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The Nudge - INSIDE THE MUSIC: The Nudge

30 Sep 2017 // An interview by butch181
Before heading out to the final show on their Dark Arts Tour, Iraia and James from The Nudge managed to have a quick chat with Chris and Alex, the Inside the Music crew:

Check out the video below:

Alex (Interviewer): Today on Inside the Music, we are talking to The Nudge. We have the Dreaded Mullet (James) and Dart (Iraia).

James (Keyboard): *laughs* The Dreaded Mullet. Roll those two together and you get the Drullet. It’s tidied up in the Hills hat today.

Iraia (Drums): We really needed to keep those dreads tidy, so Hills came to the party and those dreads are now safe as houses.

Alex: So what’s with the nicknames? Are they stage names?

Iraia: They have come about from a healthy amount of banter with the boys. The real name is Iraia, but Dart will do. Completely happy with that. This is James here, and unfortunately, Ryan was unable to make it, but you’re not missing much.

James: Dart is quite funny. We were playing down at the Catlins River Festival a few years ago, and there was a casual dartboard backstage. Those Dunedin lads just love it down there, they love playing darts and I was getting amongst it. Iraia just sat and watched all night. Didn’t throw a single spear. We got back to Wellington and he was absolutely frothing on the darts from then on, and he’s kept up with it and plays a lot of darts. Dart became the call; a good dart. When somebody does good in darts, people tend to explode in happiness. So Dart is our word for something bloody good.

Alex: Does anyone ever randomly yell out “180!” (maximum score from 3 darts)?

Iraia: Yeah. Totally. That happens. Totally.

James: I’ve never thrown one. Have you?

Iraia: Yeah, I’ve thrown two. One meaningful, and one luck.

Alex: Tell us about yourselves. When did you start The Nudge?

James: I’d say seven years ago. We’ve replaced ourselves since then. 2010. It came from Ryan, who had been playing solo, and wanted to get a band together to play the songs together that he had written. We recorded an album of those songs Big Nudge Pie and put that out in 2011. Then we wrote some songs together as a band which were more movement and pieces rather than songs per se. That was what has gone into their latest album Dark Arts.

Alex: The latest album you released is the reason for your current tour. Tonight is the last date on the tour?

Iraia: The finale! One more day! Election Day! The Dark Arts Tour has been immense. A great experience for us. Some amazingly supportive fans out there which is very humbling. We also had the opportunity of opening for Midnight Oil which was fantastic and set the tour in motion. We released the album in February this year, but hadn’t toured it for whatever reasons. So the show sparked the tour. We did four shows before it, and another five afterwards.

Alex: Quite an extensive tour.

James: Over weekends too, which will be interesting to check with the partners if it was better, to go away for 7 weekends, or just for two full weeks.

Iraia: It’s best not to ask them. It’s definitely hard work as we both have kids at home. But two weeks straight is also two weeks without your primary income. We all have our day jobs. It’s extensive that it took almost 2 months.

James: It was great to build up in the small towns like Hastings, Wanganui, and Wairau Valley, before the big city shows. Travelling and getting to catch up and chat with whanau; having breakfasts and lunches.

Alex: What has been your favourite venue to play so far?

James: It would be San Fran for me, though Horncastle Arena had great sound for an arena show.

Iraia: San Fran all the way.

James: For a city, the level of hosting and PA structure in place at San Fran was excellent.

Iraia: Shout out to Ziggy and Tim, you guys were amazing. Bernie, who was our sound engineer (the 4th member of the band) is actually the house tech at San Fran.

James: What about the Wairau Valley show?

Iraia: Oh, that was amazing. The Dharma Bums Club is literally a small little woodshed in a field with amazing sound. The party is inside, but there is just as much party outside. People turn up, and it’s advised to bring your campers and tents and stay the night, you bring your own booze and food. It’s more of a house party than a venue. But it’s so different.

James: Totally. There’s no best venue. All the jams are unique and dependent on the room. With our style of music, we have to feed off of each other and feed off from the sound of the audience.

Iraia: The Yacht Club was great last night. They’ve done some work on their sound insulation. The room was so small already and bright, but they’ve really tightened it up, and it’s like jamming in your rehearsal space.

Alex: Tell us about this album, Dark Arts.

James: We started recording maybe four years ago down in Wellington with Lee Prebble (Ryan’s brother). He’d just transferred his studio from one end of Newtown to the other. We were all involved in that, and we booked in that first month with him, which he liked as he still had to fine-tune the room, and we weren’t concerned about that. We just had this awesome month where we played music every day and night, and it set the backbone of these pieces that came together. In particular, Ryan and his brother worked on the record using their control as part of the composition.

Iraia: A vastly different experience from Big Nudge Pie, which was three young nudgies ready to slam out the songs we’d been playing live. Dark Arts was far more a studio-derived album. We had that in mind, just playing music and see what comes of it. It wasn’t rushed, hence why there are only three songs on the album. We thought of the format, how it would be heard. It fell into place, and for that reason, the music is so vastly different to Big Nudge Pie. That and it is five years later or whatever.

James: It’s been really interesting to create a product that is for listening. The art of listening has been lost in this modern day where you can flick through, listen for five seconds and switch. No, this is not that kind of record. It’s going to take up some of your time. Put it on and play some darts; It’s the best darts soundtrack ever.

