I N T E R V I E W
The Resurrection of the Goth & the Pixie
By Ian Duggan
We have seen The Goth and the Pixie play their final, and final final gigs, but now they are back with their debut album, ready for release (at a gig) on 3 November! We caught up with the Pixie to talk about the album, her shift to Melbourne, and the misinformation circling regarding the album's name!
HUP: You are releasing your debut album on 3 November! What can you tell us about the album?
Pixie: IT WAS MADE WITH SLAVE LABOUR. Voluntary slave labour of course. We're not thugs. A HUGE thank you to Jacob Tait from the Volume Collective. The majority of the recording was done one sunny Sunday at [drummer] Lott [Larsson]'s house in Oparau. We took the Volume Collective computer and all the recording gear for a big road trip and recorded most of the electric guitar, drums and bass all at once live. When Pixie realised she was wearing the same t-shirt as Pretty Albert [Bannister], she just about fainted in excitement and then fell asleep on the shoulder of an onlooker. After this we took it all back to The Fridge where the recordings were frozen, gear and all, put in stasis for numerous years, and then thawed for release. It was then that the majority of vocal and violin tracks were overlaid, including the addition of Alec Forbe’s most wondrous voice. Pip [Smith] and the Goth wrote a spoken poem which he intoned rather marvellously to introduce an improvised one-take instrumental (violin added later) currently titled 'Broken Piano Song'. And, somewhere amidst this, the recordings were put onto an electronic transfer device and brought to Aaron [Gott] and Amy [Maynard]'s house (Looking for Alaska duo). We utilised the power of Aaron's Mad piano skills for State Highway Number Two. We utilised his Mad xylophone skills. We each took turns on Pip Smith’s theremin. The Goth spent many, many hours editing. When Pixie was in Hamilton she tried to help. Lott made a really cool promo video about the sort of confusion that Bag of Ants was named from; 'BaggerVance'. Pretty Albert almost drowned whilst surfing. And thus, the album was born. I'd like to say there's an overarching theme or story through the songs... Really, I think the binding theme is madness.
HUP: In July and October last year, you played what were described as possibly your last gig, followed by your “final FINAL” gig. Why did you choose to finish your live performances then, and how have you come to be active once again?
Pixie: There were actually three of them. A quite possibly last gig ever, a final gig, and then a FINAL final gig. I think. Maybe I remembered wrongly. Maybe there were just two.
We actually had broken up, we thought. When the Goth and the Pixie — the couple I mean, Wairehu [Grant] and Macaila [Pescud], their relationship ceased to be one of explicitly romantic nature — and then they were reconfigurating — when Albert was told that the band was breaking up he said, "you mean we're on hiatus". A fortune teller perhaps.
A few months later Wairehu and Macaila happened to be at the same open mic and thought for ye olde days, let's play some songs together. That was fun so, hey, let's have a final show. That went really well, so let's do some recordings, so we know what was. So it's preserved in some way. And isn't lost to memory. Hey that wasn't absolute Hell. Before Macaila, Pixie, splits for Melbourne, let's do a final FINAL gig. And we did.
Then of course in the Pixie's multiple visits to New Zealand the album was a priority. And, why not have a tour? We were getting inspired now, let's fulfil that "one year from now" goal we made in a previous HUP interview; put on a real theatrical show. And we are, Friday the 3rd of November at the Meteor (including Glass Shards, Halcyon Birds, Battlecat, and guest appearance *wink wink*), and I truly, truly wouldn't miss it if I were you. Not a thing to simply throw away. One night only folks. And who knows if it'll happen again? Certainly we don't.
HUP: I note you have described the album on your Facebook page as your “first”. Does that mean we should expect more albums to come? What does the future look like now for TG&TP?
Pixie: The future looks like aliens and hover crafts. And giant ball pits. Rumours of our bass player's imminent departure to Deutschland show that there are at least some changes in the air. Did you know that before we got Albert involved we wanted to find a Tuba player? We put these little posters everywhere saying things like: 'Do you like to dance with the faeries and moan in goth-like fashion?'. Welllll, the Goth got a nervous little phone call a month or two back and what d'ya know! Two years after putting those notices up (and then totally forgetting about them) we've found ourselves a Tuba player! Perhaps that's what the future looks like!
HUP: How is music going for you in Melbourne? Are you based there long-term?
Pixie: I planned to move to Melbourne but got caught up and ended up exploring a bit; it was my first time overseas after all. I rather enjoy planes, they're like roller-coasters. So I haven't really settled but I would like to, maybe in a couple of years, be here permanently. I love how artsy the culture is; when the Council put these big concrete blocks down everywhere the public just began decorating them. They became another canvas. That's so unlikely to happen in any other city I've been to, cos when it does it gets removed. The Council doesn't remove it here. It's accepted and even encouraged. And there are lots of very cool organisations doing very cool things; support for rainbow community, support for mental health, restaurants run on a pay-what-you-can basis, awesome initiatives that really thrive in a space with high population. Unfortunately, in NZ a lot of these things don't work as well simply because we don't have the population. Though I really do get overwhelmed by how overcrowded central Melbourne is!
I have been playing a few gigs in Melbourne, and accompanying other bands and artists on the violin. And that's been really fun. I wasn't really brave enough to try and get solo gigs until very recently. That's very new to me, performing alone. So I'm growing, in the ways I thought going to a new city where I knew no one would force me to grow. And that's a journey and it's great. Next year I want to go to Canada and do some gigs there. We'll see how that plan goes!! haha
HUP: Does the album have a name?
Pixie: Ha ha… not sure yet. Various sources have claimed that it has various names. Our own Facebook page declared it to be 'Hoity Toity Tea Party', whilst a promo video proclaimed it to be self-titled. A close friend recently informed me our albums name is 'S Club 7’s Greatest Hits'. All this misinformation has made us rather perplexed. If you happen to know what its title is please tell us!
HUP: You are undertaking a North Island tour. Where is this taking you?
Pixie: I'll tell you where it's not taking us. Not to mars. Or Melbourne. Not to Blenheim either. And not in Northland. Or Coromandel. So, fill the blanks?
Okay, we'll play nice.
Hamilton - The Meteor: 03/11, 7pm; Album launch featuring Glass Shards, Halcyon Birds, Battlecat and special guest Wink Wink Nudge Nudge, $10 door charge, $15 with album
Hamilton - Creative Waikato: 23/11, 7.30pm; Acoustic support act for Shibby Pictures (US) & Whitney Flynn (US), $5 minimum door charge
Oparau - Oparau Acoustic Festival: 10/11 – 12/11; An acoustic set as part of this super fun folk festival
Auckland - The Bunker: 26/11, 7.30pm; Acoustic set as part of the Bunker Acoustic Showcase.
Auckland - UFO: 02/12, 8pm; With The Biscuits and TBC, $10 entry.
Wellington- Valhalla: 14/12; With Radar Angel, Sicari, and Horizon a.d
We suggest following our Facebook page or subscribing to Pixie's website for secret and spontaneous shows soon to be announced.