19 Sep 2021
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Newsletter Issue #543: 05 Sep 2021

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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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

This month's editorial is a deeply personal piece written by Written by Wolves' lead vocalist Mikey.

A lot has changed since Lisa first asked me to write this guest editorial at the beginning of August. At the time I had begun mapping out in my head what I was going to write, but true to form I knew I was going to leave it to the last minute to actually put it together and write it down. However, the events of the last 3 weeks have been so extraordinary I decided to change tact and write something a little more personal…

For context, it is probably important that I begin back in 2016. My wife and I had just welcomed our first child, Archie into the world. We were navigating life as parents as well as can be expected and my family were ecstatic, my parents had become grandparents for the first time, and they were loving it. Then, a month later, my Dad rang and asked if I was sitting down (this is the inspiration for the Written By Wolves song, Promise Me). He had been experiencing mystery health issues for a few months and they had finally found the cause. Cancer. The cancer was wrapped around the bile duct into his liver and was inoperable. The prognosis was bleak, and he was given 6 months to live. But he remained upbeat and started treatment.

Fast forward to August 2021 and Dad was still going strong, he had defied all odds and we were in the stands at Eden Park watching the All Blacks beat the Wallabies in game one of the Bledisloe Cup. His health hadn’t been great all year, but he appeared to have turned a corner and he told me he was feeling better than he had felt in a long time. While were at the game I remember thinking how grateful I was to have that experience as I knew the clock was ticking and Dad was probably on borrowed time. A couple of days later my wife and I had to go to Queenstown for work and we were staying on for the weekend for a friend’s birthday. My parents were looking after our kids at their farm in Taupo. On day two of our trip, I called Mum to check in and see how things were going. She told me Dad had just gone into hospital, but it looked like things were under control and it was more likely to be complications rather than anything too drastic. We decided that I didn’t need to race home as the doctors had scheduled a few tests the following day. At 8am the following morning Mum rang to say we needed to get to Rotorua hospital as quickly as we could. The doctors had decided to give Dad a CT scan overnight and had found that in the last month the secondary cancers had grown at a catastrophic rate and Dad didn’t have long. We got out of the hotel as quickly as we could and managed to book the 9:30am flight to Auckland while were in the cab on the way to the airport – flying to Rotorua wasn’t going to get us there till 5pm that evening so we decided the quickest option was to fly to Auckland and drive to Rotorua. There were a million things going through my head and I just wanted to hide from the world, yet for some reason, Queenstown Airport was full of people I knew that morning and everyone wanted a yarn… The optimist in me kept thinking this was going to be another false alarm – there had been a few over the course of 5 years, so I had hope Dad was going to pull through and all of the drama would be for nothing.

We made it to Auckland without any delays or complications and luckily our car was parked at the airport, so we seamlessly started the second leg of our journey. We called Mum to let her know our progress and she informed us Dad was hanging on, and that my sister and my kids were with them at the hospital and my brother was on his way to Rotorua from Wellington. Then, when we were two hours away from Rotorua, Mum called to let us know that Dad had passed away. I won’t attempt to write down the emotions I felt in that moment as I don’t think I have the skill, but they drove my determination to get to the Hospital as quickly as possible so I could both console and grieve with my family.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget walking into that room in the Hospital, hugging my kids and my Mum and my brother and sister and seeing my Dad lying there. I hated that I hadn’t made it in time, but I knew there was no point in dwelling on that. My kids had been absolute troopers and had provided a certain comfort to everyone in those incredibly difficult hours that they will probably never themselves understand. If you’ve read this far, you may remember that my son, Archie, was born right before Dad’s diagnosis. Their bond was incredibly strong, and I wholeheartedly believe that it is that bond that kept Dad alive for so long.

I can’t write this story without including the next few moments, as they felt as though they belonged in the script of some dark comedy rather than real life. My sister had taken my kids home and my brother, my wife and myself were waiting in the corridor while the orderly covered Dad so we could accompany them as they wheeled him to the morgue. A lady was mopping the floor nearby and she came over to us, quite obviously upset. The name card outside my Dad’s room, just read ‘Murphy’ and she wanted to know his first name. We told her and she exclaimed, "oh thank God, I was worried it was my old boss – his last name was Murphy as well, I was so worried!" and she walked off. The three of us just stood in disbelief, unsure of what had just happened.

We then embarked on some strange, James Bond style, clandestine journey through the bowels of Rotorua hospital, where one orderly pushed the bed Dad was on and the other stopped us at every corner to check that each corridor was clear before we continued. Once we arrived at the morgue the undertaker greeted us and his first words were, "So you’re the famous one!". It makes for a good story now but I’m pretty sure my brother almost punched him.

The funeral was scheduled for Wednesday, August 18th. This was also the release date of our single, Forever & Always which features my wife, Becks. This song is deeply personal to me, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting day for it to be released to the world. It bought an entirely new meaning to the song, but it just felt right.

Dad had been a devout Catholic and he came from a large, Irish family so we had organised for a Rosary to be held at the house for our family at 6pm the night before the funeral. As people started to arrive, we saw in the news that there was to be a press conference at 6pm as Covid 19 had once again been found in the community. About 60 family members crammed into my parents lounge to watch the press conference. In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined what was to unfold. After a quick family conference in the kitchen, we decided the best option was to hold the funeral that night at the house. I called the priest and he said he would be there at 8.

