What is your name and role within Openside?
I’m Possum, and I’m the vocalist/resident emo for Openside
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
We’re based in Auckland, NZ and the local scene is kinda thriving at the moment. The bands coming up with us are really passionate, interesting people and they’re incredibly talented, it’s cool to see the people that you grew up with find success and make it internationally too. We’re lucky in that close friends with a few of them – bands like Foley, LEXXA, Jon Lemmon, MAALA – which makes for a supportive environment, especially at shows! The only thing is that it’s quite hard to play all ages shows here in terms of venues, which is tough as loads of our fans are teenagers and the all ages gigs we do play have such an incredible atmosphere and are so much fun – we always want to play more shows like that.
Your new single Character Flaws is out on Fri 28 Sep! Where and when did you record?
This is a song that we’ve been playing live for almost two years and it always is so much fun to play and the kids in the crowd go so hard for it, so it’s amazing to have it out as a single now! As it’s been kicking around for a while it’s gone through a few iterations, but the single version we recorded earlier this year at Golden Age Studios in Auckland which is where most of our songs come to life. It’s where Lorde recorded her first album, so you really feel that creative buzz in the space.
Please describe what or who influenced the sound and songwriting for this track:
Character Flaws is a really personal song for all of us as it comes from a place of real insecurity – it’s something that as a band we’ve all experienced in different ways, especially when we were younger, and our fans often talk about how much they relate to that song in particular when we’ve played it live. We wanted to make an anthem for the emo kids; it’s really influenced by that emo/pop-punk scene that we all fell in love when we were younger. It’s cool to be putting out the song now as this year we’ve opened for Fall Out Boy and are about to open for Panic! At The Disco, so it’s almost like coming full circle with the song and those influences.
Who did you work with?
Josh Fountain was our main collaborator on this one, he works with us on all of Openside’s music and we have an awesome relationship with him as he really brings out the best in us. It’s quite a personal song to the band, so we were quite protective of it and didn’t want too many outside voices on it.
Where will we be able to take a listen?
It’s out now on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.
How do you usually go about writing music?
Every song process is different, but we often like to start in the studio with Josh, sometimes with other co-writers too, and just listen to music and talk about what is taking up space in our mind and our life at the moment. Often the best songs come together all at once in that first session.
How did Openside form?
PJ, George, and Harry were originally in another band when they were much younger with another vocalist, who wasn’t able to come out on tour with them so they asked me to fill in. We really gelled and had a lot of fun together, which eventually led to more opportunities to play together and we made it official as a four-piece in 2015 as Openside.
How did you first start playing music?
This kid’s mum heard me singing on the school bus when I was 12 and asked if I would join her son’s band. I’ve been performing and writing ever since.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m mostly only listening to musical soundtracks and podcasts! But there is a lot of great New Zealand music going on at the moment, Chelsea Jade and The Beths, for example. The new LEXXA song is awesome too.
What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?
More music, we promise! We’re so excited by the plans for the next few songs we have coming out, we’re doing things a little differently, so watch this space…
Favourite food and place to hang out?
Funnily enough, my answer to both of these questions is the same – I’m obsessed with a vegan restaurant that’s opened up in my neighbourhood, The Butcher’s Son, so I’m always there and whatever the latest addition to their menu is my favourite food.