Teen X-Ray

Gfrenzy and Pumice‘s Steffan ‘Level’ Neville started Teen X-Ray in Hamilton back in 1993. Over the years they’ve managed to put out a few releases despite being scattered across the country (and even the world), though the band finally relocated together in 2001, setting up shop in Auckland, along with new bass player (the cryptically dubbed) Mr Magic Reggae Magic.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Ballad Of Vince Neil Cassette [1994 Plop]
  • Reckless Cassette [1994 Plop]
  • Steves Recipe Cassette [1994 Plop]
  • Angst Cassette [1995 Plop]
  • Joys Of Pig Hunting Double Cassette [1995 Plop]
  • Jelly Cassette [1996 M60 / A Stabbies And The Rocket Recording]
  • ‘The 1st Song Off Angst’/’Long Gone’ Lathe Cut 7″ [1996 A Stabbies And The Rocket Recording]
  • Man Planned Speilburg Rape Cassette [1997 Root Don Lonie For Cash Rdl044]
  • Skullmobile Cassette / Lathe Cut[1997 A Stabbies And The Rocket Recording]

See-Also

Alec Bathgate [November 2004]

Alec Bathgate isn’t a household name in New Zealand. Though his most famous group (Tall Dwarfs) and his subsequent partner-in-crime (Chris Knox) may have achieved a level of recognition slightly beyond the typical indie-rock crowd, Bathgate remains one of New Zealand’s best and lowest profile song-writers. I spoke with Alec on the eve of releasing just his 2nd solo LP, ‘The Indifferent Velvet Void‘, due to be released in November 2004.

So it’s been a clear 8 years since [debut solo release] Gold Lame came out. Have you gotten sick and tired of people telling you to release another album yet?

Well, actually, not many people have been hanging out for another album! I occasionally have someone tell me how much they like gold lame, which is nice, but not many people seem to have discovered it.

What was the inspiration for the Indifferent Velvet Void?

Lyrically there seem to be some deep issues being thrown around.

There’s a few themes that run through the songs on the album (death, loss, self-doubt, confusion… All that good stuff). So, yeah, it’s a bit dark, but quite poppy as well, which hopefully offsets what the lyrics are saying.

Is your writing and recording methodology different from the way the tall dwarfs work? Has much changed from the early days of Chris’s 4-track?

Tall Dwarf songs are recorded pretty quickly as we don’t normally have long together. The songs tend to then evolve over a period of time (whenever we can get together to do further work on them). Generally we don’t know when we begin how they will end up. With the solo album i would completely write a song before recording it and would have a fairly clear idea of how i wanted the final track to sound. My album was recorded on computer which has sort of replaced the 4-track as the preferred recording medium for the home recordist (even though tape is still better). Having 24 tracks is pretty insane after years of struggling away with a 4 track, plus there’s lots of effects built into pro-tools that you couldn’t possibly afford to buy as outboard gear.

The album is coming out on Auckland label Lil’ Chief. How did you connect with them? Do you still feel part of the Flying Nun roster?

Chris Knox gave them a CDr of the album late last year (after Flying Nun had turned it down). I really liked the records they had put out and their enthusiasm for what they were doing, so was really happy that they wanted to release it. I’m still signed to F.Nun for Tall Dwarf releases and they’re reissuing the Toy Love album (early next year i believe).

Scott Mannion from Lil’ Chief / the Tokey Tones appeared as a Tall Dwarf [along with Pumice‘s Stefan Neville] for a recent Helen Young Studios session. Are there any plans to release the material?

I was impressed by the re-takes of ‘The Brain That Wouldn’t Die’ and ‘Nothings Going To Happen’. We were really happy with how the Helen Young session worked out, particularly as we only had a short time to learn the songs with the other people (we hadn’t played with any of them before and only had two days to practice). We’ll possibly do a short-run pressing of them sometime in the future to sell at gigs.

What’s your most proud moment on the album?, I guess your aware I’ve been thrashing ‘Should I Wake Up?’

Most people who hear the album seem to mention ‘Should I Wake Up?’ ‘Slow Fuzz’ and ‘Broken Cup’ are probably my favorite songs on the album.

Are you a picky song-writing?, do you think taking such a long-time between releases has worked well for your albums?

I never intended to do another solo album. It just requires soooo much work, so i guess it took 8 years to muster up the enthusiasm to go through it again (plus we did three tall dwarf albums in that time)…All the songs were written over the 18 months i was making the album, i didn’t have any songs hoarded away, and in the year since i finished it i haven’t written anything. I think it’s good to have a break from writing (and playing music) to keep it interesting and enjoyable.

Any plans on any live performances or videos for the album?

I did the Wunderbar gig in Lyttelton a few weeks back and also did two shows with Pine in Auckland last weekend. I’ve always been reluctant to play solo, but I’ve actually been enjoying it! I ‘d actually really like to play some more. As for videos there’s a plan to do a video for ‘Slow Fuzz’, so hoping that works out.