Iraia: I pushed for it to be called “Darts” as the title, and that’s why Ryan came up with Dark Arts in the end.

James: It’s cool what it’s done to the live show. We play the whole album in the middle of the set, and it’s a real space and vibe changer. Both we and the audience go deep, and there have been elements of this in past shows, but we would never have had this if we had not done this album in the studio. We’ve been told that live is where it’s at for us. But I like how it has fed back into the live show and gone full circle.

Iraia: This tour has been around the Dark Arts, so to play the album is to be expected. It’s still 45 minutes long even though it’s three songs. You get 30 minutes of old bangers, then you slam them out with trippy psychedelic stuff. Some get lost and go get a drink, and others are found in it and they are just “wow”, and of course end on some bangers too.

James: Why do you go to gigs? What do you go to gigs for?

Iraia: For the experience.

James: Like you Alex, you’re into Post-Rock, and there are bands that do that as well. Is that why you like Post-Rock? What is it about those songs that you like?

Alex: For me, I like not having to think about it. I can just sit back and enjoy it.

Iraia: Do you normally have to think when you listen to music?

Alex: I listen to music while I work, so it helps me concentrate better.

Iraia: Like white noise. What is Post-Rock? What happened after rock?

Alex: They realised you don’t need a vocalist, a lot of instrumental , and atmospheric stuff, and doesn’t follow the usual song formula.

James: It’s a bit related to what we do. Compositions.

Alex: Tell me about your music videos, where did you get your ideas for the Dark Arts video?

Iraia: There is a bit of narrative for that whole journey of the record when we were discussing the cover and the whole thing. A friend of ours was doing some trippy night photography, and Ryan wanted to do a photo out at Red Rocks and we’ll do it at night, and I wanted to wear some wetsuits as if we were surfers or out for a dive. We wanted Dark Arts to be like one big psychedelic wave, so when you open the gate-fold up, at one end you’ve got this psychedelic wave and on the other end you’ve got the band in the pit playing out. So when Dark Arts came out and the thought of the video came up, we thought we’d expand on the narrative, this water, the ocean and how it is completely another world from up here with the air and birds, to down here this completely different world that has yet to be fully explored. It’s massive. 

We wanted to keep it psychedelic, and with those frames and points of reference, we contacted our friends at Renegade Peach and said: “Here’s an idea, what’s your thoughts?”. Mark Russell has whanau land on Great Barrier island and got us out there in winter last year, and shot it. He had his own amount of artistic voice. Here are the narrative and some artistic idea, let’s play with this, but if we make the music and you make the video, then you get to make the video. It will be great to expand on that with the next two songs. I’d love to do something virtual reality.

Alex: So we can expect a couple more music videos?

Iraia: You can always expect more. Keen. But be prepared to be disappointed.

James: It’s all about finding a way to pay for it.

Iraia: The Nudge is a life band for us. We have had many fights and heated times, but we always come back. It’s real. It’s really us. It’s not a joke or façade. Even if it’s in ten years’ time, there will be more, because it’s part of what we are. I haven’t had as much chemistry with other projects as I do with James and Ryan. We can be not talking to each other, and we can get on stage and put it all aside.

James: The music is a safe space which is great.

Alex: Well I better let you get back to it, you have a soundcheck to go to.

Iraia (apparently now the Interviewer): we do but *looks directly at camera* they actually contacted us because they wanted us to interview these guys now. Alex, who are your favourite bands right now? Who do you have on high rotate?

Alex: I’m waiting for the new City of Souls album to come out, and Setting Fire to Stacey, a Christchurch band are pretty high up there at the moment.

James: Haven’t heard of them. Are they into pyromania?

Alex: I don’t think so, I think they just love the questions it brings, who she is.

Iraia: I didn’t think to ask who she was. I got it. Set her alight. Also, do you have the vinyl format, is that how you like to listen to music?

Alex: I do. I have one of those briefcases that opens up into a record player. Haven’t bought any CDs in a while, but I have a few vinyl.

James: Do you manage to keep track of your digital collection? I prefer something physical.

Alex: Not really. I have a hard drive full of music, and I’ll just transfer whatever I want to listen to at the time, but the hard drive just sits over there. You enjoy a song for a week or something, and then it often gets stored away and never seen again.

Iraia: Ask yourself, with NZonAir and these funding bodies, here’s six grand to make a music video, or a 30-second ad. What has the further reach, or gets the most hits. It’s quite interesting. It’d be the 30-second ad. Is this still recording?

Chris (photographer): I’m going to use this!

*cat jumps out of James’ lap*

James: Cat’s off.

Iraia: Well thanks, guys, if you didn’t know, these guys at Muzic.net.nz are all voluntary. They do it for the love of music.

James: They’ve been a great support for us during the tour with photographers of whatnot. It’s been great. 

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

Filmed on location at the Surrey Hotel, Auckland


About The Nudge

The Nudge are a fresh form of innovative blues.

As a trio, they are all individually inspired by multi genres of music that help to form a complex sound often termed as psychedelic swampy blues with an element of party. The songs have been loosely based around singer Ryan Prebble's style of writing, but as a band they interweave their ideas to create a thick organic sound with unique forms due to their very different musical backgrounds. One thing that is however certain, this is music for the soul and the feet!

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Nudge


Dark Arts
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Big Nudge Pie
Year: 2011
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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