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Curlys Jewels - Interview with Curlys Jewels

27 Oct 2020 // An interview by HazzaMakingNoise

Curlys Jewels is one of Wellington’s finest independent rock outfits. Off the back of their latest single Blinders, Harry from Muzic.net.nz caught up with their leading lady, Jel, to chat about it and find out what else they have in store.

First of all, congrats to you all on the new single! It’s an absolute ripper! Tell us a bit about it, what’s the story behind the track?

Thanks doll, too kind! We have actually been playing this track on stage for a couple of years now but it is one that always needed a ‘home’. So, when the time came to pick the next track to record, this was a mighty contender and then obviously won out. Lyrically, it came from some intense thinking on how most of us wish to not have to see the world for what it really is (though there always comes a time when were forced to), and how we dig ourselves further into our own ‘version of things’ instead of seeing the sometimes unfortunate truth.

You guys have had a steady stream of singles over the last few years. Are you building toward something bigger, or does developing your sound in bite sized releases work better for you?

So far we have found it works quite well for us to just release things song by song. We are in such super - changeable times with how people listen to music, that it is nice for us to be able to just focus on the release of one track at a time, with a music video, as a package to promote and hoof out to our awesome fans.

Of course, we wouldn’t say no to doing an album, it would be glorious to have a home for all these stray little singles to live on, there are just a few ducks one must get in a row in order to produce such a thing.

Greg Haver has been your producer on these recent releases. What’s it like to work with someone who has got some big time credentials and accolades? What does he bring to the band’s process and writing?

Greg has such a wealth of knowledge and crazy tuned in ear holes that can withstand the highest volume of a Marshall whilst standing 20cm away (true story, we had to shut the door as it was too loud for us in the next room!).

We have been so lucky to work with Greg on our last 3 tracks and have learned heaps each time. We have definitely noticed improvement in ourselves as musos too as we have become far more confident in studio over the years (thank god, would suck if we got worse aye lol).

He has instilled some glorious ideas that we still use in some of our writing processes these days and we look forward to working with his welshyness on future projects.

Your last single Absentee had some solid airplay and cracked The Rock’s famed 1500 (now 2000) Countdown. That must’ve been a pretty awesome feeling being a local artist. How’d that all happen? Did it feel like it sort of came out of nowhere, and are you weary of any expectations you may have set yourselves for Blinders from that?

That was one HUGE surprise for us aye! We knew we had some solid support in the rock community with both fans and other artists, and that quite a few had told us they had used their votes on Absentee but holy moly, we were shocked and ridiculously grateful to actually be on it!

Nek minit… Absentee was on the countdown AGAIN this year! Could not freakin' believe it! We legit have the absolute BEST fans in NZ, if not the universe.

Blinders is already taking its own course and it is having success all over NZ on all of our amazing indie stations. We have always felt the love and support from these legends and are so grateful to be amongst it. We managed to sneak an interview and Blinders onto Radio Hauraki this past week, which was a delightful first for us too.

Mind-blowing, to have our wee Welly band etched into NZ rock history this way.

The obligatory 2020 Covid question… The lockdowns… good, bad or ugly?

Honestly, I am just super grateful to have any kind of work, a roof over my head and a partner who I actually enjoy hanging out with so certainly cannot complain thanks man.

We were a little gutted in the start that we had to cancel our recording for Blinders up at Roundhead in Aucks, but then managed to sneak it in between the 2 lockdowns, so feeling mad grateful for that!

Will audiences be able to come out and see ya rockin’ soon?

Absolutely! We always have something in the pipeline darling. Currently the biggest jam on our agenda is November 28th at Meow in Wellington. We are sharing the stage with Voodoo Bloo and Miss June, raising funds and awareness for Lifeline. Lifeline is such an amazing help to so many New Zealanders facing mental health challenges. So, come out and flang your bodies about for a good cause darlings! Ticket deets on our FB page. We also have another fabulous gig announcement coming soon…

Do you have any influences for the band or individually that people may be surprised to know?

My influences vary from Janis Joplin to Kurt Cobain to Shirley Bassey and all things in between. We are all pretty varied in what we like to thrash about to. Nothing too surprising here, but the common music love that the 4 of us have is defiantly grunge.

You can go back in time and see one concert, who or what would it be?

Woodstock. All day long.

And last but not least, as we are all about local music here, who are the artists from Aotearoa that you’re vibing at the moment?

We are absolutely oozing and overflowing with wicked talent in Aotearoa, it makes me so happy to see it all. However, Coridian would be my top pick. I love their awesome music and the delightful folk that make it. Great band, brilliant song writers and sooo great to watch live. Too many others to name, but let’s hope we see a rise in local artists playing heaps all over NZ. With times being as they are, surely folk will be gagging just as much as I am to get out and see what amazing music local artists have to offer.

Live photos courtesy of Reef Reid / RADAR Photography.


About Curlys Jewels

Curlys Jewels are a rock band from Wellington NZ. Their sound has been described as grungy yet powerfully emotive, pinned together with soaring vocals, dark guitar undertones and a punching rhythm section. The charismatic, colourful and instantly likeable front person, Jel Pollock, draws listeners in with her delightfully unique stage presence and sensational vocal range. Aaron Ludlow (guitar), Andy van der Heyden (bass) and Corey Bell (drums), provide the energetic foundations complimenting Jel, with all members lighting up the stage.

The band has released a number or records over the years enjoying success on the Official NZ Top 40 Charts. The past 3 Curlys Jewels singles were recorded at Roundhead Studios with the legendary producer Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers) and mixed by Clint Murphy (Devilskin).

Curlys Jewels have supported several heavy weight New Zealand bands such as Head Like a Hole, Devilskin, and toured with The Feelers. They also supported international rock stars Living Colour at their Wellington concert.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Curlys Jewels


Curlys Jewels
Year: 2023
Type: Album
Year: 2019
Type: EP
The Skin We Shed
Year: 2017
Type: EP
No Apostrophe
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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