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Newsletter Issue #534: 01 Nov 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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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!

20 years ago, when we were younger and fearless, we faced the dawn of a new era. The year 2000.

It was a pretty exciting year to be around; not only was it the start of a new year and century, it was also the start of a new millennium. In the grand scheme of things, only a small amount of people are around to see such a milestone, especially when you consider the billions upon billions of people who have lived on earth.

I remember it well; standing on top of the Centre City car park in New Plymouth to see the red light at the top of the Wind Wand turn on for the first time, followed by a fireworks display.

In amongst all the celebrations and resolutions, there was one thing working against the start of the new year - the Y2K bug. (If you don't know what that is, there's more here). Those of us that were sceptical that anything would ever come of it were proven mostly right.. but in the months prior, several groups became convinced that this was the Apocalypse.. the end of the world.

And yet we are still here.

Fast forward to September 2001, and the disaster that sent the world into a state of shock (here). I remember speaking on the phone to my somewhat terrified mum who swore "it's the end of the world". 

And yet we are still here.

Most of us will recall the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami - perhaps the first real climate change kick in modern times. And whilst many lives have been lost over the years to this and many other such disasters .. we are still here.

And now we're in the year 2020. I don't even have to go into detail about the madness that this year has been - we've all experienced this rollercoaster of a year together.

Despite all the ups and downs - we are still here, proving that we, as humans, are more than what you can see on the surface. Everything that has been thrown at us during these past 20 years has only served to make us more resilient and more adaptable than ever before. We are now stronger and braver than we were before, and perhaps we're better for it. We are still here, and we're not going anywhere.

And regardless of what happens in our future, there will always be a place for music in this world.

Kia Kaha

- Lisa and the Muzic.net.nz team

Curlys Jewels is one of Wellington’s finest independent rock outfits. Off the back of their latest single Blinders, Harry from Muzic.net.nz caught up with their leading lady, Jel, to chat about it and find out what else they have in store.

First of all, congrats to you all on the new single! It’s an absolute ripper! Tell us a bit about it, what’s the story behind the track?

Thanks doll, too kind! We have actually been playing this track on stage for a couple of years now but it is one that always needed a ‘home’. So, when the time came to pick the next track to record, this was a mighty contender and then obviously won out. Lyrically, it came from some intense thinking on how most of us wish to not have to see the world for what it really is (though there always comes a time when were forced to), and how we dig ourselves further into our own ‘version of things’ instead of seeing the sometimes unfortunate truth.

You guys have had a steady stream of singles over the last few years. Are you building toward something bigger, or does developing your sound in bite sized releases work better for you?

So far we have found it works quite well for us to just release things song by song. We are in such super - changeable times with how people listen to music, that it is nice for us to be able to just focus on the release of one track at a time, with a music video, as a package to promote and hoof out to our awesome fans.

Of course, we wouldn’t say no to doing an album, it would be glorious to have a home for all these stray little singles to live on, there are just a few ducks one must get in a row in order to produce such a thing.

Greg Haver has been your producer on these recent releases. What’s it like to work with someone who has got some big time credentials and accolades? What does he bring to the band’s process and writing?

Greg has such a wealth of knowledge and crazy tuned in ear holes that can withstand the highest volume of a Marshall whilst standing 20cm away (true story, we had to shut the door as it was too loud for us in the next room!).

We have been so lucky to work with Greg on our last 3 tracks and have learned heaps each time. We have definitely noticed improvement in ourselves as musos too as we have become far more confident in studio over the years (thank god, would suck if we got worse aye lol).

He has instilled some glorious ideas that we still use in some of our writing processes these days and we look forward to working with his welshyness on future projects.

Your last single Absentee had some solid airplay and cracked The Rock’s famed 1500 (now 2000) Countdown. That must’ve been a pretty awesome feeling being a local artist. How’d that all happen? Did it feel like it sort of came out of nowhere, and are you weary of any expectations you may have set yourselves for Blinders from that?

