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Newsletter Issue #218: 01 Feb 2009

Our newsletters are sent out once a fortnight and are displayed here for archival purposes only. Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web. We recommend that you subscribe to our newsletter for the best results!

Welcome Back!

Civilian Down

Thanks to Tony Breese for answering these questions:

What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

The best gig we have done so far was a small festival in Paraparaumu called Zeusfest. Noise control shut it down around 3 oclock, so at 4pm we set all the gear up and just played a really ruthless set, with people jumping off the stage into paddling pools.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

Before it closed, Valve was our favourite place. Hopefully it will still be once it reopens.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

I'd like to see more of Hellserpoppin, No Love Lost, Not Quite Right and The Outsiders. Possible the best groups of guys and they always perform at 110%, would like to see more releases from these guys. Also New Way Home and Antagonist A.D as they just rip shit up.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

Can't say that we've had an embarrassing moment as of yet. Apart from being our usual ruthless selves on stage.

How did you come up with Civilian Down?

We used to be called Miss Conduct, but most of the band hated the name and didn't suit us at all. We got the name Civilian Down! when I was watching CNN news and saw an American soldier gunning down innocent civilians. So we chose that as we wanted something to project our polictial/Anti-war stance.

How do you describe your music?

We call our style Dirty South Meancore. A cross between Hardcore, Punk, Metal, Alternative with a splice of Dirty Raumati South roots. In your face and to the point.

What can we expect to see from Civilian Down over the next year?

We are looking at doing our full length album sometime this year, doing up a lot of merchandise plus a North Island tour at some point, and film another video clip. Mainly just trying as much as possible to get the tunes and name out as much as possible.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

It's really easy to get distracted and things to fall through. The number one key is to practice and keep at it as much as possible. ALWAYS put on a shit hot performance when you play, doesn't matter if theres only 5 people or 500 people at your shows, you never know who is in the crowd.

Civilian Down is Shaun Dent (vocals), Tony Wilson (guitar), Stefan 'Chico' Dalley (guitar), Tony 'Mongore' Breese (drums) and Jamie Wilson (bass).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Profile
MySpace Profile
Amplifier Profile

Civilian Down's debut album 'Code of Conduct' was released in 2007, when they were known as Miss Conduct. You can download the track 'Betrayed' on their muzic.net.nz page.


Sonic Altar

The worship of music. This is the meaning of Sonic Altar. Through the love of their medium, Sonic Altar soars above the crowd with a dazzling live show that has received critical acclaim from industry moguls. The band's goal is to bring the substance of heavy music back to its peak while giving a completely fresh live experience to anyone willing to be rocked.

Now leading into 2009 with a slightly altered line up and a more edgy sound to suit; the band are flying at full speed. With an album underway, a new music video completed waiting to be released and another in pre-production... It's a very exciting time indeed!

In the vast sea of unsigned bands, Sonic Altar stands out from the crowd with its unique and revitalizing sounds; they also believe they have what it takes to achieve our goal of breathing fresh air into a stagnating rock scene. Tired of all these overly showy and ignorant new bands, Sonic Altar aim to bring heavy rock back to how they love to hear it. Don't believe us? Then listen for yourself.

Thanks to Kane for answering these questions:

What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

Rock2Wgtn without a doubt! Met some of our biggest heroes and played at the same event as them! It was absolutely amazing.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

Oblivion is always a bloody good place to play. Intimate and usually the intensity levels are high! That and the Kings Arms always gives a good kick in the face.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

We played a few shows with Agent a couple of years ago at Hysteria in Auckland. Those guys were awesome. I believe they relocated so I hope they're getting the recognition they deserve. Also, Cripple Mr Onion is a force to be reckoned with! Fantastic live show.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

Zakk Wylde hitting on my mum at Rock2Wgtn was pretty fuckin' funny... Hardly even embarrassing, I was pretty chuffed actually.

How did you come up with the band name Sonic Altar?

It just sort of happened. For a while we weren't even sure if it was a good name or not but I think it was at the Battle of the Bands when the MC said it and we all went, "Hey that didn't sound too bad!"

How do you describe your music?

