20 Nov 2018
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Coridian - Coridian Newsletter Interview

26 Jan 2018 // An interview by Ryan Kershaw

2017 was a busy year for Auckland Rock act Coridian; they released their incredible second EP Caldera and performed relentlessly around the country - which included playing at the New Plymouth TattooFest as well as supporting Devilskin and American Rockers Fuel. Needless to say, they have a lot to talk about - and talk they did, to MNZ's Ryan Kershaw:

Hi guys, congrats on the latest release. It looks like things are going pretty good for the band, with Calderabeing released in October and now the Summer Underground Rock tour. Tell us a bit about the tour and how you ended up joining forces with the other bands on the bill.

Hi Ryan! Thanks heaps! Things are going really well and we just trying to keep the momentum going. We have had a great response from Caldera, the only complaint is that it’s too short haha. 

When we toured late last year for Caldera we had the idea to do a summer tour after we had played shows throughout the year with Curlys JewelsChecaine and AnimalHead. Myself (Kris) and Aaron from Curlys thought it would be cool to hit some summer hotspots and play some shows at the same time, so after many discussions, some bookings and a few hiccups we made it a thing and are excited to play in February with some great friends.

At the time of this interview, you will have recently played at the End of an Era show at the Kings Arms. End of an Era is right!! What did the Kings arms mean to you all as local muso’s?

I’m trying not to think about the Kings Arms actually being gone (or about to), it has been a musical institution for so many bands, up and coming, national and international and it's just the perfect venue in so many ways. Many memories for all of us playing in various bands over the years and seeing so many amazing bands from all over grace the stage. You feel like a big deal playing there so it's gonna be very hard when it's not there anymore. I am glad we get once last gig there and to say goodbye properly.

It would be cool for readers who might be new to your music or who might be keen on catching one of the tour shows to hear a bit about the actual sound of Coridian. Listening to the guitar playing in Coridian, you can really hear some Deftones and Incubus influence. Even in simple songs like Drive, Mike Einziger does that cool Em7 chord with the open strings rather than the same old barre chord. Mike, has the approach to chord shapes and drop tunings influenced some of the tunings or chord shapes you use for songs?

I've always been intrigued by guitarists who incorporate interesting and sometimes unorthodox chord shapes and tunings into their music. I think I've always had a natural tenancy to write and play how I do, as in I see the chord shapes as different sounds and patterns, and the alternate tunings I use help me to unlock more potential from these chords.

You will all be at the Incubus show in March?

100% YES, so excited

Kris, the drums sound tight man. You have a solid style without overplaying, and you aren’t stuck at the hi-hat and snare. Who or what are your main influences in your playing?

Cheers! My two biggest influences on my playing would be- Abe Cunningham from Deftones- to me that guy is a master of groove and is so original within the rock/metal scene with his style and beats. Travis Barker would be the other, the guy is nuts, I love the drum marching style, with the hip hop inspired beats and just the flat out punk drumming. Bonzo from Led Zep is also up there, his flair and triplets had a big influence early on. I always say I am a punk drummer trying to play metal.

Dity, on the bands latest single Reflections (from Coridian's latest album Caldera) your lyrics seem introspective and often written from experience… it sounds that way from the vocals as well, rather than just putting lines together to rhyme. How do you usually write lyrics? Is it just spewing out what you feel when inspired and using that, or sitting and crafting with words? Is it using bits of different ideas, or all of the above?

Reflections was a bit of a personal song. I went through a heavy break up and when we jammed this song at practice and I got the feeling the theme of this song was leaning towards melancholy.

It usually takes me an hour or so to write lyrics, as I usually have a theme in mind (which is usually a personal matter or subject) and I just rattle off lines and try to formulate rhymes, with the main goal to work on syllables and the sound of words more than the rhyme.

With Reflections, I remember being so consumed with my feelings, that it took me 5mins to spew out the words. 

I did fine tune a few bits weeks later, but the core of the song was there.

Nick, as a solo artist in years gone by you had some cool things happening acoustically. Do you ever incorporate ideas from the six string onto the bass?

I have never really done solo stuff but I have been involved in various projects that span different genres and covers as well. The acoustic bass however always comes out for parties with friends to jam some Fat Freddy’sand John Butler Trio. I have always been a 4 string player, very minimalist when it comes to effects etc, I just like to have big sound that makes an impact especially in Coridian.

In your ‘Inside the Music’ interview, things were mentioned about timing in projects and the promotion of those projects – trying to time things right to keep momentum without losing quality. Can you expand on that for other artists who might not be aware of how that tends to work with PR, touring etc. Are you finding the pace/balance is good for you going into 2018?

I guess it’s the art of balancing playing and being present enough but then not overplaying that people get sick of seeing you and all your social media posts haha. I think just from seeing how the bigger bands locally and internationally do it, you can keep the momentum growing with releasing bits and pieces and building up to the bigger thing like a new single or album or show etc. We always try to balance our shows, we don’t wanna overplay anywhere, we have in the past and we always want to play new places, it seems to be working so far!

