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Newsletter Issue #398: 09 Sep 2012

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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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!


Jackal are a four piece band based in Auckland. With high energy shows and a unique progressive rock-meets-psychedelic sound, Jackal are a must-see band. They answered the following questions for muzic.net.nz:

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

We've already begun the writing process for our follow up to ‘Only Everything’ and it’s been going great. So hopefully we should be back in the studio before too long and have our fourth album out before the end of next year.

We’re also looking to spread our wings a bit and play more gigs outside of Auckland. The response to the new album has been great and we know there are lots of people outside of Auckland wanting to see us live, so hopefully we should be starting a tour pretty soon.

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

The only advice we can really give is what’s worked for us: don’t try and follow the crowd or the scene or whatever. The only real trick for writing good songs is to use your imagination, just try and play whatever music feels natural to you and don’t worry about whether or not other people will like it. At the end of the day you’re going to spend a lot more time with your songs than anyone else- writing them, practicing them and recording them- so the goal should always be for you to be happy with them. If you’re only writing what you think other people want to hear, or your just imitating what you think will be popular then you’re never going to do anything good because your music won’t feel honest to the listener.

How do you come up with your lyrics?

Theo, our singer, writes all the lyrics. His approach has changed quite a lot throughout the history of the band. Originally his goal was to try and paint a picture with images through the words rather than trying to talk about a specific event or situations, but he’s tried to push himself a bit on the new album and has written a few songs that talk about specific characters. The main goal of his lyrics is just to drive the mood of the song that is established with the music.

How do you believe Jackal fits into the NZ music industry?

I don’t know and honestly, I don’t really care. Our goal is always just to make awesome music that people can enjoy. Big labels and stuff like that are never really interested in our music, I guess because it’s too weird or because we don’t try and sound like what’s popular, so we’ve never really had much contact with ‘industry professionals’. Anyway, nowadays it’s so easy for bands to communicate and release their music directly to their fans that you don’t have to have a whole ‘industry’ behind you to get heard. You just have to have passion and be interesting and unique enough that people sit up and take notice when they hear you.

How would you describe Jackal’s music?

This is the first question anyone asks you when they find out you’re in a band and honestly, even after six years I still don’t know how to answer it. When we started the band we never sat down and decided what we wanted to sound like, so anything goes really. Songs ideas are never ‘too heavy’ or ‘too soft’ or ‘too weird’ or anything- if it sounds good to us we’ll play it. I think that’s one of the reasons that people like our stuff so much: we’re unique and we don’t aim to be like anything, so all our different influences come together and make something interesting in the end.

What is the best part of being a musician?

I know this sounds a little lame but the best part of being a musician is just getting to do it. Writing songs, playing gigs, recording; we all really enjoy the process of creating music. We’ve never really cared about being ‘rock stars’ and living that lifestyle.

What is in your CD collection at home?

Short answer: anything good. We all try to listen to as much music as we can so it’s pretty much impossible to give you a list, but any music where you can hear that the people on the record are passionate and committed to what they do.  To name check a few of the bands that have really influenced us on the new album: Pink Floyd, Melvins, Primus, Frank Zappa, Neil Young. This is the short list, I could really go on all day.

What inspired you to start Jackal?

Just loving music really. We started the band about 6 years ago and we were all at the age where we were really starting to listen to a lot of music. We had been playing instruments for a while and we decided that we should get together and try and write some songs. We’ve never had any grand goal outside of that which I think is what has kept the band going so long. We don’t need lots of record sales or airplay or anything to make us feel like being in the band is worthwhile; we know that our sound and our songs are unique so getting it out there for people to hear is a really fulfilling process.

Jackal is Theo McGrath (vocals, guitar), Alec Cummins (bass, backing vocals), Will McGrath (guitar) and Hayden Keach (drums).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Official Website
MySpace Page
Facebook Page
Youtube Page

Furnace Creek Album Review

NZ Music News

theaudience.co.nz turns the spotlight on Mark Vanilau

Mark Vanilau could be described as one of NZ music’s best-kept secrets, but that’s all set to change thanks to music discovery website theaudience.co.nz.

His name is relatively unknown yet he plays in Dave Dobbyn’s band, is part of a trio with Warren Maxwell, has performed with TrinityRoots and Eru Dangerspiel, and recorded with the likes of Hollie Smith.

Full Article

Herbs Announced As APRA's 2012 New Zealand Music Hall Of Fame Inductees

APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association)
is honoured to announce Herbs are the first inductees to be added to the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame for 2012.

The New Zealand Music Hall of Fame celebrates those artists and writers who have made a significant contribution to New Zealand through music.

