Another guest interview by Xiao Zhong, this time with New Zealand electro popper Disasteradio...
Your videos rule shit hard. I heard you actually do them all in your house with your house mate and that your house is still set up like an alien future super space bar. Not really a question, but care to elaborate on that?
YEAH! I live with Simon Ward (www.siward.tv) and my gal Christina and our good buddy Don has a studio here.. Christina did all the styling type stuff for the Charisma album, which we shot in our lounge as well as all the other videos. Don’s a makeup / prosthetics guy who’s almost wound up on The Hobbit, he made all the masks and did all the makeup (lots of sunburn in the Drop The Bomb vid, dunno how obvious that is)
Simon makes the best videos IN THE WORLD and it’s totes crazy how it’s all ended up. I guess with every video we try to do something different, and for the Drop The Bomb vid we decided to build a set and do like a SUPER HIGH EFFORT thing. I started building stuff with my buddy Dom who looks like Jesus and can make anything. We started in February and went in fits-&-starts building this thing that we didn’t shoot till April. My theory is that with the cast and all the animation and everything it’s taken one person-hour per frame.. The next video we’re just going to shoot with a terrible handicam in the park or something.
Drop The Bomb
Do you have much to carry over? Are you the easiest guy to tour ever?
I’ve made it so I can carry my whole rig (it’s like 40kg but I am pretty buff n’ tuff) on trains in Europe and stuff, that means like I get stuck in turnstiles on the Paris metro and I end up yelling at everyone.
You played some amazing festivals in Europe. Any awesome highlights? Did Kings Of Leon block off all the backstage toilets?
I played on the summit of this hill in Tønsberg, Norway next to these ruins from the 13th century, these kids made signs and stuff and I kept getting grabbed off the stage and pelted with glowsticks and stuff, it was super amazing.
We played this festival called Green Vibrations in the Netherlands which looked exactly like a reggae hippie dreadfest but weirdly enough nobody was smoking weed (like, the hippies have already won!) ... super hilarious.
Oh yeah, and in Austria I played this one-day festival where Bomb The Bass were headlining (!) and we watched these extreme-extreme sports dudes HANGLIDING at MIDNIGHT with no lights, it was super epic, like an 80s advertisment for an amazingly jerk-y aftershave.
Are you happy with the response to Charisma? Are you writing for a new album as we type?
Yeah!!! over 7,000 served on digital / pay-as-you-like & vinyl / ceedee.. I uploaded it to mediafire and uh “leaked” it to 4chan myself too and that worked out pretty good.. the weirdest thing I guess is that the Gravy Rainbow vid has got gamer kids into my stuff which is really cool, they’re used to more interaction on the internet and stuff and I get tons of weird fan-mail from them..
NEW STUFF: I have a new album for a side-project of TV Production / sultry & schmaltzy stuff called Eyeliner coming out this week.
I’m also working on what I’d call a uhm.. “ACID CLASSICAL” EP called Electric Blanket which is all wonky and frenetic like a zappa / beefheart thing with smarty-pants stuff in 5/4 and stuff like that.
How did the Cut off your hands, Disasteradio and So So Modern show come together?
Total blast from the past. Haha really quickly, we’re all good buddies.. though I was trying to make it the MONSTERS OF NZ INDIE 2008 REUNION FEST but they didn’t bite.
Reading Blink’s DIY Touring The World, you get quite a few mentions. Sounds like your trips were awesome. How much work does Blink/A Low Hum do for you? Will you be bringing him to China?
He’s away in the states right now, I’ll be rolling in on my own - he is a crazy workaholic genius and it’s totally awesome we got to working together.. like I work really hard on the music side of things and writing and practicing a bunch but he is a wizard at doing all the stuff my brain can’t handle, like booking 70 shows for one tour, figuring out all the transport and stuff. He’s mental.
Speaking of him, are you pretty stoked on hearing about his new venue/practice space where bands can negotiate their rehearsal space hire fee?
I’m going to be there on the opening night and I’m going to make myself the first person he has to kick out. It’s close to my house too so I can crawl home.
Who are some awesome bands floating around Wellington at the moment?
I did some ghetto mastering for Bewm Babies, super dig their wonky vibe!! It sucks that Leno Lovecraft moved to Paris, the kid is a genius.. The Boxcar Rattle are these kids who hadn’t heard much 60s psych stuff but they’re channelling it, haha... also obligatory mention of Golden Axe from Auckland, their last two albums have been transcendental.
YA! We can talk about how weird it is and we can joke about stuff and be armchair sociologists which is kinda the lamest but most fun thing about touring. Tons of buddies of mine are coming out of the woodwork there too. It’s weird, like I’ve been to most “western” countries but this makes my idea of China even less tangible.
How many New Zealanders stumble towards you after a show in the U.K and have shit conversations?
Not that much, that would make places like London less of a bummer. What I have gotten twice is like, “hip” corporate kiwi ex-pats in The Hague, Netherlands and I have had absolutely nothing in common with them, totally hilarious. Like people who work for BP and stuff, and Support Kiwi Music!!!! (ugh)
Bringing any shirts over that awesome people can buy?
Wah I only have like four left and they’re all ladies sizes, Don did an amazing cartoon of me in Awesome Feelings having some sort of mathematical molecular re-geometrising. (like this but in black & white)
How has it been working with Abe? He’s bringing you over and organising the tour? Do you think you guys will hug or handshake when you first meet? Do you think you’ll probably hug when you bid farewell? Are you a hugger?
Hug-a-holic here. I figure I’m going to be the John Candy to his Steve Martin, that’s the vibe I’m going for. I have a very strong suspicion we’re totally on the same vibe. In my first few emails I let him know “touring is a privilege, and amazing and rad and I’m not a princess about anything”.
Do you realise China is going to be fuck hot when you come here? Sweaty, muggy, awful hot. Prepared?
Three words: I don’t own pants. All my jeans got cut-off last summer. I seriously can’t wait to get my sweat on, NZ winter this year has been totally SUX. Plus I lost like 22kg since Gravy Rainbow so I’m not as well insulated, chinese cuisine notwithstanding.