’ve been putting off releasing it because this first track is doing so well. We have a tour coming up with Decades. Things are going well.

Alex: Dead Favours has members from such bands as Fire at Will, Steriogram, Bloodnut, and The Wreckage. How do you decide on what direction you want to take the music in?

Ross (Bassist): It’s all evolving as we go along.

Charlie: We don’t decide

Ross: Basically, we all come up with ideas, and put it all together. Everyone is writing their own stuff, coming up with bits, and everything seems to gel as if there is a common thread between us that makes it work. We’re not thinking about it too much.

Charlie: When we first got together the first idea was to be real bluesy, and it progressed from there. It’s still in the back of our minds as a part of our sound, but we’ve gotten more modern, away from the bluesy feel. It was a really good starting point for a band, to have that idea and let it take its natural course. If someone comes up with a riff and we like it, then we’ll play it.

Alex: You say that you all contribute to the songwriting process, but some of you play multiple instruments. Your vocalist Jared, was the drummer in Steriogram. Does he contribute to the drumming in Dead Favours?

Charlie: He tries not to. We try to let each other do our own thing, but we all give feedback. If we’re having trouble, then he might say “I’ve got this idea. When I wrote the riff I had this in mind”, and jump on the kit. But it’s been quite rare to have him get behind the drums. That being said, I’m totally down for some dual drum solos. Get us a stage big enough and we’ll get two drum kits out, for sure.

Alex: You’re debut single Dig is doing well. Tom Larkin from Shihad worked together with you to record the track. What was it like to work with him?

Ross: It was really good. How the song changed from when we got there to how it turned out, was really great. He managed to give us all a kick in the right direction, and it’s worked really well obviously; so full props to Tom. The next single coming out was recorded at the same time.

Charlie: The new one, it’s probably our favourite of the songs we recorded with him. It’s a bit different, a bit sexier, a bit groovier. You’ll have to wait to hear it.

Alex: The music video for Dig is a sort of mannequin challenge and multiple performances all done in one shot. Whose idea was that? And how difficult was it to shoot?

Charlie: I came up with the basis of it. We were throwing around a lot of ideas, and had a Facebook thread going on throwing ideas at each other. It was a combination of a few videos that I’ve seen before, and the mannequin challenge was a big thing at the time so we threw it in for effect, and it worked really well. When we were planning to film it, I was preparing, trying to figure out how we were going to pull it off, because it felt ridiculous. But when we did it, it turned out way easier than we had anticipated. We recorded it at my house, and plotted it out, doing a rough run figuring out how long it would take to get around the house to get to the right room at the right time in the song. And of course, us, the band, had to run around the back of the camera to reach the next room before it got there. We did about four or five runs, practising before the cameras and extras on the video turned up. We did maybe another four or five takes, and we used the last one.

Ross: Time-wise, it was really quick to do because it was all one shot. Not setting up different things here and there. Doing just one continuous shot, just required a few takes, and it came together really well. Everybody did a good job, so thanks to all the people that were involved.

Charlie: Full props to the director, Adam, who just owned it. We’re doing our next video with him, so we’re planning it at the moment.

Alex: Will it be the same kind of thing?

Charlie: It keeps changing, and we’re not filming until August now, so it could change again. You’ll have to wait and see. We’ve got ideas.

Alex: I recognised a few faces in the music video. How many musicians, artists, and people in the scene were involved?

Charlie: Only half the ones that we actually invited. There were probably forty odd people that came, maybe 10 or so bands. It was all friends, people that we play with, people that we know, flat mates, work mates. When we started to invite people, we realised that the majority of people we know are muso’s, so we tried to get as many faces as we could in there. We were super stoked with how it turned out.

Alex: You guys are going on tour with some other kiwi acts soon?

Ross: Yeah, Decades from Christchurch are the headliners, Skinny Hobos are Auckland based, and Bakers Eddy are from Wellington. So it’s a country-wide coming together of rock forces. We’re really looking forward to it.

Charlie: Our first proper national tour as Dead Favours, so we’ll be playing everywhere for the first time.

Alex: You have obviously toured the country before with previous bands. Where are you looking forward to playing again?

Ross: Looking forward to getting back to Dunedin, because I’ve only been there once, and that was a good time. Although I was there in November, so I’m a little bit worried about the cold. That’s the Aucklander coming out of me. That should be fun, it’s the last gig of the tour as well.

