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Newsletter Issue #516: 07 Apr 2019

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Muzic.net.nz is celebrating it's 20th anniversary by throwing a rock-fuelled party with proceeds going to charity.

The concert will feature some of the country’s most well-known rock acts - Skinny HobosCoridian, Written by Wolves, Dead Favours and Rebel Sound Radio - and will be held at Neck of the Woods in Auckland on Saturday, May 4.  

-- Get your tickets here --

The not-for-profit website Muzic.net.nz has supported Kiwi music since 1999 and has long enjoyed the reputation of being the go-to site for all local music news.

All proceeds raised from the May 4 show will be donated to the Crescendo Trust of Aotearoa. Founded by Kiwi rock stalwart Marcus Powell ( Blindspott, City of Souls), Crescendo provides young people in Auckland with opportunities to succeed within the creative arts industry.

We'd love to see you all there!
-- Get your tickets here --

Alt-rock four-piece powerhouse Coridian are known for their hard-hitting, grooving rock vibe and powerful performances. Their latest single, Better Off, produced by Zorran Mendonsa (Blacklistt/City of Souls), has clocked tens of thousands of streams on Spotify and signals a new chapter for the band, as they gear up to release their debut album later this year. We spoke to them about their name, style of music and their favourite places to play:

How did you originally form as a band? Where are you guys from originally?

Coridian officially began January 2015 but we have all played in bands together on and off for years and used to be instrumental trio Chuck Norris before Dity joined on vocals. The Raven bros hail from the North Shore of Auckland whilst Dity is originally from Fiji but has been in Auckland’s North Shore for years as well.

How long has your band been together? How did you come up with the name Coridian?

4 years now, which has gone super quick.

We did the names in a hat and then picked out the top 3 out of like 30. It seemed like a cool name with a super rad meaning-

A Coridian is an ancient vessel that was used to hold and house a particular soil. This soil was believed to be the ashes from souls with certain powers, strengths and magical abilities that had passed into another world. It was fused with the roots and dirt from ruins and previous battlegrounds. The Mayans believed that this soil when mixed with herbs and a special water found within a cave that they could attain the powers and abilities, and some believe that this was the birth and uprising of the vampire.

Which artists have been your most influence to you as a band? And how did you come up with your style of music?

Artists that have directly influenced our music would be Arcane Roots (RIP), Incubus, Karnivool & Tool. Our style was born out of being an instrumental progressive rock band and we still carry that influence, but we have definitely found our sound and style on our 2nd release Caldera which is a blend of Alternative rock and metal.

What are your favourite venues and cities to play on tour? What’s the weirdest experience you've had on tour?

Our favourite venue would be Auckland’s Powerstation or Kings Arms (RIP). We love playing at the Mount, the Cabana in Napier, Valhalla in Welly. Really just love touring everywhere we can.

Where can people find your music? 

Pretty much all the social medias, Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp. Anywhere we can get it on it's gonna be there. And if not, hit us up and we will get you some music!

What's coming up music wise in the near future for Coridian? What inspires the music you make?

We are gonna start recording our next release which is always exciting, dates tbc, but expect a new single, video and then a bunch of new songs this year. And we will follow with more and awesome shows.

Are you looking forward to the tour with Skinny Hobos and Dead Favours?

Absolutely, we always love playing and hanging with those dudes, we have been mates since both our bands started up, playing shows at Ding Dong together. They have always been so good to us and we loved touring with them in 2018 and again soon!

Where are you playing? We are playing in Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch at GrooveFest. These are our first ever South Island shows, and we are incredibly grateful to Skinnies & Tim from Tombstone for having us on board!

What is it like touring with other bands?

It’s always good times, most of the time haha. We have been lucky to tour with some incredible bands, learning new things, making friends and travelling all around.

What advice would you give new musicians starting in the music industry?

It’s a hard industry, be prepared to play in front of no one, be good to your fans, respect people, make good connections with venue owners, promoters etc, have as much fun as possible and look after yourself and your band mates.

Coridian is Dity Maharaj (vocals), Mike Raven (guitar), Kris Raven (drums) and Nick Raven (bass).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Page
YouTube Page
Instagram Page
Bandcamp Page
iTunes Page
Spotify Page

With a gritty, full rock sound two-piece Skinny Hobos are New Zealand’s answer to Royal Blood. Big Riffs, Big Drums! They make more noise than any two people should. They’re also undoubtedly one of the most charismatic live bands on the Kiwi rock scene. With a new recently released EP, they're a must-see! We spoke to them about how they originally formed, their influences and Lucifer:

How did you originally form as a band? Where are you guys from originally?