Pumice

the recordings and performances can offer countless stylistic deconstructions – repitition and looping, acoustic folk-blues mine fields, baltic style dance pieces, martin denny inspired exotica – nothing is beyond the pumice grip. like a hootenanny in hades pumice are unencumbered by the baggage of stylistic focus…they are stunningly reckless.rn- dan vallor: from popwatch #10

hugely prolific duo (kind of joint recordings between sujar jon and stefan neville) that have appeared on and are heavily involved in a few underground labels (root don lonie for cash, stabbies and the rocket etc), including putting out several peter king lathe cut releases.
2004 saw the duo’s profile rise, eventually culminating in the release of their first official pressed cd (as opposed to the cassettes and cd-r’s that make up the majority of their discography), late in the year. The Opinion is that raft is the groups finest album yet.
In 2006 Neville joined manic scuzz-noise-punk group the Coolies as drummer, showing off his intense improvised drumming style to a whole new audience, including a handful of winning performances at the inaugural Camp A Low Hum; whilst continuing to release albums as Pumice, now on American underground label Soft Abuse.
discography
picks in bold

  • yi-jun cassette [1994 plop recordings]
  • walkden fisher cassette [1995 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • poise cassette [1996 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • performance cassette [1996 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • 19/4/96 8″ lathe-cut [1996 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • dickjaws cassette [1997 root don lonie for cash rdl032]
  • i’ll take no chances near a volcano cassette [1997 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • withdrawl lathe-cut 7″ picture disc [1998 w/ cja root don lonie for cash rdl029]
  • platter one lathe-cut 7″ ep [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • platter two lathe-cut 7″ ep [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • let’s treat the pigshead as dip cassette [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • dumbos jamaican egg dance 7″ [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • poin cassette [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • platter four 7″ [1998 a stabbies and the rocket recording / headshy]
  • sexual cassette [1999 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • the pirate cdr [1999 w/ cja a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • dumbos jamaican egg dance lathe-cut 7″ [1999 w/ room 14 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • ‘weird crab holy soldier’/’goon gong’/’coquetish’ lathe-cut 7″ [a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • the pirate cd-r [1999 w/ cja a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • live / evil cassette [2000 w/ the ideal gus root don lonie for cash rdl049]
  • go cassette [2000 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • ones cdr [2000 self-released]
  • a window into a egg cdr/cassette [2001 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • platterpus cassette [2001 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • i’ll take no chances near a volcano cdr [2001 reissue celebrate psi phenomenon]
  • sexual (live) cd-r [pseudoarcana PA018]
  • weird crab holy soldier 7″ lathe-cut [headshy HS007]
  • go cdr [2001 subversive]
  • poin cdr [reissue 2002 root don lonie for cash rdl067]
  • white [2002 a stabbies and the rocket recording]
  • raft [2004 last visible dog LVD062]
  • world wide skull cd-r [2005 audiobot]
  • Yeahnahvienna [2006 soft abuse]
  • Patu CD-R [2006 stabbies / Puissant]
  • Pipis/Onion Union 7″ lathe [2006 CMR]
  • Pebbles [2007 Soft Abuse]

Stefan Neville

Stefan Neville, The Man Behind Pumice And Stabbies And The Rocket Recordings Released An Unusually Titled Cd-R Under His Own Name In 2003.
You’re not welcome cd-r

Stefan Neville is the incredibly talented musician behind Pumice, as well as being the drummer for excellent Auckland punk group the Coolies, playing alongside Chris Knox in the Nothing and releasing material under his own name.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • The Day Tape Challenge Triple Cassette [1997 W/ Sugarjon And Ee Monk A Stabbies And The Rocket Recording]

  • Do Not Destroy/Destroy Only After 10 Years / Can Be Destroyed By Cd-R [2003 A Stabbies And The Rocket Recording]

  • Lathe-Cut 8″ [2005 W/ Richard Francis, Howard Stelzer, Clinton Watkins Cmr Cmr9]

See-Also

Chris Knox and the Nothing

After the abstract computer-orientated Friend project, Chris Knox (guitar and vocals) got back to business as a live performer by forming the Nothing with the very talented Stefan Neville (Pumice) on drums, and Jol Mulholland (Gasoline Cowboy on guitar. The trio record their self-titled debut in a real studio – the first time Knox had done so since his days in Toy Love.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Chris Knox and the Nothing [2005 a major label]

See-Also

Ohm

Ohm is a quartet that includes Campbell Kneale as well as Stefan Neville of Pumice. Their Live at the Crown, packaged within a hilarious upside-down variation on the Who’s Maximum R’n’B logo, is one of the most beautiful albums i’ve heard this year. With live drone and drum improv of the highest order, ohm create a wistfully psychedelic feel. there’s an astonishing chemistry and compositional sensibility within their improvisational method. Nicely recorded and beautifully played, Ohm show extraordinary mastery over their instruments with brilliant drumming patterns. their overall sound rivals the best of the Dead C and Thela‘s improv work.
Dan Vallor: muckraker #9

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘as sure as moons is cheese’/’egg jelly up’ 8″ lathe-cut [dirtlove]
  • ou cassette [1996 a stabbies and the rocket recordings]
  • jones cassette [1997 a stabbies and the rocket recordings]
  • live at the crowd cd-r [1997? last visible dogLVD008]
  • re:moon cassette [celebrate psi phenomenon]

See-Also