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Newsletter Issue #523: 03 Nov 2019

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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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

Many thanks to Steve Shyu for providing this guest editorial:

The word “emo” came up in conversation with a mate the other day, and she chuckled a bit, somewhat exasperated, and said “Is that still a thing?”

It’s been over ten years. Gone are the days of black tees, skinny jeans and straightened fringes. My Chemical Romance have split up [EDIT: They literally just regrouped], and the kids with eyeliner who lurked around Aotea Square and shopping centres have all grown up, no doubt.

Trends come and go, but like with a lot of movements or genres, emo has evolved somewhat and IS still around.

You either lived it or you shook your head at it. I was never “an emo” (I even used to own one of those condescending “Cheer Up, Emo Kid” shirts that JayJays sold), but I did get really into the punk rock and post-hardcore bands that were predominantly the sound of the scene, and even more so, the metalcore sub-genre that was on the rise. Yes, every movement has music paired with its looks, and emo had a very distinct sound and look. Back in 2007, it was everywhere.

A lot of people associated sadness and teen angst with emo culture, as I did. A lot of fans from within that scene may tell you clothing and 'A Taste of Chaos' compilation CD's aside, emo was also something of a way of life. The bleakness of their looks, their taste in bands and the idea that they feel like outsiders all helped them identify with one another. It was their equivalent of sewing a massive Slayer patch on their jackets, or wearing a Warriors jersey to the pub.

Fast-forward eight years. I’m at a bar, playing mp3s of songs by Goodnight Nurse and The Used, ripped from CD's I used to own. The dance floor (a mosh-floor, more like) is filled with excited smiles and raised voices singing aloud heartily. Upstairs, a covers band is tearing through renditions of Alexisonfire and Fall Out Boy, and the audience reaction is much the same, albeit with a few more pogo-ing, banging heads. Strangers connected with one another; people were truly jovial being in each other’s company. Happy. That’s opposite of what many used to associate with the word “emo”. This same bar frequently hosts these events, as well as mental health awareness evenings, which, when you think about it, sort of goes hand in hand. That’s another article for another day.

But musically? Is that still around? Yes, bands like Jimmy Eat World (some may call old-school emo) and AFI (let’s call it classic emo) are still performing globally and selling thousands each night. The musicians themselves have also grown up, some bands adopting new styles over the years, and some completely changing course. Where they’ve progressed, plenty of new bands have risen to take up that style and sound, hungry to fill that niche. They may not LOOK like their predecessors, swapping out side-parted fringes with slicked-back undercuts, but that hardcore-punk and metalcore heart is 100% there.

Times have changed and is always changing. Tara from down the road may have moved out of home, gotten a respectable job, covered up her tattoos, but she’ll still turn up the volume when Thursday or Hawthorne Heights comes on Spotify. The appearance of the scene may have gone out of fashion, but the music lives on, it still speaks to and connects with people, and that’s what matters. Hell, My Chemical Romance announced they’re back together, and only two weeks ago, Aotearoa’s own Bleeders also reunited and announced a nationwide tour. It’s an indication that the fans are still fans; emo ain’t dead, and to be honest, I’m happy for it.

Now cheer up, emo kid.


Steve AKA Paul T Gheist is one of Muzic.net.nz's leading reviewers who shares our love of music.

Thank you Steve, for writing this editorial.

Coridian have become something of a household name in the Kiwi alternative-rock scene. Often regarded as local legends in Auckland, they’ve crafted two EP's and released half a dozen singles, the band have also opened for international acts like Fuel, P.O.D. and Skillet, not to mention countless local gigs including a superb set at Muzic.net.nz’s 20th birthday party at Auckland’s Neck of the Woods in May 2019.

During some down-time, a very excited Steve S. caught up with the band and bantered about Aotearoa’s live venues, their future plans and what Kiwi bands have been rockin’ their socks.

First round’s on me; what are y’all havin’?

Dity (Vocals): G&T with a slice of Cucumber, thanks.
Kris (Drums): Mac’s APA, please.
Nick (Bass): Sugar-Free Woodstock and Coke.
Mike (Guitar): Magners!

If you had the power to change one thing with NZ’s music industry as it is today, what would it be?

Dity: Bring back a radio station platform for up-and-coming bands, similar to Kiwi FM or Channel Z.
Kris: And following that, less corporate control over bigger festivals so everyone has the opportunity to play them.

Coridian's latest song Rite of Passage has created quite the buzz online already; care to run us through the sonic and lyrical inspirations behind the song?

Dity: The idea of the song introduces an old ideal of being proud of who you are and not live your life to fulfill anyone else but yourself. I see too many people focus their time on documenting their lives for their social media profile, that they forget the reasons behind their choices. Their decisions are based on how many likes or views they'll receive, instead of going ahead with what is truly important to themselves. So, Rite of Passage is my take on making the choices that impact me and my growth as a person.

Of Coridian’s existence up to now, what’s the single most memorable set you’ve played so far?

Dity (pictured): One for the books was a gig we played in Christchurch - It was actually our first in that city.
Half way through the set, the venues fire alarm went off so we all had to evacuate. We had a good time standing outside, chatting to the groups of hopefully new fans. Then we all shuffled back in and finished our set!
Kris: I got two! Powerstation with Devilskin and then Skillet. It’s just a place you dream of playing, and the atmosphere is just magic. Plus, both phenomenal bands!