Skinny Hobos are Alex Elvis (vocals/guitars) and Texas Holdom (drums/vocals). We formed in Auckland in 2014 but really got stuck into gigging in 2015. Alex is originally from Canada but has been living in New Zealand on and off for the last 15 years. Tex is Kiwi, born and bred. Alex and Tex met in high school playing in competing Rockquest bands but lost touch for a number of years when Alex moved back to Canada. Fate through them back together in 2014 when unbeknownst to each other they ended up both working for the same music shop. We had a jam in the shop one night after work and Skinny Hobos was born. Amusingly, some of the songs we jammed that day remain Skinny Hobos songs to this day. Queen Street (off our debut album) and Black Key Dish (off our most recent release The Lucifer EP) were both played in our first ever jam.

Which artists have been your most influence to you as a band? And how did you come up with your style of music?

We both have a fairly diverse array of musical influences, many of which are barely related to what our band sounds like, so this is actually a fairly complicated question for us to answer. I suppose Queens of the Stone Age is probably why the band started. Alex had been playing in a more progressive, post-hardcore instrumental band but went out to see QOTSA one night and came home incredibly inspired and needing to write a bunch of groovy, simple, riff-heavy songs. Also being a big fan of Death From Above 1979 gave Alex the drive to someday start a two piece band. The style of music has evolved fairly organically though.

We have over time attempted to sound like this or sound like that, but every time we try to sound like something specific we have been unhappy with the results. The best outcome for Skinny Hobos has been just improv jamming in the practice room and seeing what happens. We record as much as we can so we can remember what we've done, and then we attempt to arrange those jams into songs. Skinny Hobos is really just the sound of Texas Holdom and Alex Elvis playing what comes naturally in the jam room.

What are your favourite venues and cities to play on tour? What's the weirdest experience you've had on tour?

This is a loaded question as our niche is that we gig pretty much constantly so by now we've played pretty much everywhere there is to play in NZ. Of course, we love playing in our hometown of Auckland because we're at home in front of our friends and family who've been with us since we started the band. We particularly miss the Kings Arms Tavern but Galatos has been a great replacement home. Wellington is always a stand out city, we love Ben and the team at Valhalla for how supportive they are of the local music community, and we've always had great experiences at San Fran as well.

We'd also like to shout out the Gov at Cabana in Napier and Ivan at Nivara Lounge in Hamilton. Most recently we played at Smash Palace in Gisborne last weekend. That was such a cool quirky venue with a bloody airplane used as a canopy in front of the outdoor stage. Honestly there are so many more, I'm afraid to leave anyone out but this answer's getting a bit long...

Where can people find your music?

Albums are available from JB Hi-Fi and heaps of other music retailers in NZ. You can also find us on all the normal online platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, etc. etc. etc. Also loads of other places I don't even know about lol

Big ups on the new EP released recently! What inspired the lead tune Lucifer and what's the energy behind it?

That was a pretty cool one. We'd finished rehearsals for the day and were about to start packing up when I started just playing the riff. Sam came in and 5 minutes later the song was done. Vocals and everything. It pretty much wrote itself. We played it at 2 shows that weekend and recorded it the following week. That recording is what was released on this EP. So, I suppose the energy behind it was really just how raw, organically and quickly it came together.

How's your current tour going with Dead Favours and Coridian?

The tour is half done as we speak. We have already played an All-Ages Auckland show, Palmerston North, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Homegrown in Wellington, Hamilton, Napier and Gisborne. By the time this interview is published, we will have also played Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch for Groovefest (Coridian are joining us for those shows). After this interview comes out we'll have our R18 Auckland Show, Raglan, Tauranga and Whangarei shows still to come.

What advice would you give new musicians starting in the music industry?

We get asked this all the time and we always give the same answer. Firstly, what works for some people won't work for other people, so make plans, but don't be afraid to change them. You need to be flexible and keep an open mind when navigating the music industry. Secondly, take every opportunity that comes your way, big or small. The more chances you get to play, and the more people get to hear your music, the more you'll learn, the more you grow, the more exposure you'll get and the farther you'll go.

Skinny Hobos are Alex 'Elvis' Ferrier (vocals, guitar) and Sam 'Texas' Holdom (drums, vocals).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Facebook Page
YouTube Page 
Instagram Page

Bandcamp Page

SoundCloud Page

Spotify Page

Photos courtesy of Matt Henry Photography

Written by Wolves are one of New Zealand’s fastest rising rock acts, with a growing international fanbase. Their hits Elastic Heart, Not Afraid To Die and Genius have clocked millions on Spotify, with their videos doing similar damage on YouTube. Their recently-released EP Prologue has also earned the band critical acclaim. We spoke to them about how they formed, how long they have been together and what's coming up for Written by Wolves:

How did you originally form as a band? Where are you guys from originally?

