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.