Mark Tupuhi/ The Hum Interview
THE HUM 106.7FM
Hamilton's latest radio station, THE HUM 106.7FM has been up and running for a few weeks now. Since the demise of Contact FM, the lack of a radio station that plays 'our' music has been quite a hole in the Hamilton musical landscape, so when HUP learned of THE HUM's creation, it had us positively quivering at the knees. THE HUM plays an eclectic mix of Hamilton-made music and is the brainchild of long-time Hamilton muso Mark Tupuhi. Arpie Shirehorse caught up with Mark for a wee yarn...
HUP: What is your earliest Hamilton gig memory?
I had arrived from Invercargill in November of 1992, I’d just finished High School and was waiting to start Uni the next year. During my first week here I got stoned and went out for a walk and got completely lost. We lived in Hillcrest and it was like a rabbit warren of streets and I had no way of finding my way home. Out of the gloom came a sign from Speights and the Hilly became one of my best friends from then on. That night I met some people who were going down to see a band at The Riv, up the other end of Clyde street, and that's pretty much how it all started. The music was cool and weird and original and the people were all clever and crazy and fun to be with and I thought Id really lucked out. As a southland boy I had always dreamed of going to Otago, becoming a scarfy and being a part of the Dunedin punk thing. I never expected to wind up here, it came as quite a disappointment at first but I soon learned that there was an equally interesting and diverse scene here and, well, I just sort of stuck around.
HUP: What would be your most memorable Hamilton gig?
There was this one Battle of the bands that always stuck out to me. 'Dept Of Corrections' played a real face-melter, they had grinders and welding gear onstage with them and it really made the acid I’d eaten pop nicely. I dunno who else played that night or even when it was (1996?) but it was a turning point, I joined bands not long after that and started writing songs.
HUP: What would be your favourite show that you played at in Hamilton?
The first Circle Jerk was a really cool night, as people started filling the place up I realised that it was actually working and it was a great night for both the audience and the bands. The other one was when 'Schrodinger's Cat' played up on the balcony above Scott's Epicurean on Victoria St on New Years Day 2000. We played as the contestants of the worlds first Marathon of the new millennium were running along the street below us and we managed to get some great reactions from people. That was a long night, we played again at Whangamata that night and I think I was awake for a few days, I think half the planet was...
HUP: What made you leap into action and start The Hum?
I love Hamilton music. I guess it came from a desire to not see some of the songs I love slip away into obscurity without the patronage of Contact Fm. I hoped to fill the void left by student radios demise but in a uniquely Hamilton way. When I first started up at UFM all those years ago I remember asking Scott Newth why they didn’t just play Hamilton music and one of the reasons was that there just wasn’t enough content back then. Well there is now. Its not always the easiest station to listen to but it has a heart, albeit a black pirate rock n roll heart…
HUP: How did it get to this stage?
At first I just went out and bought some antenna and transmitters and started making plans to just broadcast from home. I quickly learned that there was going to be more to it than that and what Id intended to be a five minute “Set in motion and forget” kind of operation was going to need a little more time and care. Ive had help from Phil Grey up at Free FM as well as Paul T and Zed Brookes who helped me assemble the 60 odd gb of data in our playlist. Other than that I just set little goals and tried to get one done every week. There's no sponsorship or funding so it all had to be done by me, cheaply. I'm really proud of it. People seem to like listening and that means that I haven’t done to bad a job. One of the common responses I get is “Oh yeah I thought it was going to suck but its actually pretty cool”… I’ll take that… Maybe there's a slogan in that!
Future plans? The launch is on the 23rd Jan at Nivara Lounge, the Battle of The Bands starts on March 17 and goes for 4 weeks culminating in the final on the 7th of April and there is a fringe event in planning at the moment. There are shows being developed and also I'm constantly on the scrounge for Battle of the bands prizes and sponsorship. The most exciting thing at the moment is the prospect of getting access to Kerry Cooper's stash of live to airs and interviews. Even if he can only track down a few, they will really be great to broadcast. Between Kerry's show on Contact and Jane Pierard's Sunday show, there were some really great broadcasting moments and I love the idea of giving some of them a new audience. We want more local music and plan to use the production studio to help facilitate that for bands that have no gear or funding plus we want bands to send us their stuff. We aren’t here to judge it or categorise it, it all goes into the playlist and it all gets played! Arpie Shirehorse
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