Davie, Bahador, Karl and I had all been friends for a long time and had always talked about starting something together, but timing had never worked out. In late 2014 after both, 5Star Fallout and Shotgun Alley had been finished for a while we all got together to talk about starting something new and immediately got excited about what everyone wanted to try and do. After a year or so we were looking at adding a 5th member to bump up the percussion and electronic side of our live show and that is when we met Oli - we asked him to join without even seeing him play. Huge mistake, but we are stuck with him now... I'm joking, we got super lucky that he is awesome...

I grew up in Taupo, Oli in Dunedin and Davie, Bahador and Karl grew up in Auckland - the latter two via various exotic birthplaces....

How long has your band been together? How did you come up with the name Written by Wolves?

We first talked about starting the band in 2014 but released our first track in May of 2015. No one is completely in agreeance as to how the name came about, however, I am pretty sure it came from one of our early writing sessions at Davie's home studio. He has these cute as hell dogs that kinda look like mini wolves and they wandered into the studio, jumped up on the chair and looked as though they were about to run the show... 

Which artists have been your most influence to you as a band? And how did you come up with your style of music?

A big part of the band's inception was about taking a real cinematic approach to the music and building soundscapes and one of our big influences for this was, Hans Zimmer. We all have vast and varied influences that have helped to hone our sound to where it is today but the idea of trying to approach the songs from a cinematic perspective and to also include aspects from all of our favourite genres is the driving force behind the band and it's sound.

What are your favourite venues and cities to play on tour? What's the weirdest experience you've had on tour?

We have been lucky enough to have played some amazing shows in some amazing places around the country - we are always surprised and so stoked when we get to a town we haven't played before and there are people in the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs and giving it everything. All of the venues on the Devilskin and Blindspott tours last year were amazing but it is hard to go past the Powerstation and Logan Campbell Centre for bucket list stages. In saying that The Royal in Palmerston North was amazing on the Devilskin Tour. One of the smaller venues on the tour but an epic crowd and huge energy.

We have had some pretty funny moments on tour so far, we stayed at this insanely dodgy motel in Lower Hutt on the Devilskin tour where we were approached by a resident while getting in some post gig drinks and told it wasn't safe and we shouldn't be outside without knives... We decided to risk it without knives and luckily enough, all lived to tell the tale... But the best one so far was probably in Nelson on the Blindspott tour, it was a pretty epic night that ended in both Karl and I being punched out of nowhere and then all of us being escorted out of the bar... Not sure of the logic the bouncer employed there but it definitely made for a hilarious night...

Where can people find your music? 

Spotify, YouTube or Facebook are pretty good places to start but if you search our name in whatever platform tickles your fancy then you should find us pretty quickly...

What's coming up music wise in the near future for Written by Wolves? What inspires the music you make?

We are currently writing and recording our debut album which will be out this year! Look out for the first single from that coming very soon...

Inspiration for writing can be pretty varied and vast - especially when we are in writing mode and writing a lot of music over a short space of time. Lyrical inspiration for me generally comes from things that are happening in my life or observations I make of the world around me, however one of our tunes is about a cowboy in a shoot-out and I have never actually been one of those...

What tours do you have coming up? And what is it like touring with other bands?

We don't currently have tour dates set in stone, but we will definitely be touring this year once the album drops... Touring with other bands is such a great part of being in a band - they generally result in lifelong friendships and hilarious stories to tell...

What advice would you give new musicians starting in the music industry?

Be prepared to work your ass off... Music is something we do because we love it and the industry can be incredibly exciting and, at times, glamorous - however it can also be a shit ton of hard work and about as far from glamorous as you can get - i.e. Knife Party Motel, Lower Hutt. Make sure you always keep your love for music and work as hard as you possibly can.

Written by Wolves are Michael Murphy, Davie Wong, Bahador Borhani, Karl Woodhams and Oli Lyons.

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Official Website

Facebook Page

Twitter Page

YouTube Page

Instagram Page

SoundCloud Page

Spotify Page

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 HobosDecades 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.

Dead Favours have become regular favourites on both Radio Hauraki and The Rock FM and their new single Lost On You is out now. They recently welcomed new bass player Will Kearney into the fold, and a debut album is also set to be released during 2019.

Dead Favours are Jared Wrennall (guitar, vocals), Charlie Smith (drums), Will Kearney (bass)
Kyle Wetton (guitar).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page
Official Website
Facebook Page

Twitter Page

Rebel Sound Radio was formed early 2015 in Hamilton. The three-piece makes wild, untamed rock ’n’ roll, bringing new meaning to the word ‘rebel’. We spoke to Jessie James about their influences, style of music and advice for new musicians:

How did you originally form as a band? Where are you guys from originally?

Rebel Sound Radio came together pretty organically, I had taken a bit of a hiatus from playing after my old band had finished up and the same went for Craig. I've known Craig for years and for the life of me I can't remember how we got in touch again, but we started jamming and we really liked the sound and feel. Ashley joined a short while after and we started working on songs. We are all Waikato natives for the most part. 

