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Newsletter Issue #518: 03 Jun 2019

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Many thanks to Paul Martin from Devilskin and The Axe Attack for writing this month's editorial:

Solace from the din.

Politically, socially and technology wise, we on our planet, are in a unique situation. Constantly changing social landscapes, pressures and daily stress seem to drag us all down that little bit closer to the grindstone. To cap it off the daily news seems to get more and more horrifying.

Of course, this is nothing new. Historically, musicians, bards/minstrels and such, had an important part in telling stories, news and satire to lift the spirits of the wealthy, the patricians and the masses. Stories, fables and religions were passed through the generations around the world via song.

Music has had a prominent place among our most sacred moments as far back as we can trace, defining and preserving culture and heritage. Music has always had a big role in our lives, right alongside merriment, and this is very important.

The world right now, for many, looks beaten and defeated. Governments, money, laws, rights, terror. We are in a state of flux that is both uncertain and uncomfortable, the vibrations are dissonant. People need hope, dreams and a moment of solace from this din. Some folk don’t get or can’t find that brief respite, and that in turn can manifest itself in many other bleak and sad ways. There’s no hiding the fact that we have a suicide epidemic, a depression epidemic and way too many broken spirits. It’s grim. Right now, for many, it is grim. A lot of people, right across the board, seem to be buckling and collapsing beneath this huge weight.

While I don’t pretend to know any answers, I can say this, when I have needed it most, in many dark hours, when I couldn’t ‘people’, it was music that pulled me from the mire. There were songs that absolutely moved me, connections so very strong that I truly felt every bit of their message and they mine. It was like my favourite musicians, my heroes, were there to heal me. They knew my story. They nurtured my wounds with words and melodies that embraced me. And I recovered.

Music uplifts and cheers, envelops and enhances us, it encourages our identity and gives voice to our dreams, and shared, it doubles. Again, very important. Its healing power is exponential. Music can bring hope and convey love and emotion like no other medium and music will speak for us long after we are gone.

If you know someone who seems to be struggling, depressed, morose or lonely, play them some music or take them for a drive and play some cool tunes. Send them a clip to watch, take them to a gig, buy them an album. Write a song for them. Want to cheer up some old people? Play some music from their era and watch them smile, you will most likely make their day. It’s all therapy and I believe it’s essential for our hearts and souls and our emotional wellbeing. All of us. Music can save lives; I know because I’ve seen it and I’ve felt it.

What I’m saying is, if you didn’t already know it, music is a great healer. It is something we can all use for ourselves and to help others. Live it, love it and share it, you might save a life.


Devilskin released their latest single All Fall Down in April, and they recently signed to global booking agency X-Ray Touring. They will be unveiling their release plans for their 4th album in the coming months. Watch this space for touring activity later in 2019 and throughout 2020.

Thank you Paul, for writing this editorial!

Hailing from the shores of Gisborne, Sit Down in Front's latest single Rain is making quite the splash on the NZ music scene.

In 6 short weeks since the launch of their single, the young band has been added to the playlists of numerous indie alternative stations here and overseas, seen their song streamed scores of times across various music platforms, and had their song added to Radio Hauraki and The Rock playlist. The week they dropped their single they went to No#7 on the Official NZ Music Charts Hot 20 NZ Singles. Spotify also added them to their weekly Local Noise playlist.

Under the expert guidance of International producer Greg Havier, the young band took to Roundhead Studios in January to lay down their track.

What makes this bands story even more remarkable is that at the tender age of 15 they are already going toe to toe with bands twice their age, opening at gigs for NZ rock legends Jon Toogood, The D4, Dead Favours and Skinny Hobos.

Enigmatic frontman Cory Newman, who writes the bands lyrics also leads from the front in his wheelchair, but Cerebral Palsy certainly doesn't slow him down on stage.

The bands raw vocal energy, catchy lyrics and punk rock style has drawn analogies between 1970's band Sex Pistols. Drummer Ricky Noble, a classically trained pianist has never had a drum lesson in his life but captures the attention of many a veteran drummer on stage with his open-handed style.

The future looks bright for these young punk rockers who are itching to get back into the recording studio as soon as they can raise enough funds on their paper rounds to get there. There are also a few gigs in the pipeline so keep your eyes open for those.

Sit Down In Front is Cory Newman (lead vocals), Roman Benson (bass), Jackson Clarke (lead guitar) and Rikki Noble (drums).

Website Links

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Single Review: Rain

Hard Rock/Metal band Sonic Altar recently released their album Under A Dying Sun. Muzic.net.nz's Reef Reid caught up with Kane Bennett to discuss things that have been and things that will be...

Has Sonic Altar's line-up changed since in the 13 years since 2006 and where did it all begin?

Sonic Altar originally started at High School between some friends and I. Originally we called ourselves 'Eugene's Axe' because we were big Pink Floyd fans. We played very often in the early days - any gig we could take, and we rehearsed two to three times a week, which was great to get us up to speed. Originally, the line-up was quite different. It's changed over the years but by the time we were writing and recording our first album No Sacrifice in 2009, we were pretty much on the same page in terms of what the band was going to be and how we'd sound going forward.

Original guitarists Rowan Uhe and Daniel Costello contributed a great deal over the years and in the early days. Rowan played on the first album too. The last line-up we had as we went into hiatus mode in 2014 was Dave Hudson on guitar, Tom Duffy on guitar, Daniel Kilhams on bass, Chris Hulbert on drums and myself on vocals. I think that line-up worked well. Tom lives in the UK now and we've all gotten a bit older, so it's interesting to be working on this new album and getting back into it all.

