Arpie caught up with brilliant Hamilton-based indie-folk duo Lhasa ahead of their show with Manchester's Good Habits at Nivara Lounge next Wednesday, January 22nd.
Who is Lhasa and how long have you been a band?
We are an indie folk duo from Hamilton and we sometimes sing a little too loudly. We are Micaela and Samuel Fistonich and we first met around 4 years ago while studying music. About a year after that we started to write songs together and that’s really where it all started. We released our debut EP in September 2019. We love writing music and playing shows together, and we’re just trying to create the kind of music that we’ve always loved listening to.
What are your main influences? In music, and in life?
Our biggest influences on our music in terms of artists are probably Led Zeppelin and The Civil Wars. We both listen to quite a lot of different music though and that shows in our songs. Our families and the places we grew up in really shaped us into who we are today. Sam spent the first 18 years of his life in China and Micaela grew up in Australia and then Tauranga. Both of our families are really supportive of our music and have encouraged us a lot on this journey.
Who writes the songs and how do they come to be?
It’s definitely always collaborative. We each come with ideas and both build on them together. Most of the time it flows pretty easily when we write which is good. Sam then does all our recording, mixing, and mastering for our releases.
How do you find being in a band based in Hamilton?
It’s been a pretty good experience so far. We’ve got quite a few musician friends who are always keen to gig and it’s quite a supportive community.
What has been the highlight of being in Lhasa so far?
Finally releasing our first EP last year was pretty awesome. It took a little longer to complete than expected so it was a great feeling when it came out. We’re really proud of it and stoked with the positive feedback we’ve got from it.
What plans do you have for 2020 and beyond?
To continue on the road we’re on, really. We’re on our first North Island tour right now and we keen to book some tours overseas as well. We’re also going to start recording some new songs in February, so keep an eye out for new music!
What was the last album you bought?
The Road Home by Paper Cranes. We’ve been fans for a while but we finally bought a physical copy at their gig last year in Hamilton.
What has been your favourite show in recent times, by another band?
That’s a tough one. Would have to be a toss up between George After James’ single release show in December and a gig we went to that featured our friends Lasair, Artinian, and Isabella Velvet.
Get along to catch Lhasa live at Nivara Lounge with Good Habits next Wednesday Jan 22nd...here they are with their neat track 'Small Person'...