That was one HUGE surprise for us aye! We knew we had some solid support in the rock community with both fans and other artists, and that quite a few had told us they had used their votes on Absentee but holy moly, we were shocked and ridiculously grateful to actually be on it!

Nek minit…Absentee was on the countdown AGAIN this year! Could not freakin' believe it! We legit have the absolute BEST fans in NZ, if not the universe.

Blinders is already taking its own course and it is having success all over NZ on all of our amazing indie stations. We have always felt the love and support from these legends and are so grateful to be amongst it. We managed to sneak an interview and Blinders onto Radio Hauraki this past week, which was a delightful first for us too.

Mind-blowing, to have our wee Welly band etched into NZ rock history this way.

Will audiences be able to come out and see ya rockin’ soon?

Absolutely! We always have something in the pipeline darling. Currently the biggest jam on our agenda is November 28th at Meow in Wellington. We are sharing the stage with Voodoo Bloo and Miss June, raising funds and awareness for Lifeline. Lifeline is such an amazing help to so many New Zealanders facing mental health challenges. So, come out and flang your bodies about for a good cause darlings! Ticket deets on our FB page. We also have another fabulous gig announcement coming soon…

And last but not least, as we are all about local music here, who are the artists from Aotearoa that you’re vibing at the moment?

We are absolutely oozing and overflowing with wicked talent in Aotearoa, it makes me so happy to see it all. However, Coridian would be my top pick. I love their awesome music and the delightful folk that make it. Great band, brilliant song writers and sooo great to watch live. Too many others to name, but let’s hope we see a rise in local artists playing heaps all over NZ. With times being as they are, surely folk will be gagging just as much as I am to get out and see what amazing music local artists have to offer.

Read the full interview here

Watch Blinders

Watch Absentee

Find out more about Curlys Jewels

Live photos courtesy of Reef Reid / RADAR Photography.

In the video for her 2019 debut single Eye To Eye, Lou’ana played the role of a fortune teller. It’s doubtful though that even she could have foreseen the plaudits that would come her way on the back of another three singles that heralded her as a soul sister with a voice to stop you in your tracks. Mike Alexander from Muzic.net.nz caught up with Lou'ana on the eve of the release of her debut album Moonlight Madness.

You have paid your dues, so to speak, in a number of bands including Hipstamatics, The Andrew Faleatua Band and Two Many Chiefs. What did you gain most from these experiences?

We performed mostly covers in those bands! I guess they provided a platform to learn the rules, understand them and respect them to then break them and re-imagine them in my own way, further inspiring my own creativity.

What was the catalyst to venture out as a solo artist or was that always part of your overall aspiration?

Bands are all about collaborating, which I love! I wanted to explore my own creative horizons and I felt ready to delve into my art in a way I hadn’t before. Though this is a self-titled album and project, 'Lou’ana' is a 7-piece band. I am just the creator and visionary for it.

Your first four singles – Eye To Eye, Move Along, Summer In May and Feel This have showcased versatility in your vocal range and style? Who are the artists who have most influenced you?

Each song requires a different approach. I love to craft and play with my vocals to serve the vibe of the song. I have many artists who have influenced me, Amy Winehouse for her dynamics and phrasing! Aretha Franklin for the belting and funky phrasing. Janis Joplin for the growls and passion. Gladys Knight for the control, dynamics and phrasing and Stevie Nicks for the hypnotic midrange and confidence with using mystical inspired lyrics!

How did it feel, so early in your solo career, to have one of your songs – Feel This – selected for a Holiday Records unique 7 inch vinyl compilation of “hot New Zealand artists”?

I’m absolutely stoked! It’s very encouraging!

I gather your debut album Moonlight Madness, set for release on October 30, has been a three-year work in progress. Can you talk us through the song-writing process and how important producer Nathan Judd was to it?