Under A Dying Sun took some time from start to finish. What was the most fulfilling part of that process? (other than the completion of it)

It didn't take us long to actually record, mix and master it... But sadly, it did take us quite some time to release it. There's a bunch of contributing factors towards that. After we toured and did everything we could with the first album, we were a little jaded in terms of where to go from there. We knew we had fresh material to get on with and record and that was exciting. At the same time, we were confused about the future and what plans to make. A lot of that frustration and resentment seeped into our attitudes towards each other. We all began to blame each other for petty things as the reason why we weren't getting and further, which of course was stupid.

Eventually something inside me just clicked and I decided I didn't want to keep going the way we were. So, Dave and I flew off to Sweden for a few years and did some other projects over there. That was 2014 and here we are 5 years later, back in NZ and finally releasing Under A Dying Sun on CD and getting back into more positive thoughts regarding Sonic Altar. At the end of the day, it's hard to be in a band at any level, when you are all so passionate about what you are doing, it naturally leads to issues after years and years of compromising and disagreements. It costs a lot of time, money and emotions to work on an album democratically. I'm glad to say that we are all still friends and that the idea of working together again is exciting for us all.

How is From the Ashes going and when can fans expect to hear/purchase that?

I've stopped making any comments on a time frame because I'm always a bit too optimistic about that kind of thing and I'll inevitably not meet expectations! I'm taking my time to write it. It's definitely an ambitious project. Some of the guys in the band think I'm crazy to even suggest the idea but I think it'll be worth the time and effort in the end. Without giving away too much, it's somewhat of a concept album. A lot of songs contributing to a big epic story split into two parts. Something quite different. It definitely goes against the grain of how music is being treated and released these days where it's more about the song rather than the album... But for me it's still about the experience. I was obsessed with Pink Floyd as a teenager and I've also had a passion for progressive music, so there's a bit of that thrown into the mix. Having said all that, it's still definitely Sonic Altar. I don't want to alienate anyone, so I want the songs to stand up on their own as well. So far I've written about 7 of the 20-something tracks I have in mind. That's all happened this year, so it's getting there.

As seasoned veterans having recorded and performed over the years, what is one piece of advice you have for upcoming bands/artists?

Don't take your band mates for granted. When times are tough or you can't see the forest for the trees, just remember that they are your allies not your enemies. It can be frustrating not seeing your dream go where you hope but having dedicated and like-minded people on your side is part of the joy of doing it all. Enjoy the process. Don't get caught up in the details and don't always listen to outsiders promising you material things but giving you shit advice.

Oh yeah and rehearse like crazy. Be critical of yourselves. Get good in the garage before you hit the stage. Lastly: be professional as people never forget first impressions.

If you had to choose only one, which song do you enjoy performing live and why?

Deserts of Despair. It's a song from our first album. It's quite heavy, upbeat and just always went down really well live. We'd usually play it last and I have very fond memories of the crowd going nuts with us at the Kings Arms.

Read the full interview here.

Sonic Altar are Kane Bennett (vocals), Tom Duffy (guitar), Chris Hulbert (drums), Dave Hudson (guitar) and Daniel Kilhams (bass).

Website Links

Muzic.net.nz Page 
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Album Review: Under A Dying Sun

Bach Musica NZ is one of New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed musical organizations. Their goal is to touch lives through music, and to keep classical music relevant, exciting and accessible for everyone. They are made up of a professional orchestra and a semi-professional choir performing at the highest level, led by internationally acclaimed conductor Rita Paczian. They perform four concerts annually in the Auckland Town Hall, each of which encompasses a thoughtfully curated mix of orchestral and choral works to ensure that there is something for everyone. Additionally, their engaging and popular musical education workshops on sight-reading, singing and conducting are open to all ages and levels.

Bach Musica NZ is an established and vital part of New Zealand's social and cultural fabric. Their Vision, “music that touches the soul”, is at the core of their work and informs all that they do. Music, and access to music, can be powerful and life changing – it provides opportunities and inspiration for emerging and established performers, brings people together, and creates a strong sense of community pride to be part of something beautiful. Their performances illustrate the cultural vibrancy of New Zealand, showcasing music from New Zealand and all over the world, presenting world premieres and well-loved favourites, contemporary and past works, complex arrangements and simple melodies. Bach Musica NZ musicians come from a range of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity and strength of New Zealand society, and how music can bring together people from many different heritages in the creation of something powerful and new.

In touching the souls of many, Bach Musica NZ hopes to shape a better future through the universal language of music.

Website Links

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New Artist Pages

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

AceTones Bach Musica NZ Beth Danelle
Triumphs Swamp Dweller Lucy Hunter
One Day Sane Saurian Jazz Vidamo
Leisure The Shore Collective The Deadbeat Dads
Balu Brigada Kahika Repulsive Woman
B.A.D.S Older Ed Waaka
States Paul S Allen Last Rockers
Proud Scum The Terrorways X Features
Human Confusion Radio Therapy Hawaiian Maiden
Bulletproof Convertible Parasitic Infestation Once Foretold

New Reviews and Interviews

Check out our latest reviews and interviews at the below links:


We interviewed KahikaYoung Lyre, Eyreton HallSpawts and The Pink Floyd Experience during May.

New Photos

Have a look at our latest photo galleries at the below links:

Artist Galleries
Feature Galleries

Tour Features

View all our previous tour features

Our next newsletter is going out on Sunday 7 July!

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