This week I got to interview one of my idols – New Zealand Music legend David Kilgour; who’s song-writing, singing and guitar-work has been a cornerstone of the New Zealand sound since the Clean first surfaced in 1979.
Tell me about your new album ‘The Far Now’. Rather than producing the album in the States (like 2004’s ‘Frozen Orange’ Nashville), this latest album is a purely back-home release?
In a lot of ways the recording of Frozen Orange in nashville came about by serendipity and coincidence. The Far Now approach was to record when we had a song or two or three, keep them fresh and then wait till the next batch turned up and so on and so forth.The Far Now was released in the USA on Merge and in Australia on Remote Control.
The Album was produced with the Heavy Eights, Solo, and with the help of Alan Starrett what did Alan bring to the project?
Once we had the basic tracks recorded Alan came up to my house and recorded for a day. I think all his contributions were pretty much recorded in one hit. I tend to let Alan do whatever he wants on whatever instruments he feels suits the track. Alan is very good at first takes being his best takes.
Are you a collaborative song-writer?
Well I co wrote a lot of songs with the Clean etc. And more and more the Heavy 8s are contributing to the songs. Especially Alan and Tony
totally under-the-radar stoner rock band that formed in 1994 in hamilton. they were a trio comprised of craig williamson (bass and vocals – now performing in a solo capacity as lamp of the universe), brent middlemiss (guitar) and jon burnside (drums), and that they released 2 albums of drawn-out stoner-psych jams on the unknown cranium label, and actually reissued on u.s. label brainticket. reviews and whatnot seem to point towards a heavy early black sabbath influenced, crossed with kyuss and monster magnet style stoner elements. williamson now
picks in bold
- allisone [1998 cranium]
- visions for the celestial [1999/2000 cranium/brainticket]
emerging out of hamilton in the mid 90s, originally as the more pop ‘trinket’, the datsuns soon became the epitome of raucous rock’n’roll. with the release of the ‘super-gyration’ single and a strong tour ethic, the band produced a fervent fan base. quite simply in the couple of years before their overseas success, the datsuns we’re the most explosive and primarily, most in-your-face-fun band in new zealand – maybe even the world.
sure it wasn’t original, but their huge riffs, sing-shout vocals, and ‘in-with’them approach to stage presence was something to behold. eventually the band became notorious as part of the rock’n’roll revival that built up in 2002 – they had been touring the united states and britain with the same kind of enthusiasm they displayed back home when journalistic interest took hold. signing to richard branson’s virgin offshoot (and home of fellow rock’n’rollers the white stripes) v2, they become a phenomena in new zealand, selling out show after show to increasingly manic audience, and further tightening their repertoire.
the self-titled debut was unfairly over-looked by most critics, mostly due to the entire hoopla involving the revival itself. what it represented was a raw, powerful collection of pure rock songs that was far more t-rex than ac/dc, but some critics didn’t see it that way. unfortunately, as they’ve become such a spectacle now, its a little hard to relate to the human side of their live performances, as playing on a big stage to a big crowd is a little different than mucking it in with 20 or so punters down the local.
2004 saw the band release their jean-paul jones (he of led zepplin fame) manning the decks for their sophomoric release, outta sight / outta mind, recorded at jacob studios in surrey.
picks in bold
- ‘super-gyration!’/’hoochie mama’ 7″ single [2000 hell-squad HS002]
- ‘fink for the man’/’transistor’ 7″ single [2001 hell-squad HS003]
- ‘lady’/’motherfucker from hell’ 7″ single [2001 hell-squad HS005]
- ‘in love’/’little bruise’ 7″ single [2002 hell-squad HS007] rn
- 2002 european tour 7″ single [2002 hell-squad HS008] rn
- the datsuns [2002 in-fidelity IF001CD] rn
- ‘harmonic generator’/’freeze sucker’ 7″ single [2002 hell-squad HS012]
- ‘motherfucker from hell’ 7″ single [2003 hell-squad HS015]
- outta sight / outta mind [2004 in-fidelity IF011CD]
download from mp3.co.nz
- motherfucker from hellrn
the highly productive andrew spittle.
picks in bold
- river stone 7″ lathe-cut [self-released]
- ‘all i’ve got is you’/’make’ 7″ lathe-cut [self-released]
- flicker 
- viva la rover 
- amber 
- elephants graveyard lathe cut [1994 self-released]
- road of the patent wheel ep [1995 self-released]
previously based in auckland and now attaining artist residencies across the globe, dashper is one of new zealand’s most internationally recognised artists. in the mid to late 1990s dashper produce a swag of limited edition lathe-cut 7″ singles, and 2 one-sided 12″ releases he recorded as musical backings for his gallery displays – mostly released on circle records. each release is presented in one of dashpers own striking covers – which remain as signature pieces in his artistic archive.
