19 Jun 2024
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Carb On Carb - MNZ Interview: Cross Section S02 / E04 - Carb on Carb

09 May 2024 // An interview by Shannon Coulomb

Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb.

This coming May, Carb on Carb will release their third album Take Time and head out on a 10-date lap of Australasia. The release of the third and final single, I Know The End 2, coincides with this announcement.


Carb on Carb are a product of many places. In the band’s lifetime they have been based in 4 cities and played in at least 70. Recorded at the now demolished Munki Studios in Wellington, the band’s first and self-titled album was “noisy and heartfelt, bridging the gap between 1990's emo bands like Rainer Maria and current counterparts like Waxahatchee” (Mess + Noise). Relentless touring won over fans across Australasia and the band temporarily relocated to Australia. This time away drew the band’s focus back to home with their celebrated second album For Ages; an extended love letter to NZ, with “soaring vocals, a guitar tone warm as a woollen blanket, mathy lead bits, ever changing dynamics and crash cymbals that wash over you like the ocean...as good an emo release as you will hear anywhere this year” (4ZZZ).

Their third album Take Time (out May 17th) on the other hand was written entirely at home and ruminates on time; looking forward and backward to triangulate the right place to be in the present. "Heart-swelling" (Undertheradar.co.nz) album opener 2009 began at the start, a song with "fuzzy guitars and an explosive chorus line" (Rolling Stone AU) about the unrestrained nights with friends on dark city streets that were a genesis of the band. This third single I Know The End 2, also the album closer, looks the other way and sees a rare appearance of drummer James on lead vocal. The spare verses lilt towards the eventual crusher of a chorus, considering possible ends and how to deal with them. Like a conversation with a good friend, I Know The End 2 is raw and embracing.

Do you apply the same creative processes to other aspects of the Music Industry, for example, in your approach to marketing yourself?

Still creative but very different! Writing the music is therapeutic, while marketing is more of a logic puzzle.

Is your creative process something you feel to have locked down or does it generally change on a song by song/release by release basis?

I think the key aspect is having confidence that you can make something decent - once you have that it is locked down in a sense. But for me it definitely has variations depending on the project.

What qualities do you appreciate the most in other musicians?

For me, it's honesty and love for the music in the specific. It has to be your own voice, and even better if you're into the minutiae of a genre.


If you could collaborate with another NZ musician/band, who would it be?

We love Bic Runga, would love to hear her voice on an emo song!

How do you keep an eye to the future in regards to your work and work ethic? Do you generally focus on just the project at hand or are you considering how it fits into a larger plan?

I probably always have a vague idea of the next project, but my main focus is the one at hand. For Carb on Carb its always larger than the album though - it's about the album and the shows and other things that it enables.

(Photo Credit: Jackson Cannery)

Where have you had the most success in terms of marketing to the Aotearoa audience? If applicable, has this translated well to an international market?

We're quite a traditional band in the sense that our success is based on playing lots of shows. Compared to zoomer bands our Spotify numbers are pretty modest but we do get people out to shows in a few countries and sell a bit of merch. Works pretty well in a DIY scene wherever we've been.

There are so many resources available to musicians in Aotearoa, such as Muzic.net.nz, Music Managers Forum Aotearoa and APRA/AMCOS. Have any of these (or other) NZ resources played a significant role in your journey so far?

Muzic.net.nz has been a stalwart, and we appreciate that. My username for the site is too embarrassing to mention here because I've been on there since I was a teenager. Music Managers Forum advice never really applied to us. APRA, I must say the royalty collection service and performance reports are a great service, but last time I looked into it the allocation calculations had room for improvement. I love dealing with Recorded Music NZ, they make master royalty stuff so easy even for independent artists. Definitely need to give a nod to Blink's DIY Touring The World book - basically booked 2 US tours exactly according to the book and they were awesome. Undertheradar I think gets taken for granted but is such a linchpin of the NZ music industry. But usually the best resources are just special & kind people who are willing to help.

Has having access to these resources led to any break-through moments for you, particularly in regards to crafting a successful narrative in your online presence?

Going back to Blink's DIY Touring The World book, I guess that book gave me the boost I needed to book these ambitious tours, enabling the default narrative of Carb on Carb being a heavy-touring band.


Are there any resources that you would recommend to NZ musicians who are coming to terms with the business side of the craft?

Hard to beat other musicians who have navigated similar situations. Ultimately there is a lot of advice out there, but each artist has to work out where the best return for their effort is.

The album release tour will see the band visit 5 cities in each country and link up with old friends/new band Sun Run for 3 of the Australian dates. I Know The End 2 is out April 12th, with Take Time following on May 17th. Take Time LPs can be pre-ordered now via Bandcamp (everywhere), Flying Out (NZ), 19th Nervous Breakdown (AU) and Salinas Records (US).

*****

Shannon Coulomb is the co-songwriter, guitarist and producer for Auckland Based band Impostor Syndrome. He also plays bass for Swerve City and is currently the Head of Music at Birkenhead College, Auckland, as well as a tutor for Music Education at AUT University.

Impostor Syndrome:
Facebook

Stream Impostor Syndrome

Swerve City:
Facebook
Spotify

 

About Carb On Carb

Carb on Carb are James and Nicole from the North Island. They have toured consistently since their inception, around NZ, as well as internationally (Japan, Australia, USA, Singapore, China and Malaysia).




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Carb On Carb

Releases

Take Time
Year: 2024
Type: Album
For Ages
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Carb On Carb
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Ladies Mile
Year: 2013
Type: EP
No Body Perfect
Year: 2012
Type: EP

Other Interviews By Shannon Coulomb

MNZ Interview: Cross Section S02 / E05 - PARK RD
19 May 2024 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is a popular interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. PARK RD are a 5-piece indie/rock band from Tamaki Makaurau, Aotearoa.
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MNZ Interview: Cross Section S02 / E03 - Grant Haua
27 Feb 2024 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. Grant Haua considers himself as “just a guy with a guitar”.
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MNZ Interview: Cross Section S02 / E02 - Ivy
09 Feb 2024 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb.Ivy are an up-and-coming alternative/progressive rock band from Dunedin, New Zealand.
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MNZ Interview: Cross Section S02 - E01 The Mons Whaler
30 Jan 2024 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb.The Mons Whaler bring their swampy alt-blues fuzz tones and tight velvet vocals to their signature neo-vintage sound.
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Amila - MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E10 - Amila
15 Nov 2023 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. Camila Roa Nunez, who writes and records as Amila (pronounced ‘a-meela’) is a bright new bilingual voice in the New Zealand music scene who currently has over 1.
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MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E09 - Chasing Titans
09 Oct 2023 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. Chasing Titans is an alternative metalcore band hailing from the heart of Auckland.
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Brother Sister - MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E08 - Brother Sister
22 Sep 2023 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. Auckland electro-pop band of siblings, Brother Sister, bring their passion for the sound and style of throwback 80's culture to their new EP On A Roll, releasing today, September 22, 2023.
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MNZ Interview: Cross Section S01 / E07 - Dead Empire
28 Aug 2023 // by Shannon Coulomb
Aiming to dissect the cross section between the creative process and the industry side, Cross Section is an exciting interview series hosted by Shannon Coulomb. Dead Empire is a four-piece original Prog-Rock band based in Mount Maunganui.
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