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Newsletter Issue #555: 02 Oct 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 Some of the content will be outdated and some layout issues may be present in the translation from email to the web.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!

This month we have a very special guest editorial, from Sacha Vee from SOLE Music Academy:

We live in a world where the tools to make and release music are at our fingertips. Hence why there are now 60k song uploads a day.

From my observations, no matter your ability, there seems to be a major rush to get your music out and up on streaming platforms. What follows is a major let down when the released song gets no traction. I have also observed the opposite, where a song with no promo or release strategy behind it gets thousands of plays. This also results in a false view of the industry and the expectations for it to happen again are extremely inflated and when it doesn’t, the artist is left in despair.

Usually when a singer is signed to a record label, they would start the process of developing them into an artist. This process takes years. Lorde is a good example having been signed with Warner 4 years before she released one song. However not everyone gets this opportunity. Especially in New Zealand with our pint sized industry.

Artist Development is a term that is used a lot as of late. But what is it and why is it so important? Over the past 5 years we have been developing talent and helping ‘bridge the gap’ into the music industry. Creating opportunities and support that I wished I’d had when I was starting out. When I decided on a career in music 20 years ago, the only option was doing a music degree in Christchurch as at that time there was no industry or advice.

A music degree is still very important for some students who may need 3 years of dedication to improve their craft and take their musicianship to a professional level. Some however, may already be accomplished and ready to release by the time they are 16.

The issue is the next step. What happens once you have the skills? Unfortunately starting a career in music is not as easy as booking a recording studio or ringing a radio station. Therefore this feeds the society's view that the music industry is too hard… but the bit that everyone is missing is that starting a business is HARD. To have a career in music is actually about becoming an entrepreneur and you need to have business skills which includes building a team around you. This takes maturity and business knowledge.

Which leads me back to the importance of artist development. E.g. allowing yourself time to develop not only your sound, but also your brand, image, mission statement and business plan.

SOLE Music Academy is a private academy in Christchurch which specialises in contemporary music. Our aim is to develop well-rounded skilled and knowledgeable singers, songwriters & producers who will have the resilience, stamina and confidence to take on any stage, recording session or music business endeavour. From our own industry experience and working with students over the past 5 years, we have designed two programmes to help ‘bridge the gap’ and help students start with the right skills to give them the best chance at success.

In our  Artist Development Programme we work with talent to develop their own musical identity, create a body of original work and take their performance, skills and knowledge to a professional level.

The next step is our Artist Release Programme which is a year long course where we project manage the talents debut release and fast track their success by introducing them and their music to the right industry figures and audience.

We have been lucky to work with some awesome talent whom we are proud to share. One example is Sam Heselwood who is an absolute gem of a talent with an inspiring story. Pro rugby player turned Singer-songwriter who has recently gone through a life changing operation. He has been slowly releasing singles under our guidance which have been garnering a lot of attention both here and abroad and earned him spots on commercial radio. His debut EP Bloodline is set to be released the 7th October and he will celebrate with his EP release show at Space Academy on the 15th October. Supported by two of our artists in development KEI and Castaway.

Check out Sam Heselwood

Check out SOLE Music Academy Releases

We have been running our music business event SOLE Speaker Series for the past two years which is also about informing and supporting and inviting local talent to network and meet the music industry. Our last one for the year is about managing THE MIND on the 21st of October.

The Muzic.net.nz newsletter will cease to exist in its current form from 2023 onwards. Our last issue in this format will be going out on 4 December, 2022.

Next year we'll be presenting a brand new subscription-based newsletter to accompany our brand-new website. Watch this space, we hope to announce more details before the end of this year.

After 18 years of these newsletters, it truly will be the end of an era. We're looking forward to moving into the future, and bringing you a cleaner, more responsive website.