What are some of Coridian’s lesser-known inspirations that people wouldn’t expect of an alt-rock band?

Dity: I listen to almost every genre of music, which ranges from rock, metal, pop, hip-hop, drum & bass, house, and even cinematic scores. When I listen, I'm soaking in all the different compositions and melodies each song has to offer. I then store an idea away in the recess of my mind and hope it'll pop up one day while writing with the boys.
Kris: I love pop-punk. Blink 182 and Bad Religion all day! Plus, various sub-genres of metal and hardcore; always good to have lots of different influences and ideas. Nick recently got me into Ocean Alley, they’re so good!
Nick (pictured): Ocean Alley and John Butler Trio!
Mike: I take a lot of influence from Blues guitarists - Peter Green, Joe Bonamassa, Los Lobos and post-rock and metal-type stuff as well.

Out of Coridian’s back catalogue to date, which song is your favourite to perform live?

Dity: It's between Reflections and Blind Faith for me. They’re such bouncy songs so I have a great time jumping around and getting right into it.
Kris (pictured): Reflections is always super fun to play live. Also love playing Pride, and it was cool when we revisited some stuff from our Oceanic EP recently.

Considering all three Raven brothers are in the same band, what influence does that have on the band’s performance and songwriting?

Kris: For the most part, we get the work done without full-blown arguments, haha. Although there have been some memorable fights over song direction. I remember storming out of the room a few times when we were writing one our new EP songs... Totally worth it though!

Which Kiwi bands have you guys been listening to lots of lately?

Dity: Written By Wolves, City of Souls and Silence the City. And a splash of Skinny Hobos.
Kris: Drxnes, Come to Dolly, Written By Wolves, Seas of Conflict, Curlys Jewels. So many good bands in New Zealand.
Mike (pictured): City of Souls, Outside In.
Nick: Drxnes, Animalhead, Fallstate.

Of the entirety of NZ, which is your favourite live music venue to play at? Are there any Coridian haven't performed at before and are dying to jump on and play?

Dity: Powerstation has been a true delight. Great venue, awesome staff and the sound has always been amazing. I'd love to play at The Civic or Auckland Town Hall.
Kris: The majority of New Zealand venues are pretty rad, very accommodating and full of hard-working people just trying to help the scene. The King’s Arms was always a favourite to play. I still enjoy playing at Ding Dong Lounge, and Valhalla in Wellington!
Mike: Would love to play Spark Arena!

Nick: Homegrown 2021 would be amazing, haha.

What big plans have you and the rest of the band got for the next six months?

Dity: We've got a bunch of new songs we'd love to share with the world, so we're setting things up for that, plus playing more shows around the country.
Kris: We have just announced a four-show tour in November and we have a few other gigs lined up. 2020 is looking to be a big year with our new EP coming out, plus another single and videos. We also have a little documentary that might see a release too. Bring on more tours and shows!

Read the full interview here

Coridian Tour Feature

Coridian are Dity, Kris, Nick and Mike.

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Photos courtesy of Morgan Creative; Anthology Lounge, Auckland 20/09/2019

Arrays is the current side-project of JP Carroll, the lead singer and songwriter of renowned hard-rockers Armed in Advance. The three-piece act enjoyed loads of airplay on The Rock with their hit singles Same Old Story and Stay, as well as supporting Villainy and I Am Giant live on the stage. For two years, JP has quietly been embarking on another musical journey a little more personal, releasing music under his pseudonym Arrays.

Muzic.net.nz's Steve S. hit up JP himself for a chat about his ambitions, the benefits of being in a one-man band, and what Kiwi groups rocks his socks.

First round’s on me – What’ll you be having?

I'll have a half raspberry, half coke - I'm driving.

In a dozen words or less, describe what Arrays sounds like.

Like one guy playing all the instruments in a rock band. Twelve.

What are some direct – and some not-so-obvious – Influences on the sonic aspect of Arrays?

Direct influences would have to be Incubus and Deftones; indirect influences are bands like Periphery and Northlane. I love heavy melodic rock that borders on metal.

Run us through the lyrical background to your single The Enemy – what inspired it?

The Enemy is about recognising that emotions and thoughts represent just an aspect of ourselves, and that there is an inherent power in observing these mind states, rather than being carried away by them.

With an album and a handful of singles released to date under the Arrays banner, which track to date is your personal favourite and/or the proudest of?

I'm most proud of Centre of the Earth, which was the first single I released under Arrays. It was eye-opening to me that I could produce something in my home studio that could be compelling enough for people to want to listen to.

What Kiwi artists/bands have you been jamming lots of lately?

Coridian and Outside In.

Do you have any plans on making Arrays a live, full-band experience?

I'd love to, but there is a lot of work that goes into getting a live band happening. I think it's a supply and demand issue, so if there's a demand, I will supply it.

Care to share any words on the current status of Armed in Advance or any other musical projects in the works?

Current state of Armed In Advance: Dead... Current state of my new band, Swerve City: Soon...

Read the full interview here

Arrays is JP Carroll

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