When Hell is Now Love first started out a few years back it was as a zine about local bands (see the tab on the left for the three issues that got made). Somewhere soon after the second issue I realised I wasn’t particularly good at writing and didn’t really have enough time to be able to publish a zine every month so it fell by the wayside in favour of putting on shows and releasing records. I’ve been meaning to do another issue (which would be the fourth in two years) for quite a while but never seem to get everything in place. I thought that I’d publish anything I write here instead which means I can do it whenever I feel like it and whenever things get done rather than waiting until I have 20 pages worth of material.
Coate are a really awesome band from Christchurch that arose from the ashes of another awesome band called Ghostwork. Coate put in a lot of work towards their craft and do a lot to help out their local scene, they’ve played an integral part in getting a few really good international screamo/emo bands down to Christchurch and to top it all off they make some sweet sweet music.
You can find out more about them online:
Here’s an interview I did over the web with Thomas a few months ago:
How long has Coate been around for? Why the change from Ghostwork?
We started near the end of 2010. Ghostwork sorta bailed because we all wanted to do different stuff. The line up was really uncertain for a while and it just didn’t seem like we’d ever all meet with what we wanted to do.
What is Christchurch like at the moment? There seems to be a few good venues and bands popping up, do you think the music scene has fully recovered from the effects of the quake and the resulting diaspora of many musicians?
I’m not totally sure. There are some really cool bands going on here but unfortunately I think the migration of young people is still going on - Miniatures being one of my favourite recent additions to CHCH music being one example of members moving to greener pastures. At the same time a lot of people are still pretty positive, and with DuxLive and The Darkroom being accommodating for musicians I don’t think we’ll see a total collapse any time soon. Bands are still playing really regularly, and I’ve noticed a few younger bands of people just out of high school playing regularly at the Dux in particular which is really good to see.
You guys have released an awesome album and a mini EP, both online. Is there any plans for physical releases in the future?
I think we would really like to do a physical release but finding the time to arrange it and the money to put behind it is another issue entirely. We’re all pretty busy with university so even finding the time to write new material has been hard this year. We’re pretty positive though and will try our best to get an EP of some sort out this year, at least online. Also, eatabook records did put out our self titled in a limited run of cassette tapes last year - so that was really cool.
Coate seem to have a lot of friends around the world, you’ve supported La Dispute, To the North and Loma Prieta. What importance do you think social media has for making those sort of connections? Is it just a replacement of the old zine-swapping, postal network or something completely removed?
I think it’s hard to say how important social media is for bands connecting these days. Getting to play with those bands was really fantastic and incredibly motivating. Both times have been similar - tours being organized by other bands have had to ask around for bands to play with them. It can be really strange pairing sometimes, we aren’t really anything like Loma Prieta or La Dispute but I think people recognize that these diverse genres all have similar influences or a lot of shared attitudes towards music in general. I don’t think the people who hooked us up with those shows would have known about us without sites like facebook and bandcamp. There is definitely still a place for zine-swaps though. Zinefest seems to go really well still and I think it’s not just the novelty of having a physical zine telling you about bands or with poetry in it or anything, but that that aspect of any artistic community provides something really positive that you can’t really capture through websites.
I am very proud to welcome to the Hell is Now Love family one of my favourite new bands - DIVING!
A two-piece noisy post-rock band out of Wellington DIVING are two of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and they sure know how to whip up some inspiring noise. They’ll be dropping their new EP in a few weeks (more on that to come) but in the meantime here is the first single, it’s called Hypervoid and I reckon it recalls the best bits of Bailterspace and HDU. Download it for free here:
And I for one think this is great news! Been two years since the last time I saw them play so incredibly excited for August! Here’s a poster:
The DHDFDs have a new video!
For the track ‘Pessimist’ from their debut album ‘French Fries’. Filmed in true chaotic fashion around the band’s spiritual home of Point Chevalier and shot on VHS tape, the video sees the band driving around their favourite local haunts. The idea was conceived while driving to the location, with the band walking around to find the perfect children’s playground carrying a disturbing amount of beef bones and a pig’s head.
Directed by Scott Brown and StJohn Migrew the video is a suitably intense visual accompaniment to their blistering music. A deranged and disordered affair, filled with nostalgic waves of static and accompanied by a song that’s unrelentingly fierce; the video is a recoil against everything safe and trendy. “I didn’t want to shoot in the typical HD like everyone seems to these days” says Scot Brown, “the song suits VHS, it keeps it from looking boring and flat”.
Releasing records means relying heavily on the press for promotion and critical review, especially the local free magazines. We’ve been fortunate enough at Hell is Now Love to be supported by most of the awesome publications around. Recently Volume magazine (whose editor Sam Wicks has been an incredible support to this label) closed its doors which is worrying for the future of local street press in NZ. I thought it’d be interesting to have a chat with NZ Musician’s Westley Holdsworth to get a bit of inside knowledge on how the local press operates and how they support local artists.
NZ Musician is an important cornerstone of local music, it is a publication that we rely heavily on in reviewing and publicising our releases
HINL: NZ Musician has been around for 20 years or so now, how do you feel it fits into the current scene?
WES: I think it’s an important corner stone of print media in NZ. It’s basically the only independent nationally distributed NZ music only magazine and I feel really privileged to be a part of it. Especially as I’m English and a relative newcomer to NZ. Also the fact that it’s been around for so long makes it a great resource for New Zealand music history. The fact that we aren’t tied to anything and are free to write about whatever the hell we want is great.
HINL: As a magazine that reviews most releases sent in by NZ artists how important do you think it is for local media to be accessible?