The album was basically myself and Nate in the studio for two and a half years! I took in a few songs to begin with but I mostly wrote them within this time. I’d write lyrics, shuffle them around into a form, the lyrics would help write the melody which would lean into a genre style. I’d take that to Nate and we would workshop the song, the melody and build the instrumentation from there. We really worked on this album together. We share the same work ethic of putting in as many hours as it needs, never skipping on a detail and naturally wanting to explore how to make it different! Nate is really great at seeing the overall vision and bringing out the best in me and my style. We also share a love and passion for soul and funk music of the 60s and 70s, this really aligns our collaboration.

Interesting title. The full moon certainly brings out the “inner coyote” in me. Are you also someone who notices heightened emotions around the full moon?

Coyotes are known as the tricksters, how fun to unleash that energy on a full moon :) “When the moon is on the rise, soul is hypnotised, it moves me, soothes me, takes me on a ride – I’ve got the moonlight madness.” My lyrics say it all!

The overall feel of the album is one of meticulous attention to detail. That kind of process takes discipline as well as creativity? Is that an accurate description of the kind of person you are personally and creatively?

Yes, I think so! I am very dedicated to my craft. A blessing and a curse I’d say.

Read the full interview here

Listen to Moonlight Madness

Feel This Single Review
Moonlight Madness Album Review

Find out more about Lou'ana

Wellington musician Andrew Masseurs has recently released a new album titled Fuzz Bomb. Described as "a gem of an album filled with epic alt-rock tunes that beg to be listened to on high volume", Andrew has some words to share:

"Moving into a new decade I decided to create an album that is alive, different and relating to the times and trials we are currently facing. Using the title Fuzz (distorted guitars) and Bomb (explosion) as inspiration I've created tracks that are big, strong and purposeful. I’ve really enjoyed making this album and I hope it comes through in the songs. 8x Semi Finalist International Songwriting competition"

Listen to Fuzz Bomb here

Fuzz Bomb Album Review
She's So Nasty EP Review

Find out more about Andrew Masseurs

Throughout the course of their musical union of over 35 years, the members of SliP have won over the hearts of music lovers from all walks of life.

They have just completed an album of 11 songs. Born from an idea in Ken's kitchen a few years ago - to create fresh new material to perform whenever SliP got together.

Their album Celebrate represents the bands musical quests that began way back in 1980 in a northland town called Dargaville.

Along this challenging and emotional journey, SLiP sadly lost their drummer and best mate Ken.

As a tribute and celebration of his musical creativity and contribution the band carried on to complete the album in 2020. They have now recruited a new drummer Greg to continue with future live performances and albums.

SliP answered the following questions for Muzic.net.nz:

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

Shihad. I love their hard edge music and their lyrics. Plus they are a great promotors of NZ music.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Harden Up – I wrote the song in response to the awareness of mental health.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

Now that we are out of Covid (for the time being) seeing us perform in festivals and events promoting new NZ music.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to see more of, and why?

Don McGlashan – always like the bands he puts together to play his music.

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Just relax and be yourself in your music no matter what happened that day or week.

How do you balance your music with other obligations; family, job etc?

Wake up an hour earlier in the morning when its peaceful to rehearse or write music. I also take a day off work during the week now and then  and focus solely on promoting my music and band.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Just getting yourself into the mode to create anything that comes out and capture it so you can find the good parts to work on and fine tune into a great song.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

Our Album release party in Dargaville boat club earlier this year when Dave Thiel, Ken's best mate got up and sung his vocal parts and nailed it!

How did you come up with the name Slip?

During our early rehearsal and writing the album – Celebrate, our bass player Rick had been working off a ladder doing home maintenance and he “Slipped” causing minor injury to backside.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

If you have passion in your music, keep nurturing it through the good and bad times in your life , it is the experience that help you grow as a musician.

Find out more about SLiP

Maciek is a New Zealand guitarist born in Poland. After spending much of his life in London he moved to New Zealand where he lives with his wife. He currently composes and records his own music, produces records for Kiwi artists, plays live music in and around Aotearoa and has performed at several jazz and blues music festivals.He answered the following questions for Muzic.net.nz:

How did you become involved in music?