A combination of everything we've heard and loved. We acknowledge that we draw a lot of inspiration from the older school of metal/hard rock but somehow that's just what comes out when we write. I think its a good balance of old and new and the most important thing is that we love playing what we play... So if we love it, surely someone else will too!

What can we expect to see from Sonic Altar over the next year?

This year is pretty exciting for us. Every year we've stepped it up a level and I don't think this year will be any different. We're just in the midst of finishing off 8 tracks that will either go towards an album or be released as an EP early this year. These tracks are very exciting which is mostly due to a healthy line up change we went through six months ago. The new stuff is powerful but still very melodic and we're all really proud of the work we're doing. Other than that we're planning a big nationwide tour and got a music vid in the bag with another on the way. Theres a list as long as both my arms of things that we're planning to get done. So keep a look out!

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

Well I'm not sure if I've been doing it long enough to give out advice... But sure why not? The biggest thing to me is sticking to what you want to do. If you have a vision, stick with it. If you love what you do, keep doing it. Because as soon as you stray to meet somebody elses idea of what you should be, you lose yourself. Not that I've experienced that personally but I can see it happening to bands... Just to get something on the radio or whatever. Who gives a fuck about that? If you look back at most of the biggest bands in history, they made their own road. They weren't all overnight successes. They worked hard and did what they did. Play what you want to play! If it turns you on then do it and then you might just get lucky. Or better yet, create your own luck! Rock on! Oh and for gods sake rehearse your shit!!!

Sonic Altar is Kane Bennett (vocals), Tom Duffy (guitar), Chris Hulbert (drums), Rowan Uhe (guitar) and Daniel Kilhams (bass).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Profile
MySpace Profile
Amplifier Profile

Sonic Altar released their debut EP 'What You've Been Waiting For' in 2007.


Matt Bentley - Metamorphosis

Matt Bentley has been doing music for about 15 years. He says; "I've never committed to it full-time until two years ago when I opened my music studio in Hamilton (www.soulstudios.co.nz). I've got CFS, so haven't done a lot of live performance over the past 5 years, save a few. I'm into all sorts of different things at the moment, including visual-music, outdoors stuff and studio-work."

What is the best gig you have ever performed at, and why?

Me and a few mates did a live music-comedy performance in Hamilton a while back called 'Steal This Play' - took the piss out of the DVD piracy warning you see on every DVD, amongst other things ("You wouldn't punch a hobo...").

We made the whole thing available for free on www.stealthisplay.com - scripts, videos, songs.. etc.

But I'm an online musician more than I am offline, so I guess getting my music videos played 85,650 times on youtube, so far, would be a fair estimate of 'best gig', from one perspective.

What is your favourite NZ venue?

Probably the BlueNote in Wellington - they used to have a live acoustic performance night, and anybody who played got $50 in the hand - good deal for aspiring musicians (particularly ones as poorly-rehearsed as I was). Asides from that, I think busking in Wellington is pretty good.

What NZ musicians or bands would you like to see more of, and why?

Perhaps Weta, but some new music from The Headless Chickens would be great... world needs more of their uniquely misanthropic miserableness...

And just where the f*k did Cloudboy go? Best NZ live act ever..

My mate's Awesome Meat Grenade (Hamilton) stuff is pretty fresh, but funny, so I'd vote for it.

What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?

Being upstaged while busking by a stripper who could not only scream better than me, but play violin better. That pissed me off. Damn sexy strippers, and their terrific violin ability.

How do you describe your music?

Running the gamut currently from IDM to acoustic, typically - with some occasional offbeat stuff like, you know, pop-rock.

My latest EP 'Jugs-To-Position' has 1 brazilian, 2 electronica tracks and 2 acoustic tracks.

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?

Less and less. Just released 'Jugs-To-Position', but really the music studio (www.soulstudios.co.nz) is taking precidence as the need for surviving the cash crisis rear's it's head moreso.

I like studio work, so, not a problem really.

But I will be doing some nature-recording/crossover stuff later this year - could be interesting if I get around to it.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?

Don't do it. Some old philosopher said an artist should paint only because he must.

Otherwise, do something useful.

Also, don't waste your time chasing trends and trying to do the 'commercial' thing - I've seen people do it again and again, and there's just not enough money in it to justify the cost to your soul - that's being honest.