WES: It’s so important for any music related media to be accessible. I see the same phenomena a lot of the time in NZ. Websites, blogs, radio and publications seem to have the same bands on rotate a lot of the time and it’s important that music media makes room for new music that would otherwise go unnoticed and underground music that would otherwise have no voice or outlet. It shouldn’t be about who you know or how ‘big’ a band is perceived to be but unfortunately a lot of the time it is, and England is just the same. It’s no greener on the other side. Although accessible doesn’t have to mean nice, there’s nothing wrong with constructive criticism and there needs to be more of it in NZ. Not all music is rad.
HINL: Do you have any criteria that would stop something being reviewed (ie has to be available in stores etc)?
WES: At NZM we don’t really review singles or free downloads, mostly because a single isn’t really enough for a decent write up or a clear indication of a band or producer as a whole. We get so many requests for reviews of free downloads yet a finite amount of space in the magazine, therefore preference goes to physical albums and EP’s. Having said that everything gets a listen and if a free download happens to be the best thing we’ve heard all year of course we’ll write about it. Good music is good music.
HINL: How do you see the role of print media in today’s increasingly digital age? Several other local publications have had trouble staying afloat recently but NZ musician seems like it continues to thrive?
WES: Much like every business still going today, print media is struggling but I don’t think it will die anytime soon. The big difference for me is the same as a vinyl record and a digital download. A magazine is that real thing that you can hold, it’s tangible and also carries a certain clout that digital media struggles with. Anyone can put up a couple of tracks on Bandcamp or start a blog but only a few get to release a record on a great label or get a review in a sweet magazine.
HINL: Do you think the magazine is aimed primarily at musicians (features on song-writing etc) or at the common public (interviews etc)?
WES: A little bit of both, we try and get the nuts and bolts of a recording, when someone brings out an album we want to know how they made it and we have regular columns from singing techniques to fixing/modifying equipment. All those things are obviously geared towards musicians but we also have heaps of content that appeals to anyone that likes music. One of the things that is tough to get right is a good balance of bands from across the country, anyone outside of Auckland gets neglected by the media so we try to include everyone because there’s great music all over the country, but again that’s a worldwide problem, every country has a musical hub, anyone outside of London gets ignored in the UK. It’s a bit of a tightrope with all the segregation of scenes but I like to think we do well by appealing to everyone involved in music in New Zealand, be it a consumer or musician, industry pop fanatic or underground metal-head. There are no rules to music or right or wrongs therefore it’s important as an impartial publication to try to include as much variety as possible.
Auckland’s DHDFDs are a force of nature. Explosive, frenetic and utterly unpredictable; their live shows have become the stuff of legend. After nearly seven years together they finally have an album ready to be unveiled. Hell is Now Love is supremely happy to present the long-awaited third release and the first album from the band; ‘French Fries’.
The DHDFDs burst onto the Auckland scene with a bang in 2005, while still in their teens. Since then they have supported the Black Lips, toured Japan with the King Brothers and graced the stage at Big Day Out. Releasing the Pastor of Muppets EP in 2006 and following up with Fromage Du Pouvior in 2008 (released through Mole Music) the band have been through a couple of line-up changes, but they are back and armed with a brand spanking new album. French Fries was recorded and mixed in March of last year by Kody Nielson (The Mint Chicks, Bic Runga) and mastered by local maestro Nick Roughan (Tourettes, Street Chant, Lost Rockets).
French Fries is a thirty minute blitzkrieg of unstoppable rhythms and scuzzy guitars, topped off by Scot Brown’s signature howl. Managing to fit an epic thirteen tracks into a plastic disc that runs just short of thirty minutes the DHDFDs guarantee more value for money than a happy meal; French Fries is a frenetic garage rock gem that’s guaranteed to bring joy to your ears.
The album will be available from the Hell is Now Love website (http://hellisnowlove.bandcamp.com) from the 6th of April onwards, as well as good record stores.
The band will be touring the country in celebration playing the following shows:
March 30th - Cassette, Auckland
April 6th - Lucha Lounge, Auckland.
April 13th - Whammy, Auckland
April 27th - Mighty Mighty, Wellington
April 28th - Space Monster, Whanganui
Hell is Now Love is proud to present the debut EP from Auckland’s Mason Clinic. Six tracks of bittersweet melodies, delicate keyboards and fuzzed out guitars, Prisoners is a trip through the mind of one of the country’s best and most under-rated bands.
Starting out as a solo musician, Mason Campbell gradually accumulated musical allies - Joss Colling (bass), Hayden Walsh (guitar), Nick Milne (keyboards) and Alex Willi (drums) - around his songs of heartache and sorrow, forming the nucleus of a band that have now been playing shows around Auckland for over three years.
Writing songs that aim to convey emotion, whether joy or sorrow, songs that people can relate to, songs that describe the ebbs and flows of life, Mason Clinic refuse to be pigeon-holed. Whether it’s the country-tinged sadness of ‘Shirts’ or the balls to the wall noise of ‘Prisoners’, Mason Clinic take their music wherever they feel it needs to go, presenting an EP full of diverse songs, brimming with life and an attitude that is best summed up in Mason’s own words: “if we can play till we are all old making rad tunes that would be the ultimate.”
Prisoners is out on the 5th March 2012. Get it from http://hellisnowlove.bandcamp.com as well as Musiquarium, Marbecks, Lucky and a bunch of other sweet record stores.
See them live!
1st March - Wine Cellar, Auckland - with Sanders Alley Khan & Imploder
2nd March - Happy, Wellington - with Kittentank & Imploder
3rd March - The ARC Theatre, Whanganui - with Dobermen & Imploder
4th March - Kings Arms, Auckland - with Bloody Souls, Beach Pigs & more