I N T E R V I E W
Ted Danson With Wolves
By Arpie Shirehorse
This Saturday sees Sydney's Ted Danson With Wolves hit Nivara Lounge for a show with locals The Goth and The Pixie and The Recently Deceived. HUP caught up with Bassist Dean Crovve ahead of the Australian Emo Punk's first NZ shows.
TDWW is quite the moniker! I have to ask how it came to be…. Haha well actually it started as a throwaway Facebook status. We used to be called Crouching 80s Hidden Acronym (don’t ask) and when we inevitably got sick of that name we started making fun of it with a string of joke ‘Changing our name to..’ statuses. TDWW got a good reaction and we thought it was at the very least a great improvement.
You’ve just released a new EP entitled Don't Tell Me What's Wrong With You, Because I Will Find Out And Tell You. It Will Make Sense To You And Work. It is brilliant! How do the songs come to exist? It feels like there’s an organic-jam type thing going on while at the same time it’s startlingly tight. Thank you! We’re very proud of it! I guess that’s a fair assessment - Josh will come to practice with whole song structures written on guitar, then basically we loop section after section, each writing our parts, saying what we like and dislike about what everyone’s doing and eventually (hopefully) we wind up with the best song we can!
The Sax in your sound helps to make TDWW fairly unique. How did that come about as being a part of what you do? Well sax is Nick’s first instrument but he was playing bass in the early days, I remember they asked me to join because they were covering Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ (RIP) and wanted Nick to do a sax solo - unfortunately he couldn’t do both so here I am! It’s pretty much been all sax all the time since then.
Tell us a bit about the Sydney scene. Is it healthy in terms of quantity of good bands and people attending shows? Sydney rules hard. It seems to cop some flak but only from people you never see at shows. I really think some of the most interesting and exciting new music happening in the whole world is going on in Sydney at the moment. It might be lacking a bit in the way of ‘legit’ bar venues but the DIY/Warehouse scene is really strong and well attended.
What has been the highlight of being TDWW thus far? The last tour was pretty incredible, we got to go to Adelaide and Western Australia, I’d never been to either before so it was very exciting to see those new places and faces. We’re very excited for New Zealand for the same reason!
Will these be the first TDWW shows in New Zealand? What are you looking forward to most about playing here? Yep, first time! It looks like such a beautiful place! Hopefully we’ll get to see some sights as well as hear some new music. Having checked out some of the bands we’re playing with it seems like we’ll be upstaged most nights. We also get to play with our friends Carb On Carb and Mr Sterile Assembly a couple times so that’s super exciting.
Some quick fire questions… Most rock n roll TDWW moment to date…. Haha there’s not very many to be honest! One that comes to mind is the first time we ever got paid for a show. It was $100. We decided to treat ourselves and get some Indian food for dinner. Chicken tikka masala, balti tiger prawn, vegetable korma. Thought we'd really push the boat out. There was a naan and a half each! At the end of the night we got the bill and were shocked to find we had ordered $130 worth of food. No, really, that’s actually my answer.
Who is the sportiest TDWW member and what are they into?! That would have to be Tom, our drummer. He’s a star forward for the mighty Winston Hills Bears soccer team. He’s such a bear.
Who else should we be listening to from Sydney/NSW? Canine might be objectively the best band - they make thrashy and catchy powerviolence, Tom also plays in Burlap who are putting out their debut LP ‘Burnout King’ later this year and their almighty riffs will crush you. You should definitely also catch our good friends H A N N A H B A N D who are doing their own NZ tour just after us, they are noisy and catchy and fun.
If you were organising a show and could have any three bands play, who would it be and where? Thin Lizzy playing three sets at my house.
The best thing Steve Albini has ever done is…? Pretty much everything about Shellac.
Finally! Can we expect Merch at the show in Hamilton? Yes! We’re crunching the numbers and looking at how much the airline will let us bring. We’ll have shirts and copies of our new EP and also our 2014 LP ‘WWTDWWD?’.
- Ted Danson With Wolves, The Recently Deceived, The Goth and The Pixie @ Nivara Lounge, Sat Feb 20 9pm, $10 on the door!
I N T E R V I E W
By Arpie Shirehorse
Wellington’s MERMAIDENS are a band very much on the up. January saw them open for Canada’s MAC DEMARCO in their hometown, before they headed north to play Nivara Lounge on January 29th and then on to Auckland for three more shows. There’s also a new album about to drop. Arpie Shirehorse caught up with Gussie Larkin (pictured right, guitar/vocals) before their blistering Hamilton show.
HUP: What can you tell us about the LP and when can we expect to buy it?
I can tell you that I’m bloody excited about it and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. I don’t want to say too much, but the first single from the album “Seed” is a pretty good preview of what’s to come. Plenty of jangly tones, witchy chanting and washed out vocals. James Goldsmith recorded it and he was so sweet to work with. The coffee was flowing. It’s going to be released mid-March and you’ll be able to buy it online from Bandcamp. We’ll also have some limited addition cassette tapes available.
HUP: How did you guys meet and how long after that was Mermaidens a thing?
Lily and I went to high school together but only started sharing our music in 7th form. I’ve known Abe since I was around 15 – we used to go on missions to the dump shop and find cool shit. Mermaidens was born around 2.5 years ago in a mildew palace.
HUP: What is your songwriting process, does one person write lyrics and chords and the rest of you hone it in practice or is it more organic than that?
It’s a combination of the two really. I’m always writing riffs, melodies and lyrics in my own time and I know Lily does too. Usually our jams start from a guitar or vocal line or even a weird sound we’re digging…the process is forever changing, but we always finish writing songs together.
HUP: We’ve heard about of the Eyegum Music Collective - what is the Wellington scene like at the moment?
I’ve been away for six months but Wellington is a pretty small place so I’m assuming it hasn’t changed drastically! The house party scene is sick, I can’t actually remember the last time I saw a band perform in a venue. And I do think that’s a bit of a shame as it means we might lose even more of our live music venues. That aside, there are always new bands coming out in Wellington who really surprise me. You can’t really put a label on the Wellington “sound” – except maybe the BBQ reggae bands haha.
HUP: Any favourite bands we should check out?
Groeni, Womb, Kobra Club, Red Sky Blues.
HUP: Have you ever played (or even been to!) Hamilton before?
This will be our first Hamilton show, although we’ve stopped off there a million times for pies. Abe’s Grandparents live there so hopefully they’ll be in the crowd getting silly.
HUP: Mermaidens most rock n’roll moment to date is?
Abe once skulled 2 litres of water on stage.
HUP: Best show you’ve seen in NZ?
HUP: If you were organising a show and could have any NZ bands play – which three would it be and where?
Bic Runga, Beastwars, Human Instinct. Party on the beach in Princess Bay.
HUP: Kim Deal or Kim Gordon?
Tough one but Kim Gordon.
HUP: Courtney Love or Courtney Barnett?
Courtney Love. Rock n’roll queen even if she is absolute trash.
HUP: Auckland or Wellington?
This interview was originally published in Issue #1 of the HUPZINE. Photo of Gussie Larkin by the brilliant Ngamihi Pawa (@ngamihi).