Forty Bucks Till Tuesday is an openly trans-genre metal band from the distinguished suburbs of south and west Auckland. Currently on the hunt for a new vocalist to complement their existing sound, Muzic.net.nz recently spoke to Spoon, Dean and Hayley about their music, most memorable show and who they rank highly within NZ music. Have a read of what went down:

How did you become involved with music?

Dean: I grew up with my brother constantly playing rock/metal (rudely) loud enough for the whole house to hear, it eventually grew on me and made me want to pick up drumming.

Spoon: Music was always important in my house when I was a kid, we had tapes of our favourite bands that we dubbed off the TV and we would play them on repeat, eventually at the age of 14 I picked up a guitar.

Hayley: My parents are both musicians, so I would've been disowned if I didn't play some sort of instrument.

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

Dean: Trans genre assassin clan metalish groove music. It's hard to explain. 

Spoon: A tasty even spread across different heavy metal genres. Our live shows are a party. 

Hayley: It's melodic and then AARRRRGH and then melodic again. 

Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

Dean: At the moment, The Checks, HLAH, 8 Foot Sativa.

Spoon: A lot of them!! Ones that stand out the most are Supergroove, Push Push, Shihad, Villainy, Sommerset, Bleeders, Kora, 8 Foot Sativa, Darcy Clay.

Hayley: Man, I'm way more old school than everyone else. I like Split Enz and Th' Dudes. But I do also like Fat Freddy's Drop, The Black Seeds, Blindspott.

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

Dean: Three beers and rocking out to the other bands.

Hayley: You're there to have a good time! Have a beer, chill, mosh, spin kick your best mate, and then enjoy yourself on stage. It gets easier the more you do it.

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

Spoon: If I had the power, Shihad and Push Push, that would be a fun show.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of?

Spoon: Mother Mercy's Keeper. I love that song.

Hayley: Crownless. The build-up towards the end is so rad and everyone gets to have their own little solo bit, so it's a great song to introduce the band.

What local albums have you been listening to recently? 

Spoon: Lately Shapeshifter: Riddim Wise and Supergroove: Traction, both classic albums.

What is your Favourite NZ venue:

Spoon: It was the Kings Arms Tavern In Newton Auckland. Otherwise I like a good underground show at the Galotos in Auckland City.

What has been the most memorable show to date:

Spoon: Our EP release party at The Ding Dong Lounge. The venue was packed from front to back and they were all moshing. A friend of ours dislocated their knee on the last song Crownless -  it was insane! They said it was the best night of their lives hahaha.

Hayley: Definitely the EP release. A couple of my friends in the crowd were first responders so they were able to look after Knee Girl until the ambulance arrived haha. Wicked night.

What rumour would you like to start about Forty Bucks Till Tuesday?

Dean: Def not a rumour but we made people's eyes blow out of their socket once.

Spoon:  Sometimes they just make it up but no one notices. 

Hayley: They're actually The Wiggles undercover.

Check out Forty Bucks Till Tuesday on Muzic.net.nz

The original songs of singer, pianist, producer and composer Lauren Nottingham have touched down on Earth under the moniker Frau Knotz. With avant-pop tracks which simulate echoes of an extra-terrestrial yet power-packed video game soundtrack, Frau Knotz toggles between whimsical fantasies and dark truths, switches propulsive rhythms and expansive balladry and tunes glamor with gameplay to concoct elixirs of dance. We caught up with Frau Knotz recently, and this is what was said:

How did you come up with the name Frau Knotz?

I have lived in Mexico City but a few years prior to that, I did a 1 year stint in Berlin. Therefore I guess I could be considered ‘tri-lingual’ as I am now fluent in Spanish, German and English. German was the first foreign language I learnt, but I learnt both languages by immersing myself amongst the culture and the people. 

When I lived in Berlin I worked in a bakery and on my first day I got my uniform which included a badge. The badge said ‘Frau Nottingham’ which means ‘Ms/Mrs Nottingham’ and underneath it said ‘Brotberaterin’ which means ‘Bread advisor’!! 

