When I got the call to be interviewed on the national radio station on a music subject that I knew well it was always going to be about Wellington. I did toy briefly with the idea of talking about Todd Rundgren for half an hour but got talked out of it.
The Wellington bands had their own different streams of influence and we tended to get most of the artists passing through. It could be a difficult place to play, with factions of staunch fanatics of one form of music or another who turned up to gigs and made their feelings very clear.
In Touch was the local version of Rip It Up and was right on the pulse of the city’s independent music scene. The quality of the writing was high with writers like Gary Steel, David Cohen, Steve Braunias, Redma Yeska all kicking off their careers there.
The venue owners too and the people who booked the gigs were influential as well – they brought an energy of their own. And the recording studios and independent record labels. I didn’t know how much of all that I’d be able to get in.
Making the track choices was important to me. I picked bands that I was close to in some way – to their inception or creative process and would lead to stories. They had to cover a wide range of styles too to try and present a picture.
Being too early I went back out and bought a cup of coffee outside.
All the talk of leaving the “Umms”, “Yeahs”, “Kind ofs” and stutterings went out the window straight away. I had recent experience at RadioActive and from Simon’s podcasts of talking about music and hearing my own voice back so I just relaxed my guard.
Jesse, the host, I knew would be in the Auckland studio so I’d be looking through the glass at an engineer and producer. It was an odd sensation talking to a disembodied voice that I knew so well – like being in two places at the same time holding a conversation at work listening to the radio.
He asked about the Spines a lot more than I thought he would and it was sweet to hear Lily And I and talk about why I wrote it.
I got to mention some of what I’d put together in my head but we got taken off on tangents entirely and they led to other stories. The choice of songs held it all together.
I’d had this big plan of mentioning the fact that Jesse and I had been to the same high school in Hillcrest but that never came to anything. When I’d arrived the RNZ building I’d seen Duncan Smith who I went to Hillcrest Normal Primary with and Kim Hill was in the lift on the way down when I left…