‘The Ind[i]efatigables’: An Interview with DateMonthYear’s Trevor Faville
With Ian Duggan
Hamilton perennials DateMonthYear have released an EP and three albums, though the last, ‘Pot/Kettle/Black’, was way back in 2008. With an upcoming single, album and video, we chatted with DateMonthYear’s central figure Trevor Faville about July, March and August, what happened to the planned DateMonthYear movie, and what excites him most with the new album.
Faville: The new single is called ‘July’, and we are premiering it on selected radio on the first [of December]. It’s about an evil pop star; “a dirty princess with a paper crown”. We have been doing it live for ages, and its more up-tempo and louder than our last three songs. And the lyrics are somewhat more assertive, too.
HUP: Is 'July' a play on the name of your previous single, 'March'?
Faville: ‘July’ isn’t a play on the name ‘March’... although there is another song on the album called ‘August’. There was some obscure concept there a while back, and the names survived while the concept didn’t.
HUP: What is the album title?
Faville: Self-titled! I figured that is been long enough for that since our last release to do that!
HUP: If I am correct, this is your first album in 11 years? Does it include all the singles released in the interim?
Faville: This album is kind of a summary of our work for the last five years. All of the strongest material that we have done in one collection. The last two singles, ‘Numbers’ and ‘March’, will be on the album.
HUP: Given the number of years the release has been written over, do you feel it forms a coherent 'album', or is it perhaps more like a collection of singles?
Faville: It’s very much a coherent album. All of the songs were conceived to fit a shape, and the order of the songs is very important… right down to things like related keys signatures and mood. I’m a bit like that.
Faville: I am excited to have it done! The material is strong, and it’s a really honest statement about our sound. We have compromised nothing to musical vision. The entire thing is self-funded and controlled; so no ‘New Zealand on Air’ nonsense.
The bit that I am especially proud of is the indie route that we have taken here. By and large we have completely ignored many of the expected norms of the so-called ‘New Zealand music industry’. We have paid for every part of this process ourselves and do it our own way. Already we have found an audience overseas. ‘March’, for example, got played on about 130 radio stations through Europe last year. The indie approach is lonely... but extremely rewarding!
HUP: Is the new video for July?
Faville: The new video will be for ’Exodus’, and we are still working on a release date for that.
HUP: Looking back to when we last interviewed you, in December 2015, you had some big plans for DateMonthYear, including a movie/musical in 2017. Did that ever eventuate?
Faville: The movie is still a script and demos! It’s a very good idea, but I had to shelve it while we got this album finished. We had some changes; there was a bit of downtime in 2008, and some personnel issues in 2015, when we were originally scheduled to record this album. So we reconfigured, and have released a song per year since then.
HUP: So who features on this album?
Faville: Personnel on this album are Emma Koretz, vocals; Brooke Baker, keys, vocals, guitar; Tyler Leet, guitar; and Hayley Schwass, bass. And me. Engineering and mixing was by Scott Newth, and produced by me.
HUP: Do you have plans for a Hamilton release of the album?
Faville: Yes, Hamilton is first; a local release date for physical copies of the album, plus those dedicated fans on the email list [on December 1st]. This is only the first stage of the release. The physical copies of this album have full versions of many of the songs. The only place people can hear to full versions is on the ‘real’ copy. Full international release, including streaming, happens in January next year. The streaming versions of many of the songs will be shorter edits. The bottom line is that the ‘local’ release is for local supporters to get first chance at the ’full versions’ of our stuff.