I N T E R V I E W
By Arpie Shirehorse
A few months back, HUP was alerted to the rarest of occurences....a new local band had formed. Huzzahs and hurrahs thought we. The band called themselves Loudhailer, and they were playing a few gigs in town. I headed over to their Soundcloud for a listen and it was good. More demos dropped in the weeks that followed, and the songs grew on me, having that weird knack of sounding like quite a lot of bands you know and like, but not one in particular. Anyway, I decided to ask a few more questions to find out a little more about one of Hamilton's newest bands.
Who is Loudhailer and where are you from?
We are Hugh Potter, Nick Pouwel-Strang and James Jobe. Hugh and Nick live in Hamilton and James is in Matamata aka Hobbithole.
What are your main influences musically?
James: Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Oasis, AC/DC, Stone Roses, the Growlers, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, anything with a catchy hook really.
Nick: Modest Mouse, Pinback, Kings of Leon, Portugal. The Man.
Are you into any local/NZ bands at the moment?
James: I really like Superette and Garageland, but The Datsuns are well up there.
Hugh: Heard great things about Looking for Alaska
Nick: Two Cartoons and Miles Caulder & The Rumours.
What is the goal for the band?
James: Just to play some live gigs and get the songs out there.
Nick: And maybe tour Japan.
You’ve got quite a few demos on Soundcloud – where do you record them?
James: I record them in my music room at home on Garageband so the guys can kind of get an idea for the songs.
Any plans to hit the studio and release something?
James: I’d love to get some better demos done and test out some recording studios. I’ve made the mistake in bands before with trying to go into the studio without having had loads of stage time and I think that’s really important to get a good sound in the studio.
Any more shows planned?
James: So far only the 28th Oct at the Nivara Lounge but am hoping to get more and open for as many bands as we can.
Who is the best cook in Loudhailer?
James: I’d have to say it’d be our silent fourth member, Mum.
Hugh: Nick puts out a great chip and dip.
Nick: Definitely Mother Jobe. My children’s children will hear about her exploits in the kitchen.
Who is the most sporty band member?
James: Nico broke his thumb in Netball so he’s gonna get my vote.
Hugh: As above, Nick’s a got a truly gifted mind for indoor netball.
Nick: Hugh is excellent at lifting heavy objects and then putting them back down again.
Favourite and least vegetable?
James: Of course the versatile potato, then probably mushrooms on their own.
Hugh: Broccoli (superfood), then most other vegetables.
Nick: Steven Hawking. Jack Carrol.
Is National’s time up this time?
James: I’m not a massive fan of the band myself.
Hugh: Jacinda has a nice smile, but I’m not sure it’s any match for Bill’s social media presence.
Nick: Too little too late from J money and the angry headmaster. I predict National will cruise home.
What is the best live show you have attended (anywhere/anytime)?
James : Much like good love making you always remember your first, so it’d have to be my first concert at Vector Arena, Def Leppard. Screamed like a little girl the whole time and they were awesome.
Hugh: Rolling Stones, Mt Smart
Nick: Pearl Jam. The very last Big Day Out. I would sell my 89 year-old Grandmother into slavery to live that day over again.
If you could curate a show by any 3 bands living or dead, anywhere in the world, who is playing, where is it and what are we drinking?
James: Barcelona, Spain everyone’s on the beautiful reds and first up is The Beatles to warm us up, then The Stones playing Exile on Main St in its entirety with the pauses the way it was intended, then finally Nirvana to round off the night.
Hugh: Hyde Park. Foo fighters opening for Led Zeppelin, with the closing act of course being Loudhailer. Drinking Scotch.
Nick: Queen, Jimmi Hendrix and Rage Against the Machine. Western Springs. Nothing but tequila.
I N T E R V I E W
The All Seeing Hand
By Arpie Shirehorse
HUP was lucky enough to catch up with incredible Wellington band The All Seeing Hand ahead of their set at The Others Way Hamilton Sideshow, tomorrow night, Aug 31 at Nivara Lounge.
You’re coming back to Hamilton…huzzahs! Can you remember much from previous ASH shows here? It has been way too long! We've only played in actual Hamilton twice, and the last time was a hazy 3 years ago. We have visited The Greater Waikato Region more recently though, and played a very enjoyable show with Soccer Practice and Blue Cross at the Yot Club in Raglan. What a place!
A lot of effort goes into All Seeing Hand live sets… it’s more of an experience rather than a band ripping through a set of songs. Would you agree? Do you have any favourites songs or parts of the live set that you most enjoy playing live? We enjoy constructing sets that become greater than the songs on their own, thinking about live music as shared existence, with both band and audience contributing to the ritual. By making the set a complete piece we hope to facilitate access to a group cohesiveness that brings a certain sense of peace.
