I N T E R V I E W
Nick Feisst of The Deadly Deaths
by Arpie Shirehorse
HUP: How did The Deadly Deaths get together?
Before The Deadly Deaths was formed, Tu and I were in a band called Nimbus, and Bevan was a part of Dead Pan Rangers, and we knew each other through the music scene in Hamilton, as well as playing shows together (though, the only one I can remember, off the top of my head, was in Rotorua). I don’t quite remember the order of things, but I had been writing music and recording simple demos for a new group. I showed some of it to a friend (Marshall, who is a musician/producer) in Auckland who gave me some ideas about recording them. Tu and I had seen Bevan at some shows in Hamilton (he had recently returned from a year in Europe with Dead Pan Rangers), and I remember (though I’m starting to doubt my memories) talking to him at the movie theatre in Hamilton about the possibility of drumming with us. We had our first practices in the back room of Bevan’s house in Te Pahu and things seemed to go well.
HUP: What was your greatest achievement, as The Deadly Deaths?
As a band, probably getting the album finished and released. We didn’t have a lot of gear, and getting everything recorded and mixed was a bit of a challenge. We set ourselves a deadline, and I remember that the final night before we were going to start mixing the last few songs was quite stressful. Tu (I think) and I recorded some of the final vocal takes. I used to do this late at night when it was quiet, as we were recording in the spare bedroom of our flat, with a clothes rack and mattress to try to create some sort of vocal booth and reduce the reverberation in the room. Unfortunately our neighbours also decided to have a loud party this night. We managed to get it all recorded though. For me, personally, it was probably the making of our first music video (for the song “See The World”). I had always been fascinated with stop-motion animation since I was young - so to actually get to try this, read and interact with other animators online, create the puppets, and build the sets, was a very interesting and satisfying challenge for me. It was featured on a number of video sharing websites and even in a couple of small festivals overseas.
HUP: What are your best/worst memories about being in The Deadly Deaths?
There were a lot of shows that were fun to play, and a few that weren’t. I managed to drive my car over my guitar after one on a dark and stormy night - and it survived! I remember being quite frustrated that we could never seem to get our music played on bFM in Auckland (though I think we may have been played on a “specialist” show once) - Kiwi FM and all the other student radio stations were very supportive though (I used to call around the stations after sending the latest single out to them, and I would always call Radio One in Dunedin first, because they would always add us).
HUP: What was the best show you ever played?
I would say the first Camp A Low Hum. I’m not sure that we played particularly well - but the whole experience at the camp was great. We drove to Wellington not really knowing what to expect from the camp. We also released our album for sale at the camp, though I have a feeling that more people bought our shirts (thanks to our designer Heath - who also designed our album artwork) than our album.
HUP: Do you feel being based in Hamilton helped or hindered The Deadly Deaths?
This is really hard to know. I would like to think that it helped us. The music scene at the time seemed very supportive, and there were a number of people trying to do good things for it (from Nexus, to The Yellow Submarine, etc).
HUP: What is your favourite Hamilton music memory?
That’s hard to say - there are so many. I arrived in Hamilton in 1999 (and was often confused that year as to the difference between Trinket and Trucker), but was already a fan of Inchworm (who I had seen twice in one night in Rotorua). From this, to the later energetic shows of The Datsuns, the not-so-energetic-but-great shows of Dead Pan Rangers, discovering Daisy Chain Halo, Rumpus Room, and The Shrugs.
HUP: How do we 'fix' the Hamilton music scene?!
To be honest I’m not even sure what the music scene is like at the moment (I’ve been living overseas). It seems hard to get people interested in local music no matter where you are. I would like to say that a strong radio station would help, but I’m not so sure about this with the way that music is being discovered and consumed by people at the moment.
HUP: One final question...any chance of a Deadly Deaths reunion?!
If I say 'no chance', it'll probably happen. Who knows?
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