22 Sep 2020
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Papercity - Interview with Alex from Papercity

16 Feb 2019 // An interview by Steve Shyu

Originally formed in Nelson, Papercity have been performing and recording music for eight years. To mark the start of an exciting new chapter, the band have recently released a new song and video titled Plastic.

Steve was fortunate enough to have seen guitarist, songwriter and frontwoman Alex Hargreaves's recent shows playing guitar in Ekko Park, opening for The Living End, and Papercity's powerful video release gig at Ding Dong Lounge. Naturally, Steve was stoked she was able to take some time out to chat about her bands and New Zealand music.

First round’s on me - What’ll you be having?

Nippy's chocolate milk.

Let’s take a history lesson - How did the group form and how did the band name come about?

We all come from Nelson. We used to play shows together in different bands all the time. And I used to tour with our drummer Sam’s old band a lot (much to my school's disappointment) so we have all known each other for a long time. The band name came about when I was flicking through a poetry book at school and saw one called "paper city".

Papercity has been kicking around Aotearoa for some time now - What made your trio change gears and rev up again? 

It kind of looks like we have been quiet for a while, but we have actually been working really hard writing and recording. There's been quite a lot going on behind the scenes for a while now. 

The music video for Plastic was filmed entirely underwater – Besides holding your breath for ages, what was the toughest thing about shooting that video?

Being cold! We shot the video in winter, so it was freezing. Also getting my guitar to sink was a challenge. My uncle had to cut a big piece of metal to attach to the back if it so that it wouldn’t float.

Tell us a bit about what Plastic is based on - What inspired you to write it? 

Plastic is for young people who have had struggles and feel like outcasts. I wrote it when I was feeling down, which also made me feel really alone. I hope that when other people listen to the song it makes them feel a bit better or less isolated.

What were your influences in choosing the dark-yet-striking style and look of the band?

We’re just a bunch of goths at heart!

What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played?

We have played shows to a few thousand people before, which is a pretty awesome feeling, but one of my favourites would be our show in Auckland on the night of our music video release for Plastic. It was a really small packed show and it just felt really good.

Which band or artist in the entirety of music history would you most like to open for?

I’m not sure… But I would have really loved to have met David Bowie, so I’ll say Bowie.

In your opinion, what changes in the New Zealand music industry would you like to see that would make the Kiwi rock scene better?

It would be really awesome if we could have more all ages venues in NZ. A lot of kids miss out on seeing rock bands play.

What were some obstacles you’ve had to face to reach where your band is today?

Our bass player Ellery spends a lot of time living in Norway now, so we had to work out how to make that work for us. He works at a studio over there, so when we record in NZ he can be sending over backing vocals and bass parts from the studio in Norway while we are working on a song over here.

Who are your favourite New Zealand artists/bands right now?

Robinson is awesome. She’s from Nelson too and she’s a seriously good songwriter so it’s really cool to see her smashing it overseas.

Care to share any exciting news of what’s in store for Papercity?

We have a lot of new music coming out this year so we’re pretty excited about that and we’re really looking forward to playing some more shows.

---

Click here to watch Papercity's video for Plastic.

Click here to check out Muzic.net.nz's photo gallery of Papercity's brilliant performance at Ding Dong Lounge.

 

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