If Shihad couldn't break the US market, and they ROCK IMHO, how can you hope to?

Do it for the love of it. Then, make a living. If the two don't coincide, then don't get upset over it. Just don't count on it.

There's no contracts to chase anymore - no big opportunities to "get discovered". There's you, me, a few blogs, and a billion people more focused around what they want than what your talent is.

Read up on Andrew Dubber's (www.newmusicstrategies.com) viewpoints if you're desperate, but don't expect his entirely positive worldview to land you any real cash.

Don't get disheartened- don't do it for the wrong reasons. Only do it because you want to - not because it'll get you rich, stupid and famous.

It won't. Well, the stupid part maybe, but not the rest.

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Profile
Official Website
MySpace Profile

Matt Bentley's new EP 'Jugs-To-Position' is out now and can be brought from his website. You can download his other tracks 'Go To Sleep' and 'Nameless. Senseless' from his muzic.net.nz page.



NZ Music News

DIY ethic sees Otago trio scoop top Folk Award

An unsigned all-women three-piece from Dunedin has won the Tui for Best Folk Music Album of 2008.

Delgirl’s self-released debut album ‘Two, Maybe Three, Days Ride’ was awarded the Tui at the Auckland Folk Festival in Kumeu tonight.

The acoustic group describes its sound as “skiffily, folky, country, jazzy, bluesy roots music with a Pacific edge bordering a swamp”, and creates harmonies built around the double bass, guitar, ukuleles, banjo, snare and percussion.

Delgirl is made up of Deirdre Newall, Erin Morton and Lynn Vare. The trio formed eight years ago and released its debut album in November 2007.

The track ‘Ride’ from the album has been selected by NZ Trade & Enterprise to feature on a music placement export disc entitled ‘New Zealand-New Music’ which is distributed to music supervisors in TV and film worldwide.

Full Article

'Chocks away!' Fringe 09 takes flight

The engines are fired up and the Fringe Festival juggernaut is rumbling down the runway, set to unleash the largest creative arts festival in Aotearoa.

The New Zealand Fringe Festival launched its 2009 programme today, featuring its biggest line-up in years with 108 confirmed participants spanning theatre, comedy, music, dance, outdoor extravaganzas and visual arts.

The programme was launched at a function held at Bar 22 in central Wellington, attended by local and central government representatives, doyens of the arts and culture community and hundreds of brightly-attired Fringe 09 participants.

The programme launch was unique for Fringe as for the first time in its 16-festival history, the Fringe has committed to using new media technology to present its programme and will not be publishing a printed programme.

Fringe 09 director Mark Westerby said the move was made to offer the public a more interactive and personalised programme and to ensure the viability of Fringe for future years in the face of tightening funding.

Full Article
Fringe 09 and Beck's Beer brew up awesome art comp

Jazz festival promises to be extra tasty

Christchurch’s annual jazz and blues festival will be an extra tasty affair in 2009.

A new event designed to appeal to food and music lovers has been added to the week-long New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival. Taste Jazz will be held on Sunday, April 19, and provide people the opportunity to sample gourmet food and wines as they listen to live jazz in the north quadrangle of the Arts Centre.

“We wanted to offer something a bit different this year and felt Taste Jazz was an event that would appeal to many,’’ says festival director Jodi Wright. “In association with the Arts Centre, we’re going to give people a taste of jazz and a taste of some of the best food and wine our region has to offer.’’

The 2009 New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival begins on April 13 and will see The Blind Boys of Alabama performing in New Zealand for the first time.

Full Article

Wellington Jazz Festival Announces Full Programme

Legendary international jazz musicians and an outstanding homegrown selection have been added to the final programme of the new biennial Wellington Jazz Festival 2009.

Musicians from Cuba and Brazil to Tunisia, France and New Zealand feature alongside six headliners from North America and Poland, such as Mingus Big Band and cool trumpeter Tomasz Sta!ko, first announced last month.

Speaking on 21 January at the launch of the final programme, Wellington Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Lissa Twomey said, “The diversity and breadth of talent is unprecedented for a jazz festival in New Zealand.”

