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Newsletter Issue #527: 05 Apr 2020

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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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

So, here’s the thing; it’s really hard to find good information about how to build a career in the arts and one of the main problems is a successful career can’t be replicated. What worked for one artist won’t necessarily work for another, because every artist’s story is unique and is affected by their time and place in history. Also, one has to establish what ‘success’ actually means, because as we all know, you can’t pay your rent with Spotify plays or Facebook likes. With millions of opinions out there and hundreds of ‘experts’ willing to take your money, it’s hard to find good advice in such a noisy world. However, there are common threads between all the creative people who have made notable progress in their careers. So, how do we tap into that?

Well this is something Bobby Kennedy and I were discussing while on tour a few years ago. Bobby’s original idea was to produce a documentary, but we soon decided a podcast would be better. One of the many reasons was because a documentary needs a theme, a point, a message and the limited timeframe would restrict the number of guests and topics we could cover. We agreed that focusing on one particular theme with only a handful of guests would easily descend into a narrow rant, whereas an open-ended podcast could feature real life stories of a long list of creative professionals who have been there and done it themselves. Across all the guests, the good information and nuggets of wisdom would organically rise to the surface.

To give you our background, I’ve been a full-time professional musician for fifteen years and Bobby is the drummer for successful New Zealand band Opshop. Since we started in early 2016, we’ve recorded almost a hundred episodes with all sorts of amazing musicians, producers, actors, comedians, directors and more. Our guests have included Tommy Emmanuel, Bob Reynolds (John Mayer, Snarky Puppy), Scott Page (Supertramp, Toto, Pink Floyd), Sylvia Massey (Producer: Prince, Tom Petty), Allison Quigan (Shortland Street), Guy Massey (Producer: Ed Sheeran, Paul McCartney), Karl Steven ( Supergroove), Lucy Graves (CeeLo Green, Black Eyed Peas), Greg Johnson, Chris Bailey (Chaka Khan, Britney Spears), Greg Haver (Producer: Manic Street Preachers, Mel C), Dave Eringa (Producer: The Who, Kylie Minogue,) Mark Hughes ( Dave DobbynTim FinnBic Runga),  Nathan Haines, Bryan Bell ( The Jordan Luck Band), Malika Tirolien (Snarky Puppy, Bokante), Alan Brown (Blue Train Grand Central Band), Wayne Bell ( Tim FinnDave DobbynBic Runga), Jackie Clarke (The Ladykillers), Mark Rankin (Producer: CeeLo Green, Iggy Pop, Adele), Brett Adams ( The MockersTim Finn), Joel Shadbolt (L.A.B.) and many more…

These aren’t people speaking hypothetically from a position one step removed, these are people on the frontline who have worked their ass off and figured out a way to make their careers happen. Our show is real, raw, honest and a great laugh. Dig in and enjoy!

- Danny McCrum

Listen to our episodes at the below links and all other good podcast apps!



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This guest editorial was written by musician extrodinarie Danny McCrum.
Danny runs the Don't Give Up Your Day Job podcast with Bobby Kennedy from Opshop. From this issue onward, it will become a regular feature in the Muzic.net.nz newsletters.
Many thanks to Danny for writing this editorial!

Kiwi musician and producer Leah Hinton, AKA Murmur Tooth, has self-released her debut album A Fault in This Machine on 19 March, which is now available through Bandcamp, Spotify and all the usual music streaming and download sites. Formerly of the bands El Schlong and Kobosh, Leah wrote, recorded, produced and mixed the album herself, which she loosely describes as doom-pop.

Leah was generous enough to take some time out of her work-week to have a chat to Steve from Muzic.net.nz about her new LP, life in Berlin versus Dunedin, and what her quarantine-projects are!

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

Gin and tonic please. I’ve only just discovered them! I thought they were an old lady drink because of Coronation Street so I’ve never tried them ‘til recently. The old ladies know their shit.

Could you give us insight behind the name 'Murmur Tooth'? Is there a hidden meaning behind those words?

No hidden meaning, I just like the sound of the words. I tend to be irreverent with band names; I played in a band called El Schlong, so Murmur Tooth is at least a step up in the maturity department.

