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Dead Favours - Interview: Dead Favours

17 Jun 2019 // An interview by Paul Goddard

Auckland-based four-piece Dead Favours have been quick to grab the attention of the NZ music scene, and they have gone from strength to strength in a very short time. They have shared the stage with NZ acts Skinny Hobos, Decades and Bakers Eddy as well as international acts Royal Blood and Rise Against, released a steady string of incredible singles and become regular favourites on Radio Hauraki and The Rock FM.

2019 will be their best year to date; during July they will be Villainy's special guests on tour throughout New Zealand, and their debut album Misbehaviour is set to be released on 21 JuneThis debut album is the result of three years of dedication and hard graft, which has been punctuated with a succession of single releases including the radio hits Dig and On Your Own.

Paul from Muzic.net.nz spoke to the band about their debut album, working with Tom Larkin and crazy backstage stories:

It looks like busy times ahead for your all with your debut album about to be launched. It has been quite a journey since Dead Favours formed in 2016. What can people expect from this new album?

We’re really proud of the way the album has turned out. It’s honestly turned out better than we ever expected. There are a few heavier riff songs, a few that groooove and a couple of slower song that build up and explode.

Jared, how did you find the transition from the back of the stage to the front? 

At first the transition was a bit strange. I was confident that I could play and sing but had never needed to read and engage with an audience like you do being a front man, so that was the hardest thing to get used to. At our first ever show we would finish a song and then the crowd would look at me to say something, and I was like "s***, what do I say??????"

Over the years I've become much more comfortable with it and now I just get on stage and have a bunch of fun.

How was it to work with Tom Larkin and how much of an influence are Shihad on the Dead Flavours' sound?

There’s no denying we’re all big Shihad fans (how can you not be), so working with Tom is always a buzz. We all grew up listening to that band so yeah it has a big influence on the sound for sure.

Tom also has an authority about him that instils confidence and gets shit done.

Your single releases have all received airplay and charted. Do your write songs with airplay in mind? How important is it to you that your songs get played on radio? 

We don’t generally try to write songs with that in mind. We tend to write and jam a whole lot of ideas (at least 50+ for this album), then narrow it down to the favourites and then pick a singles from the end result. There’s no denying radio play helps a lot, but the brilliant thing about the age we live in is it's not the only way to get heard!

The NZ music scene can be quite insular with a lot of rock bands sounding like each other, same engineer, same promoter, same label etc. You seem to be carving your own niche and standing out from the crowd. You have that hard rock element balanced with a pop sensibility. Is avoiding the cliches something you think about and aim for?

Yeah to a point for sure, we like to write songs and ideas in the early stages with an open mind. Don’t worry about what it sounds like as long as you like it, go with what feels good. But then when we workshop it in pre-production we think about what could be done differently to make it more interesting.

Once the album is released can we expect some heavy duty touring?

We’re lucky enough to be hitting the road with Villainy for their album tour in July, we’re really looking forward to that! We just finally got our own set of Shure in ear monitors ready for this tour and it’s a total game changer! So hopefully that shows in our performance!

What is your favourite part of being in a band? Touring? Recording? Videos? Creating the music?

It really works in cycles, after finishing the album we were all so relieved as it was a hard slog for a while of knuckling down and getting it done while trying to work out day jobs and home life around all the time that was needed to get it done. But then playing shows is such a reward after putting in all that groundwork! But then you start feeling the creative juices flowing again and you want to write some new material and do the whole thing all over again!

Which NZ band most excites you at the moment?

Oh man! We are really excited to be touring with Villainy, those guys put on a hell of a show! L.A.B. is another killer genre twisting live act you’ve got to see! We all have such a mix of musical tastes within the band road trips never get old with the music we like to share with each other.

Everything in music tends to go in cycles. How do you see the health of the rock scene at the moment? It’s stronger than it's been for quite some time! It’s always seemed a bit of a struggle to get people off the couch, but it seems to have been getting better and better over the last few years!

What single piece of wisdom would you give to any new band starting out in NZ today?

Ask questions, observe, learn from others. You can never know everything so the more willing you are to learn the better musician, songwriter and performer you’re going to become.

Any crazy backstage on the road stories you can share with us?

Ohhhh plenty.. let's just say there’s never a dull moment on tour. Like the time in Christchurch a couple years ago a random guy found his way backstage and wouldn’t leave so one of our friends.. we’re call him ‘Moses’, stripped naked and ran towards him to scare him off…he wasn’t fazed!

Many musicians have routines or rituals they use when writing, recording or playing live. Our bass player used to throw up before every gig (not sure that was a routine or dietary/alcohol problem) Are there any in routines or rituals in Dead Favours?

Haha we do love our tequila! A shot or two before we play (sometimes more) usually gets us in the mood! We usually blast some AC/DC!

There is a lot of focus on mental health in the music industry and rightly so. What are your thoughts on this and if there is pressure how do you deal with it? 

Yeah it's definitely a thing. Musicians and creative often put themselves under so much pressure to make something amazing or be “successful” but you can never please everyone. The most important thing to remember is do it for yourself. Write and do what makes you happy.

We often talk to our friends about post tour blues. You have such a good time going on the road with your friends, playing shows, meeting people, then you come back home to regular life and its often quite downer and you want to chase that high.

If you could duet/write with any musician who would it be and why?

Dave Grohl AND Tom Petty for sure.

What is the most difficult thing about being in the music industry in 2019?

Having a day job.

Many great bands fail because they don’t focus on how to get to where they want to be. Do you set goals and have plans on how to reach them or is it just an organic process that has worked well so far?

It’s a balance of that – having clear goals and remember why you’re doing it when times get tough or stressful. For us we often have to remind ourselves we love that we get to play music we’re proud of with really good mates. That’s the biggest reward.

What is your favourite track on the album and why?

Oh, it changes almost daily, but personally, maybe Disposition. We barely changed a thing from when we first jammed the idea. It was one of those songs that just fell out and has a lot of space and just sounds really nice.

One last very important question. Which is cooler, dreads or a nipple ring?

No Comment.


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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