18 Apr 2024

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Newsletter Issue #553: 07 Aug 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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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!

Patience is the way

Kia ora everyone.

Welcome to the August Newsletter. In this editorial I want to keep it brief but discuss something I have been talking with my students about recently.

Over the last few years we have found ourselves very much in front of our devices more than we have in some time due to the Covid lock downs and other things, including isolation when you got the damn thing.

My students and I had been discussing artists and bands who had always kept a low profile in the past. One of these bands from the past is Led Zeppelin. If you go read about them and their interview track record, you will find out that, well, they really didn't do it. They kept to themselves. They let the music do the talking for them. There are many bands that continued this trend and still do to this day. However, back in that time your exposure was very much limited to what the music press and press in general gave to you.

But nowadays we are living in an age where we are so interconnected that as an artist you have so much choice into how you can present yourself. MySpace was a huge place for many bands, and with the release of Facebook, all of a sudden you had channels to communicate with people, no gatekeepers in the way.

Of course, with the move to online streaming platforms like Spotify and Soundcloud, all of a sudden artists everywhere had opportunity to be heard and seen easier than ever.

But now we are now 10 years on since Spotify was available in NZ. Many artists have taken all these platforms of social media that have followed and used them to their benefit. They manage themselves, spend time on marketing campaigns, use algorithms to let the AI do the work for them, and in return they get new followers and listeners. It is not an easy simple thing to do either. It takes time. But once the ball gets rolling, it gets rolling.

One of the artists I want to bring to your attention with this and leave you with is {Arrays}. JP Carroll has been openly discussing with his subscriber base on YouTube what he is doing in order to get to 1000 subscribers on YouTube. It is fascinating and wonderful. The transparency of what he does, where he learns his stuff from is testament to his love of developing himself in a time where anyone can.

Quick note: JP doesn't know I am writing this and I never told him.

So with that in mind, go and follow what he does and learn from him. He is openly showing you how he is building up his brand.

Have a great month all. Take care and talk soon.

It's one thing to produce music from within two different genres, but it's a completely different thing to master each genre to perfection. One person who has mastered two genres to perfection is Dave Johnston - the hard hitting drummer from one of NZ's most well-known Rock acts, Villainy, also creates  immersive indie-electronica / EDM music as n1ghtmar3cat.

We caught up with Dave about his newest release as n1ghtmar3cat, Rat Race. Here's what went down:

What is the one thing you want NZ to know about n1ghtmar3cat?

That I have a brand new album out called Rat Race and it's really good! Have a listen and judge for yourself.

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

Immersive indie-electronica with introspective, hook laden vocals. My vocals sit in the centre of the n1ghtmar3cat world - I'm a producer and there are always elements of sound design and spaciousness in my music, but ultimately I'm all about the 'song', so I'll always be thinking first and foremost about how each track sits as a song and build the production around that. I like to try experiment so have a broad range of influences across my discography - I'm a sucker for a good EDM drop so some of my tracks lean in the direction of festival style future bass & midtempo EDM (Rat Race and Don't Lie), others lean towards the singer-songwriter or alt-pop direction (Curtain Call, OK?, High Hopes).

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

All over the place! Pop, rock, dance music, weird stuff. The great thing about having my own artist-producer project is that I get to make all the decisions myself, experiment with new ideas, and draw influence and inspiration from wherever I like. It's a great creative outlet.

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

The new single Rat Race Feat. MISSY is the first n1ghtmar3cat track with a feature artist. Abi and I have known each other for a while, and this was a classic 'lockdown collaboration' where she recorded her vocals at her place and sent them through to me to mix into the track. Abi's a really quick worker and a solid artist-producer so it was an easy process. My goal is to have a lot more collabs on future n1ghtmar3cat tracks, so I'm stoked the first one is out the gate.

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

A lot! I'm already writing new music for n1ghtmar3cat and planning collaborations there, but my band Villainy has a small tour coming up and we've been busy in the writing room, plus I have a two-piece collaboration Delivery Boyz with by good friend Swap Gomez is gearing up for some new releases. I'm also mentoring & collaborating with a young artist-producer called Phoenix Simpson on some songs for his new project which will be launching soon. Lots of projects on the burn, that's how I like it.

