Underwire Interview

by the partae
Where are you currently based?
Wellington, New Zealand.
How did the band form?

Jane & I started a Pixies tribute band, Proxies, in about 2007, Spike joined us, bringing his Clash & Who chops, and we turned our cover chemistry to our own songs in 2010.  Drummer Mark joined in 2013, we did a run of gigs through to 2016. Steve joined us on bass in 2020 and we quickly got busy again, writing, performing and recording over the last 3 years.

What’s been happening recently?

We’ve been releasing our first set of singles and playing live in Wellington and surrounds. We’ve got two singles so far this year – ‘Gravity’ and ‘Calling Out’ – with two more scheduled over the next couple of months. We’re getting great playlist & feature pickup from UK & US indie channels, and some really encouraging reviews.  And we’re now working with producer Scott Seabright to prepare for more recording in November, plus more gigs through the year. Exciting times.

Your latest single ‘Calling Out’ is out now, what influenced the sound and song writing?

‘Calling Out’ was written by Spike, he’s got his own set of influences and stylistic ways. He brought it to the band as a ready piece, and we’ve all built our own parts through rehearsal and review. It’s one of those songs that the band has revered from the start, we all play it with great delicacy and the love to make it count!

How did you go about writing Calling Out?

A man, his guitar, and time for reflection on a dark time.

Where and when did you record and who with?

We recorded at Massey University School of Music in 2021, with Mike Gibson and assisted by Robbie Pattinson. Mixing and finishing got massively disrupted by the pandemic – lockdowns and rescheduling –  but our label Plasticgroove HQ brought studio guru Scott Seabright into the picture and he’s mastered the Massey recordings for release, and is now taking an active production role for future projects.

How does your creative process usually take place?

We’re pretty varied in approach. Previously myself, Spike & Jane had brought already written songs, and we’ve made them our own as a band. In the last year or two, Jane & I have done a lot of writing together, but often ideas have come from jams together, then workshopping by Jane, Steve & I to get new material in shape for the whole band to realise.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Personally I’ve been listening to several Wellington bands, enjoying the local live scene again and listening to what’s out in release, for example Lung, This Silent Divide, Column of Sand, Mister Unit, Electric Tapestry, Tower of Flints, Dream State Empire.  I’ve got a pretty eclectic library of music on my phone, a lot of Pixies, Faith No More, Queens of the Stone Age.

Any shows coming up?

We’ve just played the much-sort-after Lovelands music club in Porirua on 26 August, next is Wellington’s Valhalla on 28 September with Electric Tapestry to launch our next single ‘Falling All Over’ out on 29th September. We’re teaming up with Electric Tapestry again at Meow in Wellington CBD on 8 December.

What’s planned for the remainder of 2023?

Preparation for recordings with Scott Seabright producing in November, and get booking for next year. And we’ve got another handful of new songs to bring into the repertoire, so more rehearsal and planning together.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Again purely personal, bacon & eggs, and I love Fidel’s Cafe in Wellington’s Upper Cuba Street.

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