While it was not the big, grand, send-off that we had imagined for Dad, it was almost magical in its own special, unfortunate way. Dad loved a party and a good story, and he got that in the most unexpected of circumstances.

Now, I know this seems like an incredibly personal story to share as a guest editorial piece and I’m sure some reading will see this as a horribly untasteful way to promote an upcoming release. But this is exactly what The Collab Project is about. This is something that I wanted to write down and share as part of the grieving process and to ensure that I don’t bottle up the things that I am feeling. The work that Written By Wolves has done recently with Mental Health charities like Gumboot Friday has shown me just how important it is to open up and share our stories and to talk about how we are feeling. I’m still not very good at it but I am trying to get better. We have created a society in which it is almost impossible to share how we are feeling and that has led to our horrific suicide and mental health statistics. We’ve reached the point where the ambulance is no longer at the bottom of the cliff, it crashed into the cliff, and we are now scrambling trying to work out how to pick up the pieces. The Collab Project is about showing our fans and our followers that no matter what they are going through, no matter what demons they are fighting or mental health struggles they are battling they don’t have to go through these alone. The aim is to help normalise talking about our mental health issues and to help break down the stigma attached to mental health. The first iteration of this is an EP, out September 17th featuring collabs from Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens), Trenton Woodley (Hands Like Houses), Sonny Sandoval (P.O.D), Sydney Rae White (The Wild Things) and Becks Wright (the crazy lady that agreed to marry me).

Look after yourselves out there, lockdown can be incredibly hard and I’m sure many of you are doing it tough. Some days you might not want to talk about what you are going through and that’s ok, but sometimes it feels amazing to get these things off our chest. Check in on each other, give someone a call. You never know what it might mean.

Mikey

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Written by Wolves is Michael Murphy (vocals), Davie Wong (guitar), Bahador Borhani (guitar), Karl Woodhams (drums) and Oli Lyons (keyboards, percussion, vocals). You can read more about WBW here.

The Collab Project EP will be released on 17 September.
Watch the Forever & Always video featuring vocals from Becks here.

Many thanks to Mikey for writing this editorial.

During August, The Distorted Transmission featured interviews with some of New Zealand's leading rock and metal acts. Delving into the depths of NZ heavier music, The Distorted Transmission is hosted by Will Stairmand (Primacy, Remote). Check out all his latest interviews at the below links:

TEETH AND NAILS

FORTY BUCKS TILL TUESDAY

RISE THE WICKED

WHITE NOISE MAFIA

PUPPETEER

SEAS OF CONFLICT

Keep an eye on The Distorted Transmission's Facebook page here - this coming Wednesday (8 September) an interview with Mikey and Karl from Written by Wolves will be uploaded!

The newest Muzic.net.nz interview series kicked off during August - It's a Wrap with Roger. Hosted by music connoisseur Roger Bowie, you can watch his latest interviews at the below links:

KERRYN FIELDS

KENDALL ELISE

On episode #121 we talked to beatbox champion Steven Crooks.  Since Steven discovered beatboxing a few years ago, his life has drastically changed. Finding purpose, identity and clarity through his craft, Steven quickly became the national champion and is now a co-organiser of the Beatbox Championships. On this episode we talk about Stevens life, the positive impact beatboxing had on him and his plans to continue growing the beatbox community here in New Zealand. This is an honest and inspiring chat.

For episode #122 OpShop drummer Bobby Kennedy returns to talk about organising and promoting gigs. One of the biggest challenges a musician has to face is how to manage and promote their own shows. Recently Bobby organised and promoted a show for OpShop and Gorilla Biscuit in Christchurch and back in March, Danny promoted the first Noise Play show. The two musicians got together to compare notes.

Listen to our episodes on our website, iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeart Radio, Player.FM, TuneIn
and all other good podcast apps!

DON’T GIVE UP YOUR DAY JOB - THE PODCAST

www.dontgiveupyourdayjob.co.nz

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New Artist Pages

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

There's A Tuesday Ersha Island
Louis TM GiGi Genie
GREEN Teeth And Nails
Electric Moccasins Alba Rose
Rise The Wicked Forty Bucks Till Tuesday
Sophie Gibson Slow Rage
Samuel Gaskin Lavender
Wednesday's Girlfriend 2Fly Ty
Sandtrap Stephen Galvin
Anderson Rocio Christabel
Cassie Henderson Romiin
SKRAM Montgomery
Mackensie Grace The Human Kind
Oceanspace Belle Isle
Daniel John Crying Club
Silk Cut Soda
Power The Light Superari
Emma Kate Venom Dolls
Jason Parker Melissa & The Dr
EM/FM Lilith NZ
Floor Five Diehards of Deep Dish
John Martin Krash
Comf Jaz Paterson
BrokeBoi Ace The Night
Sense Offence Glenn Bodger


New Reviews and Interviews

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

Reviews
Interviews

New Photos

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

Artist Galleries
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Features

Please note - due to the current lockdown, the gig dates on these features cannot be guaranteed.
Please refer to the band/musician official website or relevant ticketing agency for further information.


View all our previous features here


Our next issue is going out on Sunday 3 October!

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