What can you never leave home without?

My phone - not so much for the socials, but so I can keep on top of my schedule, and also because if I've got that I can record voice notes for song ideas wherever I am, and I have access to all my music synced through Google Drive whenever I need it.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

I've only just started diving into it but the new Pacific Heights album The Waters Between has some great things going on. Devin is a really talented producer.

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

Spend a good hour slowly warming up and getting your head in the right space, a few star jumps and vocal warmups, get off your phone, drink some water and don't drink any alcohol within an hour before playing. That's what I try to do, at least!

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

Spark Arena - I've been to so many great events there, and have played there a few times in Villainy. Some great memories.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Write lots of songs. Get really good at writing lots of songs, then you can just pick the best ones and dump the rest. The best way to get good at writing songs is to... write lots of songs.

Check out n1ghtmar3cat on Muzic.net.nz

I (Kev Rowland) was at the Written By Wolves gig last year, stuck at the end of the bar scribbling away, and this lovely young lady came up to me and asked if I was Kev? That was the start of a wonderful friendship not only with Lauren but her husband B and even her parents, and I have been known to share the odd tipple with her father Clive. With The Not Okays releasing a series of singles and becoming more active on the live circuit, now seemed the right time to ask the important questions and get more of an insight into her and the band.

Who, what and when is Lauren Borhani? 

I’m just a girl whose music taste is clearly stuck in the mid-2000's. As long as I can remember I’ve had this same big fringe, the same winged eyeliner and the same taste in music. 

I grew up in Christchurch and moved to Auckland in 2014 when I landed my dream job – at 19 I was in the directing team of 3News (now Newshub/Discovery), which still feels crazy to me. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work in television, publicity, and public relations (PR) for the past nine years. Working in the heart of entertainment and media for almost a decade has been incredibly fast-paced and rewarding, and the television shows, campaigns, and events I’ve worked on feels nothing short of a dream come true. Quite simply, I love my job. PR is all about telling stories and connecting with people, and what we’re trying to do with The Not Okays feels like a natural extension to that.

In 2019 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and in 2021 I was finally diagnosed with ADHD combined type after a long, hard road of advocating for my mental health. It’s been an incredibly challenging few years, and I’m so blessed to have such a strong support system in the form of my husband, family, and friends. And now that I feel like I’m through the worst of it, all I want to do is talk about it and help alleviate the stigma around mental health to help others have an easier path ahead than I did. The Not Okays is about screaming from the rooftop that it’s totally okay to be not okay sometimes, especially after what’s been a few really shit years for everyone with the pandemic. 

How did The Not Okays get together in the first place (and why is B not playing guitar)?

The Not Okays (Photo Credit: Samantha Davies) came together to play at one of Ding Dong Lounge's Emo Nights. B and I had been DJing together for a year or so, and we were both ready to achieve two of our big goals at the same time.

B is a crazy hard-working genius. Not only does he play guitar for the epic Written By Wolves while shooting, editing and directing their music videos, he also draws houses full time (www.studio-b.co.nz!), but he wanted to add being mean at drums to that list. So, he bought an electric kit and taught himself how to play, and with every show he's getting better and better. It's safe to say he's achieved being mean at drums.

Meanwhile B had been encouraging me to sing since we first started dating. I'd lost my confidence in performing publicly, but with B's support I was finally ready to get back on stage again. It's really special to be able to perform with my husband and adding really good friends to that mix who all love the same emo shit as us is honestly a dream come true.

We played with a few friends tapping in and out based on their other band commitments (love u Aaron R, Kurt, Tal and Scott!), until we realised it was time to support Caitlin in picking up the bass again. Obviously, Noriel was already working with Aaron and B on MIRA by this point, and he was the natural choice for the second guitar. Thus our line-up was formed!

What does each person bring to the band?

Lauren Kate Borhani – Vocals

Listen, I'm just a big old emo. On top of being Auckland's unofficial Emo DJ, I've also fallen into the role of unofficial band manager. I've been lucky enough to work full time in live television production, publicity, and PR for the last nine years, so I have a little black book of contacts and love finding win-win opportunities to work together with them. Apparently, I'm a bit of a control freak, and have taken on the role of developing our brand, our socials, our communications, and our publicity. My favourite part about this is that I get to scream from the roof how talented my friends are!