I grew up living in communist Poland, where there was never much of anything, let alone contemporary musical instruments. My dad worked on a cruise liner and one trip brought me back an electric guitar from his travels overseas. As you can imagine for an 11-year-old it was awesome. An electric guitar in those times was a rarity in Poland and a real catalyst for me to play.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to tour with, and why?

I think I would have to say Dixon Nacy, who is probably the best world-class New Zealand guitarist i have come across. I would enjoy learning from his vast palate of musical knowledge and ideas. 

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

Kawhia Hot Water from my album AWA. It is an extended composition, in 3 parts and I struggled with it for a long time but then it just clicked! I think it expresses the immense beauty of New Zealand coastal waters and in particular Kawhia, with the ocean waves on one side and the mountains on the other and a long sandy expanse. New Zealand is breath-taking for me and really inspiring.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

My music changes over time. My roots would be blues and jazz, however I would describe my last album AWA, as music for a film yet to be made. Essentially I had complete pictures or impressions, in my head and wrote music which attempted to visualise them. I think the album is very filmic.

What can we expect to see from you in the next year?

At the moment I’m working on songs which are a little more rooted in blues. I’m looking forward to next year when I get time to more fully develop them. I’m doing a lot of production work at the moment for other artists but in 2021 I would like to bring the focus back to composing and recording.

What NZ bands and musicians would you like to see more of, and why?

It is a hard call, but if I had to choose then Nick Granville, Rodger Fox and Looking for Alaska. I saw the Nick Granville Trio at the Tauranga Jazz Festival a few years ago and I love his guitar playing and would love to see him again soon. I have heard lots of music by the Roger Fox Big Band but am yet to see him live so he’s on my list. More locally, it would have to be Looking for Alaska, they are my favourite local Hamilton band,  they have great songs and are great live.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

It’s difficult to talk about albums really because people intend to produce tracks but I love Fall Into You by Looking for Alaska and they are releasing an album shortly Light and Shadow which I’m looking forward to hearing. My friend, guitarist and composer, Reece Gilan who goes under the name of Rogue John Doe, released an EP last year Idyll Wild which is always on one of my playlists.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

That would have to be Nivara Lounge in Hamilton, it looks and feels like a Parisian Jazz club. 

Have you got any tips for dealing with nerves before a gig?

Prepare yourself fully, knowing your music inside out should give you confidence. That way you can treat performing as an exciting adventure!

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

It was easy when I came to NZ 6 years ago, as it’s natural beauty hit me in the face and it was hard not to be inspired and creative. 

What can you never leave home without?

I always have a plectrum on me.

Watch Kanikani Kiwi

Listen to Awa

Find out more about Maciek Hrybowicz

On episode #104 we spoke to composer, songwriter and producer Marshall Smith. We dove right into to an energetic conversation about his journey in music, building his company, social media and we even chat about mindfulness and meditation. This is an uplifting and fascinating chat. 

On our latest episode we spoke to Wellington musician Darren Watson about his new album Getting Sober For The End Of The World. This was an action-packed conversation that was both thought provoking and a whole lot of fun. 

Next week we release a brand new episode with New Zealand legend Hammond Gamble.  

Follow us on the socials and join us on our journey as we try to figure it all out.

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



New Artist Pages

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

Ivy Angel Eliezer Jack Panther
Tommy Pickett Hybrid Blues Burton Trent
EMCC2 Mr. Sudden Death Jolandi Ford
Lainey Ash Laforteza Stone Pony
K M T P NEKO The Butlers
Treenurse Dave Flynn Russell Harrison
Empyrvore SLiP Hotel Death Star
James Constable Jobe Grant 3000AD
The Avondale Spiders Personal Igloo Emma Rose
Gabriel Bond James Peden (JP) Motel Midnight
Madie The Knids East York
Redwoods Sam Cullen Vera Ellen

New Reviews and Interviews

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


We also interviewed NaircolBlindspott and City of Souls this month.

New Photos

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

Artist Galleries
Feature Galleries


View all our previous features here

Our final newsletter for 2020 is going out on Sunday 6 December!

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