How does an All Seeing Hand song come to be? I imagine it to be quite colloborative and free flowing rather than one person rocking up with a set idea. Quite often it starts with a sound. And rhythm. We often try ideas out as small transitions during live sets, so we can get an idea of how it feels, and what it needs. We make adjustments to songs for quite some time; performing them live is a big part of the editing process.
Are there any new recordings in the pipeline? The pipe is logjammed! We have so much new stuff to record when we get back from China, and there are still a bunch of songs from the Sand to Glass sessions that need to see the light of day first. Most of what we play live at the moment hasn’t been recorded yet.
And you’re heading to China soon is that right? What’s the plan there? We are!!! Our friend Kristen Ng has booked an amazing tour for us. She runs a blog called Kiwese, and has started organising tours for New Zealand bands. We have twelve shows lined up throughout China, from Hohhot in Inner Mongolia right down to Xiamen on the Southeast Coast. We’re travelling with our friend Nathan Taare, who will be performing as E/N/T. There's also a filmmaker called Dan Harris coming along, and Hannah from Unsanitary Napkin is joining us for the Southern Leg. We’re working to find local artists to collaborate with along the way.
Is the Wellington scene in rude health at the moment? Any neat bands we should make a special effort to hear? The Wellington scene is healthy as ever. It is a small town for venues, but people make their own fun at DIY spaces and places like bowls clubs. There are many bands we love. Some of the ones that leap to mind first are HEX, Earth Tongue, Orchestra of Spheres, Womb...
Are we on the cusp of political change in NZ do you think? The world is in a funny place. It feels like many people are dissatisfied and are trying to find new ways of being; but this is from all sides of the political spectrum and the negotiations are becoming scary in some parts of the world. It is inevitable that New Zealand will have to address things in a more serious way than the political class currently is.
I N T E R V I E W
Luke Rowell aka Disasteradio
By Arpie Shirehorse
HUP was lucky enough to catch up with electro-pop wizard Luke Rowell aka Disasteradio ahead of his set at The Others Way Hamilton Sideshow, this coming Thursday Aug 31 at Nivara Lounge.
Congrats on the new album (Sweatshop)! It got to number 9 in the NZ charts last week….you should be a happy chap?! Real happy! totally ridiculous that I made this dumb thing in my bedroom and sometimes my garage and it got on the charts.. #9 is as good to me as #1, my parents posted about it on facebook, so sick! The fact that the NZ music industry are counting Bandcamp and Spotify streams to charts really excites me, hopefully it means more visibility for young people making music & independent musicians here.
Do you have any favourite tracks off it? I particularly like ‘Wake Up On Earth’ People like that song a lot, I fell down the rabbit hole a bit when I was mixing it (I got stuck layering all the sounds together right) so that drove me nuts...the idea was to stack a harmony like ELO's tune "Twilight". Personally I really like how Free WiFi ended up, I have been working on that tune since 2008, it was a joy to watch it move into a kind of 12" breakdown jammy thing, just a bit.. kinda a bit something with lots of variations like "Tour De France" by Kraftwerk.
Are there any plans to go overseas again soon? I'm hoping to get back to Europe soon, especially missing Czech Republic lately, been thinking about so many classic people I met there, but I've been so lucky this year - The Philadelphia Institute for Contemporary Art had my other project Eyeliner over for a big vaporwave show as part of an exhibition (Myths Of The Marble the exhibition was so good!!) .. and the show was amazing too! Like Laurie Anderson had some shows there in the '80s .. so yeah, already been so blessed for that stuff, hoping for a real hot summer here in Wellington too as well, and just kicking back for a bit.
What is your inspiration to keep going these days, and how has that changed since you first started out in 1999? The more I've worked on music the more and more fascinating it gets. It's so weird that you can take so much pleasure in the simple act of hearing .. like sometimes that flips me out! You hear music but it's also at the intersections of all these different languages, like there's music theory, aesthetics & taste, literal language in the form of lyrics.. conjuring up something with all these ideas seems like pure magic.
Do you envisage an end point to Disasteradio? Personally I would love to see you doing this when you’re 70 plus. Not really, I think it'll be hilarious to never quit it, and think of the back catalogue I'll have by then. That is partly why I took so long doing Sweatshop. In the actual period of synthpop, it basically crests from 1978 to '86 and a lot of those groups put out bad records in the late '80s - I've always been mindful of not feeling forced and also not attempting to add too many more variables to the mix at once. I consider often the idea of working slowly - working with intent. Computers don't make it easy.
