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LA life: Lontalius interview

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“I have been telling people that being in LA it’s kind of like going to university,” jokes Eddie Johnson, aka Lontalius. “I went away and learnt some things, and now I’ve got to come back and apply it in the real world.”

After a two year stay in Los Angeles, Lontalius is now back in New Zealand and when NZ Music Business caught up with him, he was wrapping up his first tour here in two years. He’s enjoyed the opportunity to revisit his back catalogue – “I haven’t even listened to those songs since the last time I played live” – and is looking forward to playing more live dates in the future.

But for now, that is about as concrete as things get. A follow-up to his acclaimed debut I’ll Forget 17 is in the can, but at this stage he is not quite what to do with it.

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HIGH HØØPS: Arts and commerce

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“It’s a taste of where I have been and where I’m going,” says Jordan Arts, aka HIGH HØØPS of his just released debut album Seasons On Planet Earth.

Appropriately enough, the record marks a new chapter for Arts on the business side of things, too: it’s the first long player to be released on A Label Called Success, the company he has set up with friend and collaborator Connor Nestor.

But whether it’s creating music or developing a business strategy, this he is determined to pursue his career on his own terms.

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The Chills: Martin Phillipps talks Snow Bound

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Familiarity breeds contempt goes the old saying –Martin Phillipps even wrote a song of the same name, which appears on The Chills’ seminal sophomore set Submarine Bells.

However, it’s a phrase that doesn’t apply to the iconic NZ band’s latest studio album Snow Bound; familiar, yes, but in the best possible way. The sparkling modern production aside, it’s an album that would fit seamless into their classic canon of works from the 80s and 90s, a gorgeous collection of jangling guitars lines, bittersweet melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

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Barry Saunders: behind the wheel with The Warratahs

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“We come in and out of orbit,” reflects Barry Saunders, frontman of The Warratahs, who this year celebrate their 30th anniversary. “We have always had our space – that space just shrinks and expands!”

You get the feeling that Saunders has never been overly concerned whether his band of country rockers are in or out, though for the past few years they have certainly been back in orbit. In 2015, the band – Saunders, Nik Brown (violin, mandolin), Mike Knapp (drums) and Nick Theobald (bass, vocals) – reconvened for Runaway Days, their first studio album in nine years and since then Saunders has gone on to tour and work with the likes of Tami Neilson, Marlon Williams and Delaney Davidson.

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The Others Way: Wax Chattels

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Following the May release of their self-titled debut, the Wax Chattels – Peter Ruddell, Amanda Cheng and Tom Leggett – have been busy introducing their incendiary blend of punk and electronica to audiences in the US and the UK.

Now back in NZ – albeit briefly, as there are more overseas dates to come – for The Others Way, Ruddell reflects on a frenetic last six months.

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The Beths: Elizabeth Stokes on Future Me Hates Me

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The buzzsaw bop of The Beths wouldn’t seem to have a lot in common with jazz, but oddly enough there is connection.

Like their pals Wax Chattels, the Auckland four-piece first – who debut album Future Me Hates Me has just been released– met while studying jazz at Auckland University.

However, singer/guitarist Elizabeth Stokes doesn’t see it as being that much of a contradiction.

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The Others Way: Carb On Carb

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The first single from Carb On Carb’s second album For Ages was entitled ‘It’s Been A Rough Year’. But in real-life it has been anything but for Aucklanders James Stuteley and Nicole Gaffney.

On the eve of their appearance at The Others Way, Stuteley talks about their recent overseas travels and why they are looking forward to a bit of a break.

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The Others Way: Death and the Maiden

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Death and the Maiden – Lucinda King (vocals, bass), Hope Robertson (guitar, drums, vocals) and Danny Brady (synths, programming) – released their sophomore set Wisteria earlier this year through Fishrider Records.

This will be the first time the Dunedin-based electronic trio been at The Others Way and Brady is looking forward to sharing their new album with an Auckland audience, as well as catching up with some of his favourite bands.

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The Others Way: Vincent H.L.

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Weird Days is the suitably named solo album from Vincent H.L. – aka Vincent Lum – best known for his work with Auckland bands such as Whipping Cats, Magic Factory and Hang Loose.

Described as the “psych country soundtrack to your tramadol nightmares”, he can’t wait to share it with audiences at The Others Way.

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The Others Way: Die! Die! Die!

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In the first of a regular series of Q&As with artists performing at this year’s The Others Way festival, we catch up with Andrew Wilson from Die! Die! Die!

Now in their 15th year, the punk three-piece are about to start work on their seventh studio album, which also reunites them with bassist Lachlan Anderson, who left the group after their 2012 album Harmony.

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