Aaron Prictor - Vocals/Guitar

I also like to call Aaron our Creative Director. He produces and records all our songs and is the driving force of our songwriting and sound. He's a wickedly talented live musician too, and is a trusted session musician and live tech. He's the reason we sound the way we do, and he holds us all to account!

Noriel Wong - Guitar

Noz is a super smooth guitar player, but what he is even more is a quick-witted little shit. He's our Social Media Manager and is the creative genius behind those timely emo memes. He truly is one of the greatest shitposters I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, and he's a huge ass asset to the band. Noz went to high school with Aaron, too!

Caitlin Clark - Bass

Caitlin is our band Mum (which is great, as Daddy Prictor plays the Dad role real well). She always ensures everyone is well-fed and on point and is honing her songwriting skills alongside Aaron. She has a solid taste in music and sneakers and has the biggest heart in the world. And she's a smooth driver on the bass, it's super cool to be able to play with her again, as we first played together in high school.

Bahador Borhani - Drums

B is the second driving force behind our songwriting and sound. He's also an incredibly talented content producer and does most of our design elements (think logos and videos), in addition to producing, shooting and editing all our music videos with my support when he's too busy being a creative genius on another big project. B is obviously my husband and father of our two fur babies too!

Why did you feel inspired to cover Avril Lavigne for your debut single? Why that song?

I'm a pop-culture nerd, and Avril Lavigne's revival out of nowhere completely shook me (and the band) to the core for a few reasons.

Bite Me was Avril's way of announcing her signing to DTA Records, which is Travis Barker's label. You can hear his elevated pop-punk influence, and it was a really exciting taster of what was to come. This sounded so much like the authentic Avril a lot of us had missed since her Let Go album with the likes of Sk8r Boi, Complicated, I'm With You etc... and I think a lot of people were missing that authentic sound and this single hit the spot.

-  Travis Barker was at the time dating Kourtney Kardashian (they've since gotten engaged and now married), so it was clear this revival was going to get mainstream A-List media attention. This may sound stupid to some people, but that's just the way the media works.

-  Listen, it's a banger. It was a hint of our type of music being taken seriously by a mainstream audience, so if there was a time for us to go in, now felt like our best shot. We were in the middle of Auckland's never-ending fourth lockdown and were all going a bit stir-crazy, so it was a great distraction. Additionally, I had finally been diagnosed with ADHD after 27 years of struggling with the symptoms unaware and unmedicated, so I had never felt more driven to finally make my dreams a reality and kick this beast of a band off with my favourite people.

Your next single, Better Days, was not only an original number but you also edited the video. Talk us through the process for this and how did it come together?

We were incredibly humbled by the warm reception to Bite Me, and knew we had to quickly follow this release up with an original so people would take us seriously. It's easy enough for musicians to cover a song, but writing and sharing original content is the hard and vulnerable bit. The song itself was written by Aaron and had sat in the notes on his phone for a few years. He graciously thought The Not Okays was the best home for this track, and we quickly got to work recording vocals and planning the video.

At the time, my husband Bahador was slaving away on Written By Wolves' next music video. As many may know, my very talented man produces, directs, shoots, and edits the majority of Wolves' videos-- but what they don't see is how much work he puts into them for months and months at a time. I knew that the only way we were going to get a music video for this song is if I put my Broadcasting School degree to good use, rolled my sleeves up and produced and edited this bad boy.

So, I sourced the studio and the lighting, B sourced the camera, and we spent a long hard day getting the content shot (little did I know while I was fighting the start of a Giardia infection while on-set, and would spend the next week hunched over the toilet bowl ugh). Over the coming weeks while he was down one end of the house creating a yet-to-be-released masterpiece for Wolves (it'll blow your mind), I was on the other end of the house editing together Better Days. B tidied up the post-production, and we released our baby into the world. It was a very collaborative process, and everything was done in-house.

What is next for The Not Okays, and when are we going to hear more original materials?