"Herbs broke down a great many doors when they came onto the scene in the early 1980s. They fused Pacific and Reggae sounds into something unique and relevant to this part of the world; they gave a voice to an emerging, politically-aware audience that had grown up with the Springbok Tour, Bastion Point and Mururoa, and they gave a generation of young Maori and Pasifika musicians and songwriters a new path to follow. Suddenly, the spotlight had moved, and original New Zealand music could be as culturally diverse as the people who make up this country. That spotlight hasn't shifted back; it's continued to expand to this day, and the vibrant, multi-cultural music scene that we now enjoy owes much of its existence to this one band." - Don McGlashan, APRA New Zealand Writer Director.

Over 30 years, eight albums and 27 members, Herbs are arguably the founding fathers of Pacific reggae in New Zealand. Throughout the bands career, Herbs have kept their musical message clear in expressing gentle but effective protest.

Full Article

Thompson raising the bar again

Life has just got a lot more manic for Hokitika’s world-famous songwriter Katie Thompson.

The go-getter, who has self-financed or fan funded her two albums, Tall Poppy and Impossible, is back of the funding trail. She hopes to raise $15,000 through indiegogo.com to record a live EP and three singles in Christchurch with noted British producer Greg Haver.

His long-standing relationship with the Manic Street Preachers has included producing frontman James Bradfield’s solo album. In several visits to New Zealand, he’s worked with OpShop, The Checks, Nathan King, Carly Binding and Pluto.

Since the release of her last album Impossible, Thompson has appeared on The Breakfast Show, opened for Sir Elton John and wowed audiences around the country from Auckland to Gore.

“I have some great little songs that I can't wait to get recorded and show people! I want to record three singles and a live EP,” Thompson said.

If anyone can do it, Thompson can. She was one of the first artists worldwide to raise $50,000 through online funding website sellaband.com.

If you'd like to be part of helping Katie make the “impossible” possible go to indiego.com. Purchase plans are from as little as $10 to received the EP digitally and $25 to get your very own signed copy.

Full Article

New Releases, Tour and Gig Announcements

Kora’s New Funk Offering Is Out of This World

Rival State Announce The Release Of Their Debut Album 'Apollo Me'

Come On Home - The Debut Single From Titanium Is Out Now

Anika Moa Scheduled to Perform at the HSFC Art & Film Festival January 2013

Gunslingers Ball Live Throughout North Island!

Fat Freddy's headlines Eclipse2012 Music Festival this November near Cairns

Other NZ Music News
Gig and Tour News
Artist News


Muzic.net.nz News

New Artists

The following musicians have been added to the muzic.net.nz website during the last fortnight:

Diamond Sutra Matthew Pickering Blackleaf Gardens
Phoney Dog Druid The Velvet Regime


Add yourself or your band to muzic.net.nz!
Add Artist Form
Info about filling out the add artist form


Check out our latest reviews at the links below:

New Way Home - Mirrors Album Review

Trip To The Moon - The Invisible Line Album Review

Both Sides of the Line - 5 EP Review

Horror Story @ The Royal 18/08/12

Diamond Sutra - Positioning Self EP Review

Darren Watson - Saint Hilda’s Faithless Boy Album Review

LA Mitchell - Apple Heart Video Review

Artisan Guns - Coral Album Review

Going Global Wellington Showcase

Alistar went to the Going Global Wellington Showcase on 6 September at the San Francisco Bathhouse. You can read his account of the showcase here and check out his amazing photos here.

Heathen Eyes and Adi Dick Interviews

Following on from last week's newsletter feature, Alistar also interviewed Heathen Eyes for muzic.net.nz. You can read the full interview here.

Thanks to Mushroom Group Promotions, we also got our hands on this interview with Adi Dick from Fly My Pretties. Read Adi's interview here.

You can check out every single interview and review in our Articles Page.

Tour Features

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


About muzic.net.nz newsletters


The next muzic.net.nz newsletter is going out on Sunday 23 September
and will be featuring The Datsuns!

Feature space is available in our newsletters from 23 September!

Any and all NZ bands and musicians can feature in our newsletters...
...even if you featured in a previous year.
You can choose any newsletter date which suits you.

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If you would like to feature in a muzic.net.nz newsletter, contact Lisa for further details.

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With this number growing every day, featuring in our newsletter is an excellent promotional tool.

Our newsletter archives are one of the most accessed areas on the site.

If you would like to advertise anything to do with NZ music 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!

The next muzic.net.nz gig mail out is going out on Sunday 16 September.

- The muzic.net.nz team


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