You’re coming back to Hamilton! Any lasting memories of visits/shows/bands here, good or bad? THE BAKE HOUSE, I hope it's still there but I love a good late night bakery, when I was there with The Sneaks I remember sleeping on someone's couch and smelling like the bake house. So many cool memories of Ward Lane shows, maybe I played at some place called Digger's with The Coolies and that was HILARIOUS. I remember driving up with my brother's band Tried For Treason when I was 13, they had a hall show with This Night Creeps, that would have been in 1996 or so. Such inspiring times to see those bands play!
Is the Wellington scene in rude health at the moment? Any neat bands we should make a special effort to hear? My house downtown got demolished so I've been mostly stuck out in the 'burbs and I'm feeling all out of touch, but I've been loving seeing HEX play this year, really loving their songwriting as well as a firm commitment to THE RIFF. Been sticking my teeth into the really inventive harmonic textures and rhythms in this new EP by Courtesy Caller too https://courtesycaller.bandcamp.com/album/a-pleasant-climb-for-some . Not an NZ release but I've been loving this reissue of this windsurfing documentary soundtrack from 1984 too https://pacificcitysoundvisions.bandcamp.com/album/tradewinds-the-wavesailing-film - the recording just sounds so perfect to me.
Are we on the cusp of political change in NZ do you think? Probably like everyone else, I feel like *everywhere* is on the cusp of political change.. but I hope it starts with welfare and prison reform ASAP. Also really gutted about the treatment of Metiria Turei, she is amazing and I hope the dialogue she started means people in need here get looked after a lot better.
I once saw you and a pal in standing next to a small red car in a ditch on the side of the road heading north from Wellington after my old band had played there (Wellington, not the ditch) the night before. We offered help but you declined. How did you get out? Oh yeah! A farmer turned up with a truck and pulled us out - my brother and I were driving back from a show of mine in Auckland. I think we were both pretty much in shock at that point. We slid out at 110kph, pulled a 180 and hit the ditch backwards. I remember laughing uncontrollably when I got out of the car because we didn't die. My seat was like 15 degrees turned out from the impact, when I got back in the car I was almost facing the right-hand-side mirror. We had just changed the CD to "This Isn't Me" by 411.. I nearly died to uplifting hardcore.
What's your favourite meal to cook for yourself? Oh man, I am loving making Sichuan style dry fried green beans and pork mince, also Lao has a pork stew with hardboiled eggs called Thom Khem which I love making up in a big pot.. also big fan of making Korean beef Dolsot Bibimbap from scratch but that takes hours to do all the side dishes. Also I've been making pizza dough from scratch quite a bit and cooking it in a skillet. Oh no I sound like a foodie.
If you could curate a show anywhere in the world, featuring three bands dead or alive, who/where and what are we drinking? Debussy himself solo on piano, then Thin Lizzy c. 1981 then Electric Light Orchestra doing their album TIME. Oh also maybe Suzanne Ciani and Add N To (X) and Tangerine Dream and Kanye West somewhere on the bill too. I'm drinking Tsingtao (it's cheap and thirst-quenching) and Franjelico sours.
I N T E R V I E W
Dan Satherley of Dharma Police
by Ian Duggan
‘Dharma Police’ is a side-project of ex-Hamiltonian Dan Satherley’s ‘Anecdata’, which focusses on releasing synthpop songs with lyrics primarily relating to the TV show ‘Lost’. Dharma Police has just released a new album, its third, called ‘It Only Ends Once’. We talked to Satherley about his shift from releasing songs about Trump to Lost, the origin of the Dharma Police name, and why he writes songs about the TV program.
HUP: Your most recent release was Anecdata’s ‘But her Emails’ album, which concentrated on President Trump in the time leading up to his inauguration. I imagine you are glad to leave behind that real-life train wreck to once again concentrate on this fictional plane crash?
Satherley: It might seem that way, but working in news as I do, it's virtually impossible to avoid the Trump wrecking ball on a day-to-day basis. With the sheer amount of chaos going on over there, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a 'But Her Emails II' soon enough!
HUP: I have to admit, I gave up on Lost at about the time the polar bear appeared on the island. Can you give us some background on what the name ‘Dharma Police’ means, and what some of the songs on the new album are about?
Satherley: You gave up waaaaay too early. On finding out I'm into Lost, people always, ALWAYS ask: 'What's with the polar bear? Did they ever explain that mystery?' Yes, yes they did. There's a six-episode run in season three where two of the main characters are literally held in the cages where the bears used to be kept by the Dharma Initiative - a scientific group who ran experiments on the islands in the 1970s (yes, islands... don't complain about spoilers, it's been a decade since that episode aired!).