We've just laid down the very first vocals to our next single which (bugger it I may as well give you an exclusive because I love you) is called Sleeptalk. We'll be shooting the music video in the coming weeks, led this time by Bahador with the Creative Direction of our good friend Samantha Davies. If you wanted to hear Sleeptalk for the first time, then we'll be fumbling our way through the demo live this weekend at CrushFest (Saturday 9th July at The Tuning Fork, tickets still on sale at Moshtix!) Otherwise we're going to be announcing a headlining show very soon, where hopefully you'll be able to hear one of the three original demos currently in development. I really hope people watch this space, because we're really excited about what's to come! 

Where can people go to find out more about the band?

All the key info is on our website (www.thenotokays.com), and keep an eye on our YouTube for the music videos as they go live. Otherwise if you want all the latest news as it hits (plus a heap of self-depreciating memes) check out our Instagram and Facebook. We're on a heap of streaming services too, so feel free to give us a follow there too! (Spotify, Tidal, Apple…)

The Not Okays are a great band, and I am so looking forward to catching them at Crushfest on Saturday, it’s going to be a fantastic day.

Read the full interview here

Check out The Not Okays on Muzic.net.nz

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






There's interviews with Infinity Ritual, Swamp VultureUnwanted Subject and Sit Down In Front on the way - keep up to date with all things Distorted Transmission over on the Facebook Page here.

Today we're introducing the 'Getting To Know You' video interview series, which has been created to introduce people who, in their own special way, make the music scene function. Bands usually get the limelight but without promoters, venue owners, studio engineers, photographers, videographers and the rest of the framework, we'd all be pointlessly jamming in garages forever. This series heralds the unsung heroes of the scene.

Will recently spoke to live gig photography veteran Mark Derricutt. You can watch his interview here.

A big thanks to all the people who rallied around to perform the re-imagining of the the classic song 'Getting To Know You' for this series: Sine Symonds for the vocals and Jared Tobin for the vocal recording, Lee Mallett for the guitar and bass and the Teraset boys for jumping into sudden and unexpected acting roles at my request for the intro videos.

Muzic.net.nz's resident music connoisseur Roger Bowie has had a busy month with his 'It's A Wrap...' video interview series. You can catch up on his later interviews at the below links:




Episode #131 Neil Watson

Guitarist Neil Watson has played with a long list of great artists including Michael Brecker, Ali Campbell (UB40), Anika Moa, Tim Finn, Greg Johnson, Lucy Lawless, Jordan Luck, Nathan Haines, The Finn Bro’s, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra, Tami Neilson and many more. On this very special episode the two guitarists settle in for a great chat about their approaches to guitar playing, their careers and family. Plus Danny reveals his latest surprising news.


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!





Love discovering new music and telling everyone about it? 
Look no further than the premiere NZ music website - Muzic.net.nz!

We are looking for more amazing individuals to join our team of volunteers; as reviewers, interviewers & photographers throughout most of New Zealand.
The criteria is simple: you must be computer literate, get along well with others and adhere to 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.

If you would like to know more, we'd love to hear from you. Email us at [email protected] today!


The following new artist pages were recently created on Muzic.net.nz:

Zephyr Wills MeanOwls
Pipsy Lost Vessels
Ghost Merchants Gerry Paul
Wills & Wills Wallace
Testicular Taxidermy Pinealium
Unwanted Subject Heavy Chest
No Cigar Mim Jensen
Only the Valiant Marmalade Skies
Keira Wallace Dartz
Bill Angus and the Mighty Ways Jodi Vaughan
Les Marionettes Brookes & Johnstone
Nick Burson Band Electric Temples
One Man Bannister Haze Lane
Sylvee Rust


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



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

Artist Galleries
Feature Galleries


View all our previous features here

Our next newsletter is going out on Sunday 4 September!

Interested in featuring your music in one of our newsletters? Contact us today!
You can choose the date which suits best.

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

Email Ben, our Newsletter Editor, for more info:
[email protected]

View all our previous issues here


Print Mighty



Gig Space Facebook

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Benson Boone
    Teddy Swims
    Future And Metro Boomin feat. Kendrick Lamar
    Ariana Grande
    Noah Kahan
    Fred Again.. And Baby Keem
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem