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Newsletter Issue #549: 03 Apr 2022

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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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

Goodbye to the Imagined Reader

Kia ora e te whanau,

It seems like forever since I last wrote one of these old thangs. And in fact, it’s my last. I’m handing over the official reins of the MNZ newsletter. The sad fact is that there is simply not enough time to work two jobs, write a Master’s thesis and curate this newsletter.

It’s a strange relationship we have, dear reader. In my head you spend your first Sunday of every month avidly refreshing your email inbox, waiting for this very publication to appear. You laugh at my jokes; you resonate with my opinions; you follow my interview series. Perhaps we have stood next to each other at gigs, brushed arms at the bar, who knows?

In reality I know nothing about you. You are all nothing but a figment of my imagination.

But thank you, imagined audience, for absorbing all of the vaguely music-related rambles I have been on over my time as editor here. I know I have enjoyed it, and I will continue to imagine that you have too.

The lifting of event restrictions is going to see many of our venues back in action – it's an exciting time for our music scene. Keep gigging, keep listening, keep supporting.

Get out there and enjoy it. Love, Beth xXx


This is the last editorial from our Newsletter editor Beth. Next month we'll be introducing a new editor for our newsletter.. watch this space!

Ding Dong Lounge is Tamaki Makaurau's Iconic Rock Dive bar with live music venue Dead Witch upstairs.

The original Ding Dong Lounge was in New York, with another Ding Dong in Melbourne. Today, Auckland is the last one standing, opening in 2013 as a local hang out for musicians, artists, comedians and creative types, without any live music. The demand quickly became apparent, with a lot of the customers getting involved, helping raise funds and donating their expertise to make it happen.

Dead Witch has hosted local bands just starting out, to the likes of Written By Wolves, The Not Okays, Coridian, Fire For Glory, Skinny Hobos, Dead Favours, Melanie, Villainy, Push Push, Head Like A Hole and heaps more, as well as a handful of international acts.

When the international tours are heading our way in Aotearoa, Ding Dong is a popular stop for bands, artists and crew, and the team have hosted members from Alice In Chains, Foo Fighters, Green Day and heaps more.

As Covid restrictions are relaxed, the events calendar is filling up again. If you're a punter, go see a band there. If you're just looking for somewhere to chill with a drink and some snacks, grab a booth and enjoy the music from the Rock DJs. If you're in a band, make sure you book a show there. Or if you're a musician but not in a band yet, head along to their Jam Nights at Dead Witch every Wednesday night.


26 Wyndham St, Auckland

Auckland 1010

Official Website

Facebook Page

How did you become involved in music?

Both of us started learning classical music at very young ages and picked up piano at three and five, respectively. We both also played the violin, and practised both instruments intensively until we reached ages nine and twelve. From there, Dani branched off to song-writing with a focus on piano, and Tee focused on violin so as to prepare for admission to a Chinese Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

Recently, we’ve rediscovered our passion for our Chinese heritage and have been trying to intertwine culture with music in a way that empowers us. And we grew up listening, practising, learning and living in music together, we thought it was only natural that we should form a duo to share our music with the world.

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

We’re planning a lot of new and exciting projects, one of which we’re particularly passionate about; an EP named Back to Our Roots. This EP will be 4–6 songs that feature a blend of modern pop, classical and Chinese traditional music, instruments, and sounds. The goal is to feature different Chinese traditional/folk musicians and instrumentalists on each track. We’ll also be working on a mini-documentary during this process, which will feature the individual stories of every other NZ-Asian artist working in this project.

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

There are soo many talented Kiwi musicians! Of note, some amazing bands we absolutely recommend checking out are the up-and-coming band Marmalade, and hip-hop/R&B group Y$O (Young & $lept On). Some Asian musician friends that are killing it are Geoff Ong, ASHY and Reshma Martin- definitely want to see a LOT more of them in our industry.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Might be cheesy to say, but we get our inspiration from, well, everywhere. We believe music can stem from the simplest of things, from observations of people going about their daily lives to the mundane but beautiful shifts of clouds in the sky. We’re particularly fond of metaphors, and tend to always have an “underlying meaning” to our songs, which we like to leave to the listener’s imagination.