We all referred to each other in this very polite way; Mrs/Ms and then the surname. So at work I was ‘Frau Nottingham’. In my family, the nickname for our surname was Knotz so I thought what better than to call myself Frau Knotz? 

To me, when I learn a language and live in another place for a while, I adopt some of the culture forever onwards and it becomes a part of my identity. I now consider myself part-German, part-Mexican and… mostly Kiwi.

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

Frau Knotz’ original songs are a combination of Eurodance, Synthwave and Electro-pop. Think of the early electronic soundscapes of Kraftwerk and Jean-Michel Jarre with Robyn or Grimes singing fairy tale lyrics sprinkled with vocal effects. 

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

Supernova. The song wrote itself, chords, melody and lyrics in 45 minutes – the quickest time I’ve ever written a song in! I wrote the song to myself as though I was writing a letter to a friend during a time in my life when I felt like I had lost everything. 

Supernova was written in June 2020 and I had been living in Mexico City for three months, through the pandemic. Mexico was one of the worst-hit countries during those early stages of the pandemic. I had initially moved there for 6 weeks to start rehearsals with a jazz quartet who I was about to embark on a cruise ship as the onboard entertainment. It would’ve been my dream job! But three days after I arrived it was cancelled. I found myself in a new country with a new language, no friends, no job and no opportunity to go out and meet people. Thankfully, I was living with a lovely Mexican family who taught me Spanish, showed me their way of life and cooked traditional Mexican food (they also had 27 cats – my Mexican mum was a bonafide crazy cat lady).

Supernova is a song of empowerment and encouragement. It describes the journey we go on to reach that point of having confidence in ourselves. It encourages people to be fierce, overcoming their insecurities to celebrate their strengths and share their gifts with the world. We never know the heights we can reach - but if we believe in ourselves we will find out! 

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

Most of the time I have to be in a certain creative mood in order to write a song. This mood is usually triggered by any strong emotions I may be feeling. In these moods I sit down with a notebook and a pen and start writing poems, or a stream of consciousness pertaining to whatever’s on my mind. I then compose music around those words. Otherwise, if there are no words I’ll start playing the piano or turn on my synthesizer and start playing chords. 90% of the time, chord progressions are my foundation. Melodies and lyrics stem from that. My song topics are derived from books I read, my lovers, the state of the world, the digital age and the Notre Dame burning down – that was a huge hit of inspiration. 

What rumour would you like to start about Frau Knotz?

There exists a wall of twelve locked cubby holes with glass windows, each lit with a golden light, at a certain Indian restaurant and bar in New Plymouth. Inside one of them, on display is the finest Umeshu (Japanese plum wine). Underneath the cubby door is a gold plaque inscribed with the name ‘Frau Knotz’. A mysterious, leather-clad figure with gelled back short hair and thin sunglasses enters the bar. All heads turn as she saunters to the bar, extends her hand to the bartender and says ‘key please’. Conversations stop and all gazes follow this elegant figure who unlocks her alcohol safe, retrieves her bounty and begins her evening with exquisite Umeshu in a short glass with a large spherical ice cube. That, my friends, is the elusive FRAU KNOTZ!

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Never sacrifice your musical integrity for the mainstream. With the loss of musical integrity comes the loss of meaning and sincerity in a performance. Make sure the music is excellent, make sure you are a good musician. With a solid product, the rest will follow! Build a good team behind you and work together – As John Donne wrote – ‘no man is an island entire of itself’.

Who are your favourite NZ bands and musicians?

LMS Projekt, Miloux, Ludus, Wallace, Missy.

What local albums have you been listening to recently?

Three albums by Taranaki bands! The Orchid Thief by Andy Bassett, Once The Show Begins by MultiPlayer and Lies and Lullabies by Trip Change.