Having grown up in Dunedin and spending time in Berlin, have there been any surprising similarities between the two cities?

There are some surface level things I could point out, but overall, they are very different. I actually like the Dunedin music scene more than the Berlin music scene. I don’t like techno, so this city isn’t really for me musically, and people don’t form close-knit underground music communities here, because of the transience. Luckily it’s an amazing city on most other fronts! It’s overwhelmingly creative, really international and crazy; there are so many opportunities around the arts. I miss the authenticity of Dunedinites, and New Zealanders in general, plus the chilled lifestyle.

I’m personally a fan of the song Knees Are Clean - What were the inspirations behind the song?

That song is from the first Murmur Tooth EP when I was still writing for a rock band format. Lyrically, I guess it’s about the barreling-on of time. How it chases down the days, and sometimes leaves you standing there, wondering what happened, and all you can do is have a drink and just try and make it through with clean hands - and clean knees. We’re constantly rushing forward, but always looking back to try and understand it all. Musically, the song tries to relay the same feeling. The constant offbeat rhythm always driving forward, the swirling confusion of the guitar interlude. In two words, it’s about time and dislocation.

What song is your personal favourite from your new album A Fault In This Machine and why?

I like Slip Away. It’s the first song I wrote that explored the full scope of composing on the computer. It can be really hard combining MIDI instruments with real instruments without it sounding disjointed, or just plain crap, but I think it works on Slip Away. I really like the journey it takes you on, how it starts with a kind of trip-hop vibe and somehow ends up in an apocalyptic end of world, dissonant, guitar-filled insanity. It was also the most challenging song to mix because of all the layers and different instruments. It literally took me months to mix and I had to start from scratch a couple of times, so I’m quite proud of how it turned out.

The DIY approach to Murmur Tooth music and videos is evident; what made you choose this style and sound?

I just love making stuff. I enjoy the whole creative process, so I actually just want to do it all myself. I love writing, playing, producing and mixing, but they are all “alone” things and get a bit anti-social, so I also love running around with my mates making music videos. The DIY thing is really just because it’s fun and fulfilling, and I’d rather make stuff than watch TV. Also, I think mainstream music is getting a bit too polished; it’s shifting too far from art into the realm of product. Don’t get me wrong, I like a well-composed, well-mixed song, but it’s starting to wander a bit far off the human expression path for my personal tastes.

What Kiwi musicians/bands have you been listening to lots of recently?

I love Wellington’s HEX, but I think they changed their name recently? Their The Hill Temple album has been on high rotation for the last few months. Auckland’s Thousand Limbs are awesome. I played with the bass player in El Schlong for years, and the drummer actually taught me how to groove in odd time signatures WAY back in the day when I first started on guitar. I still have Cripple Mr Onion’s Sleep of the Dead on a couple of playlists - love that song so much! And I listen to it at least once a week. And I listen to Freddy Fudd Pucker at least once a week. His Open Doors album is my favourite. I highly recommend.

Now that the new album is done, what plans do you have for the next six months?

I was going to get a band together to play some live shows, but that’s obviously on hold. I guess I’ll be putting in some quality time with my new loop pedal. Making a music video in my apartment with only the resources I have here could also be an interesting challenge! And I’ve bookmarked a bunch of online Coursera courses that look awesome, mostly science-related. Apart from that, I’ll probably be eating canned beans, doing Skype hangs, and doing star jumps in the bathroom so I don’t annoy the downstairs neighbours with the banging.

Read the full interview here

A Fault In This Machine Album Review

Website Links

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Independent Kiwi singer songwriter Georgia Lines (formerly known as George) has recently released a perfect slice of summer pop, with her brand new single, Same Things. This followed the January issue of Georgia’s emotive EP cut, My Love, which was released through UK label, FrtyFve, in a one-off single distribution deal. My Love has appeared on no less than four major Spotify playlists and tipped the 150k stream mark in only a handful of weeks.

Georgia Line’s self-titled, five-track EP will release on 27 March.

Erica from Muzic.net.nz spoke to Georgia about winning Smokefree Rockquest, non-musical influences and her upcoming EP. Here's what was said:

Many fans will know you as the winner of Smokefree Rockquest 2014. How has that shaped your music career so far? 

