The Creative Evolution of the Changing Same: and Interview with Matthew Bannister
with Ian Duggan
HUP: It’s been seven years since the release of The Changing Same’s self-titled debut, and four since the ‘Make up my Mind’ EP. While there was a lot of continuity between those releases, can you explain what has changed for the band between then and now, both member- and sound-wise?
Matthew: There’s four of us now, with Mef Storm on vocals and acoustic guitar. He’s also writing songs. So that adds a new sound to the band, vocals and composition-wise. At present we also have John Maydon on bass and Bruce Dennis on drums (bass and drums on the recordings are Albert Bannister and Stan Jagger).
HUP: You have been working with both Sneaky Feelings and The Changing Same over the last few years, with the Sneaky Feelings’ album ‘Progress Junction’ released just on a year ago. How do the two projects compare, or differ, in your mind? And how do you decide what song should go with which band?
Matthew: With the Changing Same I had plenty of time to try out different songs and see which worked. With Sneakies, it was more of a gamble, given that we had limited time together. I chose stuff that I thought was pretty straightforward, or that would benefit from a dual electric guitar line-up. It worked out well. We’ve started a new Sneakies album, but this time I chose songs that were a bit weirder, which didn’t work so well. Should still be able to make my quota though – the deal is three songs per person, making 12 in total.
HUP: The album is titled ‘Creative Evolution’, while your band name is ‘The Changing Same’ - continuity within a changing form through time. Is the album name a play on the band’s name, or was it devised independently?
Matthew: ‘Creative Evolution’ is originally a book by philosopher Henri Bergson. There is a continuity in that both names allude to ideas about time and change, which is a preoccupation of mine.
HUP: I really love the cover art, featuring the bird and the boy. Is there any story behind the cover choice?
Matthew: The artist is a friend of mine, Margaret Silverwood, from Wanganui. I just like her stuff and trusted her to come up with a cool image. I didn’t brief her other than tell her the title.
HUP: What are your aspirations for The Changing Same, overall?
Matthew: To keep going, basically. I just like being in a band with other people. I look forward to recording some of Mef’s songs. I don’t want to be in the spotlight all the time. I have another Beatles cover project, Rubber Gold, that I’d like to promote with gigs, next year.
HUP: What are you doing to promote this album?
Matthew: We’re doing a show at Nivara Lounge, Hamilton, on Wednesday September 5, and in Auckland on Saturday September 8 at UFO.
HUP: How can we get hold of the album, and what formats is it available in?
Matthew: CD from Powertool Records. It’ll be on Bandcamp too.