What is the one thing you want NZ to know about Ersha Island?

Y’know, just that… we’re here. We’re here to create and share music you can hopefully relate to, or identify with in some way. We’re here to create music you can relax to, dance to, sing along to, take your mind off other things, and make you feel emotions you might not have felt before. No matter how you feel about our music, as long as it touches you in some way, then we’ve accomplished our goal.

How did you come up with the name Ersha Island?

We began our music journey in GuangZhou, China, on “Ersha Island” (for which the Chinese characters in our name translate to); hence our duo name. We actually thought about what to name ourselves for a long time, and finally came to the conclusion that Ersha Island best represented our artist image as third culture identities wanting to share our music with the world.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Don’t neglect your health. Physically, or mentally. It can be tempting to throw your all into music and push aside your other responsibilities, and equally tempting to squeeze everything into a tightly-packed schedule so as to “never waste time”. But it’s not a waste of time to slow down and breathe; it’s not a waste of time to read a good book, go for a walk, watch a show, journal, or anything you may deem as necessary. Your health is so, so important; and you should place just as much emphasis on your mental health as your physical health.

Read the full interview here

Check out Ersha Island on Muzic.net.nz

Immersing themselves in the Aotearoa live band circuit since 2018, SOJØURN have worked and played alongside local greats such as Sons of Zion Drax Project and Mako Road. Born from the seascapes of sunny Mangawhai, surrounded by surf and festivals, they draw inspiration from surf-pop, reggae, dub, psychedelic, and funk. Gaby interviewed James Finlay (Lead Guitar) for her interview series Background Noise, and here's a glimpse into what was said:

How did you guys all meet, and decide to form the band?

The seeds of SOJØURN were sewn over the course of a few impromptu jam sessions in early 2018 - between what was basically a group of old high school connections. These jams would start out with covers of songs by Fat Freddy’s Drop, Katchafire and Fly My Pretties, and then when the material ran out we would just make stuff up. We started playing little private parties for our mates as a three-piece and we discovered that we had a knack for making a three-chord cycle ebb and flow - even if that was more by necessity, than want haha. We moved on to cafes and restaurants, then local venues like the Mangawhai Tavern and the Leigh Sawmill pretty quickly. Suddenly we had added keys, drums and saxophone to our line-up and I guess that’s when we realised that things were starting to get pretty serious.

SOJØURN released an EP on the 25th of February; a track list called Mystic Ways which has already hit many ears with high regard, and is busy entering several streaming playlists. Do you mind telling us a bit about the process, and what you wanted to achieve with this release?

We got away from the big studio environment this time around and got a bit more organic with our approach, setting up shop in our usual rehearsal space in Mangawhai for four days. It's somewhere that we're all very comfortable playing in, and it's where the vast majority of our riffs and grooves originate. It felt really good to try and capture that essence at the source, so to speak. To help us do that, we enlisted Connor Jaine, who as well as being the hugely talented bassist of Mako Road, is emerging as one of the country's finest producers/engineers. CJ is a great mate of ours and the enjoyment of working with him I think certainly spilled over into the music. Mystic Ways was really just about us trying to take a snapshot of our current sound. It's our largest body of work to date and the breadth of having six songs to work with gave us a bit more room to explore our sonic palette. The laidback nature of the sessions also meant we had a bit more time up our sleeves to experiment. We're really stoked with the sounds we managed to capture and it feels good to have put this one out there for our fans, especially in this current climate where live shows have been rare to non-existent.

What are the future goals of the band, and what do we have to look forward to?

Playing those big stages is what puts the fire in our bellies. Once we get through this current surge of the pandemic I think there will be a real renaissance of live music here in NZ - so we are planning to get on the road as soon as possible and be a part of that. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing us at a festival near you soon enough. Beyond that, there’s already a backlog of songs since we finished recording Mystic Ways. The next logical progression for us would be to record a full length album so that’s ticking away in the background. Maybe a single or two first haha. Stay tuned!

