I N T E R V I E W
Quiet in the Back! An Interview with Gisborne's Sit Down in Front
with Ian Duggan
Future City Festival is only a few weeks away, so HUP are catching up with a few of the bands playing the event. Future City Festival's band with the lowest average age is Gisborne punks ‘Sit Down in Front’, who have found a bit of success in the last couple of years in the Smokefreerockquest competition. We had a chat with Cory, Rikki, Jackson and Roman about how a band of school kids from Gisborne have come to be influenced by The Sex Pistols and the Clash, why Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and a contestant from TV show The Block have come to be wearing their t-shirts, and more!
HUP: The band cite The Sex Pistols and The Clash as a couple of your main influences. How have a group of 15-year-olds from Gisborne come to be exposed to such classic, important bands as these?
Cory: My parents listen to heaps of that type of music, so I guess I just grew up with it. We also figured out that that type of music suited my vocals. Plus, those bands are just bloody good!
HUP: Sit Down in Front have already released one album in June 2018, ‘Red Light Runner’, recorded when you were 14-year olds. How would you describe the sound of the songs on that album, and do you think your style has evolved since this time?
Rikki: Our style hasn’t changed much since day one, but I think our songs are becoming more refined and are getting tighter the more we play. I would say that our new stuff, due out later this year, is a lot fuller as we used top of the line gear to record, and our producer Greg Haver pushed us pretty hard.
HUP: I see you have been doing some recording recently at Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios in Auckland. How did that opportunity come about?
Jackson: Our manager got introduced to Greg Haver and he was keen to do a single with us. He works out of Roundhead a lot, so we managed to book in a day in there. It was awesome! The gear is amazing! Blew our minds.
HUP: What are your aspirations for the band? Do you have a few more years to go at school, and is there the worry of what will happen to the band as the end of the school years start to approach?
Rikki: We are keen to get a few bigger gigs as well as get as many people as we can listening to our music. We are looking forward to releasing our new single, around May, and just keep having fun. Not really thinking too much about post-school, as there’s a bit of water to go under the bridge. And who knows what opportunities will come up between now and then.
HUP: You have managed to get some inspired product placement, with your t-shirts having been worn by comedian Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, and by a contestant on the TV show The Block. How have you managed to make that happen?
Roman: Because being in Gisborne everyone knows everyone, so we decided to send the Gizzy hard team a Sit Down In Front merch package with some other bits and bobs as an encouragement gift. Stu loved the t-shirt and agreed to wear it on TV! For Cory, we randomly met him while we were doing a gig in Raglan and he came over and started chatting to us, so we kept in touch after the gig. We sent him a shirt, and he decided to post it on his Facebook. Right time, right place really.
HUP: Lyrically, what are your songs about? Are they at all politically minded, like those of your influences?
Cory: Nah, our songs aren't politically minded. We’re too young to worry about that stuff really. Our lyrics are just random and come from simple things, like reading the paper or watching things outside the car window on the way home. The first song we wrote was about not having any cream for our dessert when camping (hahaha).
HUP: Really impressed by the long list of sponsors the band has acquired, something I think other bands (and probably even us!) should think about. How do you go about attracting such sponsors?
Jackson: Gisborne has a good supportive community and when we were putting our album together several businesses offered their support. We put together a bit of a sponsorship package that included a free gig, and luckily a few places came on board.
HUP: Who are the bands you are looking forward to seeing at Future City Festival?
Roman: The bands I'm really looking forward to seeing there are: Carb on Carb, HEX and Nadia Reid.