picks in bold
- untitled 7″ lathe-cut [1997 circle records]
- leaving for heathrow 7″ lathe-cut [1997 circle records]
- august 1997: ‘transversala utrinkov’/’transversala utrinkov (bravo)’ 7″ lathe-cut [1997 circle records]
- luxus 7″ lathe-cut [luxus]
- abstract abstract 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- studio songs #1: ‘december in dusseldorf’/’untitled’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- ‘rar’/’cook island bus passanger transport ltd.’ 7″ lathe-cut [room records]
- studio songs #2: ‘yes yesterday’/’cops’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- dear leo 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- studio songs #3: ‘untitled’/’go away’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- studio songs #4: live at dpag: ‘god knows’/’saved messages’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- be it lett 7″ lathe-cut [1999 circle records]
- pebbles 7″ lathe-cut [1999 circle records]
- ‘temple of glorie’/’lacenaire’ 7″ lathe-cut [1999 luxus]
- stuff: ‘julian dashper, new zealand’/’untitled’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- motorway schools: ‘untitled’/’untitled’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- this is the last light of europe: ‘questa è l’ultima luce da topolò’/’untitled’ 7″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- thin ice one-sided 12″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- europe one-sided 12″ lathe-cut [circle records]
- john nixon/julian dashper 7″ lathe-cut [w/ john dixon circle records]
- gate experience (parts 1-4) 7″ lathe-cut [w/ gate precious metal]
live independent black metal act that even managed a support slot for pantera back in 2001. originally formed in 1992 after the demise of guitar/vocalist xanataph’s former band bloodwych, with a succession of line-ups eventually settling jude (guitar), jim (bass) and kori (drums) for the recording of their debut album.
line-up changes again followed through-out the 1990s with drummers and guitarists coming and going, with even the only founding member (xanataph) forming a side-line, the solo recording beltane.
picks in bold
- ‘happy birthday’/’those 12 wunches may’ lathe-cut ep [self-released]
- neodeath [1997 self-released]
- death by will [self-released]
Melodic guitar textural band from a musically-reborn Roy Montgomery, who was noteably absent from the New Zealand music scene after the demise of the Pin Group in the early 80s. Kim Pieters sparse vocals add a lot to their charismatic sound, and a relaxed approach (only spiked by the legendary Peter Stapleton‘s occassional drumming) is very involving stuff.
Discography (picks in bold)
- ‘Nicotine’ / ‘High Time’ 7″ Single [1991 Majora]
- ‘Scratch Sun’ / ‘Radio Brain’ 7″ Single [1991 Xpressway / Majora]
- This Is Not A Dream [1992 Imd / Majora Vgap-Lp-5750]
- This Is Not A Dream Cd Reissue [1994 Krany Krank002]
2 piece (then 3 piece, now back to 2 again) hip-hop outfit coming out of opawa, christchurch. jody ‘the earl’ lloyd and eli ‘the eel’ foley started performing together while still in high school, and with the help of brilliant debut video, the duo became something of a cult of personality with the ethos of the single ‘zeal man’. celebrating all that is kiwi, the dark tower boys we’re shunned by the new zealand hip hop scene, but loved by their christchurch audiences.
unfortunately it took the better part of a decade for them to release their debut, the underwhelming (yet appropriately named) ‘canterbury drafts’, which featured cameos from christchurch compatriots lindon puffin and jody’s folk-musician father david lloyd. more a problem with over production (the album was prepared, remixed and rerecorded many times before its eventual release) than a lack of good songs, the dark tower boys we’re now however playing to a national audience thanks to the success of their daft ‘babby trousers’ ep (which featured one-time member jamie greenslade), and with its release lloyd went back into the studio to concentrate on his own solo material, now being released as trillion.
picks in bold
- zeal man ep 
- the new outlook cd single 
- the baggy trousers project ep [2000 she’ll be right]
- canterbury drafts [2001 she’ll be right]
- the pacific sandal [instrumental] [2005 she’ll be right]
- the dark world [2005 she’ll be right]
download from mp3.co.nz
- zeal manrn
- land of the long white cloudsrn
- land of freezing days [jody lloyd]
- take me away [jody lloyd]
Auckland pseudo-metal band in the spinal tap tradition.
Infamous as the backing band of terrible, short-lived ‘stunt’ show Back Of The Y Masterpiece Theatre.
they actually have decent songs! I’ve caught them live a couple of times and seen all their hilarious videos, there a comedy band of epic proportions.. and they can actually play! (despite their faked lazy/sloppiness).
- Chris Stapp
- Matt Heath
- Gerald Stewart
- Phillip Bruff
- Piers Graham
- Brown Sabbath (2004, Liberation, LIBCD61312)
- P Single (2004 Liberation Libsp61442)
- Back In Brown (2006, Liberation, LIBCD82135)
- Can’t Do What I Want Single (2006, Liberation, LIBSP71882)
former christchurch (later melbourne based) pop-rock 3-piece outfit who would describe themselves as having complicated melodies and soaring vocals. while true, there’s an element of emo pretentiousness i just can’t get past. they had a student radio hit back here with ‘travolta on my shoulder’ before releasing their debut lifelike and then re-locating.
picks in bold
- jay.tee.four.pea ep [2001 failsafe SAFE051CD]
- the click ep [2002 failsafe SAFE052CD]
- lifelike [2002 failsafe SAFE053CD]
- children of the night ep [2004 aloha records]