For most of your music you have worked with Zorran Mendonsa as producer. Zorran has a great reputation amongst New Zealand rock musicians. Excluding any engineering or mixing, what is the producers’ role when it comes to making a Coridian album?

Zorran is fantastic and being a musician his involvement in all our instruments can be quite heavy. As a producer he basically helps with developing our songs to be bigger and with more layers and depth, he expands our playing I guess. He is so easy to work with and we are all on similar wave lengths. Producers are so important, they make you see what the song really can be. I would say he is like the 5th member when it comes to crafting and arranging everything.

Dity, you have taken the helm for the artwork of Coridian's last few projects. What is your background as far as your interest in art goes, and what’s the process. Do you start with a sketch and go to Photoshop type software or…?

I have an artistic background. I was drawing and painting from a very young age. I studied art and have a degree in design. My day job is as a Graphic Designer. So I felt it would be a waste of talent to let the band outsource our designs if I could help. Plus.. I can be a bit of a control freak (shoosh... don't tell the band) haha.

With any of my designs, I usually have an idea or two in my head. I know what the feel of the artwork will be, but I still try to seek out more ideas. So I usually go onto websites eg Pinterest etc.. And draw on some inspiration.

I usually do everything on Photoshop.

Also, I need to listen to good music to help me stay focused. 

You are doing well as a band but no doubt have had your share of ups and downs. How do you think musicians could be more active in getting their bands working in New Zealand?

The best thing we found was playing out of town, playing with a variety of bands, gaining contacts, being present at local gigs with other musicians. Networking is really important, staying positive and just keep gigging!

It can be tricky for musicians balancing a creative brain with the workload, and for some the Rock n’ Roll lifestyle can take its toll. I had an interview with the Nutters Club some years ago opening up about my past experiences with challenges in mental health and music, which is why I was drawn to the ‘Solid Gig’ that you played in 2017. Tell us a bit about that show and why you played it. Are there any other plans for a similar event from the organisers in the future?

We did that show because mental health is a huge thing worldwide and we need to continue to talk about it. We all know people that have been hugely affected by mental health issues. Currently no plans but we would love to see more events like that take place in the music community.

Is there anything you think could be improved as far as operations in the NZ Music Industry go? It’s a broad question as there are so many aspects of the industry, but perhaps there is something that you have noticed as a band along the way.

In some ways we are very lucky to have a funding system in NZ. But it's still very hard to get your name out there, I guess more local content on radio would be ideal- like the Channel Z days where the NZ music scene was buzzing and huge. But yeah I think artists, bands and the whole industry just need to help each other out and improve all the time, things keep changing, streaming and downloading have more advantages these days for accessibility as well.

You have T-shirts available for your Blind Faith single. How do you work your merch as a band in terms of funding, getting it made, and selling it as shows?

We self-fund generally or we use any earnings from shows. However pre-orders help with costs as well. If you wanna sell them at shows you have to actually sell. Be at your merch table, meet people and promote the band, we learnt a lot from Devilskin and Sumo Cyco with selling merch and meeting fans, it wont always sell itself so you gotta put in the effort just like you do on stage.

For bands that are starting out, or getting to a level where T-shirts would be sold successfully, do you find it helps the band to have something to promote the band other than downloads?

It's good to have music available at the show, even if it’s a little print out with where music is available. Anything to promote at a show, stickers, download codes etc. People like stuff, so even free little things so they remember the night out when they wake up in the morning and there is a guitar pick in their pocket.

In the life of a musician it can be easy to rush from one project to the next without taking a minute to celebrate the little milestones along the way. In saying that, hopefully you are enjoying the process – the latest release sounds really well done. What’s next for Coridian?

The last few years have been amazing, we can slowly see Coridian growing and making more impact, even if it's just someone reaching out to us at a show and saying they loved it, feels amazing. 2018 we see as a year to keep building, we have plans for a single and then will start writing and recording our debut album as well more tours to come!

Well, good luck guys and keep up the great work. Any last words to the Coridian fans out there as we head into 2018?

Thank you for all your support so far and see you at the next show!

Coridian have a new single and music in the works, with recording starting in March 2018.

New tours are also to be announced.

 

About Coridian

Take fireball vocal powerhouse Dity and the hard hitting, harder grooving Raven brothers, bind them together and you get Coridian. It's the four piece Auckland based group who are fast becoming one of the best new names in Kiwi rock.

They've worked with some of the best names in NZ music including Zorran Mendonsa (New Way Home, Set On End) and Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Shihad). They've toured extensively around NZ, performed with high profile NZ acts such as Devilskin,
City of Souls, I Am Giant, Skinny Hobos and Ekko Park, as well as international acts such as P.O.D (USA), Fuel (USA), Sumo Cyco (CAN) & Red Sea (AUS).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Coridian

Releases

Caldera
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Oceanic
Year: 2015
Type: EP

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