So, Dharma Police - well, the Dharma bit's obvious, and the police, well, it rhymes with 'Karma Police'. I don't have to explain that to anyone, right? And Sawyer - if you gave up in season one, you'll remember him as the redneck asshole - ends up joining the Dharma Initiative security crew in a particularly amusing subplot from the most balls-out crazy season of the show - the fifth.
HUP: Lost played on TV from 2005, finishing in 2010. To date you have released two albums, both in 2012, and an EP in 2015. What has motivated you to release another ‘Dharma Police’ album in 2017?
Satherley: Most of 'It Only Ends Once' was written at the same time as the first two Dharma Police records - it's just been sitting around this whole time, waiting for me to get bored of guitars! That also explains how it's come so soon after 'But Her Emails' - it was already written and mostly arranged, it just needed to be committed to tape (well, hard drive).
HUP: Lost seems like a pretty niche topic to release an album about, let alone three! Who is your audience, and are there any more plans for more Dharma Police releases in the future?
Satherley: I actually wrote four records' worth of material in the space of about a year, so there's another dozen or so Lost-inspired songs waiting their turn... if the world needs them.
The audience? Who knows. But when you write an absurd number of songs, sometimes you have to find absurd things to write about to fill them all! No one wants to hear songs about going to bed at 8pm because you've got a 5am start the next day, as is my daily life; so why not write from the perspective of a drug warlord from Nigeria-turned-priest who believes it was his destiny to sit in an underground bunker and press a button every 108 minutes to save the world? Or an award-winning physicist who goes back in time, only to be shot dead by his own mother? Or a 19th century Latin American man who gets sold into slavery, only to be gifted immortality by a 2000-year-old Roman who's trying to win a bet with his shape-changing brother?
There's no other show that so effectively combined emotional depth and batshit insanity. I could probably write four albums' worth of material based on season three alone!
Actually, that's not a bad idea...
I N T E R V I E W
by Ian Duggan
‘Bitter Defeat’ is a local lo-fi solo recording project, that has been sporadically releasing songs via Bandcamp since mid-2016. We talked to Bitter Defeat about the project’s influences, the irregular nature of his releases, aspirations, and whether we should expect to see him playing live anytime soon.
HUP: You have released three tracks on Bandcamp to date. Your second, ‘Better’, sounds not unlike early-Pavement recordings, particularly in the way it builds in the last 30 seconds. Who are your influences on this project?
Bitter Defeat: I’ve loved that kind of sound for a long time, since first hearing Pavement on John Peel’s show somewhere around 1991. Over the years, I’ve got into a lot of similar sounding stuff that really appeals, like Guided By Voices, who I particularly enjoy, and most recently Car Seat Headrest. I don’t know why that sound sounds nice to me, but it does. So, that’s the musical influence; Stephen Malkmus and Robert Pollard are godlike in my tiny mind.
HUP: Of the tracks released to date, ‘Superior Avoidance Tactics’ was released in June 2016, ‘Better’ in January 2017, and Hummer in July 2017, which averages out at about a track every 6 months. I really enjoy these songs. Do we have to keep waiting so long between releases?
Bitter Defeat: That’s lovely to hear, thanks for passing that on! I’d like to do more, but it’s just the way it happens really. When random inspiration hits to spend a couple of hours messing round recording. It’s possible that a bolt of inspiration hits and a bunch of new stuff is out there. It doesn’t take long. I normally come up with an idea and turn it into something ‘finished’ in about 4 hours max. Sometimes it takes two visits with a break in between, but that’s about it. I love that about it. That it’s one idea, not thought about for hours, recorded quickly, imperfections left in. I like the honesty of that.
HUP: What are your aspirations for Bitter Defeat?
Bitter Defeat: Genuinely none whatsoever. I won’t push it at all. If I’m happy with it, that’s good enough. I think ‘would I like this if I found it somewhere?’ and if the answer is yes then it’s job done. Having said that, the few friends I’ve shared it with like it and that feels nice.
HUP: As a solo, home recording project, might we expect to ever see you playing live?
Bitter Defeat: Possibly. Conversations have been had with musical pals. I’d have to sing in front of other humans though, which is a scary thought. Given there’s less than 5 minutes of material to date, it’s a long way off though!
HUP: You have named your project Bitter Defeat. Did that name derive from you being a Liverpool football supporter?
Bitter Defeat: Haha! No, though that would have been possible. Arsenal in 1989 still hurts. It’s the name of a song by Kitchen’s Floor, a great Brisbane band who played here last year. Great lo fi punk. I think it fits the nature of the BD’s music quite well.