I N T E R V I E W
HUP: Shane, what is your earliest Hamilton memory?
My earliest Hamilton music memory was being 9 and seeing Boney M at the Hamilton Lake, just after our family moved to the big smoke from Tokoroa.
HUP: What about the first small venue/bar type show?
I think I saw Pluto at Governors tavern when I was in high school, but that was primarily because it was the only bar we could get in to drink underage
HUP: What was the first live gig you played in?
The very first gig I played in was the Smokefree Rockquest in a band called Optimus Prime. This during the dizzy heights of Nu-Metal and we had convinced a school chum to join the band as a wicky-wicky scratching DJ. We were all pretty convinced that the inclusion of a DJ + matching Op-Shop suits was the X-factor combo needed to make the finals. We didn't make the finals.
HUP: IS there a favourite gig that you’ve played?
Any one of the Htown Circle Jerks are hands down favourite. They were always a genuine celebration of the Hamilton music community at large, crossing genres and combining the old and the new - a welcome antidote to the banality of NZ Music month. The night itself was also shrouded in mystery and anticipation too, which I think is a vital ingredient missing from gigs in general.
HUP: What was the inspiration behind Doteyes?
I had been fiddling around making beats in Ableton and really wanted to add instrumentation and layers to them but didn't know how to go about sync-ing it all up. Around the same time I saw Pikelet (multi-instrumentalist from Melbourne) play at Camp A Low Hum and I was blown away by how she built up and wove together these lush harmonies and soundscapes with a single loop pedal. I think I went out and bought a Boss Loop Station pretty soon after and started trying to sync it all together.
Ironically the more I played, I eventually dropped the live instrumentation and tried to concentrate on controlling one interface, rather than chaotically scuttling around the stage doing this wacky Dick Van Dyke routine.
I definitely had the most fun putting together the circle jerk mashups, but to keep with the masturbatory metaphor, they're an ultimately self-gratuitous and frivolous endeavours. I'm not sure on a favourite track though, I mostly kinda cringe listening back to most old stuff I've made
HUP: Would you say that Doteyes or Dynamo Go being based in Hamilton was an advantage or a disadvantage?
I don't know, neither? I think both were just created out of killing the boredom of being young and living in a small town, so I guess in that sense being based in Hamilton was an advantage.
HUP: What was Mammoth and why did it end?
Mammoth was a music and events guide that was started by Matt Scheurich, Pete Dawson and I, about 8 years ago. The initial idea was to try and build some better visibility and awareness around music/underground events happening in town, but then it moved more into trying to foster some of that activity, such as by reviving the Band Experiments. It ended on my part, when both Matt and I moved to Melbourne, but then was continued for some time after by Gavin McDermott.
I'm really glad to hear the HUP is carrying the torch in that regard!
HUP: How do we fix the Hamilton scene?
I'm not sure what's broken about it, but I'm sure it's synonymous with the issues facing live music in most other cities. There's a lack of community with the demise of Contact FM and Student radio in general, so creating a relevant centralised hub is a key component. And aside from that, just start a fucking band or make some beats on your laptop and play some house parties! A lot of the fault is placed on venues shutting down or changing their attitudes towards live music, but I think that's more of a symptom than a cause. The way music is consumed has just changed massively, so it's on bands and musicians to adapt their offering and reach audiences in creative ways.
HUP: Are you seeing many shows in NY?
Definitely not as many as I should be, but I've been lucky enough to see a few shows at Madison Square Garden in the past year. Caribou playing at the East River Ampitheatre (as seen on Murray Hewett's Manhattan bandshell tour) was a big highlight this year for me.
Big thanks to Shane for taking the time, hop on over to Doteyes' Bandcamp to check out that fantastic and somewhat infamous Circle Jerk 2011 Mashup by clickinnggggg this -> http://doteyes.bandcamp.com/ Arpie Shirehorse.