Charlie: South Island crowds get way into it, so that’s what I’m looking forward to definitely.

Ross: Wellington. I haven’t been there in 10-12 years. I’m just looking forward to the whole tour.

Alex: Dead Favours are also performing at the Auckland Rockfest. Are you looking forward to that?

Charlie: Yeah, it’s well overdue that someone did that. It’s a shame that it isn’t going to be able to be an annual Kings Arms thing, since they’re closing down in the new year. But I reckon the Rockfest is going to be awesome. The scene has changed in the last five or so years, in a good way, from bands competing for space, to bands supporting each other, coordinating in a positive sense.

Alex: Did they used to compete for a few venues?

Charlie: Yeah, or for airtime and attention. It’s been coming together for the last few years for sure. But yeah, the Kings Arms is everyone’s favourite venue to play for a crowd that size. You don’t necessarily need to soundcheck; you can trust in the venue and trust in the sound guy, and trust it will be a good gig.

Alex: The first two batches of tickets to the Auckland Rockfest have sold out already, with one last batch remaining. What are the people who haven’t bought their tickets missing out on?

Charlie: Rock and Roll!

Ross: It’s going to be a big party

Charlie: We’re going to do a three-hour super set of Prince covers. Nah, we’ll have our new single out by then, so you’ll be able to experience that live. Who else is on the bill? Ekko Park is headlining, Setting Fire to Stacey, Dead Beat Boys, Armed in Advance, Skinny Hobos, Written by Wolves (we played with them not long ago, they do a really good gig), Quinn the Human as well.

Ross: It’s going to be a really good day. Lots of people coming together. It’ll be good meeting the fans.

Charlie: I’m hoping we’re playing early so we can get drunk sooner. That’s the benefit of not being a headline band.

Alex: That would stop you if you were to headline?

Charlie: Somewhat.

Ross: We’re a sensible band. We try to be. That’s what we are trying to get across.

Alex: So, no huge touring stories to come out of this one?

Charlie: Oh, definitely will be!

Alex: Just only after the gig has happened.

Charlie: Probably just after, but we are playing second so that’s sweet. I’m pretty happy with that

Alex: Your next tour dates are supporting Decades upcoming debut album All Our Truths. Where and when will you be playing?

Charlie: Here’s a handy leaflet we found at the café just before:

14th July – Hamilton – Gravity Bar

15th July – Auckland – Galatos

22nd July – Wellington – Meow  

28th July – Christchurch – Blue Smoke

29th July – Dunedin – Refuel

Alex: And after that the Auckland Rockfest?

Charlie: Kings Arms 19th of August

Alex: Time for one final question. If you had to pick a fellow bandmate to be stuck on a deserted island with. Who would you pick and why?

Ross: Kyle, because I’d just eat him. Straight away.

Charlie: Maybe Jared. He’s quite cosy. He’d be good for a cuddle

Chris (photographer): When do you reckon the EP will be coming out?

Charlie: I don’t know. We have three tracks but they are all singles. One’s out, and the next will be released soon, so it makes no sense to release the EP when all the songs are out there. We need more to add to it. So we are looking at adding an acoustic track, or doing a live recording. Once the tour is over, we’ll have the time to look at what we are doing.

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 Dead Favours

Combining a mix of huge fuzzy and sometimes quirky riffs, groove-laden drums, beautiful falsetto vocals mixed with arena commanding screams and a level of songwriting that some say has been missing from rock for some time, Dead Favours have been quick to grab the attention of the New Zealand music scene and are going from strength to strength in a very short time.

Since their formation in early 2016, the band have released a string of singles, the most notable to date being Dig (produced by Shihad’s Tom Larkin), a riff-centric banger that quickly grabbed the attention of both audiences and radio programmers alike, spending an impressive 27 weeks in the charts. The success of this debut single lead to a nationwide tour alongside the already popular Skinny Hobos, Decades and Bakers Eddy which saw the band increase momentum and pick up an army of new fans all around the country.

The band quickly followed with the singles High Flying and Better The Weather (produced again by Tom Larkin) which has seen the band go on to be invited to perform at festivals such as Jim Beam Homegrown, Demon Energy Rock The Park and share the stage with international acts Royal Blood and Rise Against which was received with rave reviews;

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dead Favours


Riffing & Yelling Part 2
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Riffing & Yelling Part 1
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: Album
The Dead EP
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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