How long has your band been together? How did you come up with the name Rebel Sound Radio?

Roughly around 2014/2015 or thereabouts ... We spent a long time writing and polishing songs before playing gigs or getting out there, initially we wanted to be more of a studio band and focus on writing and recording over anything else but playing gigs is lots of fun and we always look forward to it.

I had been working on a song before the band started that had a working title of Rebel Sound Radio, I thought it would make a really cool band name and I think for the most part it mirrors our ideology as band and what we stand for.  

Which artists have been your most influence to you as a band? And how did you come up with your style of music?

Our influences are very rock based, we are all into the same bands for the most part, but we tend to lean more towards the 90's era of rock and the Grunge/Punk/Metal movements that were happening at that time. 

I enjoyed the pop punk and Nu-metal bands of the early 2000's as that's what was big when I was a young musician, but I always felt that it never had quite the same instrumental flair as some of the older stuff (being a guitarist anyway). 

We regularly pay homage to some of our influences by throwing the odd cover into our sets here and there - Nirvana, Black Sabbath, and Motorhead have all made their way into our live shows,. 

I think our sound reflects this pretty well as we tend to combine the new with the old and incorporate some of those old school tenancies. 

What are your favourite venues and cities to play on tour? What's the weirdest experience you've had on tour?

We really love playing out of town and in the other city centres, Auckland and Welly are really cool as there is a bit more going on culture wise than say, Hamilton - where there doesn't seem to be a big emphasis on going out to watch live original music. 

Nivara lounge here is really rad in catering to those that do but I don't think we are alone in having a lack of venues that provide a home for music lovers as we have seen the same up and down the country. 

I don't know if we had had too many weird experiences on tour (or experiences that are safe to share in this format?) but ... I'll throw strippers and chicken nuggets out there, and people can create their own narrative. 

Where can people find your music? 

We don't have a massive body of recorded work but our debut EP Regret Nothing is on Spotify and iTunes and the whole EP and video for the single Liberation are on YouTube

Alternatively, you can come and pick up a copy wherever we are playing live. Or just bootleg our show and share it with your friends, we're easy. 

What's coming up music wise in the near future? What inspires the music you make?

It's hard to say, we are three really busy guys, and this is our way to blow off steam after a long hard week. We all have demanding lives outside of music and families etc plus we regularly take long extended breaks and go right off the grid entirely haha! 

We do have a bunch of really cool new songs that we want to record and a potential single and I can definitely see another E.P / Album on the horizon but when this takes place and what that looks and sounds like we are not so sure. 

We have always been pretty laid back about what we do because we do it for ourselves first and foremost and if anyone likes what we do then that's a bonus! It's nice not having any pressure or overbearing expectations in our camp, we are like a band of the people, for the people. The Rebel Sound Radio way. 

What advice would you give new musicians starting in the music industry?

Now this sounds deep (and it is) but I feel that it needs to be said. 

Speaking from personal experience, don't let ego fuel your personality and take the time to be honest with yourself. 

I remember how it felt to be young, headstrong and ready to take on the world at a million miles an hour but the old saying of "check yourself before you wreck yourself" is so annoyingly accurate. 

I used music as a crutch for years to justify some pretty negative and damaging behaviour and now that I am older I regret both how I treated myself and others around me at the time. 

Some of it I can write off to being young and stupid, but I didn't do an overwhelmingly great job of looking after myself early on, being a musician sometimes only provided me with a big old can of petrol to add to that fire. 

It's a small family that we have so we have to look out for each other and have each other's backs, this industry can provide the greatest of times but there are many pitfalls along the way. 

I think the younger Muso's are already a lot better on this front due to general societal changes but some of us still need to know it's okay to tell a fellow band mate to slow down or that their behaviour is out of line. 

Take the time to make sure that everyone is doing okay and offer help to those around you if they need it. Don't wait for them to ask for help as some never will. 

Secondly - always offer to buy the soundie a beer at the beginning if the night! - It's the accumulation of small things that will propel you forward. 

Be an all-around awesome person to all our industry brothers and sisters, you never know where that one off interaction will lead.  

And lastly. Practice, practice and practice. No one enjoys a lazy and sloppy performance. 

Peace out!

Rebel Sound Radio are 
Jessie James Hanright (guitar, vocals), Craig Tuner (bass) and Ashley Goodare (drums).

Website Links

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Artist Website

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New Artist Pages

The following new artist pages where added to Muzic.net.nz in the past month:

Bearhat Cruddy
The Settlers Milpool
Bad Sport Lacuna
Annie J The Wake Up
Kyd X Taco Joint
Cashek Stars and the Underground
Three Feathers Neutrikk
Blistered Fingers, The Adam McGrath
Armchair Insomniacs Caroline Easther and the Cinnamon Girls
Lou'ana Chaii
Diggy Dupe Moonflower
The Narcs Second Prize

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