SFRQ was definitely such an incredible opportunity to grow as a young musician and emerging artist within NZ. The people I met and connections I made throughout the process of SFRQ have been ones that I still have now, and they have played a huge part in shaping my career. I met my manager through SFRQ who at the time was a part of the film crew.

How has your music evolved to where it is now?

Hmm… I think as I have grown up, and experienced life over the past few years my music has grown up and evolved with me. My creativity and ability to trust my gut has been something I’ve noticed that has changed over the past few years. When I first left school.. I felt this pressure (no one had put that on me, other than myself) to have to have everything perfect. I felt pressure to release music that was 100% my sound, that was 100% something I was certain would do well. Obviously that was an unrealistic expectation and one that created such a huge barrier to actually release anything. Throughout the process of creating this EP, so much of it was about me writing, recording and releasing a project that I was deeply proud of. Something that represents me with where I am at currently… not the version of me in 5 years.  Having to rewire the thought patterns that it had to be perfect.. and just release something that I was proud of has been the biggest evolution for me. Just trusting the process of creativity, trusting that I have the ability to create, and that people are with me for the journey… not just for the end result. 

What other musicians are you excited about at the moment? 

Hmmm… I’m really loving the new tunes by Antony Jeffares… good friend of mine and fellow NZ artist. He has been creating some rad tunes lately. Misery Under The Sun is such a fun track which is his latest release and well worth the listen. Outside of NZ, Jungle, Yebba, Maggie Rogers, Emily King, Lianne La Havas.

What do you think are the barriers to young people wanting to get into music?

I think knowing what to do, where the pathways are and knowing how to move forward as an emerging artist is a huge barrier. One of the hardest things I found was that there was no set path with how to succeed in the industry. Unlike choosing any other career where you can go and study, get a degree and hope to get your dream job… music doesn’t have that set path. But if you can continue to keep going, keep pushing on doors and opportunities, keep choosing to carry on regardless of the disappointments … the pathway to success (whatever that looks like for you) and the journey of becoming an artist is so rewarding.

Who did you record/produce your EP with and where?

I recorded the EP over in Houston TX in June 2019 with Abel Orta Jr, who recorded and produced 4 of the 5 tracks on the EP. Never Had Love was the only tack which I had written and recorded back in NZ with Mark Perkins (Merk) and Shannon Fowler (Tom Lark).

And who have you worked with for your visual identity?

I am an independent artist, however; I have created a small team of people who help me with my visual identity and the branding side of things. I am super fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly creative people who have been with me from the beginning of this music journey and who know me really well… many of those people are just great friends of mine. One of those people is Lizzie Turner, she is in fashion and also has many other creative ventures, so has a real depth of knowledge when it comes to branding and visual identity. It also helps having someone on your team who knows you super well and can say something on your behalf if it is ever needed. 

Do you have a favourite song to perform live? 

At the moment we are in the middle of rehearsals for the EP release and all of the songs feel fresh and exciting…. but BY FAR… My Love is my favourite to play. 

After a strong start to the year, what else can we expect from Georgia Lines in 2020? 

As of the EP launch… the whole process starts again, which is something that I am ready to do. Will definitely be working towards an album.

Read the full interview here

Same Things Single Review

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Foley (Ash Wallace & Gabriel Everett) have been riding the wave of excitement for the last two years as they added to their impressive backlog of gigs, which included the Rhythm and Vines festival, and gigs for their two single releases Settle and Talk About It. Chris Chick from Muzic.net.nz had the privilege of talking to Foley about the release of their new 5-track EP On My Conscience. Here's what was said:

Can you give our readers a quick glimpse into the history of Foley, why you started? and why the name Foley?

Gabe: We’ve been friends for such a long time and met through our separate high-school bands back in the day although we didn’t start writing together for several years after we became friends. One day we just decided to and it worked out so we stuck with it!

Ash: We tried so many damn names out that in the end we just had to decide on something! It’s so hard to encapsulate your sound in a name so we really liked that Foley as a term kind of captures all the soundscapes available to you - basically we are making a running Foley of our lives like the Foley in a movie!