“Some of the world’s finest players, the majority playing in New Zealand for the first time, will hang out in Wellington in venues with audiences, thinking, feeling and talking jazz.

With this wide programme blending soul, blues, R & B, funk, Latin, gospel, traditional and contemporary jazz, we are sure to attract a new generation of jazz fans.”

Full Article

Small Town - Big Sounds

The Tui Brewery Girls have devised a great plan – combine New Zealand’s favourite bands and New Zealand’s favourite drop for a wicked day of festivities in front of the iconic Tui Brewery Tower in Mangatainoka.

On February 28, the Tui Brewery will be transformed into the best little concert venue in the land – celebrating all things Kiwi and raising money for local community groups.

“Here’s our chance to celebrate the best things about a Kiwi summer,” says Tui brand manager Jarrod Bear.

“Bands playing off the back of a truck, drinking Tui, summer sun, lying on the grass, an afternoon session, BBQs, pig on the spit, brewery girls, swing ball, sunscreen and sunburn, floppy hats, leaners made from pallets, sing-alongs with the music and stories to tell the grandchildren one day.

“We have a cracker venue at the brewery. Why do winery tours when you can drink beer in front of the Tui Brewery Tower and listen to great Kiwi rock?” Bear says.

The event is an opportunity for the brewery to help out the locals. Local community groups will provide the food and man the bars – adding much needed funds to their coffers and getting most of their annual fundraising covered in one day.

Full Article

SXSW NZ Artists Announced

According to the SXSW website, the New Zealand artists invited and likely to perform this year are The Enright House, Autozamm, Bang! Bang! Eche!, Bionic Pixie, The Bleeders, The Brunettes, Jackie Bristow, Connan & the Mockasins, Cut Off Your Hands, David Dallas, Elemeno P, Tim Finn, Rodney Fisher, Kylie Harris, Midnight Youth, Ross Royce, Scribe and The Tutts. A record 18!

Official SXSW Website



Ragamuffin Children return with The Seahorse Emporium

After lighting up music critics with their stunning debut album Werecat Lullabies in 2007, the delicate, ethereal sounds of the Ragamuffin Children return in February with the launch of their sophomore album The Seahorse Emporium.

To celebrate the release of the album, Ragamuffin Children have announced a 14-date national tour.

Ragamuffin Children's lush and unique sound made a significant impact on the New Zealand music scene when their first album Werecat Lullabies was released in 2007, an album Real Groove hailed as "surprisingly affecting" and NZ Musician welcomed songwriter Brooke Singer we "one of the country's finest young songwriters".

The duo of Anita Clark (vocalist, fiddle, guitar) and Brooke Singer (keyboard, songwriter) formed the band in 2006. Brooke is an accomplished songwriter and pianist whose melodies have gained national recognition. Multi-instrumentalist Benjamin James from rising Wellington band Spartacus R and vocalist Karena-Tui Miles-Hemopo feature on The Seahorse Emporium and will join the Ragamuffin Children on their nationwide tour.

Full Article

New DateMonthYear Videos

DMY is proud to announce the release of two new songs on video.

'Tightrope' and 'Down' are from the Pot/Kettle/Black CD and were performed live by the DMY Black Team in november 08.

Full Article
Also worth checking out - New Eqwanox Video and New Mint Chicks Video and EP Download.

Built To Burn Recording New EP

Built 2 Burn are currently working on new material for their up coming E.P.

Potential tracks include:
Moving On, Take It Away, Won’t Give Up On You, She Said It’s Over, and What Did You Expect.

Full Article

Site of the moment: PunkAs

From the same city as muzic.net.nz, Punkas.com is the premier New Zealand website for all things punk, ska and hardcore.

