Odds & Ends

by the partae
Where are you currently based?
We’re four mates living in Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) in Aotearoa (New Zealand). We love it here!
How did you first start playing music?

Individually we all have roots in music here and there. Some of us started playing music before having a full set of teeth, and some of us started a little later. We all met while studying music at university and formed a band there; Some of our stuff is still recorded there and we love coming back to our roots.

What’s been happening recently?

A LOT of things have been happening. Let’s see, we released Something Else in April which got some fantastic radio play around the country. We threw that single a release party at the Tuning Fork and had our biggest headline show yet. Then we jumped on tour with our mates Skram from Wellington, to celebrate their fresh album. We only just wrapped up the tour when we dived straight back in the studio to record this new single Better Days. That’s now been mixed and mastered and we’re sending it around Australia and Aotearoa to make sure it lands in the right ears.

We’re putting on a release gig at the Tuning Fork with some killer support acts to celebrate this new single on November 19 so our brainspace is very occupied by all the logistics around the release.

Your latest single ‘Better Days’ will be released on the 18th of November 2022, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
It’s hard to say what influenced the songwriting, Koen wrote the song back in 2017 or so, but it’s a song about getting off your ass and finding your happy place. The sound, however, is a bit more recent because we redid the entire recording of the single. We’ve been playing a cover of the iconic Naive by The Kooks on tour and there’s definitely a bit of The Kooks you can hear in the song, sonically.
How did you go about writing Better Days?
Writing the song was fairly easy, I (Koen) came up with the chords and structure of the song and then I got a really great feeling from the music alone. I then wrote the lyrics pretty easily, keeping road trips with my close mate Zac in mind while writing the song, and summing up great times we’ve had surfing, spearfishing, rock climbing and camping together.
Summer is just around the corner so It’s a great nudge for everyone who pays attention to the lyrics to get outside and take in the beautiful world we live in.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

Straight out of the tour with Skram we dove into the studio to record the Drums for Better Days. At this point we already had pretty decent guide tracks to give our drummer, Max Earnshaw, a really good energetic mix in the headphones, with the idea that it would make Max play more energetic as well. We then made those drums sound even better with some nice plugins and even nicer outboard hardware, and Jonathan Meyer tracked the bass simply directly into the pre-amps. After that, guitarist and singer Koen Aldershof layered about 4 different guitar parts over multiple tracks, to get that popular indie-pop-rock sound, similar to Half-Alive, GrizfolkGreat GableThe Happy Fits; the list is endless.The gang vocals in the chorus are what really makes this song stand out for us. It was quite fun, we asked our Instagram following if anyone wanted to sing along on our new single and we had an overwhelming response. We had a lot of musical and non-musical friends and followers sing along to the chorus lyrics “Higher and higher and higher” which created this huge wall-of-sound kind of vocal effect. It really sounds like there’s a small army of people singing and shouting the key song lyrics. Phew, so the song is done, recorded anyway, and in only 3 weeks. At this point we sent the song off to our previous lead guitarist and good friend Luan Meaker who mixed the song beautifully. Chris Chetland from Kog Studios, (who’s worked with some ridiculously amazing artists) mastered the single and in our opinion, the song is one of the best ones we’ve ever produced.

How did you approach the recording process?

The recording of Better Days actually came about super quickly. We were a little pressed for time, not to mention exhausted, coming out of the tour across the North Island if we wanted to push a single out before the end of the year. We thought, it’s better to release it in November because as soon as December rolls around, nobody is going to listen to anything but Mariah Carey’s jingle bells. So we got stuck in, the way we always do, starting with drums first. If anything, we put less pressure on this single than we have done for previous tunes and I think it made for a really easy and relaxed way of getting the recording done.

What does Better Days mean to you?
The message behind Better Days is to get off your ass and spend some time appreciating the world we find ourselves in. The song is tailored to everyone who has dreamed of doing THAT thing. Whether it’s sky diving over Dubai, backpacking through south-east Asia, Sailing around the world, or another seemingly out-of-reach fantasy, this song is the motivation. The motivation to quit a job you don’t like, to change careers if you don’t like where you’re at, to chase a dream, to find yourself in your happy place. The lyrics in the song, “look for better days”, are meant to make you look within yourself and ask those big questions; Am I happy? Am I where I want to be? Am I on the right track? And while these can be tedious and nagging questions to ask yourself, you are the only person who can admit that you’d rather be somewhere else.
Happiness is important and there’s only one way to find it, by getting of your ass and looking for it.
What’s planned for 2023?
More music and more shows are a must. We love making music and we love playing it to people even more. We’ve speculated about jumping across the water and visiting our friends over in Australia, but at this point, nothing is confirmed or concrete.We have locked in a few festivals that we’ll be announcing soon so follow us on social media to stay up to date.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Ugh so many, too many amazing artists! I try to spin my Release Radar on Spotify every Friday as well as my Discover Weekly playlist. I find some true gems in there, like the new album from The 1975, Spacey Jane, and releases from The Rions, The Murlocs and Gang of Youths. But like I said, the list is endless.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Favourite food, hahaha, what a random question. I mean, Lasagna always slaps, although you can’t beat a good plate of sushi. The best meal would be a potluck to nibble on a bunch of different flavours and cuisines and hang out with mates. Speaking of hanging out, anyone who hasn’t heard of Movespace needs to head over to their socials and follow them. It’s definitely our favourite place to hang out! It’s a creative space with room for co-working during the day but hosts gigs in the evening, both inside and on their rooftop venue. They’ve recently built a recording studio with the most incredible vibe and it’s THE space to meet cool like-minded people.Of course, we can’t go past our favourite venue, The Tuning Fork! It’s THE place to catch some of the up-and-coming kiwi acts and establishing overseas acts. We’re playing our second show at the Tuning Fork on November 19th and we can’t wait to be back on that beautiful stage!

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