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

The prototype Frau Knotz will evolve into a fully-realised vision. I have some very exciting festival gigs before 2022 is out, such as performing as a featured artist at the Taranaki Arts Festival Trust’s ‘Spiegelfest’ with Barnaby Weir (The Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties), as well as my own 1 hour show at the TSB Bank Festival of Lights! My debut single and music video Supernova is out on September 16th, with two further singles ready to release after that. Then I will look to release an EP. I have 4 days at Rhythm Ace studio here in Taranaki to finish new material before the year is over :)

How did you become involved in music?

I started learning piano as a kid, and as a teenager joined the school choir and jazz band. I was also a member of NZ Secondary Students’ Choir and NZ Youth Choir and through that I received all my vocal training. The national choirs took me all round the world too - I got to visit South Africa, France, Singapore, England and Czech Republic! Representing New Zealand in choirs definitely cemented my work ethic and approach to music, being taught by the best and holding myself to a very high standard.

Check out Frau Knotz on Muzic.net.nz

Auckland Rockers Dead Beat Boys fuse punk intensity with classic-rock riffs, all strung together in a show uncontainable by the stage. On the 1st of October they released their first and last album, be sure to check it out here. James had a few words to share with Muzic.net.nz, read all about it below:

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

I mean, if we didn't pull pin on the band, I'd froth to tour with Melanie!

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

Into The Night. It was also the one that surprised us. It was the last track we wrote as a band, it just came together so fuckin well. I just get so mad that we don't get another chance to play it live.

What is your favourite NZ venue, and why?

The ones that don't yell at us and get shitty for our loose shows and antics.

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

Well MY go to is to have a few beers, but passing that advice onto others has backfired before, so just lean into the nerves.

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

It's about setting boundaries, but you also have push yourself to get shit started. So make sure your family/friends know that. Work can get fucked though.

Where do you get your inspiration to create music from?

My bandmates. We just bring small ideas or fuck around til we find something, then we just keep egging each other on until we come up with a song.

What has been your most memorable show to date?

Our last show. Sold out Whammy and ended up giving Covid to half of Auckland but God damn it was the best fuckin night.

What can you never leave home without?

Can't leave without calling John. I need his permission before I'm allowed to leave the house.

How did you come up with the name Dead Beat Boys?

Honestly, couldn't tell ya. I came up with it when I was 17 and couldn't bothered changing it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Just play gigs. Message bands you like, find other new bands, find the scene, fuckin hell just make your own scene. Go on tour, book your own gigs, its hard but you learn so much from each one.

Check out Dead Beat Boys 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 September, check them out at the below links:





There's interviews with Dead Empire and Silcrow on the way - keep up to date with all things Distorted Transmission over on the Facebook Page here.

The 'Getting To Know You' video interview series 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. Catch up on the latest 'Getting To Know You' videos at the below links:


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 recently caught up with Kiwi Americana Singer-Songwriter Miller Yule. Miller released his debut album Let It Burn last Friday 30 September, and there's quite a story behind it. Watch Rogers interview with Miller here.

Episode #134 Riccardo Ball 

Riccardo Ball is the vocalist for Just One Fix, the director of Wrecking Ball Media, he’s the former Music Director at The Rock and has worked as a song plugger and artist mentor. He's broadly experienced, refreshingly honest and on this episode we have a funny and informative conversation about the business of music.   


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!





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

KIKO Bad1 Yung Maac
S H E Fletcher Valentine Lorenzo Vichi
Brown-E 4sayken T.N.S
Sundiver The Honeybee Rocket Scientists Lava
BO And the Constrictors Christine White Bad Jelly Collective
Claudia Robin Gunn Kiero The Boondocks
Dawn Diver O & The Mo Wolves
Brawler Paddy and the Cryptids Lucy Gray
Broke Reece Milton The Night
Glasshouse Keepers Ryumas


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 6 November!

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


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The Muzic.net.nz newsletter will cease to exist in its current form from 2023 onwards. Our last issue in this format will be going out on 4 December, 2022.

Next year we'll be presenting a brand new subscription-based newsletter to accompany our brand-new website. Watch this space, we hope to announce more details before the end of this year.

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