Punkas.com Website



Muzic.net.nz News

New Artists

The following musicians were added to the muzic.net.nz website recently. Check them out:

Perverse Suffering


With Hope

Gerald Waters


Mama Tilly

Kiri Eriwata

Citizen Frank

Fiona Pears


Blacklight Configuration

The Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra


Darklight Corporation

Needles and Bees

Emeralds and Greenstone



Left Hand Addiction

Citizen Cadre

Joe Blogz



Evil Alchemy


Respective Circ


Congratulations to the following winners:

- O. Duncan (Auckland) who won their own copy of the Conscious Roots compilation.
- A. Gardner (Pahiatua), N. Senior (New Plymouth), L. Turner (Auckland), J. Wilson (Christchurch) and N. Smith (Ngatea) who have all won a couple of CDs from The Funky Monkeys.
- D. Gunson (Lyttelton) and T. Bennett (Rotorua) both won a copy of the latest release from Slave Cadaver.
- And J. Perkinson (Waitakere) with M. Lankow (Paeroa) both have copies of The Best Of album from The Feelers.

Don't miss out on your chance to win the following prizes:

Lydia Cole is a 21-year-old songwriter from the North Shore of Auckland. Her brand new EP 'Love Will Find A Way' was recorded with talented musicians such as Jol Mulholland (The Mots, Gasoline Cowboy), Nick Gaffaney (Anika Moa) and Neil Finn.

Enter Here

The Guilty Office is the seventh studio album from The Bats. Formed in 1982 by Robert Scott (The Clean), The Bats have established themselves as one of the hottest, long-lived, NZ indie bands.

Enter Here

Ancient Flight Text is Gianmarco Liguori's second album as group director of an ongoing series of experimental recordings. The album features Murray McNabb (composer for Once Were Warriors) and Kim Paterson.

Enter Here

Having recorded two demo EP's to date, a proper record has been overdue for sometime from Hamilton band Sora Shima, and finally 'Destroy Electronica' is here.

Enter Here

When the Fever Takes Hold has spent considerable time in incubation since it was conceived in 2007. It is an album that challenges the current musical fixation with iPod-friendly singles, featuring eight tracks - some of which are long psychedelic rock jams to immerse the listener in an aural experience not delivered by any other New Zealand band.

Enter Here

Latest Reviews

- Rhythm & Vines
- Parachute 2009
- Lydia Cole - 'Love Will Find A Way' EP
- Slave Cadaver - 'Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity' album
- Antagonist A.D - 'We Are The Dead' album
- Cobra Khan - 'Helgorithms' album
- Eqwanox - 'All Roads Lead From Here' album
- The Hot Grits - 'It's Too Drunk To Be This Early' album
- Decortica - 'A New Aesthetic' album
- The Datsuns - 'Headstunts' album

Keep an eye out for new reviews to be added for Decortica, A Low Hum and Vodafone Homegrown.

The latest reviews can also be viewed in this forum.

Photo Galleries

Loads of Photo Galleries have been added to the site this week, thanks to the amazing work by Amanda Ratcliffe. Enjoy!

Knives At Noon

Rocking out live at Whammy bar on 15th Jan 2009.

Parachute 2009

A collection of photos from Parachute 2009.

Dave Dobbyn

Live at Parachute

Arms Reach

Live at Parachute

Rapture Ruckus

Live at Parachute

Trigger Theory

Live at Parachute


Every feature we have ever had on the site can be viewed here.

Important 2009 Music Industry Dates

Want to know what's happening when? We have all the dates worth adding to your calendar, including those for NZ On Air, the Smoke Free Rock Quest, every single muzic.net.nz newsletter & gig guide mail out and all those music award ceremonies right here.

The next muzic.net.nz newsletter is going out on 15 February 2009.

We have space available in most of our 2009 newsletters. You can request a date in advance that suits you, or feature in the next available newsletter. There has already been a lot of interest in our newsletters for this year, so if you would to have a newsletter feature within the next 2 months you should contact Lisa now to avoid disappointment.

We can feature you/your band regardless of whether you have already been featured in the newsletter before or not.

If you would like to advertise your next album release or tour in our newsletter and/or gig mail out email Lisa. It is 100% FREE to feature or advertise in our newsletter and gig mail outs! We also offer advertising on the muzic.net.nz website for very competitive prices.

We can also feature record labels, venues, music websites and anything else that has something to do with NZ music.

Our next gig mail out is going out on 8 February.

- The muzic.net.nz team

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tommy Richman
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Billie Eilish
    Sabrina Carpenter
    Post Malone feat. Morgan Wallen
    Kendrick Lamar
    Billie Eilish
View the Full NZ Top 40...
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