When you was dreaming up Foley, what influences stick out for you in your journey?

Gabe: We’re always on the hunt for new music and we’re both such music fans that we kind of soak up everything we listen to. Obviously we both have our main musical influences - mine is Prince!

Ash: It all started with Fleetwood Mac for me… Stevie Nicks the goddess of all goddesses

Can you give a brief description to what your new release On My Conscience your debut EP is about, and what was the driving force behind it?

Gabe: On My Conscience is a collection of songs that sum up our overthinking, over analysing minds. We write to literally get things off our minds and chose the EP name as a reflection of that - it’s also taken from the first lyrics you hear on the EP which was deliberate and starts you off on a journey

Ash: I think we are both pretty honest and upfront people so we aren’t afraid to be fully and sometimes brutally open about our lives and what we go through in our early 20's. I think the EP is a running commentary of growing up, relationships, ‘adulting’ and all the madness that comes with that.

Do you have any expectations or goals you are hoping to achieve by this new release?

Ash: The first body of work is always a real milestone because you get to package everything together as one narrative. I think our main goal was to give our fans something cohesive to enjoy and whatever comes after that is a happy side effect :)

Gabe: Always, but we’re just thankful when people enjoy it!

What was one positive and one challenging aspect of this project?

Gabe: I think the most challenging bit was getting everything done in time. We decided we weren’t releasing music fast enough so set a pretty ambitious schedule and kicked ourselves into gear last year. The positive from that is now we’ve really set ourselves up with a good platform to keep releasing music regularly this year and beyond!

As an artist, are you more aligned with the sound or the lyrical content of your songs?

Ash: I definitely focus mostly on the groove of the melodies and instrumental parts, because as a listener I want the song to tell me how it feels without saying anything. But as I have written more with Gabe I have focussed a lot more on the lyrics because he is a heck of a nit-picker!

Gabe: I think we’re quite lyric-oriented. We focus a lot on getting our lyrics perfect and succinct enough for our ideas to be clear. In saying that we’re also very hands on with the music and how everything sounds - we’re both instrumentalists in our own right so we’re always looking to match the sounds with the emotions of the lyrics.

Going forwards, what can we expect from Foley? Any exciting projects in the future?

Gabe: We’re always writing so we definitely have more music to release this year, hopefully sooner rather than later. We’re also really keen to tour NZ and Australia which we’re gonna do as soon as we can!

Ash: A bit tricky at the moment to tour so we are hoping to try get out some other content to our fans that has some live elements, maybe acoustic versions? But definitely more music, always!

Read the full interview here

On My Conscience EP Review

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On our most recent episodes we spoke to top pianist, Hammond organist, teacher and all round music professional Alan Brown. His projects have included Blue Train, Grand Central Band, Alan Brown Trio, Alargo and his two stunning solo albums Silent Observer and Composure.

Musician Jim Hall shares his hilarious story about starting out in the 1960's, working with a long list of great artists including Cilla Black, Ray Columbus, Ian Morris and Eddie Rayner and eventually establishing a successful business recording and producing music for TV commercials. 

And on our latest episode TV presenter, MC, motivational speaker, founder of Paddle for Hope and an author Karin Horen talks about growing up in Israel, surviving two rounds of breast cancer and a failed marriage. Somehow amongst the chaos, Karin found the strength to fight back, beat her cancer (twice) launch the charity ‘Paddle For Hope’ and publish a book called I Am More Than Just My Tits - Surviving Breast Cancer.

Listen to our episodes on our website, iTunesStitcherSpotifyiHeart RadioPlayer.FMTuneIn and all other good podcast apps!



New Artist Pages

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

Jen Turner The Grand Bazaar
The Nighthawk Experience Column of Sand
Sycophant Junus Orca
The Slider Olympus Jeopardy
Hoodlym NZ Little Sunday
CampbellMack Tim Allen
Thousand Limbs Alders
Farandicus Desbot

New Reviews and Interviews

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


New Photos

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

Artist Galleries
Feature Galleries

Band Features

View all our previous features here

Our next newsletter is going out on Sunday 3 May!

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