Read the full interview here

Check out SOJØURN on Muzic.net.nz

Delving into the depths of NZ heavier music, The Distorted Transmission is hosted by Will Stairmand (Primacy, Remote). There's been a few great interviews uploaded during February, check out all the latest interview at the below links:







We have interviews for Obligatory FiendOrganectomy, No Broadcast and The First Child coming up - keep up to date with all things Distorted Transmission over on the Facebook page here.

Brought to you in association with Muzic.net.nz, Ben caught up with Nick Douch from Ekko Park for his A/Muse video interview series. You can watch the full interview here.

Brought to you in association with Muzic.net.nz, the third episode of Scallywag Record's 'The Live Rooms' series is out now. Featuring female fronted Rock three-piece Violet Highway, you can watch the full episode here.

Catch up on previous episodes here:

Blood Buffalo

Venom Dolls

'The Live Rooms' will be doing full recordings with bands every month! If you are an artist, musical act or band and would like to have a video of your own, then send an email to [email protected]

Check out some of our classic episodes from the past few years:

On episode #85 we talked to drummer and producer Wayne Bell. Wayne started playing drums for When The Cats Away and from there he went on to work with Dave Dobbyn, Jan Hellriegel, Andrew Fagan, Bic Runga, Greg Johnson, Ian Morris, Gin Wigmore, Greg Fleming and Tim Finn. Not only has Wayne established himself as a world class drummer, he’s also had great success as a producer and now works for music publishers Aeroplane. 

On episode #50 guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel visited us the on day of his performance in Auckland. Everyone who sees Tommy play knows they’re witnessing something special. His music is a rare mix of feel, emotion and technical ability, all delivered with energy and personality. Over the years Danny toured with Tommy four times. On this episode they reunited and Tommy opens up about his life, his struggles and his approach to his music and career. 

Artist Search

We're opening the podcast up to artists and inviting people to email us their music.  We're looking for music that's a little more interesting and inspiring than the usual 1, 4, 5, 6 over a 'beat' deal.  We know there are some innovative and creative artists out there who haven't found a way to get heard and we would love to hear from you and play selected songs on our show.  Email us at [email protected]

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





Want to share your love of music with the world? Seen what the industry is going through, and want to do more to help? Look no further than the premiere NZ music website - Muzic.net.nz!

The MNZ team are looking for more amazing individuals to join our team of volunteers, as reviewers. The criteria is simple - you must be computer literate, get along well with others and be able to meet due dates. You'll hear new music before anyone else, have full access to a media only music platform, meet incredible NZ bands and musicians and be part of a truly fantastic team of people.

You can choose what music you want to review, and there's no requirement to review a certain amount within any timeframe. We are particularly interested in people who'd like to review Rap, Hip-Hop, RnB and all EDM genres - however we will give consideration to anyone and everyone, including people who are based overseas.

If you love discovering new music and get a buzz out of telling everyone about it, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] today!

New Artist Pages

The following new artist pages have been added to Muzic.net.nz during March:

The Flow Collective Goldsmith Baynes Carbis Bay Jarrod Ross
The Not Okays Juddy Hannah May No Man's Land
Kyla Greening NZTrio Sin City Slimivich
Boss Party Dogman Husband Material REID
Sam Bambery Hamish Gavin Al Park Hans.
Adleb XFM Dave and The Dirty Humans Lewis A. Yeats
Neil Beales Joseph E Harrison Vogel Town The Chaddington Street Milk Collective

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


Please note - due to COVID, 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 newsletter is going out on Sunday 1 May

and we'll be introducing our new Newsletter Editor!

If you are a NZ musician and you would like to promote your music,
we would love to feature you in one of our 2022 newsletters.
You can choose the date which suits you.

We can also feature record labels, venues, music stores, music websites...
anything that has something to do with NZ music

Email [email protected] for more info.

Muzic.net.nz newsletters are currently sent out to over 8845 members!
With this number growing every day, featuring in our newsletter is an excellent promotional tool.

Access our newsletter archives here

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